In their own words...
Low Back and Hips Testimonials
“I was first diagnosed with hip bursitis 5 years ago. I still encountered pain in both hips even after therapy. When just walking became painful, I was referred to Shawn. I could tell a difference after the first session. Now I have more range of motion and walk without pain and I just see Shawn for tune-ups.”
— Julie Murphy
"Over the years, Steve Dam and Activation Fitness have helped my son and daughter prepare for college basketball, relieved my wife's chronic sciatica and improved my strength and mobility after a long NBA career."
— Bill Cartwright
3X NBA Champion — Chicago Bulls
"Around age 50 I was diagnosed with L4-L5 bulging discs and a few years later a torn labrum in my shoulder. Taking advantage of MAT, I currently have about 95% motion in my shoulder, working out, healthy, active and even golfing again... without surgery."
— Rick Kerman
CEO, Steiner Electric
“MAT at Activation Fitness helped me fully recover from two traumatic hip fractures. Two freak accidents resulted in two separate femoral neck fractures just below my hip joint.
The first injury was done in New Zealand where I had a plate and screws put in. After a few months of therapy, I returned to the US. I knew something still wasn’t right with my mechanics. Prior to the accident, I had been a highly competitive endurance athlete. MAT was able to uncover some compensations traditional therapy was not able to address or even fully recognize. After a handful of sessions, I felt much more in balance and my gait was smoother with minimal discomfort.
After a full recovery, a couple years later I was in a bicycle accident which fractured nearly the same spot on the other leg. This time I wanted to use MAT even in the very beginning stages of therapy. I came to Activation Fitness two weeks after surgery. The early rehab was very cautious but also very specific and my progress was significantly quicker than with the first leg. Over the next few months, I continued to strengthen and advanced to levels I had not even expected.
No other method of therapy seems to keep in mind the full range of inter-working parts of the body like MAT does. I was able to strengthen supporting muscles in very subtle ways that over time helped make my joint stable. Without such acute attention to the way my body works, I am certain that I would be saddled with injuries now stemming from overcompensation. Instead, I recovered fully and I am running again without any pain, something doctors told me that I would most likely have to let go of. I have returned for my 2-year follow up and my bones are in perfect health and I live without any nagging pain. Thank you for changing the trajectory of my athletic life.”
— Annie Mullen
"I started working with Gina the same week X-rays taken by my chiropractor showed that my spine was extremely misaligned. Day after day, I was experiencing pain in my neck and a general discomfort in my back. I woke up most mornings stiff and achy. These misalignments created pressure and irritation on the various nerves in my spine and I was suffering a wide range of symptoms. The consensus was that my condition was caused by eight to ten hours a day at my desk in front of the computer screen. I was feeling pretty depressed about my situation. Gina took a thoughtful approach to my sad state of affairs. After working with Gina for two months, as well as my chiropractor, my spine was greatly improved. The second set of X-rays showed far better alignment. My chiropractor commented that the improvement was much more rapid than with his average patient. I believe that result is directly related to working out with Gina and her commitment to my well-being. Her workouts are creative, challenging and motivating. Overall, I’m stronger and very encouraged by the change in my physical condition."
“From a young age, when I was involved in competitive gymnastics, to my current physical activity of running, pilates and yoga practice, I am familiar with injury and the aches and pains of daily living. Several years ago when I saw a chiropractor for the first time, he took x-rays of my back and asked if I had ever suffered a spinal fracture! My more recent back injury was severe enough to halt all physical activity and seek medical attention. At that time x-rays showed a stage 4 spondylolithesis of L4 and L5 and instablility in flexion and extension of my spine. It was suggested by Shawn True that I get an MRI and make an appointment to see a neurosurgeon. Seeking an alternative to surgery, I began work with Shawn using the M.A.T. technique of reactivating long-dormant muscles to provide a more stable foundation in my spine. I now realize that stabilization begins with the reactivation of muscles designed to do the job of stabilization, instead of just “strengthening” muscles arbitrarily where the already strong muscles get stronger and the weak stay weak. After working with MAT techniques for the past 5 months, a more recent set of x-rays showed the spondylolithesis at a stage of 1.5 and Dr. Shea (neurosurgeon) recommended no surgery at this time. While running may not be in my future, I am reintroducing lost activities that I love and enjoying a stable, pain-free back!”
— Karen Koval
“Shawn True spoke to the staff at the Personal Training studio where I train. The second I heard what he had to say, it made sense to me. I had been having nagging low back aching for months and with Shawn’s consistent attention and expertise, I can say the ache has subsided. In addition, Shawn is kind, energetic, and possesses a high emotional intelligence. Feeling well, body and mind is very important to me and Shawn supports that for his clients.”
