Considered the “gold standard” in soft tissue treatment, Active Release Techniques® or 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. This system was designed as a way to restore bodily tissue to its proper range of motion and function by locating and removing fascial restrictions called “adhesions” along with scar tissue which bind up and tie down tissues that need to move freely.
What would cause the body to create adhesions and scar tissue?
If muscles and other soft tissues are over-used, they can lead to:
- acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc)
- accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
- insufficient oxygen (hypoxia)
Each of these factors can cause the body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. As scar tissue or adhesions build up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become entrapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is entrapped, you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.
The History of Active Release Techniques® (ART®)
Dr. P. Michael Leahy developed Active Release Techniques® more than 30 years ago. He was working with elite athletes and looking for a way to treat soft tissue disorders so the athletes could get back to peak performance as quickly as possible.
Dr. Leahy studied engineering in the Air Force before becoming a chiropractor in 1984. As he watched athletes perform, and studied their movement he realized he could combine what he knew about engineering with his chiropractic knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics to treat their soft tissue disorders quickly and get them back in their competition.
In 1988, some of Dr. Leahy's chiropractor colleagues convinced him to hold a seminar to teach his method of treatment. The room they reserved for the event overflowed with doctors interested in learning this new technique, and afterward Dr. Leahy quickly began formalizing a training method for ART®.
Since then, the method has been patented and more than 10,000 ART® providers have been trained. To date, ART® has transformed the lives of more than 100 million people worldwide.