What’s the Difference? ART and Massage Therapy.
Active Release Techniques® (ART®) and massage therapy are two high-quality treatments. Although both have similarities, the methods are unique in their approach and health benefits.
What is ART?
ART treatment is a non-invasive system that treats soft-tissue and nerve dysfunction at the source. This hands-on treatment uses a combination of provider touch, depth, and tension with patient movement to pinpoint and treat the origin of the affected area.
What causes soft-tissue damage?
Soft-tissue damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons can be caused by everyday movements, sports injuries, blunt forces, and overused muscles. Common signs of soft-tissue damage include:
- Stress injuries
What’s massage therapy?
Massage therapy is a manual manipulation of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments used to treat specific pain and impairments. This uses a kneading technique to manipulate the muscles and soft tissues. Massage therapy is used not only for physical benefits but for mental well-being, too.
There are over 80 types of massage, each with its own specific benefits. The two most common forms of massage therapy are Swedish massage and deep tissue massage.
Why see a massage therapist?
Massage therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions that are mental and physical including:
- Chronic back and joint pain
- Muscle soreness
- Soft-tissue injuries
- High blood pressure
- Nerve pain
Are there any associated risks?
ART treatment is a non-invasive procedure with no known risks.
Massage therapy does have an increased chance of risks that were listed by Mayo Clinic if a patient has the following:
- Bleeding disorders or prescribed blood-thinning medication
- Burns or healing wounds
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Broken bones
- Severe osteoporosis
- A very low platelet count
Who benefits from ART treatment?
Anyone with soft tissue can benefit from ART treatment. When muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves are overused or do not function properly, ART treatment should be considered. ART treatment does not require a prescription or referral from a physician.
After treatment, patients can expect to feel increased muscle mobility and less pain through:
- Decreased stiffness
- Improved range of motion
- Relieved joint pain
- Decreased inflammation
Who benefits from massage therapy?
Because of the relaxed state massages can offer, it is proven to lower stress levels along with the other following benefits:
- Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
- Improves immune function
- Increases circulation and energy levels
- Reduces muscle pain and tension
ART and massage therapy
When deciding between ART treatment and massage therapy, it is important to take symptoms and long-term needs into consideration. Although the processes differ, both ART treatment and massage therapy are powerful healing options.