“My name is Dr Laurence Watson and I’m a general practitioner. I am 65 and have been in NHS medical practice for 40 years. I first met Paul Argent early in 2014 in his capacity as a Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist.
My leisure pursuits include running and therein lie the health issues for which I initially sought Paul’s professional help. I experienced a catalogue of muscle injuries and had consulted several practitioners including medical specialists and therapists in allied disciplines.I became aware of the emergence of MAT as a cutting edge discipline from various articles and decided to sample it for myself.
It has been a revelation for me to have been the subject of this ground-breaking therapeutic method and I have been very fortunate to have Paul Argent as my guide and mentor into all the intriguing subtleties of MAT.
The most striking aspect of the process for me is the individualisation of the assessment of a client. I have learnt in many years of clinical practice that accurate anatomical diagnosis of muscle and movement problems is the essential foundation for any therapeutic programme. That is not as easy as it sounds but in the hands of a master practitioner such as Paul the complexities of movement of joints and the balances between opposing muscle groups as they function across those joints are miraculously unravelled.
He has helped me greatly to understand why I have been subject to persistent injury and instituted programmes for me to correct these long-standing bio-mechanical problems. My self-awareness has improved substantially and I am far more motivated to do what is required on a regular basis in order to maximise my fitness.
In conclusion, I feel that ‘Everyone should have a Paul Argent’ and that would do more for the health of the nation than all the pills I dish out.”
Dr Laurence Watson
“An unexpected move up some steps whilst on a holiday three years ago sent my back into excruciating pain. I have been suffering with chronic hip and back pain ever since. I tried everything possible; osteopathy, physiotherapy treatments, massage and acupuncture, but nothing would shift the pain.
Eventually I started to resign myself to the possibility that this pain was going to stay with me for the rest of my life. I am 66 years old and have always been a very active person who loves, walking, cycling and skiing, so feeling hopeless was beginning to really get me down.
My friend told me about the treatments she was getting from Paul and invited me to have a few sessions with him.
Paul started the Muscle Activation Techniques treatment on me four months ago. His treatments were both unique and effective, even encouraging me to do less rather than more and never to over exert myself. This was a real surprise and so unlike any other treatments I had experienced before. I also began to feel a real sense of team work with Paul, since he involved me in the work and his thought process. I moved from strength to strength, giving me hope that one day I might be pain free.
I did not have to wait long, after the fifth treatment I walked out of his gym pain free. I went skiing again in December, still feeling strong and still doing the exercises Paul had taught me.
Paul’s treatments and optimism have changed my life. Thank you Paul, I have written to my GP about you and the technique you use. I sincerely hope that the NHS will be interested in your work. Imagine!”
Karin Yiannakou, Urban Designer
“After 3 years of chronic knee pain I was desperate for answers as to why I had barely improved despite hours in the gym doing endless rehab programmes. It’s important you know the background because you’ll understand how desperate I was to find a solution for my knee pain and why I’m so annoyed I didn’t find MAT sooner.
After just returning from a ruptured cruicate ligament in my left knee I injured my right knee. After a few months, I would still wake up in the middle of the night with a chronic ache, going up and down stairs or just sitting for prolonged periods would cause pain, and when I tried to push through it and run I’d break down and be in agony for over a week.
Fast forward 3 years and I had literally seen everyone from surgeons, chiropractors, physios, ART specialists, osteopaths, sports massage therapists, and read hundreds of websites/articles on knee pain. Everyone I had gone to see seemed absolutely sure of what was causing my knee pain (patella tendinopathy) most without even examining/assessing me, two practitioners even missed that I’d actually fractured my knee cap.
After surgery, I’d had autologous blood injections and foam-rollered and stretched myself to within an inch of my life. Still though everyone was trying to treat my symptoms but not the root cause of the problem and invariably I’d go back to feeling exactly the same if I didn’t do my 2hour rehab everyday.
After extensive research I found MAT and more specifically found Paul Argent. Before even meeting Paul I’d watched every MAT-based video, read every blog and website I could find and how it might help me – unlike anything else I’d come across it made total sense. I’d spent thousands of pounds on trying to get back to running or just being pain-free, let alone back to semi-pro Rugby, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned that MAT would be the same as the rest and I’d find myself in the same position in a year.
I started seeing Paul in late January 2015 and yesterday I went for my 4th 2-mile run without any pain during or after. Now I don’t have pain and instability 24/7 and I don’t break down after running for 10 seconds. I hardly notice it now and though I’m only 75% back to where I was, I know with more help from Paul and more rehab – I will be.
Through Paul’s expertise and diligent approach I’ve seen first hand how and why MAT works. He judges the problems he sees and fixes them – there’s no “protocol”, no stock answer, your listened to and you progress every session. MAT isn’t a magic wand, you do need to make the effort on your rehab but every session I could see changes and improvements.
