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. ART® is effective in treating many acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions including headaches, neck pain, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder pain, sciatica, knee pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis to name a few. All of these conditions share a common theme in that they are all often a result of overused muscles.
Acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc.)
The accumulation of small tears over time (micro-trauma)
Not getting enough oxygen to the muscles
The result of the above mechanisms causes your body to produce and lay down tough, dense scar tissue in the injured area. Scar tissue acts as glue between muscle tissue layers causing the muscles to get stuck, preventing free movement. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. The above may result in reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. Tingling, numbness, and weakness may occur with a trapped nerve. Muscles in your body are made to slide over top of each other and move freely to do their jobs. The purpose of ART® is to break up scar tissue within the muscle so this can happen effectively.
What is an ART® treatment like?
An ART® treatment is a combination of examination and treatment. The ART® provider is highly trained to use their 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. ART® is not a cookie-cutter approach. There are over 500 specific treatment protocols that are unique to ART® that are designed to allow the provider to identify and correct specific problems that are affecting each individual patient.
Is ART® the same as massage?
ART® is quite different from massage. Other types of massage do not allow for the proper tension on the muscles to break up scar tissue. With ART®, the providerâ€™s goal is to pry a muscle off of a muscle or a nerve off of a muscle by breaking up the scar tissue with their fingers. It is not a very relaxing technique and to be effective it may cause temporary discomfort to the patient.
Active Release Technique providers must attend workshops and pass a practical exam to become certified.