Active Release Technique (ART)

ART is one of several techniques that our practitioners use. Please visit this page again to see updates in our description of the different techniques – Thank you for your patience


Active Release Technique (ART)

Active Release Technique (ART) is a movement based, soft tissue therapy 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 often permanently with ART.

These soft tissue conditions all have one important thing in common. They are often a result of over-demand, whether through a sudden injury (pulls, tears, accidents), a repetitive and steady accumulation of small injuries (repetitive strains), or prolonged postures (preventing blood flow with oxygen and other essential nutrients to the tissues)

Each of these can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis , and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

What is an ART treatment like?

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.

Is ART treatment painful?

Typically, ART treatment should not be painful. However, it should feel like a deep and thorough stretch, opening up areas that are unable to be accessed through typical stretching programs or passive soft tissue therapy such as yoga or traditional massage. Some individuals do experience acute discomfort in sensitive or injured areas, but symptoms typically resolve quickly.

What is the history of Active Release Techniques?

ART has been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. He now teaches and certifies health care providers all over the world to use ART

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