Spinal Injury / Former College Swimmer
I began going to an MAT specialist several years ago following a severe spinal cord injury, and found that it worked extremely well for me. After moving to DC in March of 2009 I began looking for MAT specialists in the area, and luckily found Polina. She is a pleasure to work with--not only do I leave each session feeling increasingly better, but she is knowledgeable, friendly, and able to take the mystery out of the treatment process. Her ability to clearly and completely explain exactly what it is that she is doing and why leaves me feeling that I have a good understanding of my process of recovery and where each treatment fits in to the plan. She is fun, friendly, and very dedicated to helping me recover, and I know from my conversations with other patients that I am not the only one that feels this way. I would recommend MAT and Polina to anyone who is in need physical therapy, whether from trauma or simply the injuries of life.
Professional Volleyball Player, Personal Trainer
Being a professional athlete you must go through vigorous training that may really break the body down. Before going to Polina Gregory at Elements of Motion, my shoulder range of motion was compromised from over use and a former shoulder surgery. I was also experiencing severe knee pain. After a few treatments of muscle activation techniques, I had increased range of motion in my shoulder and the pain in my knee had subsided. With that increase in range of motion, I had an increase in strength and power which are key elements to my volleyball game.
Element of Motion helped me get back on track with my intense training regimen that is needed as a professional volleyball player.
52 - Personal Trainer - Avid Tennis Player
Having worked with Mark and Polina for a number of years, I can tell you that I wouldn’t trust my (aging) body to anyone else. Their background in RTS and MAT puts them head and shoulders above just about any trainer out there. They make a thorough assessment of your current ability and fitness level, and progress you from there. Their workouts are extremely customized, varied, and challenging without being risky for you. Their training allows them to uncover muscle imbalances that may cause recurrent injuries (like tennis elbow, in my case.) They can then correct the imbalance through specific exercises which ends the cycle of repetitive injuries. I haven’t been bothered with tennis elbow since being treated by Mark two years ago. And my shoulder hasn’t bothered me since being treated several years. My serve is strong, I can run down drop shots and lobs easily and can play for hours without fatigue. I hope to be as active as possible and play tennis for a long time. I stay with EOM because they have the skills and commitment to insure that I do.
If there were Nobel prizes for trainers, Mark Shafer, would get it. He's the best in his field. Mark personalizes my work-outs and regularly refines what we do. He considers my health needs and is always willing to speak to my doctor. I am a committed slug and somehow, someway, Mark gets me through every session. Simply put, there's no one better.
I was referred to Polina at Elements of Motion after I injured my Achilles Tendon but waited three years before requesting a consultation. In those three years before Muscle Activation Therapy, I tried everything from repeated rounds of physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and visits with a orthopedic surgeon. After all those treatments and thousands of dollars, I was still not able to do so many of the activities that made me happy. I had gone from being an active person who logged more than 30 miles a week running to someone who complained constantly of discomfort, tightness and pain in my calves. I began to give up hope that I would be able to run or jump without fear of re-injuring myself. After just a few weeks of MAT, I felt an improvement and was able to ease myself back into a running routine. I'm now back to running three times a week, have completed two 5K's and have not experienced the tightness and discomfort that had plagued me for the three years after my injury. My only regret is not seeing Polina sooner!
I started training with Monica twice a week for 1/2 hour about 2 years ago. When I began, I was returning to the gym after a period of absence from regular exercise. Monica quickly figured out how much I could do, good-naturedly pushed me through my whining, and has kept the sessions challenging as my strength has increased. One of my daughter's friends saw me in a sleeveless top recently and said "Man, your Mom is jacked!
Mid 30's, Father, Shoulder Surgeries
I am in my mid 30's and after 2 shoulder surgeries, I was becoming frustrated with my level of physical fitness.
My surgeries had created compensations and instabilities, that made it very difficult to exercise pain free. I felt like I was actually doing more harm than good.
After a couple sessions with Polina, I quickly became a believer in M.A.T. We strengthened my bodies weakness, and I began to slowly get back to a fitness level that I had been accustomed to. Polina and M.A.T. have done wonders for my body, and should be able to help you overcome your setbacks as well.
Age 77 - Golfer
I first had contact with M.A.T.s treatment two years ago. I had been athletic all my life, but, after a series of injuries my body was definitely breaking down. At age seventy two I couldn't put my tee in the ground for golf without pain. I couldn't raise my left arm over my shoulder, and I had sciatic pain in my left leg. After weekly therapy these last two years I am now free of all pain, and my driving distance off the tee has increased by twenty yards. I no longer have to load up with Motrin just to play eighteen holes. I can now do weights, and exercise regularly without pain. I am still a mediocre golfer, but now I can now enjoy the exercise for the simple pleasure it provides me.
6th place Ironman Brazil 2008 9th place Ironman Kentucky 2007
Ironman Hawaii World Championships Q
In about three years of focused training, I had improved from a 14-hour Ironman novice to a 10-hour racer and multiple Ironman Hawaii qualifier, and all without a single overuse problem. But the high volume caught up to me eventually, paired with a bit of bad luck, and I found myself laid up with a couple of inter-related injuries all at once at the end of my 2008 season. I wound up in Polina’s office serendipitously, and the timing couldn’t have been better. After a thorough physical assessment, she got a handle on where I’m lacking strength, stability and range of motion. We’re stripping down even my most basic movements to rebalance my body and address the root of my recent troubles. In breaking things down, I can feel improvement even in unexpected places, like my swim stroke. I’ll come back more powerful and more efficient for it, and with a better understanding of how to prevent trouble in the many training years ahead.