Who and what

What is Active Release Techniques® (ART®)?

Most healthcare providers use techniques of massage, trigger point, electrical modalities and ultrasound with varying degrees of specificity to treat soft tissue problems. These all provide reasonable results but there is a much better way. The basic premise is simple, just not easy. Shorten the tissue, apply a contact tension and lengthen the tissue or make it slide relative to the adjacent tissue. It’s as simple as playing a piano and just as difficult. We will teach you to find every tissue by touch and to make fast permanent changes in them. We will practice every single treatment protocol with you. You work on the instructor and we work on you so that you can learn at a much faster rate.

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.


Who can take an ART® course?

In order to participate in an Active Release Technique® Soft-Tissue Management training course, you must be a licensed health care professional with soft-tissue malpractice insurance. In other words, you must be licensed/certified to perform soft tissue treatment on patients/clients. Backgrounds include chiropractors, medical and osteopathic doctors, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, physiotherapists, massage therapists and students studying towards any of these certifications with proof of enrollment.

The core courses (Level 1) of Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, and Spine do not have to be taken in any specific order. Some of our providers choose the course they feel would benefit their clinic the most, or the course that is the quickest to get to and start learning. The Spine course has the least number of protocols to learn, followed by Lower Extremity, and Upper Extremity with the most. Regardless of what order the courses are taken, a good working knowledge of anatomy is key. After completing the core modules, the ART® provider can attend the more specific modules in the educational programme; Long Tract Nerve Entrapment, Spine – Lower – Upper Level 2 and Biomechanics (online).

What can you expect at an ART® course?

ART® will definitely improve your hands-on skills. You will learn how to use the technique for evaluation and treatment purposes. Our courses always have a high Instructor-student ratio. Lead Instructors will guide the class and be responsible for demonstrations, anatomy, clinical relevance and videos. The courses are intensive and complex. Proper treatment with ART is only possible to understand and perform once you have done proper training and been certified. Proper treatment approaches for tendons, ligaments, muscles, fascia, capsules and peripheral nerves will be demonstrated and reviewed throughout the course. You will train with Instructors, Assistants and co-students during the entire course. Theoretical and clinical guidelines are introduced when the practical approaches are demonstrated. 

Your co-students will usually have different professional backgrounds (Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Sport Massage Therapists and Manual Therapists). Some are doing the course for the first time, others have previously done another module or two. ART providers doing their re-certification will also most likely be part of the student group. It is strongly recommended that you take time prior to the courses to study basic anatomy, their manuals and watch the DVD. This will enable you to focus more on technique, touch, precision, movements and body positioning during your training. Practical tests are performed on Sunday on Instructors (20 min slots). 

Where can I find an ART® course in Europe?

Our courses are regularly hosted in 10 countries in Europe. We increase our venue options every year.

See our COURSE SCHEDULE 2017 to find your next soft tissue module in Europe.

Check out our F.A.Q. for more info.


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