When I think back about all my previous rugby injuries – the torn ankle ligaments, plantar faciitis, ruptured ACL, torn MCL, torn calf, etc all before the fractured knee cap it’s obvious that they were massive issues that were contributing to my pain. Sounds obvious but it isn’t and that’s why you need Paul. I couldn’t recommend him enough, as far as I’m concerned MAT will be the future of injury treatment (and prevention). See him before you see anyone else, chances are it’ll save you a serious amount of time and money. I wish I had.”
Dominic McVeigh, Group Marketing Manager, Soho Gyms.
“I signed up to do the Gobi March a year and half ago. It was my dream to run this gruelling 250k marathon across the Gobi desert. 1 year before the race this dream was shattered due to the many injuries that I received from a bike accident. I was totally devastated and thought my dream was over.
My luck changed when my physiotherapist kindly recommended Paul to me, promising me that this man was full of magic and would nurse me back to health. And he did. His approach to exercise is both inspiring and academic. His positive attitude and excellent understanding of human anatomy meant that I was able to run my dream marathon. I have worked with a handful of injury rehab specialists but I can quite honestly say that none of them are a patch on Paul.”
Hannah Sandling, TV Presenter
“For several years I have been doing at least one Ironman triathlon and a spring marathon per year. I have always been diligently stretching, doing 2 yoga sessions a week, daily foam rolling and having weekly sports massages. However I kept getting niggling injuries.
This year before my first Ironman event of the year I started to get very tight hip flexors. I was struggling to squat without overarching my lower back and sitting back in hip opening exercises. I did lots of hip stretching and release work on them. I thought I was ok going into my event, but my right hip flexor started to tighten up on the swim. This then caused me to cycle slightly twisted on the bike and within the first 10 miles of the 112 mile bike ride my lower back started to protest. By the second lap of the bike I was struggling to stay down on my tri bars. I got off the bike hunched over and felt like a 90 year old. My back was hurting on the run and part way through my knee started to mal track as a result of my change in gait due to my back. This caused pain whenever I ran. It resulted in a long painful marathon.
Upon returning from my event I was uncomfortable sitting at work and very uncomfortable after more than 3 hours on the bike. With my next Ironman event in 3 months’ time I need to get both my back and hips resolved. I also wanted to find something that would get to the root of my general tightness and avoid the problems I had in my Ironman event and niggling injuries I kept getting.
A few weeks after my event I went to see Paul to find out more about MAT and whether it could work for me. I signed up for 5 weekly sessions which would take me up 2 weeks before my next Ironman. I was a little surprised when Paul told me to stop stretching and foam rolling. However I dropped to one yoga class a week, the only stretches I did were when they were part of a class and I stopped foam rolling.
Paul worked through different areas of my body to find imbalance/restrictions and work on correcting them. My body seemed to respond well to MAT. I was able to do a 5 hour bike ride after a couple of sessions. My hips were looser. My second Ironman race was totally different. I experienced no tightness in my hips or discomfort in my back on the bike. Post race I had no ill effects. My sports masseur commented that I was in very good shape given I had just done an Ironman.”
Sarah Yates, Triathlete
“I met Paul in June 2013 suffering from undiagnosed groin/hip pain which had started in April and was exacerbated by sitting and walking, so travelling on public transport and sitting at a desk all day at work was not ideal! I had to stop my yoga and walking until I got some help.
Paul was immediately confident that regardless of the cause of the problem MAT was gentle and non-invasive enough to make a difference and it certainly did. I realised on the first treatment that MAT improved my muscle strength and function – it was amazing to feel an instant result.
I have seen Paul every week for about 9 weeks now and I improve each time. As the weeks have passed, the pain has gradually reduced and my strength and confidence is returning. I am now virtually pain-free and when Paul asked me last week how I was, I said ‘I feel like I have a spring back in my step’! That’s progress!”
“I recommend Paul and Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) to anyone who suffers from problematic weakness in their muscular system. While I was very happy with the exercise Doug (my trainer) was using to strengthen my core, together we felt I wasn’t progressing as quickly as expected.
Using MAT Paul identifies and treats the muscles that are contributing to your issues. Improving the way that muscles contract and more evenly distributing the work among muscles can do a lot for your body. It doesn’t feel like a lot is going on but within a short period of a few weeks my ability to exercise has improved so much and for that I am extremely grateful.”
“I was suffering from triceps tendinitis and found Muscle Activation Technique to be beneficial to rehab this injury. I had severe pain and a popping sensation in my left arm. Paul worked with me through specific exercises and helped me to understand the biomechanics of the triceps muscle. With time and specific exercises to strengthen my left arm, I have less pain and better range of motion around this joint.
