Active Release Technique (ART)

Here at NZSI, we work alongside our clients to ensure they feel supported in every step of the way. By taking a holistic as well as a scientific approach to our treatment programs, we ensure optimal takeaway for every client. Each treatment is tailored to the needs of individual clients and adapted to best meet individual needs. Receiving regular treatments is pivotal for enhancing performance, treating injuries, preventing injuries, as well as for the recovery process.   

Our treatment range includes Active Release Technique (ART), Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Kinetic Chain Enhancement (KCE), and Gua Sha. The sections below outline and explain each treatment in more detail. 


Active Release Technique (ART) 

Active Realease Technique in New Zealand

What is Active Release Technique (ART)? 

what is active release technique

Created by Dr P. Michael Leahy in 1984, Active Release Technique (ART) was originally a technique used for improving an array of soft tissue disorders in athletes. In a nutshell, ART promotes faster healing, tissue recovery, and can even prevent future injuries. A result of engineering principles applied to anatomy; this technique has since been used to aid in the healing process of over 100 million people across the world.  

Who can benefit from ART? 

ART can be used to treat a variety of soft tissue conditions including back pain, headaches, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, sciatica, and knee problems. These issues, amongst others, can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. 

How is ART carried out? 

how active relaese technique is carried out

ART is a patented, soft tissue healing technique based on movement. It is used in the treatment of overexerted or mistreated muscles and soft tissue, and aids to mitigate the negative impacts of scar tissue accumulated in the body. Scar tissue hinders free movement, causing trapped nerves, pain, loss of strength and a reduced range of motion. Ultimately, with treatment, muscles and nerves are returned to their appropriate position and function is restored. 

ART utilises the combination of tissue manipulation with muscle movement in order to create tension on damaged or scar tissue. Each ART session includes both examination and treatment. The practitioner will use touch to detect and target muscle damage and adhesions. The treatment process involves applying manual tension on scar tissue as well as patient-specific movements. The treatment protocols for this technique comprise of more than 500 specific moves, all of them exclusive to ART.  

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) 

What is PNF and how is it carried out? 


Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is an advanced form of flexibility training. It is an effective method for both improving the body’s flexibility and increasing the body’s range of motion. The process involves both the stretching and the contraction of targeted muscle groups to bring about desired results. PNF was initially used for the treatment of patients undergoing post-surgical rehabilitation. However, it has recently found mainstream popularity amongst fitness enthusiasts, as its regular application been found to increase athletic performance.  

Originally, PNF was designed to relax tense muscles and to increase elasticity. As a result, it is an efficient method for athletes to increase flexibility. There are three different techniques for PNF stretches: Hold-RelaxContract-Relax, and Hold-relax with antagonistic action. 

Who can benefit from PNF? 

PNF is often used by practitioners to restore the functional range of motion and to build strength in patients with soft tissue damage, as well as for patients who are undergoing post-surgery rehabilitation. Additionally, this technique is also a popular method of stretching amongst athletes, as is shown to create a significant increase in ROM compared to other forms of stretching. It has been found that regular application of PNF techniques can increase athletic performance.  

Kinetic Chain Enhancement (KCE) 

What is Kinetic Chain Enhancement (KCE)? 

Kinetic Chain Enhancement refers to techniques used for instant strengthening and mobility enhancement purposes.  It is based on the engineering concept of a kinetic chain – the idea that during movement, the body’s segments and joints affect each other. Kinetic chain enhancement exercises embrace this concept as its underlying foundation. 

Who can benefit from KCE? 

KCE is often utilized by physical therapists, chiropractors, as well as personal trainers to enhance mobility and prevent injuries. It is also used for performance enhancement and body sculpting. A KCE course will equip you with the knowledge that can help with: 

  • Minimizing the risk of injuries
  • Increasing muscle recruitment
  • Managing and treating scar tissue and tissue adhesions
  • Rehabilitation programs

Gua Sha 

What is Gua Sha? 

GUA SHA is an ancient healing technique originating from China. Offering a unique approach to better health and wellness, Gua Sha is a form of natural therapy used to alleviate chronic pain and to clear toxins from the body. At its core, it is an alternative therapy form of massage involving stroking and scraping of skin and muscles to increase blood circulation to designated areas of the body. 

Who can benefit from Gua Sha and how is it carried out? 

Gua Sha acts to decrease muscle tension and releases trapped lymphatic fluids, creating immediately recognisable changes in the body. Gua Sha has been clinically shown to decrease myalgia or muscular pain, and stimulate the circulation of clean, oxygenated blood to targeted body parts. This, in turn, endorses an array of benefits, including the promotion of metabolic cell-repair, cell-regeneration, healing, and recovery.  

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