Active Release Techniques® | ART Massage

ART massage is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

Camelia has completed ART Massage level 1 full body certification (upper, lower, spine) 

Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART Massage. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

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.

Dr. Ian MacIntyre Sports Specialist Chiropractor of Square One Crossfit summarized injuries and scar formation very well:

“Individuals involved in regular exercise commonly suffer from aches and pains that reduce their performance and restrict their ability to stick to their work out programs.  Majority of sports related injuries can be attributed to the over use of a tissue.  If the stress imposed on the tissues of the body is greater than the healing capabilities of that structure, tissue break down will ensue and the result will be injury, pain and dysfunction.

Repetitive Motion and Injury:

Repetitive motion, constant contraction, and pressure on the soft tissues of the body often result in microscopic tearing in the collagen of a tendon or muscle. The body responds to this by laying down new collagen in an attempt to stabilize the affected area.  However, due to the repetitive nature of the athlete’s given activity, the body does not have enough time to organize the proper architecture of the tissue and ultimately lays down type III collagen (scar tissue). This scar tissue results in:

  •  Reduction in motion
  • Reduced circulation
  • Inhibited contraction
  • Ongoing friction and pressure resulting in more scar tissue formation

Development of Chronic Soft Tissue Injury:

One of the functions of the circulatory system is to act as a delivery system for oxygen (O2), which is carried by the blood.  Tissues such as muscle, ligaments, bone, and nerves utilize this oxygen in order to produce energy with which they carry out their daily functions.  The circulation of blood is also used in order to remove waste products created by the tissues as they perform their tasks.

When a tissue is kept in a tightened or stressed position for a prolonged period of time, the blood supply to that tissue becomes compromised.  Some examples in which this may occur is during prolonged endurance sports where the muscles are constantly being used; during repetitive tasks at work; or with poor posture where muscles are constantly being stressed.  When an oxygen dependant tissue (such as muscle) does not receive enough oxygen (and thus energy) to function, this is referred to as “tissue hypoxia”.  If presented with this situation, your body will begin to replace oxygen dependant tissue with tissue that doesn’t require as much oxygen to function…this tissue is called “Fibrotic tissue” or “Scar tissue”.  As scar tissue is deposited into the tissue, the function of the tissue is severely hindered. Using the example of muscle tissue, a scarred or fibrotic muscle will be unable to contract properly, and thus will be unable to carry out its desired function.  Therefore your body will begin to recruit other muscles to compensate for the injured muscle.  As these muscles begin to do the job of two muscles, they remain tight, become hypoxic, develop scar tissue…etc.

In addition to causing tissue dysfunction, scar tissue (also known as adhesions):

  • Limits the available range of motion in the tissue
  • Is a high friction substance thus irritates nerves causing pain
  • Has the ability to cause tissues to “stick” (or adhere) to each other thus resulting in increased friction between tissues

Active Release and the Treatment of Soft Tissue Overuse Injuries:

Effective treatment of soft tissue injuries (ligaments, muscle, fascia, tendon) requires an alteration in tissue structure to “break up” the restrictive cross-fiber adhesions and to restore the normal function to the affected soft tissue.  When executed properly, this process will:

  • Substantially decrease healing time

  • Treat the root cause of the injury

  • Improves tissue function

There are, in fact, various effects on the tissues structure and function with this type of soft tissue release.  The effects of active release techniques soft tissue therapy can be explained as such:

Certified A. R. T. practitioners are able to locate areas of fibrotic tissue development in the body’s tissue. Using a combination of digital pressure and tissue motion, the practitioner is able to selectively “stretch” specific soft tissue structures which “breaks-up” adhesions both within, and between, tissues.  By reducing the adhesions in the tissue, using specific exercises, and doing daily stretches that are prescribed, the body is better prepared to repair and replace the formerly fibrotic tissue with healthy tissue.

When used in combination with a specifically tailored rehabilitation program, A. R. T. can help the body regenerate new tissues and correct biomechanical faults cause by overuse injury and adhesion development.