Active Release Techniques

What is ART®?

ART® is a movement-based, manual technique for treating problems with soft tissue (muscle, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves). This technique is utilized to treat an assortment of conditions such as:

  • Tension headaches

  • General back/shoulder pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Golfers’/Tennis Elbow (Tendonitis/Tenosynovitis/Tendonosis)
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Shin Splints
  • Sciatica
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Runners’ Knee

These overuse and repetitive strain injuries are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently.

How do these conditions occur?

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) can change in three significant ways:

  1. Under acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc.)
  2. By the accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  3. By not receiving enough oxygen (hypoxia)

When tissues are injured in acute trauma, or under chronic strain, they become tight and stiff. As a result, dense scar tissue develops around the affected area and sometimes binds with adjacent soft tissues that need to move freely. Pain, tingling/numbness, inflammation, reduced mobility and reduced strength are symptoms created by this development. ART® is designed to locate and break up those scar tissue adhesions that create pain or contribute to abnormal movement. This procedure promotes the normal sliding movements between tissues so that they can work independently and function properly again.

What is a treatment like?

Each session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The provider uses touch to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Affected tissues are then treated by combining a precisely directed tension in tandem with very specific patient movements. Massage oil is NOT used during this treatment.

These treatment protocols (over 500 specific moves) are unique to ART®. Ideally, the problem should be resolved within 4-6 treatments. If a change has not been seen within this time, further evaluation or an alternate treatment approach may be necessary. The treatments themselves can be uncomfortable, but when done correctly are very safe.

How many sessions will I need?

A typical treatment lasts about 10-20 minutes. The initial session (and subsequent treatments) may last up to 30 minutes, depending on the state of the condition and amount of evaluation time needed. Based on your individualized treatment plan, you can expect to be treated on a semi-weekly basis for 2-3 weeks (or 4-6 sessions) initially. As with traditional massage, some conditions may require an ongoing maintenance program, especially those who are prone to recurrent injury due to their career type or chosen sport.

How much will a session cost?

Please call the office for the current service rates. Each session is charged a flat rate. GST is included in the cost, and will be replaced by HST when it comes into effect on July 1st, 2010.

What do I need to wear for a typical session?

It is recommended that females wear a sleeveless shirt or sports bra, and males wear a sleeveless shirt or undershirt/tank-top during the treatment. Treatments for the upper extremity may require the practitioner to access any and all soft-tissue within the hand, arm and shoulder area (i.e. pectorals, rotator cuff, biceps, triceps, nerves, etc.). Sleeveless attire will allow better access to these tissues while maintaining a level or protection and comfort for you.

If you have any questions regarding this technique, please contact me. I would be happy to discuss this treatment option further and determine if it can be a viable option for you.

You can also consult the ART website for more information, or contact me if you have any questions or concerns. If Active Release Techniques is not what you’re looking for, please view the other massage services that I offer.