ART or "Active Release Techinique" is a method of releasing soft tissue adhesions. "Soft tissue" is a general term used to describe everything other than bone tissue in your body. Within this broad category are the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, and fascia. Adhesions are restrictive connections between the fibers and layers of these tissues. Adhesions occur subsequent to injuries and over use. Your body uses them to immobilize and repair the injured tissues. The problem is, your body may add dysfunctional adhesions that restrict movement, blood flow, lymph drainage and nerve supply. Also, the fibers of the injured tissues may get glued down in a disorganized arrangement which impede's function. The goal of any good therapy or bodywork should be to release dysfunctional adhesions in injured soft tissues and restore movement and function. ART is extremely effective for this.
ART is a very specific method of shortening the adhered structure, pinning down the adhesive area or lesion in that structure, then stretching that structure and tensioning the lesion at the same time. This delivers the maximum amount of stretch force to the most adhered area with the least amount of trauma for the desired result. This technique breaks down adhesions and re-organizes the tissue at the same time. This technique is effective for nearly every soft tissue malady I have seen.