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Active release techniques, more commonly referred to as ART, is a method of deep tissue massage to reduce adhesion build-up, muscle cramping and nerve compression, as well as return the muscles to their natural length and flexibility. This type of treatment is ideal for muscles that have been over-used from activities such as: sporting events or workouts pulls, tears and strains decreased access to oxygen build-up of smaller tears and adhesions These muscles are shortened and contracted, leaving them prone to adhesions, "knots," and potential scar tissue. But the ART technique is designed to address those very problems painlessly in as little as one session. What does ART entail? Unlike cross fiber friction or trigger point therapy, ART involves the therapist and the client. In many cases, the therapist may move the client's body parts without the assistance of the client; the therapist will shorten the muscle, apply sustained pressure on the belly of the muscle, and gently stretch the limb to its full extension. This method is more commonly referred to as "pin and stretch." The muscle is pushed onto its proximal bone and elongated into a stretch. Additionally, the therapist may ask the client to move a body part in a specific manner (ie: flex, extend, rotate) while the therapist then applies constant pressure to various areas of the muscle. Both applications of this treatment gently coax any contracted muscles into lengthening, break up any adhesions, and increase flexibility and range of motion. Who can benefit from ART? Everyone! ART is a great technique to relieve deep tissue adhesions, which are common amongst most people, athletic and sedentary alike. Specific conditions that benefit from ART include: migraines, trigger points, muscle overuse such as carpal tunnel and TMJ, chronic pain, and those recovering from joint replacement, sports injury or surgery. How will I feel after treatment? If you experience any pain during the session, you should let your practitioner know immediately. Like many deep tissue techniques, there is commonly residual soreness from accessing the deeper layers of fascia, muscle and tissue. After a session, an espom salt bath is always recommended to reduce inflammation and soreness. Where do I find someone that does ART? Most physical therapist and licensed massage therapist utilize this technique within their larger treatment plan. To find a licensed massage therapist in your area, check with AMTA or your local <a href="https://consistencymassages.com/">house massage</a> therapy chapter, such as the FSMTB.
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