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Active Isolated Streatching (AIS) and Manual Ligament Therapy (MLT)

AIS (The Mattes Method: Active Isolated Stretching and Strengthening) is the most in-depth stretching and flexibility system in use the world over. Derived from extensive research in kinesiology (the study of muscles and movement) and anatomy AIS gives consistent success with soft-tissue injuries and a variety of neurological and orthopedic conditions such as sciatica, arthritis, and tendonitis. AIS accomplishes this through active rhythmical movements of the joints, creating a vascular and lymphatic pump to reduce inflammation soften and realign adhesions and scarred tissue quickly and safely. The active component lends the added benefit of retraining the nervous system, helping to improve body awareness and reverse dysfunctional patterns of movement and posture.


How AIS works

Benefits of AIS

What Conditions AIS Helps

Why AIS?

As we age our muscles tend to lose elasticity and recovery from injuries may take longer. Physical trauma, stress, and repetitive movements over the years result in nerve impingement, shortened muscles, and decreased mobility to name a few of the potential problems. Stretching increases circulation both venous and lymphatic, reduces pain, improves athletic performance, helps to restore balance, and promotes faster recovery from injury. Strengthening allows those gains to be maintained by creating stability which is what is needed to keep you in balance, front to back, side to side, top to bottom.

AIS takes into account your core and foundation. It employs precise exercises to achieve local joint stability, stamina, and power. With greater flexibility and strength your body can achieve and maintain balance. The outcome is reduced stress on joints and release from a multitude of physical restrictions and weaknesses that impair health and well-being.

To learn more about AIS and its founder, Aaron L. Mattes, visit www.stretchingusa.com.

How AIS Works

AIS is rooted in the principle of reciprocal inhibition, in which a contracting muscle (agonist) sends a signal to the opposite muscle (antagonist) to relax so that movement can occur. Physiologically a muscle is more easily stretched when there is active muscle contraction in its agonist. What this means is that when you contract one muscle, the body signals the opposite muscle to relax in order for you to move your body.

A secondary but key principle in AIS is self-protection, referring to muscle spindles and their built-in protective mechanism (myo-tactic reflex). These special sensor cells detect sudden stretches (such as in a quick movement in sports), excessive stretches (pushing the joint further than physically possible), and prolonged stretches (more than about 2 seconds). When the spindle cells sense any of these conditions within the muscle, it triggers muscle contraction. The characteristic gentle, repetitive, 2-second stretch of AIS avoids triggering these contractions.

Benefits of AIS

In AIS, each stretch is repeated several times, similar to a workout.

  • The pumping action from repeated muscular activity with deep breathing brings about better circulation, removal of metabolic waste products, and more efficient delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the cells.
  • AIS helps realign superficial and deep fascial layers by releasing adhesions and realigning scarred tissue, giving correct direction to collagen fibers during healing.
  • It does not require a warm-up phase and can be used to prepare for any exercise program.

AIS also:

  • Improves flexibility
  • Relieves stress
  • Reduces spasm
  • Quickens recovery from injury
  • Improves balance
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Improves posture
  • Relieves muscle soreness
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Reduces the risk of muscle strain and ligament sprain

What Conditions AIS Helps

Under the skilled guidance of a trained practitioner, AIS is effective in alleviating the symptoms of numerous physical disorders:

  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Headaches
  • Muscular injuries
  • Ligament injuries
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Neck pain
  • Low-back pain
  • Nerve and muscular impingement syndromes
  • Scoliosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Heel spurs
  • Poor circulation
  • Edema
  • Pre- and post-surgical conditions
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Bulging and herniated discs
  • Balance problems

About MLT

In August 2012 MLT developer Arik Gohl turned his Tacoma, WA practice over to Joshua Morton so that Gohl could relocate to set up a clinic in Mexico. Good friend, mentor to, and student of Gohl, Joshua welcomes all of Arik’s clients and looks forward to continuing the excellent care they are accustomed to. Here is the story of MLT adapted from Arik’s site, mltsite.com.

In 2004 Arik Gohl, a medical massage therapist in Tacoma, Washington, was searching for a more effective and less physically demanding way to treat his patients. Having suffered a repetitive stress injury due to overuse, he knew there had to be a better and more potent way to treat musculoskeletal injuries that is not so hard on the therapist. Conferring with a close friend, a Doctor of Chiropractic, Arik wanted to know if there were any therapist-friendly modalities from the chiropractic world that he could use that were within his scope of practice. The technique he learned was the Logan Basic Technique, which involves applying gentle pressure to a low back structure called the sacrotuberous ligament and is widely used today for quickly reducing muscle spasm in the muscles of the back.

Seeing the effectiveness of this technique, Arik inquired as to whether other ligaments of the body could reproduce a similar effect with different muscles; when he learned that the matter had not yet been explored, Arik began his own research. He discovered that many of the ligaments in the body could be gently coaxed into greatly reducing muscle spasm and tension very quickly with long-lasting results.

With the excellent results he was achieving with his patients, Arik knew he was making a vital discovery, but needed to understand better why these results were occurring. After consulting with physicians and clinicians, he began studying the extensive PubMed database and found high-level research articles showing that ligaments played a very large role in giving the brain information on how to keep the body in balance. He found that even slight injury to ligaments could induce significant dysfunction within joint and muscle structures.

Within three months, Arik arranged a one-on-one meeting with world-renowned researcher Dr. Moshe Solomonow, PhD., at the University of Colorado, Denver. Having studied many of the articles written by Dr. Solomonow, all of which supported the active role that ligaments play in regulating neuromuscular control, Arik felt it was vital to gain the support of someone so highly respected in the research world. After meeting with Dr. Solomonow, it was obvious that Arik was onto something very unique and uncharted. Leaving Denver with Dr. Solomonow’s support and respect, Arik delved into his destiny of developing and teaching his new therapy, Manual Ligament Therapy.

Many years later and with over 10,000 hours of research and development, MLT is a tried and proven modality that effectively treats most musculoskeletal injuries quickly, easily, and with relatively effort on the clinician’s part. Manual Ligament Therapy is now used by clinician’s of all backgrounds and is in the process of nationwide and international exposure.

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