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Active Release Therapy Is ART

While I love a massage, I have found the relaxing strokes of Swedish massages just don't penetrate the deep kinks that accompany overuse injuries from serious training. That is why I appreciate the targeted technique of active release therapy (ART). It is like no other therapeutic technique I've tried when it comes to healing a chronic injury.


ART is a movement-based soft tissue massage technique used to treat problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. Plus, it is patented, so practitioners using this technique are certified through the ART program. This technique resolves chronic injuries quickly by creating length in scar tissue; it is this scar tissue that shortens muscles, binds nerves, and adds to tendinitis pain. All these injuries create the kind of pain that can make you inactive.

An ART session combines evaluating the tissue and the movement patterns around the injured area. The massage element combines active stretching while the therapist provides a tension to the stretch targeting the tight, scarred tissue. I will admit an ART session can be a little painful when compared to your average spa massage, and occasionally the sessions have left me bruised. Injuries are generally resolved in two to 10 sessions and sessions are generally 15 minutes long per area being treated. In my area, an appointment with an ART practitioner costs around $70. While not the cheapest treatment in the world, getting back on the run feels priceless.

To find an ART practitioner in your area, check out this provider search and get on with the process of healing!

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