A male client receiving a massage on upper trapThe Active Release Technique, or ART, is a patented system of specialized massage therapy techniques developed by Dr. Mike Leahy of Colorado Springs. He developed these techniques after studying the properties of injured muscle in the early 80’s during his internship in Los Angeles.

The technique is used to treat problems that involve the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. The primary objective of ART is to reduce scar tissue adhesions while re-establishing proper motions between muscles and fascia, allowing for the natural gliding of the myofascial and nerves. ART is a very beneficial treatment for patients with either acute or chronic pain, overuse/repetitive injuries, and post-operation.

Conditions Treated by ART

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

How Is ART Different from Other Soft Tissue Techniques?

ART  uses movement of the patient to create tension on scar tissue. Every session combines an examination and treatment, which targets the soft tissue that has been injured. ART treats specific muscles, which target the exact area of the scar within each tissue. Unlike massage or other myofascial release techniques, ART has over 500 specific protocols that treat affected areas of the body.

What Is Scar Tissue and What Are its Causes?

Scar tissue is dense fibrous material that body creates to connect and bind injured tissue. The problem occurs when that same scar tissue binds to surrounding structures like “glue” which occurs more often than thought. If a nerve runs through a muscle in an area where scar tissue had laid, the nerve can be “pinched”, pulled or entrapped by that adhesion which can cause it to trigger pain. The process can limit motion over-stimulating or overworking healthy tissue, which can also lead to pain and discomfort.

How Does Overuse/Repetitive Stress Cause Scar Tissue?

Overuse or repetitive stress increases the tension in the tissues of the body. Chronic tension applied to the tissue decreases the blood supply, causing the body to form adhesions. Examples of repetitive stress include poor posture, improper exercise form, athletic pursuits, and improper ergonomics in the workplace.


Footprint Health and Wellness Centre is a multi-disciplinary clinic located in South Barrie, offering chiropody, physiotherapy, and massage therapy services. Book your appointment now!

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Footprint Health and Wellness Centre

About Footprint Health and Wellness Centre

We are a multi-disciplinary clinic located in South Barrie that is focused on providing superior quality of care and excellent customer service that will keep you healthy and enjoying your best life. We believe in a holistic approach to health and wellness, and our team of professionals work together to help you live your best life.