Skip pills that mask pain, and get to the root of the problem.

We can help those of you experiencing back, shoulder, knee, neck, or hip pain. Consider a muscle evaluation to assess problems / imbalances before beginning your pilates exercise program.

Muscle Activation Technique™ (MAT) is a dynamic muscular assessment system that analyzes and corrects muscular imbalances. It has been successful in the reduction and elimination of pain and fatigue, as well as enhancing muscle recovery in athletes and non-athletes alike. This unique method was developed by Greg Roskoph, a biomechanics expert who has worked as a consultant for several professional sports teams, including the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, and the Utah Jazz.

The Problem: In many cases, the symptom area is not the location of the cause of the pain. For example, knee pain could be caused by hips not working properly. Or hip pain could be caused by spine muscles not working as they should. The way to assess the cause is through the unique MAT process of testing to see if the muscle is neurologically working. While doctors and physical therapists learn about the muscle spindle which is the neurological center of the muscle, they are not necessarily trained to test or treat it.

The Solution: Through muscle testing and then activating, we can determine how many exercise repetitions will actually strengthen a muscle (and conversely not weaken that muscle). MAT “turns on the muscle” but it doesn’t strengthen the muscle — that is the job of pilates. With our MAT process, the cause of the problem can typically be determined in as few as three sessions.

Using this methodical, proven approach produces great results with our clients — keeping the body pain free and achieving optimum results from their pilates program. After activating the muscles, we create a very detailed, specific pilates exercise program tailored for you to strengthen your weak muscles, and not overwork your strong muscles.

There are approximately 600 muscles in the human body. Learning about them all is an intensive process. Mary-Jane Amrein completed four years of study and training to become a Certified MAT Specialist, and has been performing her “magic” since 2003.

Real Life MAT Results from Our Clients

"As a 50+ mile a week runner, I had been utilizing Pilates as a great way to strengthen my core. When relocating to Williamsburg it was a priority for me to find a Pilates studio. I call The Pilates Center "my oasis". Mary-Jane really encouraged me to take my workouts to a higher level which has been a tremendous help. While Mary-Jane is a real wonder, the Pilates Center, from its other instructors to all the clients I have met, have been kind and welcoming - it has really been a blessing to me.

After seeing me repeatedly come to class with K-Tape on from running injuries, Mary-Jane suggested I try to solve my problem with Muscle Activation. It wasn't until a recurring injury forced me to stop running that I called Mary-Jane in desperation. I was a true believer in the benefits and cure after my first session! After a couple of additional sessions I was back to running.

Recently, my husband had another round of bad back pain that was affecting his quality of life and his golf game. Wanting to avoid surgery, he tried Muscle Activation with Mary-Jane and is now taking Pilates. As an eternal skeptic, his endorsement means a lot and he can't believe the benefits! When Mary-Jane asked him what took him so long to come to The Pilates Center, he simply said 'I may be late to the party but at least I'm here!'"
—Marcia M.

"I had chronic back and neck pain developed due to degenerative disc disease. I'm now relatively pain free and when I do experience pain I recover in 1-2 days instead of a week or more."
—Kristen S.

"I've had severe muscle issues caused by scoliosis. M.A.T. has enabled me to pre-empt painful recurrences and my Pilates workouts help to keep me strong and functional."
—Diane L.

"Muscle Activation has worked wonderfully for me. At my annual physical my doctor couldn't believe the range of motion in my hips especially with my past three back surgeries. She and I believe it is due to Muscle Activation and Pilates."
—Pat C.

"Having Rheumatoid Arthritis is mentally and physically challenging and can affect every part of your body. Muscle Activation for me has been nothing short of amazing for immediate relief from weakness and pain. My legs, feet, neck, arms, and back all respond instantly, and my pain is much less. I feel a new sense of hope and happiness because I can receive help and feel good—instantly. I am very appreciative and thankful."
—Cindy H.

"My problem stems from a pinched nerve in my lower back as a result of a fall causing a compression fracture. MAT has enabled me to gain significant improvement in muscle strength and a decrease in fatigue. Nothing else has achieved these results!"
—Tom B.


  • $140 per single 55 minute session, or a discounted rate of $125 for active Pilates Center clients.
  • A pack of three session is $390, or $345 for active Pilates Center clients.