‘Active Release Technique’ provides safe, effective healing for common injuries

runner at Creve Coeur LakeActive Release Technique, also known as ART, provides an effective alternative treatment for soft tissue and nerve damage injuries. Commonly treated injuries include plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. These injuries are often treated by conventional medicine with steroid injections and surgeries, with long recovery times. The use of the targeted massage treatment known as ART can significantly shorten healing time for these injuries.

What is Active Release Technique, what does it treat and how?

 ART is a soft tissue-based massage technique that addresses problems with ligaments, muscles, tendons, fascia and nerves. Several health conditions can be treated including plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, shin splints, sciatica, tennis elbow, shoulder and back pain. These injuries all involve overuse of muscles.

Over used muscles can involve small and large tears, pulling and lack of oxygen to the affected areas. These conditions in turn produce scar tissue making the muscles shorter and weaker. For the patient, these conditions result in reduced range of motion, weakness and pain. If a nerve is trapped one may also feel weakness and tingling.

Five hundred specific movements are incorporated in the ART massage, dependent on the exact injury and muscles affected. ART works by effectively stretching out the shortened, tightened muscle areas.

How did ART begin?

Dr. Michael Leahy, DC discovered this successful technique approximately 25 years ago through observation and use with patients. He was able to obtain a 90 percent success rate in his patients with various ailments and later trained others in his technique. There are now hundreds of trained practitioners worldwide.

Where can providers be found and what are the costs?

Professional chiropractors, physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, massage therapists and medical doctors may obtain advanced certification in this treatment to more effectively care for their patients with a wide range of injuries. Practitioners must undergo intensive multi-day training and demonstrate competency prior to receiving certification. Certified practitioners can be found at this website: http://activerelease.com/providersearch.asp.

Most insurance companies recognize this technique as safe and effective, covering the majority of the costs. According to certified practitioner Shane Bates, DC, of Saint Louis, the majority of professional baseball and football teams utilize ART to provide quick recovery from injuries for their players. Trained practitioners can be found in most metropolitan areas.

Statistics on common injuries and their conventional treatments

Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery is reported to be the most widely occurring surgery for hand and wrist injuries. A 2000 volume of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reported 463, 637 cases of surgery for this condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are approximately one million patient visits to doctors annually for plantar fasciitis, a painful heel injury. Conventional treatments are reported to average 6 to 18 months for recovery. These treatments include stretching exercises, use of anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, orthotics, night splints, and surgery.


When suffering from an injury to soft tissue, ART offers a viable option to conventional treatments of exercise, steroid injections and surgery. ART carries no risks and one will know within a few sessions whether the treatment is effective. This technique can significantly shorten recovery time for common injuries.

Sources for this article include:






Interview by Michelle Goldstein with Shane Bates, DC., certified ART practitioner. Saint Louis, MO. March 26, 2014

Written by Michelle Goldstein, Holistic Health to Go

First published April 25, 2014 at Natural News: ‘Active Release Technique’ provides safe, effective healing for common injuries

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