What Is Active Release Technique?

Active Release Technique is a “pin and stretch” protocol designed to address pain associated with soft tissue disorders. The massage-based technique incorporates over 500 maneuvers to ease muscle tension and improve range of motion. The treatment is individualized and specific to the affected area within a tissue. Active Release Technique is particularly effective for treatment of overuse-associated aches and pain from prolonged sitting or repetitive movements (i.e. tamping coffee, tennis).

The accumulative of small tears due to repetitive dysfunctional movement causes your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue which prevents muscle fibres from moving freely. As the amount of scar tissue or adhesions builds up with time, the affected muscle becomes shorter and weaker resulting in a reduction of your range of motion, loss of strength, and ultimately pain. In some cases, these scar tissue impinged on surrounding nerve or tissues causing “pinching” or “stuck” sensations. During the session, the practitioner will apply direct pressure to the affected soft tissue with his hands or elbow before applying a stretch away from the pinned muscle.


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Active Release Technique

The massage-based technique incorporates over 500 maneuvers to ease muscle tension and improve range of motion.

Learn More

This massage-based technique incorporates over 500 maneuvers to ease muscle tension and improve range of motion.

Information for First Time Patients

  • Restore soft tissue mobility and allow tissues to move freely without restriction
  • Release impinged nerves and other structure that may be entrapped  
  • Reestablish healthy texture, optimal resilience, and full  function of the soft tissues

During the session, the practitioner will apply direct pressure to the affected soft tissue with his hands or elbow before applying a stretch away from the pinned muscle. The pinning of the tissue allows the practitioner to control the exact location where the stretch is being applied. This also prevents the stretch from spreading to the rest of the unaffected muscle. In doing so, we can more accurately work with the affected soft tissue without necessarily stretching the healthy tissues.

Tui na, deep tissue massage and sports massage are performed with the patients lying down while the masseuse applies mechanical stimulation to the soft tissues. The mechanical stimulation induces a generalised state of relaxation and contributes to an increased sense of wellbeing. However due to the passive and non-specific nature of these therapies, the state of the soft tissues remained unaltered. While sports massage may be more region-specific, sports massage therapists do not have the clinical training required to correctly identify the dysfunctional structures which may require treatment.

Active Release Technique performed by a practitioner with clinical training such as a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or osteopath will give you better long term results.

Active Release Technique is suitable for both office workers and athletes. If you have any muscle aches, soreness, or pain, ART may be the solution you are looking for. For patients with an existing injury, ART can help reduce your symptoms and allow you an early start into your rehabilitation program.