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Frequently Asked Questions

See the following FAQs for quick information.

Follow the links on the left, and the top menu for more detailed information.

What are Adhesions?

Our bodies contain special protein structures called Fascia (a type of connective tissue). Fascial tissue interconnects all the components of your body, and acts as a flexible skeleton. When this tissue is healthy, it is smooth and slippery, allowing the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and organs to move freely and function properly.

Imagine a piece of scotch tape, the smooth side is healthy fascia, the sticky side is scar tissue or unhealthy fascia. Try rubbing both sides of the tape along your skin. The smooth side slips easily across your skin. The sticky side drags across your skin. The drag that you feel, the "pulling" sensation is how an adhesion affects the smooth functioning of your body.

Adhesions attach to muscles, decreasing their ability to work properly. You know you have an adhesion on a nerve if you get many abnormal sensations like numbness, tingling, or pain.

What is the difference between ART and Massage?

The procedures used by Massage are very different from ART, and produce different results than ART.

There are many types of massage, but most massage techniques promote relaxation and circulation. Neuromuscular Massage is a little more specific but it does not correct soft tissue problems to make them work properly.

In contrast, the ART protocol specifically designed to remove adhesions and scar tissues, and restore full range of motion to the tissues and joints.

How do I know if someone provides Active Release Technique?

Proficiency at ART takes a long time to develop. Training is hands on. The right touch is the most difficult aspect learn, and takes a strong commitment of time ,effort, and resources. There is a small but growing number of ART providers who have been personally trained by Dr. Leahy. ART is rapidly becoming THE treatment choice for top athletes.

There are many people who claim to practice the Active Release Technique. However the only individuals who are legally allowed to to make this claim are those have undergone rigorous training and testing with Dr. Mike Leahy. Accredited individuals must have attend a 4 day workshop and passed both the written and practical examination with a greater than 90% proficiency .

To maintain ART accreditation, providers must pass yearly evaluation. Check out Dr. Leahy's web site at to make sure that your selected practitioner is a currently accredited ART practitioner. Dr. Abelson is an ART instructor his accredited in all levels of certification.

Click here for a link to an Active Release Practitioner in your area.

Who can benefit from ART?

ART can help everyone, from the athlete, office worker, to the home keeper.

Many professional athletes have come to regard ART very highly for it almost miraculous treatment of serious injuries. Big names like Donovan Bailey, Olympic gold medalist and Gary Roberts, a hockey player, have benefited from ART and its ability to improve performance .

Gary Roberts was initially unable to return to hockey after two neck surgeries failed to correct his dizzy spells. He credits Dr. Leahy and ART with correcting the problem, and for allowing to return to Hockey.

If you have any type of repetitive strain injury (RSI) ART should be your first choice.

Athletes, at all levels, can experience improved performance through ART treatments.

What is the treatment like?

ART is not a magic medical bullet or a cure-all. Active Release Techniques is non-invasive, very safe, has virtually no side effects, and has a record of producing very good results.

Treatments can feel uncomfortable during the movement phases as the scar tissue or adhesions "break up". This discomfort is temporary and subsides almost immediately after the treatment. It is common to feel a duplication of your pain symptoms during the treatment (a good indication that the problem has been identified).

Treatments take about 8-15 minutes for area treated and may require 3 to 6 visits. Patients report that "It hurts good".

Read the following topics for more information about ART treatments!

Will my condition or problem return after treatment?

Usually, the changes are permanent, but ultimately the answer depends on the patient compliance with post care recommendations. "If you keep doing what your doing, you keep getting what your getting". This is especially true for those suffering from repetitive strain injuries(RSI) or cumulative trauma injuries.

  • Repetition of injury causing behavior or activities will cause the problem to reoccur.
  • An important part of ART treatments are the accompanying recommendations for activity modification, stretching, and exercises.
  • Each patient should commit to carrying out these suggestions to obtain the best results.

How does ART Improve Performance?

Performance of any task from golfing , typing, running , swimming , etc. can improve significantly with ART treatments.

Restoring proper muscle function and movement enables the body to perform at its most efficient level. Reaction times are also able to be improved as muscle function is improved.

ART allows the body to do what you ask of it, when you need it!

Where can I find more information about ART?

We have recently published the first book about Active Release Techniques, written specifically for the general public.

Release Your Pain - Resolving Repetitive Strain Injuries with Active Release Technique s® (ART®) is an informative, easy-to-read book, that helps you to understand the true cause of repetitive strain injuries.

Did you know that many common therapies (such as medication, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, massage, electrical muscle stimulation, rest, exercise, and surgery) have all failed to effectively resolve repetitive strain injuries. RSI sufferers are rarely able to find effective or complete treatment with these traditional treatments! Read Release Your Pain now to understand why these treatments often fail to solve your problem.

Understand the true cause of your pain, learn how it can be resolved, then use the specially designed exercises included in this book to prevent its reoccurrence.

Read our new book, Release Your Pain , to see how Active Release Techniques can help you with your injuries.

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