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NFL Players Swear by MAT

This article was published in The Mercury News (San Jose) highlighting NFL Players seeking out MAT to help them go the distance! Wide receiver Brice Butler says his first season in the NFL was a real pain. “Everyday I was hurting,” Butler said. “I was waking up and not knowing if I was going to make it to practice.” After three seasons at USC and a fourth at San Diego State, Butler’s body was betraying him. And he was a 23-year-old rookie in the NFL.

“It was like eight games in during my rookie season in Oakland and I asked myself, ‘How the heck am I going to make it through the next 8 games?'” Butler said. Butler not only made it, he made it through his entire sophomore season with the Raiders, catching 21 passes and scoring two touchdowns, and more importantly, he was finally playing virtually pain free.

Butler did not find the fountain of youth. Instead, he discovered Derek Colderbank’s Norcal Muscle Clinic, which specializes in Muscle Activation Techniques and is located in San Rafael. Butler is one of several players from both the Raiders and 49ers who swear by MAT.

Complex Process...

When there’s a breakdown in the communication between brain and muscles, which happens often in the human body according to Derek Colderbank, that’s when MAT is needed.

Colderbank analyzes a patients needs by checking range of motion and then goes about reconnecting the brain with the muscles through a series of pressure points, and surprisingly, not necessarily in the place of the patient’s pain or discomfort. Colderbank uses an analogy to help explain the process; “If the left front tire on your car goes bald you can change the tire and fix it temporarily,” he says. “But until you do the alignment on that wheel, the tire is going to keep going bald.”

“It helps my body become more well-balanced,” said Miles Burris, a fourth-year player who started every game at linebacker for the Raiders. “MAT gets my muscles fired up, contracting and working properly.”

NFL Players Swear By It...

Butler says most of his pain originated from a severe case of Plantar Faciitis, a debilitating foot pain more commonly associated with long distance runners. “I must have developed Plantar Faciitis in college,” Butler said. “Sometimes I couldn’t walk it was so sore. I kept telling myself, ‘if I feel like this at 23, how am I going to play 10 to 12 years in the NFL?’ In 3 sessions at Norcal Muscle my feet stopped hurting. Now the optimism for a 10- to 12-year career is back in the forefront.”

Frank Gore is almost religious about his MAT treatments during the season. “It helps me a whole lot,” he said. “(MAT sessions) have improved my game. If I don’t get it, I don’t feel right before the game.”

Andre Holmes, a three-year veteran for the Raiders, said he tried MAT sessions after he strained his hamstring in the 2013 season. “It allows the body to take over in healing process and speed it up a little more,” said Holmes, who caught 47 passes for 693 yards and four touchdowns in 2014. “I didn’t play that game after I hurt my hamstring but I probably could’ve played — and I couldn’t do anything just a couple of days before that. MAT is still a relatively new thing, but it’s kind of surprising it hasn’t surfaced stronger in the mainstream because it does work."

Colderbank says MAT is certainly not just for elite athletes. He says even weekend warriors are sure to benefit from the treatment. “We have musicians — violinists, cellists, guys who play guitar — we have triathletes, runners, high school athletes. If there’s a muscle there we work on it.”

Colderbank explains the MAT procedure in another way. “Instead of stretching, our whole thing is to tighten and shorten the muscles. We don’t want to loosen the tight muscles we want to tighten the loose muscles and then there will be a well-balanced system.”

After his MAT treatments, Butler said he was a new man. “In my rookie season, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through the season,” he said. “After the this season ended, I said, ‘The season’s over already? Really?'"

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