Active Release Techniques (ART)

ART is a state of the art soft-tissue treatment system and movement based massage technique. Specifically, ART is a “pin & stretch” method. So, a tissue is shortened, the Chiropractor then pins it with his hands and the patient stretches it under that tension. ART treats a whole range problems which have a muscle, tendon, ligament, fascial or neural component.

Many musculoskeletal conditions have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles. That is, if one muscle is inhibited and not doing its job properly, then another muscle will have to step up and do extra work. It is that “over-working muscle” which then becomes subject to over-use injury.

Over-use injuries can occur in many ways. For example, in acute conditions, as the result of pulls, tears, and collisions. Secondly, as a result of an accumulation of small tears. That is through micro-trauma. Thirdly, through not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia). Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down 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 Chiropractor uses his 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.

These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach – which means that every patient does not get the same treatment.

What is the history of Active Release Techniques?

ART has been developed and refined by Chiropractic Doctor Mr. 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.

After running a very successful practice, Dr. Leahy now teaches and certifies healthcare providers all over the world to use Active Release Techniques.

ART is a very complementary system to use alongside any kind of Chiropractic skeletal adjustment. I learnt the Lower Extremity and Upper Extremity, spinal and nerve entrapment directly from Dr. Leahy himself and have been using these ART protocols every clinic day since that time.

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