What Is Active Release Technique?
ART is an elite soft-tissue management system developed by Dr. P. Michael Leahy. It is one of the most well-known and wildly popular bodywork techniques in the world today. It is especially popular among athletes, both amateur and professional. ART® quickly and efficiently mobilizes adhered or fibrotic tissues and entrapped nerves, affording immediate and lasting results.
ART® works by breaking up and mobilizing unhealthy, fibrotic tissues in the body. Sometimes, due to inflammation, stress, tension etc., tissues will become adhered to other tissues (e.g. muscles adhered to other muscles or nerves adhered to fascia). Through a combination of pressure and tension by the practitioner and movement (usually active) on the part of the client, these adhesions are resolved and fibrotic tissue and scar tissue are broken up. This affords the body a full range of motion and allows for restoration of strength and function.
As the name suggests, ART® makes use of active patient movements during releases. This not only yields better results, but makes the work more comfortable for the client.
Benefits of ART®
- Offers immediate, lasting results
- Rapidly restores normal range of motion
- Restores strength, speed and endurance
- Effectively breaks the cycle of repetitive stress injuries
- Optimizes athletic performance
- Eliminates painful peripheral nerve entrapments
- Separates adhered muscles, ligaments, etc.
- Stops the Cumulative Injury Cycle in its tracks
- Facilitates proper healing of acute injuries
- Breaks down and restores movement to fibrotic muscles
There are many common conditions from repetition-induced stress that ART is intended to treat. Overused muscles result in tears, pulls, strain, and may even not receive enough oxygen (hypoxia). This technique targets the root cause of the problem rather than focusing on mere pain relief. While pain relief is one of the by-products, clients report long-lasting improvements in flexibility and reduced tissue stress after even one session.
These conditions occur sometimes because scar tissue builds up on an over-worked muscle. This tissue does not simply ‘flush out’ or disappear, it continues to increase and create a restriction. This can result in trapped nerves (sufferers may experience tingling sensations, burning, shooting pain or weakness), reduced range of motion, muscle or joint pain and altered movement patterns. While the essence of strength training is the stimulation of muscular activity, when there is imbalance in the body (or when exercises are done improperly), the road to chronic joint and muscle pain is unfortunately short. Routine ART sessions can prevent these issues from occurring in the first place and resolve them once they have.