Active Release Therapy | Active Release Technique founder Dr. Mike Leahy

Several sport enthusiasts and many people in general suffer from injuries, aches and pains which never seem to go away. Fortunately, many are now familiar with Active Release Therapy and have stopped agonizing daily. ART helps everyone of every age, including carpal tunnel syndrome, arm, shoulder, neck, back, and lower extremities. I have had the opportunity of being acquainted by several ART specialists, but my favorite by far, is Dr. Mike Leahy who is the founder and has the most “magical hands” for healing. Dr. Leahy is like “Dr. Rudy Wells” who used to fix the six million dollar man whenever he needed a tune up. Bionics may be a thing of the past, but unfortunately, pain and injuries are not! Dr. Leahy lectures and teaches around the world spreading the knowledge and ART technique. If you attend the SWIS Symposium up in Canada, you’ll be able to witness the tremendous following that Dr. Leahy has acquired.  There are qualified ART specialists close to you that can make a tremendous, let me rephrase that – a miraculous turn around in the way you feel. Why have pain dominate and restrict your life when it doesn’t have to?

What is Active Release Technique (ART)? ART is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. 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. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

How do overuse conditions occur?

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:

  • acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc)
  • accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

Who Can Benefit from Active Release Therapy? Seeing an ART specialist is similiar to seeing a soft tissue and nerve specialist. Consequently, those who claim, “I have had this pain for a long time, and up until now, no one has been able to find the cause. ART found the source immediately”. This is because no one else is trained to palpate these specific conditions. ART providers are qualified to diagnose and treat over 400 structures as they see a board range of injuires and conditions. ART is successful for professional and amateur athletes, motor vehicle accident and Workman’s Compensation victims, and even for those who just work hard and have “pain”. Symptoms vary from aches and pains, to burning muscles, to numbness and tingling.

What Can Be Expected from an Active Release Therapy treatment? ART uses motion to fix the problem. Once the injury has been assessed, the provider uses hands on treatment and patient motion to “free up” the problem areas. Treatment duration and frequency may vary depending on the severity and complexity of the injury. However, most patients experience rapid recovery.

What is an ART treatment like? 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.

These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

ART has been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. He now teaches and certifies health care providers all over the world to use ART.

For More Active Release Therapy Articles, visit Dr. Leahy’s website!

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