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Active Release Technique

Active Release Technique is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue system that treats problems with overuse of muscles. The father of this particular therapy is P. Michael Leahy, D.C., CCSP, a chiropractor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Active release technique is based on the fact that changes in the soft tissues can be felt by hand. To put it in layman's terms, the evaluation and diagnosis is done using the simple manipulation of the hands by touching the patient and understanding the problem or the ailment through soft touches.

The palpation is the best way to diagnose and this is proven in this therapy. To further it, the treatment is done using palpation and subtle manipulation. The manipulation is so subtle that there is no pain, but aids the patient to be in a pain-free state. That is the beauty of this therapy. The technique was developed by observation of how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to various kinds of work. The goal of this technique is to restore optimal texture, motion and functions of soft tissues and release any entrapped nerves.Some very common problems related to these like headaches, back pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, knee and tennis elbow problems can be treated quickly and permanently with ART.

Because of overuse of muscles any of these conditions may occur, acute conditions, accumulation of small tears, not getting enough oxygen, which is dangerous to say the least. As a result of this, tough and scar tissues are produced in the affected area and these tissues bind up and restrict the free motion which causes muscles to become shorter and weaker. Tension on tendon causes tendonitis and nerves can become trapped. All this together result into reduced range of motion, loss of strength and pain.

In the active release technique treatment, active release technique therapist evaluates the texture, tightness and movements of muscles and nerves using his/her hand. He/she identifies the correct and specific problem affecting that area and treats abnormal tissues by precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. There are more than 500 specific moves unique to active release technique. The success of active release technique is based on credibility of active release technique practitioner. To become proficient in active release technique, it takes approximately two years of working with patients once a provider has taken the course and passed the examinations.

Submitted by:

Kevin Pederson

Sharon Hopkins regularly authors articles on Massage Health Therapy and Aromatherapy.


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