Active Release Technique® Frequently Asked Questions

S4-chiropractor-calgaryWhat is ART?®
Active Release Technique (ART®) is a patented treatment system that focuses on addressing the underlying problems associated with the build-up of scar tissue. With a hands-on approach to treatment, it allows the trained practitioner to both diagnose and treat soft-tissue injuries, which primarily relate to nerves, fascia, tendons, ligaments and muscles. ART® is especially effective at treating RSIs (Repetitive Strain Injuries) – resolving the true cause of these dysfunctions by providing more than just a symptomatic solution. With traditional treatments limited to drugs, heat, cold, rest and massage, ART® provides a more effective way of eliminating the pain, stiffness and weakness associated with soft-tissue injuries.

How is Active Release Technique® different from other common treatments?
While treatments such as massage, physiotherapy and chiropractic all have their benefits, they do not share the same focus that ART® gives to soft-tissue problems. They are therefore not as effective as ART® in identifying and eliminating areas of scar tissue and the problems associated with it.  As a result, treatments such as massage and chiropractic are excellent supplements to ART® – not replacements.

Why is ART® so successful?
ART® is so effective due to its emphasis on proper diagnosis and treatment. ART® providers are specifically trained to distinguish between normal and abnormal tissue, which allows them to accurately pinpoint areas of scar tissue.  Specific motions are used to create tissue tension and, with the proper touch, break down the scar tissue and return it back to its normal texture. Patients usually know when this has occurred as the tissue is no longer tender and the range of motion is immediately improved.

Is ART® painful?
Since Active Release Technique® involves the remodeling of scar tissue, there is some discomfort during treatment, but most patients describe it as a ‘good hurt’. Treatments are always built around the patient’s specific level of tolerance.

How many treatments are needed?
In most cases, ART® takes about 2-3 treatments to see some improvement in pain and dysfunction, and a total of 6-12 visits to eliminate the problem.

Will my injury return?
Once a soft tissue injury has been treated successfully, it will not return unless the same injury occurs again.  To prevent this from occurring, we instruct the patient in different stretching/strengthening exercises and give proper postural/ergonomic recommendations.

Who Can Provide ART® treatments?
Due to the treatment’s exploding popularity, many people claim to practice ART®, but only certified specialists trained in ART® protocols and techniques can provide the treatment. Because of the importance of hands-on training, those who wish to practice ART® must undergo a mandatory training and testing regimen directly with the founder, Dr. Michael Leahy. It’s this advanced training in neuroanatomy, biomechanics and diagnosis that sets certified ART® practitioners apart. In addition, to maintain ART® accreditation, providers must pass a yearly evaluation to receive their re-certification.