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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v07n09)
Gettin' Ripped in Ripple - by Laura Minor
posted: Apr. 30, 2010

Gettin’ Ripped in Ripple header

Guest columnist Chad Vogel

Quit your gimping and get back in the game!

"My back hurts". . . "My hip hurts". . . "I feel so weak". . . "My body feels so tight". . . etc. Whatever the reason, sometime or another you have found yourself repeating these phrases, sometimes over and over again. Whether it be the long days at work, training for an upcoming marathon, sitting at a computer all day, or just your normal everyday activities at home, your body just feels beat up. The crazy thing is. . . you ignore it!? You apply ice and/or heat hoping it goes away, ask your significant other to please massage it out, or the infamous, "A good night's sleep and I'll feel better tomorrow". But it always seems to find its way back and it's frustrating.
These aches and pains start to affect our training, cut our workouts short, or worse, we stop our training altogether. The training for your marathon becomes difficult because you find yourself in pain after every run, and at times you find yourself choosing not to run at all. It affects our entire days at work; where the pain or soreness just seems to pick on us all day, making our days seem to drag on and when we get home we don't want to exercise, go for our run, and we don't want to do anything but go to sleep. Even our cherished night's sleep becomes affected. Ask yourself, "What is this problem really costing me?"
There are many forms of therapy that you can choose from that offer to help relieve the pain, usually that's the only thing they focus on. . . ..the pain. More often than not, the pain is only an indicator that there is much larger issue that needs to be addressed. When you treat only the pain, it's like putting a band-aid over it, ignoring a potentially much larger issue. The result of these potentially larger issues becomes what we know as compensation. Over time, these compensation patterns change the alignment of the joint, leading to joint instability and abnormal wear on the joint surfaces. The end result becomes pain and, sooner or later, osteoarthritis, which has been correlated with aging. If identified and properly addressed, it does not have to occur.
A new innovative therapy called Muscle Activation Techniques (M.A.T.) has been designed to look specifically for these imbalances, than assess and correct these compensation patterns. M.A.T. looks at muscle tightness as a form of protection in the body. Weak or otherwise inhibited muscles can create the need for other muscles to tighten up in order to help stabilize and protect your joints. M.A.T. gets to the source of pain or injury by addressing muscle weakness rather than muscle tightness. This helps to restore normal body alignment, thereby decreasing pain and reducing the risk of injury. M.A.T. sessions will give you one-on-one personal attention with an M.A.T. certified specialist, with each client being treated up to one full hour, never being handed over to an assistant. A typical session involves an evaluation that is a joint specific, range of motion exam. This evaluation of range of motion is designed to identify limitations in motion along with the identification of asymmetrical motion. The information from the exam gives the practitioner an idea of what muscle, or group of muscles, may not be functioning properly. What is being identified are positions of instability, and based upon what has been addressed, these positions of instability will display themselves through short isolated strength tests. These strength tests are not designed to evaluate directly for levels of strength, but to see if the muscle or groups of muscles provide stability. When weakness is found, a noninvasive cross-friction technique is used to "jump start" the inhibited muscle(s). The goal of M.A.T. therapy is to create the ability for the muscles to stabilize the joints and reduce the joint stresses that lead to arthritic conditions, and when the body becomes efficient, and compensation patterns are corrected, the related aches and pains are deterred.
M.A.T. can slow down or even reverse the aging process. If it is recognized that muscles are designed to stabilize and support the joints naturally; it must be understood that arthritic conditions and joint instability can be helped or prevented when muscles are prepared to function properly. A client I continue to work with is both an avid runner and a personal trainer by trade, which means she is constantly moving with her clients as well as training for marathons. She came to me with severe knee pain, which had actually stopped her marathon training and even kept her from exercising along with her clients. She had already been to several therapists, and tried several special exercises, all to which provided some relief, but for a very short time. During the assessment we discovered that her knee was not her issue. It was her back that was not supporting her bodyweight while she trained, and in turn caused the instability in her knee. After a few treatments she started to see results and soon after was back training with her clients and training for her next marathon.
M.A.T. is now at So.Be.Fit. in Broad Ripple. Chad Vogel studied Sports and Exercise Science at the University of Minnesota and became a certified M.A.T. specialist back in February 2008. Since moving to Indianapolis, Chad has had the opportunity to work with a variety of clientele ranging from children to adults to professional athletes, including the Indianapolis Colts, as well as some NBA players and Olympic athletes.

Laura Minor owner and operator of So.Be.Fit. Personal Training and Fitness studio located at 54th and the Monon. She is passionate about teaching others how to "FIT" exercise and physical activity into their daily lives, and have fun while doing so! Visit her website at or e-mail
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