— Susan Newman
Certified Personal Trainer
“Impending osteopenia and fear of heart disease prompted me to begin working out about 10 years ago. I saw results in weight loss and my bone density improved, but I often struggled with motivation. I also began spinning but suffered upper back pain. Running and some machines became out of the question due to knee and lower back/hip pain as well. Other trainers and a physical therapist told me that running, the treadmill, and open chained machines would aggravate my problems more. Still I continued my weekly regiment. Then I met Steve Dam about two years into this process. Steve changed my entire attitude about fitness. It became more about strengthening my body and understanding what I COULD do as long as it was done properly. Fitness became my passion and I became leaner and stronger and looked forward to training.
Steve is a knowledgeable, forthright and caring person. His training style and MAT skills are a combination that truly work. I would enthusiastically recommend training and doing MAT at Activation Fitness, if you want to feel strong and overcome physical limitations that have held you back.”
— Linda Gold
Small Business Executive
"I am a weekend warrior who participates in competitive tennis, golf and paddle tennis. Competitive sports has always been an integral part of my life. Over the years, I have suffered from chronic lower back. Determined to find relief, I researched and was willing to try everything determined not to have surgery. I was diagnosed with partially herniated and bulging discs. The usual was subscribed, drugs and rest. Through my research I found that many people if given an MRI would show similar skeletal issues, but not all suffer from back pain. The key to the problem was not always skeletal, but muscular. Following this theory lead me to M.A.T. in 2007. M.A.T. treats our muscular imbalances. I gave it a try that year and notice remarkable results. I was able to once again participate in competitive sports. By making M.A.T. part of my regular weekly routine, I have noticed less frequent incidents of back pain and the reduction in duration and severity of each episode. It has also enabled my muscles to function in their full capacity allowing my back a greater range of motion, thus translating to a more powerful golf swing.
M.A.T. has given me an opportunity to reclaim my quality of life back and for that I will always be grateful. I am a true believer in the benefits of M.A.T. If you are seeking relief from muscle pain, lack of range of movement and/ or want to reach your full athletic potential, I highly recommend the treatment."
— Kurt R. Mancillas
President & CEO
Excel Dowel & Wood Products, LLC
"Thank you for your comments regarding my recent success at the Ironman World 70.3 Triathlon Championships. I attribute a great deal of my success to the work you and the MAT technique has done for my overall strength and stability. Over the past few years I have been wrought with a myriad of physical problems ranging from sciatica to lower back pain. This seemed to just send me spiraling downward and resulted in further knee and hip issues. After years, I felt like no one was able to get to the true root of my injuries. As an athlete who loved to race and compete in Marathons and various distance triathlons, I was more than frustrated. I had goals. I didn’t feel like slowing down. And, I wanted answers.
When we first met, I have to admit I was grasping at straws; looking for someone to put the pieces together. I was in the midst of an incredibly successful racing season. I had just competed and placed in four half ironmans over the summer. This earned me the honor of racing at World’s in November but, my body was breaking down. After a quick painless evaluation you were able to identify weaknesses and limitations. This led to reactivating weak muscles and opening up limited joint movements. Each time we met I noticed dramatic results. For example, the first session we were able to successfully increase the rotation and motion of my right hip. All of a sudden I noticed a marked reduction in hip pain and an increase in overall strength. Over the next few sessions we relieved SI pain, strengthened tweeky knees and, stabilized limited ankle rotations. The bottom line is that not only did I compete at World’s but, set an all time PR (personal best) and placed 6th. I want to thank Activation Fitness immensely for opening my eyes to the benefits of MAT. And, I look forward to keeping you in my armamentarium of long term strategies that will keep me healthy, strong and racing for years to come. My enthusiasm for what you do is apparent by all the referrals that I have and will continue to send your way."
— Kimberly A. Busch DDS
"In April 2010, I received prolotherapy injections (PRP) in my SI joint since I’ve been having issues for 3+ years. Although the injections helped to alleviate the pain, I knew I had to stabilize and strengthen the area if the injections would be a long term success. Much of my SI joint instability came from weak glutes and abductors. MAT was an effective solution for getting the weak muscles “firing” to stabilize the area. I have been feeling great in training and the isometric contractions I learned allow me to keep things in check."
— Renne Richards Groff
5 x Team USA member Triathlon and Duathlon
2004 Duathlon World Champ (long course
In their own words...