ART is most commonly used to treat conditions related to adhesions or scar tissue in overused muscles.
As adhesions build up, muscles become shorter and weaker, the motion of muscles and joints are altered, and nerves can be compressed. As a result, tissues suffer from decreased blood supply, pain, and poor mobility.
In an ART treatment, the provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and mobility of the soft tissue. Using hand pressure, the practitioner works to remove or break up the fibrous adhesions, with the stretching motions generally in the direction of venous and lymphatic flow, although the opposite direction may occasionally be used.
The goal of ART is to restore the smooth movement of tissues and to release any trapped nerves or blood vessels.