Active Release Technique®

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Active Release Technique® | ART® Physical Therapy Santa Rosa

What is ART®?

ART® is an elite soft-tissue management system developed by Dr. P. Michael Leahy. It is the most well known technique among chiropractors, physical therapists, and bodyworkers.

That’s Dr. Leahy on the left inspecting Rahim Moore’s calf. Aside from being the inventor of ART® and an amazing chiropractor in his own right, Leahy also has a background in engineering.

How Does ART® Work?

ART® works by breaking up adhered and unhealthy tissues in the body. When muscles are exposed to an unusual amount of stress the body attempts to reinforce the muscle through increasing tension and laying down collagen fibers. While these collagen fibers and tension help adapt the body to the specific stress it is being exposed to (typing at a keyboard all day for example) these adaptations may become prevent proper tissue movement (resulting in carpal tunnel symptoms). Through a combination of pressure and tension by the practitioner and movement (usually active) on the part of the client, these collagen fibers and scar tissue are broken up – restoring normal range of motion and blood flow – restoring pain free movement, endurance, and strength.

What’s Different about ART®?

ART® is unique among soft tissue work in it’s precision and patient motions. It differs from massage on both a neurological level and mechanical level. Where a traditional massage will apply tension to a muscle, it will never achieve maximal tension because the clients muscles aren’t fully lengthened. Furthermore, allowing the client to regulate the tension through their own movement allows for far greater comfort. So while tension increases dramatically through ART®, pain during treatment remains low.

Some of the benefits of ART® include:
  • Immediate, lasting results
  • Breaks the cycle of repetitive stress injuries
  • Restores strength, speed and endurance
  • Restores normal range of motion
  • Optimizes athletic performance
  • Eliminates painful peripheral nerve entrapments
  • Separates adhered muscles, ligaments, etc.
  • Facilitates healing of acute injuries
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Want to know more about your session? Check out our FAQ page and get answers to our most popular questions


Our techniques include ART®, SFMA™, AiM, NKT, and P-DTR®. Visit our page to learn more about them.


Julian Corwin’s journey took him from Engineer to specialized body worker. Read more about how he applies his skills for you.

Case Studies

Every body is unique and so are the solutions to getting them moving like they should. Read more here.