Active Release Techniques

ART is a state of the art soft tissue system/movement based manual therapy technique developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

Conditions impacting these tissues all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of over-used muscles. Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:

  • Acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc)
  • Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • Not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia)

Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense tissue in the affected area. This dense tissue binds up and ties down other tissues that need to move freely. As dense tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, weakness, and pain. If a nerve is trapped, you may also feel tingling and numbness.

Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

What can I expect in an ART treatment?

Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.


ART includes over 500 unique treatment protocols. They allow therapists to identify and correct the specific fascial restrictions that are affecting each individual patient.

How long do the treatments take?

The initial consultation, history, examination, and treatment are typically combined with other techniques and last 75 minutes. Subsequent treatments are dependent upon the individual needs and can last 60 to 90 minutes.

Is the treatment painful?

The first one or two treatments can be somewhat uncomfortable depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s pain tolerance. However, even if the treatment is uncomfortable and reproduces their symptoms, this is only temporary and will stop a few seconds after the treatment.

How soon can I expect results?

In most cases, following the first treatment a patient will experience a positive result. This may be an increased range of motion, less pain, increased muscle strength, or decreased numbness and tingling.