Active Release Techniques ®

What is it?

ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

Who can it help?

Most people have not heard about ART ®, however it is used widely throughout professional sports. Nearly all NFL, NHL, and NBA teams have an ART provider for their players. Many Olympic medalists and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) competitors have also used ART ® to enhance their performance, as well as decrease pain from previous injuries and overtraining. In fact, ART ® is the Official Iron Man Soft Tissue Massage partner. If it works for the people who put their bodies to the test everyday, it will most likely work for you. ART ® is effective for any condition of the musculoskeletal system. With over 500 muscular protocols, there is a move for almost every muscle and ligament in the body.

How does it work?

Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

At the most basic level, ART works by breaking up scar tissue, muscle adhesions and restrictions, muscular spasms and tightness. The mechanism by which it does this is for the examiner to put a muscle in it's most shortened position (through movement of the nearby joints), then apply tension with his/her thumb or fingers, and while maintaining that tension he/she will lengthen the muscle throughout it's range of motion. In this way, any adhesions or scar tissue is broken up along the entire length of the muscle.

How is it different from other treatments?

The most significant difference between ART and other treatments is the shortening and lengthening of the muscle. Other treatments involve a muscle being at its resting length, and then pressure is applied in the area of pain or irritation, such as a trigger-point technique or massage. While these treatments can be very effective, some times a muscular adhesion or scar tissue is at an insertion that is concealed or covered by other bony or muscular structures. In order to reach these areas, a muscle needs to be moved through its range of motion in order for these more difficult points to be reached.