What is Active Release Technique (ART)?

Active Release Technique

One of the main focuses of my practice is Active Release Technique (ART). So what is ART? ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. So you’re probably still saying to yourself, what is ART? I find that no matter how I describe ART to patients, they are surprised by how it feels and how good they feel after a treatment. I always say to them, not how you expected it to feel and I almost always get the response of yeah I had no idea. ART is not anything like stretching or a massage, it is entirely its own entity. I’ll do my best to describe ART in more detail but I’m willing to bet, until you’ve had it done on you, you won’t have any clue what it will feel like.

One of the main targets of ART is called scar tissue. Scar tissue or adhesions build up in the body in response to overuse injuries. These overuse injuries can be caused by sports, injuries, everyday life activities, etc. Scar tissue in turn causes these soft tissue structures mentioned above to not move freely like they’re supposed to. When they don’t move freely, you lose range of motion, strength and they can cause pain! Sound familiar? What I do when I do ART is go into the soft tissue with my hands and find the scar tissue and find what structures are moving and which ones aren’t. I breakdown the scar tissue I find and restore that motion back to the structure. Sounds painful right? But, actually, people generally describe it is a good hurt when ART is performed on them.

So what makes ART so different than other soft tissue techniques? For one, ART is very specific. There are over 500 protocols broken down into several different seminars. To get certified you have to test at these seminars under head instructors of ART and score at least a 90% to pass. Every structure has a specific movement to shorten and lengthen it and that’s very important when it comes to breaking down scar tissue. Every year, I have to get recertified at a seminar to ensure that my touch is adequate for an ART provider. The seminars are broken down into lower extremities, upper extremities and spine. There are also other courses in long tract nerve entrapments, biomechanics, active palpation and complex protocols. You don’t have to be a chiropractor to do ART either, any healthcare provider that is licensed to work on soft tissue structures can. This includes physical therapists, massage therapists, athletic trainers and medical doctors.

I received my first ART certification in 2007 and after 7 years, I still get amazed by some of the results I have. I always tell people, I never make any guarantees but ART usually can clear most soft tissue issues up in only 4-6 visits. I’ve trained under two outstanding ART head instructors, Dr. Todd Slattery and Dr. Stuart Yoss. Dr. Slattery introduced me to ART way back in 2004 and fixed my ankle up that I had rolled playing high school basketball. I’m forever grateful to him for always being a great mentor. Dr. Yoss is the Chicago Blackhawks chiropractor and sees many of Chicago’s top professional athletes. In fact, most professional sports teams have a guy that does ART, especially NFL teams. If you’re interested in learning more about ART or want to know if it can help you, you can always reach out to me and give the office a call. I’m also on Twitter @DrBrianDamhoff, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ElitePerformanceInstituteNaperville and you can also use the form on my website to contact me at any time http://elite-performance-institute.com/contact-us/

-Dr. Brian Damhoff