In their own words...
Runners / Bicyclists/ Swimmers Testimonials
“I’m 48 and a lifelong runner. I developed plantar fasciitis several months ago and I was desperate for help. A friend suggested I try MAT and recommended Steve Dam. I was a bit surprised when Steve spent the entire session working on my ‘good’ side, hardly even touching my painful foot. After several sessions with Steve, doing my exercises and following his advice, I have completely changed the way I look at therapy, stretching, and the way my body works in general. I am back to running again pain free and feel even less susceptible to injury now!”
— Maggie Mohr
“I met Steve in February at a Road Runner Sports event. After a short demonstration of the Muscle Activation Technique and quick evaluation of my issues, I immediately knew that I needed their help. There was an increase in muscle strength after just 5 minutes of work. I was stunned! I was suffering from high hamstring tendonitis and as a runner this severely limited my ability to run hills. After only 4 sessions I was able to run a very challenging hilly 25k with no issues or pain. I continue to work with Steve and continue to see improvements and have been able to run pain free all summer. I would highly recommend Activation Fitness and MAT to anyone.”
— Kathy Wasicki
Road Runner Sports Grassroots Representative
“I am a 15 year old varsity distance runner. I started having tightness and pain last track season which I was told was IT band tightness. At the start of my cross-country season I developed pain in my knee and hip which caused me to stop training. MAT with Steve Dam has helped me gain flexibility and strength in my hips, knees and ankles. I feel stronger after my session and this carries over to help me run faster. With every session I see progress and understand more about how my body works.”
— Maki Mohr
"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
“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
"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)
“While training for the Boston Marathon, I had a nagging hamstring pain and significantly reduced flexibility on the left side of my body. I was diagnosed with a common running problem that required simple strengthening exercise. I performed the exercises as suggested and did not see improvement. An active lifestyle is my livelihood and I knew that I couldn’t continue with marathons and triathlons without repairing my injury. That’s when I found Shawn True. Within the first session Shawn was able to identify the root causes of my pain using M.A.T. We spent three, hour-long sessions strengthening the weak/injured areas and now I have my flexibility back and can run pain-free.”
— Adrienne Saeger
"We wanted to share our experiences with MAT. Our 13 year old was dealing with chronic back pain and random spasm over the last year and a half brought on by overuse as she is a competitive year round swimmer. We tried Chiropractic, had X-rays, even saw a pediatric orthopedic doctor who all confirmed nothing broken. Sadly she had to quit swimming as that seemed our only choice and hope of her healing. Even though not swimming, and doing daily stretches, she continued to have chronic pain.
Through MAT, We learned a lot about muscular imbalance and how weaker muscles can lead to instability elsewhere in the body. We discovered weak muscles in one hip were the main culprit. Through several sessions and continued daily work with MAT exercises, I am happy to report Gabby is back at swim and has slowly worked her way back to normal practice. She continues to be spasm and pain free in the pool and out. This technique has been a God send. It really just makes sense and the results speak for themselves!"
— Jen and Gabby Verdoni
“I have had chronic knee pain for many years. I have tried many different techniques (surgery, physical therapy, acupuncture, and more) to “get by,” so that I can keep on running. Some have helped, but usually for just a short span of time before the pain increases again. With MAT... I have already noticed a significant decrease in knee pain almost to the point of no pain. In addition I have a much greater range of motion with my joints as well as increased strength."
— Steve Buti
Highland Park High School
Assistant Boys Cross Country and Track & Field Coach
"I’m a competitive swimmer who was diagnosed with tendinosis in my shoulder last year. I was getting so frustrated after trying so many attempts to heal my injury. Physical therapy helped but was not the answer for me, and rest wasn’t helping either. After a few MAT sessions my body was back in balance and I felt as good as new. I am now back in the water and I’m so thankful for discovering Activation Fitness."
— Kendall Crispin, 14
Glenbrook North High School Swim Team
"When I first came to see Steve in mid-April 2012, I could barely run 2 miles without experiencing major knee pain. He interviewed me about my running, provided suggestions about how to do things differently and made adjustments using MAT. I credit you for giving me the treatment that I needed. After following your recommendations I was running pain free. I credit you with changing every misconception I ever had about running. Especially your recommendations about my technique and the type of shoes I was using. I’ve switched completely to minimal trail running shoes and a natural running technique."
I also achieved my goal of setting a personal record for the 2012 Chicago Marathon. Not only did I get a PR, but I smashed my old record from 2010 by almost 17 minutes.”
— Fabian Leiva
"I'm a swimmer at Glenbrook North. Each of the past three seasons I started having pain in both shoulders. I tried doing traditional therapy and did not see much improvement. Each year a few sessions of Muscle Activation helped me improve my flexibility and strength in and out of the water. I would go back to swimming without the pain and able to perform at my best for the rest of the season."
— Jack Brierton
Varsity Swim Team, Glenbrook North High School
“As an Athletic Trainer I know how important it is to an athlete to get back on the field quickly. With only a few weeks to go before I ran a 5K race, I experienced an injury. Shawn helped me get back on the road, and I was able to run my race.”
— Jason Hall A.T.C.
“Shawn and the MAT techniques helped our cross country program tremendously this fall. He helped our athletes understand their mechanics, explained the reason for injuries, and provided valuable treatment. We were able to sustain high level of training and competition. Shawn did a great job of following up and providing information even after treatments. This is a great addition to any athletic program!”
— Mahesh Narayanan
Head Coach of North Central College
Women’s Cross Country Team
“I have known Shawn for many years. While training for a marathon I began experiencing knee pain, Shawn recommended M.A.T. The science behind it made sense to me as my muscles were stressed and not working properly and thus my knee was taking the burden. After one session with Shawn and M.A.T., my knee pain went away. I continued to receive regular M.A.T. during my marathon training and remained pain and injury free till the end.”
— Moyra Gorski, R.N.
"I came to Steve with a pretty severe plantar fasciitis case to the point where I could not run at my kids soccer practices. Was pain every step. After 6 sessions, the pain has gone away, my flexibility and my athleticism has come back. Now I look forward to this spring and being able to help with the soccer team again and run a 5K again soon."
— Kevin MacLean
“I compete in triathlons and mountain races and stay very healthy and for the most part, injury free. After competing in a mountain race in Alaska I had injured my quad and could not even bend my knee 90 degrees. I had no idea what I was going to do to help myself so I could continue training for my Half-Iron man that was coming up in a few weeks. Remember I could not even bend my knee 90 degrees and at the end of the ONE session I could bring my heel all the way to my butt without pain. Thanks to Shawn I was able to continue my training and completed my Half-Iron man finishing 6th in my age group! His expertise and expansive knowledge of the body and mechanics make me comfortable to refer clients of mine to him for help.”
— Stefanie Farris NSCA CSCS
“Steve has had a profound impact on my thinking and activities for my health. He was an eye-opening experience after 25 years of static stretching, which had not produced results. He was the entire reason I started going barefoot more often, and now wear the thinnest possible shoes (after wearing orthotics since I was 10), thus allowing my feet to go through a full range of motion. No more big clunky shoes, thank you Steve. I recommend Steve and Activation Fitness highly.”
— ROBERT JORDAN
Founder of InterimCEO / Interim CFO
In their own words...