Paul is professional and always available to provide advice on any queries. He provides an excellent service I would happily recommend to anyone with a sports related injury.”
“Working with Paul has given me a much greater understanding of how to optimally workout without overloading my muscles and has given me a greater understanding of how overloading the muscles can over stress and shut them off. Paul has done great work for me working on areas of chronic pain. Recently I had an issue where my neck locked up due to bad exercise form and over-work. I lost range of motion but after working with Paul to bring back the muscles that were over-worked my range of motion quickly came back and the pain subsided within 48hrs.
MAT has been of great benefit to me in increasing my workout progress and making me aware of specific movements that might be causing me trouble and assisting me in working out optimally to avoid future injuries. I’d highly recommend MAT to anyone with chronic pain to rehabilitate and bring their body back to optimal performance.”
“I have suffered from chronic back pain for many years and have tried chiropractic, osteopathy and massage. After a few sessions with Paul my pain started to subside and after working together for six months my symptoms are hugely improved. Paul explains everything really clearly, answers all my question and has a very holistic and pragmatic view of the body.”
“I have bi-lateral heel spurs which can make it very painful to walk on, especially first thing in the morning! I have had these heel spurs for over 2 years which have prevented me from participating in running or sprinting and even specific weights training exercises. On top of that, I have pulled my back several times during training and daily activities.
The combination of these two main issues prevents me from doing a lot of exercises / activities I love. Every time I would go to the gym and try out these specific exercises, I would usually end up in pain (not the good pain) that night. My lower back would twinge and my feet would hurt, almost to the point where I could barely stand.
Being a very experienced Personal Trainer myself, with I’d like to say, great knowledge on rehab training, I still found it very difficult to solve these problems. My ultimate goal was to be able to start sprint training again and perform intense resistance training, especially deadlifts and squats.
I started treatments with Paul about three months back. I have had several forms of therapy for my feet, and back with little or no success. Using Muscle Activation Techniques, Paul has managed to correct any imbalances and weaknesses associated with these problems. I have now started sprinting and lifting heaver weights during squats and deadlifts again. I have not experienced any pain (“touch wood”) and continue to do these exercises now, with progression in every session.
Some people will be sceptical of newer therapies. All I can say is that it worked for me, as well as a handful of my own clients Paul has treated. I would recommend Paul with 100% certainty!”
Darron Donaldson, Personal Trainer
“I was referred to Paul by a fellow physiotherapist who had received MAT treatment whilst on a trip to the States. What interested me most was the theory that muscular tightness was secondary to muscular weakness. As a physiotherapist I spend a lot of my time releasing the tension in tissue so I was intrigued to see the MAT theory in practice.
After just one treatment on my hip I was amazed to see the range in my trunk and shoulder completely open up, a change that lasted several weeks. I see MAT as a great adjunct to physiotherapy once the acute work has been taken care of. I’m sure that it would speed healing times by improving the biomechanics of the individual and reduce the risk of re-injury. I think it would be particularly useful for the individual who is suffering from chronic complaints. Fascinating stuff.”
David Villas, Physiotherapist
“We have found Paul to be excellent with the continued rehabilitation of challenging patients that we have seen for Physiotherapy. He uses a very well researched, current and varied approach to challenge clients while ensuring postural and injury considerations are met. We would highly recommend him to the rehabilitating client or high level athlete.”
Joseph Lawrence (Clinic Director) and James Walker (Clinic Director), Beyond Health, London
“I was referred to Paul after I tore a meniscus in my knee. Following an operation to repair the damage I was left without full range of movement and a feeling of instability which didn’t improve despite regular physiotherapy.
In just one Muscle Activation Techniques session Paul restored the range of movement and I started to feel the strength in my leg return. I was also continually bothered by back pain before my knee surgery. Paul used the same MAT treatment on my hips and my trunk and for the first time in years I can play without pain. I recommend Paul and this treatment for any golfer who is playing with pain or would like to avoid it.”
Daniel Belcher, Professional Golfer
“I am a keen amateur golfer who plays regularly, takes weekly lessons and spends a lot of time on the driving range. I, like many golfers, struggled with a sore back, shoulder and neck for years. Nurofens lived in my golf bag and a fortnightly visit to a physiotherapist was a must to keep my body going.
I started working with Paul eighteen months ago and I can truly say that the experience and outcome has surpassed much more than I had hoped for. I am stronger, I hit a longer, more consistent ball, but foremost I am and have been free of debilitating pain for more than a year now.
Paul uses Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) as an integral part of my programme and this has made a huge difference. Where as before I would come off the golf course with niggles and soreness that would sometimes last days and leave me unable to play or train, now Paul can find those muscles responsible for my discomfort, activate them and I am back playing and training sometimes the same day without an issue. Incredible.”