What is Active Release Technique / ART?

What is “ART”?

Active Release Technique, or ART, is a combination of soft tissue manipulations and neuromuscular techniques applied together, after a thorough intake and hands-on assessment. The program was developed by a chiropractor named P. Michael Leahy in the early 1990s, and was trademarked in 1998. ART has become extremely popular in the last few years due to the consistency it has created for meeting patient expectations and, of course, the results people experience. It requires an exceptional understanding of anatomy and a highly-developed sense of touch — two tools which our therapists here at Loosen up have in spades!

While we are not certified in Active Release Technique and do not provide these treatments specifically, our team has been utilizing the techniques used for ART treatments for years. And you won’t find anyone more skilled in hands-on assessment than our therapists. An additional bonus in seeing a massage therapist who is familiar with these approaches is that we understand the value of warming up tissues before applying aggressive manipulations. So if you’re a client here at Loosen Up, ask your therapist about how they can help you resolve pain issues for good with less soreness afterwards.

Adhesions vs. Fibrosis

I had a great discussion today with one of our therapists about the difference between fibrosis and adhesions.  Both adhesions and fibrosis are the result of injury and inflammation in tissue causing fibrous deposits.   The main difference is where these deposits occur.  Fibrosis occurs within a muscle or organ, where adhesions bind two separate tissues or organs together.  This technical jargon really matters most to us therapists.  The feeling the client experiences may not be any different, but to the therapist when palpating, an adhesion will feel like a little piece of extra-crunchy tissue and fibrosis will make the muscle itself feel bunched up.  In my personal experience adhesions break up much easier than fibrosis unless the adhesions are imbedded deep within a joint like in frozen shoulders.

One big reason for this discussion is how you therapists can communicate expectations to your clients regarding frequency of visits and healing time.  For example, someone with adhesions between their IT band and Vastus Lateralus muscles may – and let me emphasize may – experience relief from pain, and increased range of motion immediately after the therapist breaks them up.  And someone with fibrosis in their upper trap may need multiple sessions before they experience any significant amount of pain relief or increased range of motion.  Of course, there is much to consider when discussing time required to experience relief from pain, such as daily routine (i.e. time spent exercising and stretching, and activities that may aggravate the tissues involved), how acute or chronic the injury may be, the tolerance level of your client to possibly uncomfortable treatment, and the potential for other tissues to be involved.

Remember client/therapist communication is the key to any successful results.  It is up to us therapists to set realistic expectations of our work and to encourage our clients to explore and understand the nature of their discomforts so that we can develop an attainable plan.  Our plans should also be evaluated and shifted as needed to accommodate the results our clients are experiencing.

Be well,  Gina Tibbs

 

10 More Stress Busters

 

Last week, we listed 20 Stress Management techniques you can do in between massage sessions. Here are 10 more to try:

1. Play racquetball or tennis.

10 Stress Management Tips Walnut Creek CA2. Take a nap, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

3. Take your breaks at work. Get outside or do simple stretches for 10 minutes.

4. Laugh. Watch comedies and read humorous books.

5. Try autosuggestion. Frequently repeat a suggestion to yourself such as “Head tall” or “Neck relaxed.” You don’t have to do anything, just say the words.

6. Take a warm shower, stretching your neck and shoulders slowly in the warm water.

7. Brush your hair from each temple to the base of the skull, and then down the center of your head.

8. Take a weekend, or even a morning, away from obligations and worries.

9. Express your creativity. Write down your memories or create an art project.

10. Honor a time and space for your own relaxation. Regular massage is a great way to develop this nurturing habit.

 

Which stress buster is your favorite technique?

 

Positioning Yourself at Your Desk

First, make sure your workstation is set up correctly.

Here’s a checklist.

1. Your chair and keyboard should be set so that the thighs and
forearms are parallel to the floor.

2. The keyboard height should ensure that the wrists are straight
and level.

3. The keyboard should be close enough that you don’t have to
stretch forward to reach the keys.

4. The mouse should be close to the keyboard where you don’t have
to reach to use it.

Now check your body position.

1. Keep your hip, knee, and ankle joints open slightly (90 degrees
or more).

2. Keep your head aligned with your spine.

3. Keep your upper arms close to your sides, hanging straight
down.

4. When typing, your wrists should be relaxed, not be bent up,
down, or to the sides.

RESOURCES
Repetitive Strain Injury: A Computer User’s Guide. Pascarelli, Emil
M.D., John Wiley and Sons, 1994.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website:
www.ccohs.ca/oshaanswers/ergonomics/sitting/sitting_position.html


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life @ http://loosenupbodywork.com/services/massage/

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Backpacks and Your Child

Pediatricians, physical therapists and massage therapists are seeing more
young patients complaining of neck and back pain due to an overloaded
backpack. The American Academy of Pediatrics says a backpack should
never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of a student’s body weight. Even
so, your child should have a well-fitting backpack and use it correctly to
avoid discomfort and injury. For instance, when bending down, it is
important to bend at the knees instead of the waist if you are wearing a
backpack.

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILDREN STRATEGIZE

Do your children have a locker where they can store books they’re not
using? Maybe they can make more frequent locker stops between classes.
Talk to their teachers if necessary to explain why they may be late by a
minute or two. Must they carry all their books every day? Some schools
are providing two sets of textbooks so they can keep one at home and one
at school. Ask about this option.

WEIGHT AND PROPER FIT

When your children put on their backpacks, notice if they are leaning
forward. If so, it is too heavy. Go through the packs to see what can be
left at home or school. Then work with your children in adjusting straps
and settling the pack properly on the body. If it still is not working,
consider purchasing a better pack.

HOW TO CHOOSE A PACK

Some children like pulling a pack on wheels, which really gets the
weight off the back. Another option is an individually fitted internal
frame backpack designed to make packing easier on the body. Hip and
chest straps like the ones on hiking backpacks can take the weight off the
upper back and shoulders. The shoulders and back should be padded for
comfort. The shoulder straps should be worn on both sides and tightened,
so that the pack is held close to the body.

IF YOUR CHILD IS IN PAIN

If your daughter or son already has problems, see your health practitioner
right away. Also, one of the best known benefits of massage is in helping
to relieve muscle spasms and improve posture. Massage will have limited
effects, however, unless other changes are made.


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life @ http://loosenupbodywork.com/services/massage/

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net