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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Healing Permanent Injuries with ART


In his most recent book, the 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferriss explores different ways to heal permanent injuries. One of the the suggested methods is Active Release Technique (ART).

I had already tried Active Release Technique (ART) a few months before reading the book so I can attest its usefulness.

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Following a whiplash accident, I was left with chronic pain, stiffness and limited range of motion in my neck.


I was introduced to Active Release Technique (ART) by Jean-François Thibault of JFT International here in Montreal and I was referred to him by my friends and clients at Atlantis Strength Equipment.

Jean-François Thibault is well known on the Canadian health and fitness scene. His clients include UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre as well as the Canadian Olympic team.

After a few months working with Jean-François Thibault, I have made more progress toward recovery than in the previous year and a half.

Although Jean-François used an array of techniques including: posturology, strength training, ELDOA and stretching, a key treatment was Active Release Technique (ART).


What is Active Release Technique (ART)? 

Here's an explanation from: www.activerelease.com

ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique 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.

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.

What is the history of Active Release Techniques?

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.

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I suggest you try ART before any other form of treatment as it has a good chance of providing a faster and more efficient treatment than other techniques. 

Will it solve all your problems? No, but as renowned coach and trainer Charles Poliquin says, ART is 100% effective on 70% of the people. 

If you live in the Greater Montreal area and want to try ART, I strongly suggest the services of Jean-François Thibault as he's one of the best practitioners of ART in Canada.

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