The Active Release Technique, or ART, is a relatively new form of treatment and therapy. ART was developed over three decades ago, and since its inception, ART has grown in popularity and it has spread throughout the world. Currently, there are over 10,000 certified ART providers, and they’ve treated millions of people around the globe.

Now, let’s take a closer look at this innovative technique. Here are some of our most common questions surrounding ART therapy:

What Is the Active Release Technique?

ART was designed to aid athletes in treating soft tissue problems. However, the applications of ART have spread to help all individuals who suffer from soft tissue problems. The Active Release Technique is a new massage technique that requires active participation from the patient. The patient and treatment provider work together to release tension in the body. While the ART provider applies pressure over the surface of a patient’s body (often in a fashion similar to massage), the patient is guided to make motions which further improve the impact of the pressure. ART can treat tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments; it may break up fascia (fibrous tissue that houses muscles) throughout the body; and it can aid in reducing nerve pain.

ART is especially helpful for treating scarred muscle tissue. Scarred muscle tissue can create a litany of problems for a patient. As the Active Release Website notes, “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.”

How Does ART Work?

ART targets scarred, sore, tight muscles. Your practitioner will apply pressure on muscle groups that are damaged, and he’ll guide you to move those muscles while they’re under pressure. The combination of deep tissue pressure and movement have an added impact that traditional massage may not be able to provide. Deep tissue pressure and ART therapy cause fascia breakup, it releases muscle tension, and it can relieve nerve pain. Deep tissue pressure and ART therapy also improve vascular health in the muscles, which can improve the amount of nutrients and oxygen muscles receive. In short, ART therapy improves muscle health while reducing pain and recovery time.

What’s the Difference Between ART and Other Forms of Therapy?

While massage therapy is incredibly beneficial for athletes, those who suffer from stress, and individuals who have tight, damaged muscles, ART therapy may be even more effective. ART therapy is ideal for those of us who actually suffer from muscle and nerve problems, while massage therapy can be beneficial for nearly any individual. If you’re curious about the benefits of ART therapy, speak with a certified ART provider. You can also learn more about ART therapy from the Active Release Technique website.

Who Can Benefit From ART?

While ART was first designed to treat athletes who suffer from muscle problems, the Active Release Technique has grown in popularity and application to any individuals who have muscle problems. If you have scarred muscle tissue, pain in your joints, stiff muscles and tension, sore tendons, nerve pain, or even headaches relating to tension, ART therapy may be beneficial. Speak with your ART provider to learn if Active Release Technique therapy is right for you.

What Does ART Treat?

The Active Release Technique is useful for those of us who have overused muscles, sore soft tissue, and scarred muscles. Muscle injuries are common. Muscles can pull, tear, and collide. In addition, they can suffer from a lack of oxygen (a condition known as hypoxia), and they can succumb to micro-tears on the cellular level of the muscle. When these problems occur, an individual can feel weak and inflexible. In addition, they may feel tension, soreness, and pain. ART treats athletes and individuals to reverse all sorts of muscle problems. The Active Release Technique is also useful to treat all of the following conditions and more:

  • Lower back pain
  • Shoulder strains, including frozen shoulder
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tension headaches
  • Bursitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Sciatic nerve pain

Who Can Provide ART Treatments?

Only trained, certified professionals can provide ART treatments to patients. ART certification requires a rigorous training process, since the technique is complex, and it must be tailored to each patient individually. ART treatments can only be provided by licensed healthcare providers. The creators of the Active Release Technique provide further qualifications:

“Healthcare providers that are licensed to work on soft-tissue conditions and injuries, or those pursuing their first degree as a healthcare professional that can become licensed to treat soft-tissue conditions and injuries can take the courses [to gain ART certification]. This includes Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Certified Athletic Trainers, and Medical Doctors.”

How Often Should You Receive ART Therapy?

ART therapy sessions are designed specifically for the patient and his or her needs. As such, a patient may need more or less ART treatments than another patient. Often, athletes benefit from ART therapy sessions once or twice per month. For other individuals, ART therapy may only be necessary every other month. Speak with your practitioner to personalize a schedule to meet your demands.

Join Us at Back & Body Wellness Centre

If you’re tired of being sore, come to Back & Body Wellness Centre here in Surrey. We provide ART therapy, in addition to a variety of other therapies. You can learn more about Active Release Therapy while you’re here. We also provide massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments, and acupuncture, so you can get a custom plan, and customized treatments to improve your health — all under one roof. Get in touch with us to schedule your appointment today!