Active Release Technique (ART)

Active Release Techniques (ART)

ART ® or Active Release Technique is a technique that was developed and refined by chiropractor Dr. Michael Leahy DC, CCSP. Brenna received her first certification in ART in 2003 in the state of New Jersey. It is a soft tissue technique that uses patient generated movement to improve muscle length, decrease adhesions, break up scar tissue, decrease nerve entrapments and improve circulation. ART can be used to treat muscle, tendon, nerve, ligaments and fascia. As adhesions build in tissue muscle can become shorter and weaker. This affects both the tissue, joint and nerve mobility around the scarred tissue. Scarring can result in decreased blood flow and mobility to the affected tissue as well. The goal of ART is to improve the mobility of the tissue, joints and nerve by decreasing adhesions and improving blood flow. To be trained to perform ART health care providers (massage therapists, chiropractors and physiotherapists) must take the ART courses and pass the corresponding written and practical exams. ART providers are the main therapy providers for various sports teams and the Ironman series of races.


ART treatment is often combined with other forms of manual and soft tissue treatments such as physiotherapy, joint mobilizations or manipulations, acupuncture and functional exercise. In combination with working on tissue that is scarred and has decreased length, exercises must also be incorporated to address any muscle imbalances that lead to this condition in the first place. Similarly joint mobilizations or manipulations might be required to address underlying joint restrictions. Your first visit will include a full assessment of joint, nerve and tissue mobility and strength in order to determine the best course of treatment. Treatment will be individual and specific to the functional sport or work demands of each patient.