Active Release Techniques (ART)

What is Active Release Techniques?

Active Release Techniques (ART) is a patented, non-invasive soft tissue system designed to treat muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia. ART is a hands-on medical massage technique that combines specific soft tissue massage with active movements by the patient in order to identify and remove scar tissue and adhesions that have been known to cause pain, stiffness, muscle weakness and numbness. The formation of scar tissue and adhesions are associated with repetitive strains and overuse injuries. This scar tissue can restrict the normal movement of the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments and lead to decreased range of motion, weakness, pain and even numbness and tingling if the nerve is affected. Numerous healthcare professions including Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists and Sports Physicians practice ART.

What is an ART Treatment Like?

This soft tissue technique moves muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments through a precise range of motion underneath the practitioner’s contact to release adhesions and promote healing. ART is comprised of over 500 unique protocols allowing the provider to be both accurate in diagnosis and specific in treatment. This technique offers patients a unique treatment protocol tailored to their individual complaint instead of the usual cookie-cutter approach. Treatments can sometimes feel uncomfortable as scar tissue is being removed but any discomfort typically resolves immediately after treatment. It is also very common to reproduce symptoms during the treatment. This is a good indication that the problem has been identified. Most patients will describe the pain during treatment as a “good hurt”. The end result is less pain and a more flexible, supple and functional soft tissue.

What Conditions Can Be Treated Using ART?

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.