Active Release Technique® (ART®)


What is Active Release Technique® (ART®)?

Dr. Katie Au is a proud to be offering Active Release Technique® to the Toronto and surrounding GTA community.  We are one of the very few multidisciplinary clinics at Yonge and Eglinton in North Toronto, to offer this cost-effective treatment, with full body certifications in the ART protocols of Spine, Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, and Nerve Entrapments.

Active Release Technique is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based soft tissue 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, such as pulls, tears, collisions, sudden injury (macro-trauma)
  • > Accumulation of small tears, such as overuse conditions (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, loss of function 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.  Your practitioner will use their 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 your provider to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient.  ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.