What is Active Release Technique?

2 min read January 31, 2017 at 2:17pm

What is Active Release Technique or ART?

ART is a modern soft tissue system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.  Each ART session will evaluate and treat the texture, tightness and movement of soft tissue by combining precisely directed tension with very specific client movements. The intent of each treatment is to identify and break up adhesions within or between muscles which can cause pain, restrict movement and place increased tension on tendons and trap nerves.

Who can benefit from an ART session?

Active Release can be used to treat a variety of injuries from acute conditions like muscle strains to repetitive stress injuries such as carpel tunnel syndrome, or plantar fasciitis. People who suffer from back pain, headaches, knee, pain, sciatica, and shoulder pain can find relief with ART.

How does Active Release differ from massage therapy?

The session involves a combination of examination and treatment at the same time. The ART provider uses his/her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness, and movement of soft tissues and uses precisely directed tension with specific patient movements called protocols. Each ART session is usually 20 minutes in length with a specific focus such as decreasing frozen shoulder. Quicker results are often seen due to the specificity of each treatment. Multiple protocols will be used to treat each impairment.

What to expect from an Active Release Technique session?

The feeling of the treatment may feel uncomfortable or “hurts so good” during the movement phase as the scar tissue and adhesions are broken up. This is a good indicator that the precise structure is being treated.

Is Active Release covered by Insurance?

Active Release falls under the College of Massage Therapy of Ontario's Scope of Practice and is covered by all insurance providers.


Check out Nathaniel demonstrating some ART.