What is Active Release Techniques (ART®)?

Benefits of Active Release Techniques ®:

  • Breaks up adhesions and scar tissue
  • Restores movement and function to injured tissues
  • Increases range of motion
  • Reduces or eliminating pain
  • Identifies the root cause of an injury
  • Enables improvements in strength, speed and endurance

What is the goal of ART®?
ART® treatments are primarily focused on soft tissue problems, like muscle, ligament, fascia, tendon, nerve, or capsular restrictions.

Repetitive movements, whether it be from athletic activities to office desk work, create tiny tears in the tissues. The body layers collagen on the tears (i.e. creates scar tissue) as part of its repair response; the ART® practitioner focuses on breaking up this scar tissue by taking the muscle through its active range of motion, allowing for more fluidity and flexibility, and improved range of motion.

How is an ART® session different from a sports massage?
You can think of ART® as a more clinical kind of massage treatment. At Presidio Sport & Medicine, we offer 25-min sessions, since the treatment is typically focused on one part of the body and can feel more intense. It can be performed with the client wearing comfortable clothing, like work out apparel.

During an ART® session, the therapist evaluates the tissue, then treats it by combining precise hands-on tension while lengthening the structure through a full, comfortable range of active motion. The client may also have more active participation in the treatment, personally moving their affected body part per the therapist’s instruction.

What are commonly treated issues?

  • Injuries related to sport, repetitive stress, or work
  • Pain in back, knees, hips or shoulders
  • Sprains and strains
  • Syndromes such as bursitis, sciatica, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, and carpel tunnel
  • Post-operative pain, weakness or recovery

We currently have one certified specialist, Bryan Sharpe, CMT, ART®, working at both the San Francisco and Mill Valley locations. If you are interested in booking with Bryan or have questions about ART®, you can email massage@presidiosport.com or call to book at your preferred location.

Staff Testimonial: ART® with Bryan

Mandi, our Client Services Specialist in San Francisco, had the opportunity to try our Massage Services as a part of our interdepartmental bonding program. Read about her experience with ART®  below.

“As a Client Service Specialist, we are educated about the services that we offer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are familiar with the service and can explain what exactly will happen.

I have had chronic shoulder and neck issues for years and chose to have Bryan focus on those areas. Initially, I felt some discomfort because I carry a lot of my tension in my neck, shoulders, and back, but once you follow Bryan’s cues to relax and breath, it gets easier.

I started feeling the release of tension after each movement. Bryan would put pressure on a specific muscle and, at the same time, move the corresponding limb/body part that actively uses that muscle. Bryan was very attentive and wouldn’t push me further if I felt discomfort from too much tension. He would take a step back and see where my range of motion was without applying pressure, then worked with that, slowly pushing pressure points and asking me how I felt through the process.

I decided to do an upper body workout after the session and I felt like my range of motion was more fluid during my workout. I was even able to increase my personal record! I don’t think I could really do Bryan justice with this blurb. It really is something I would recommend anyone try it out, but check with your PT first!”

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