Discovering A.R.T. for Recovery
Interview with Jonathan Pierce (founder of Kinetik) by Jean Thorson
When something doesn’t feel right in our bodies, we have a few options: 1) Ignore it and hope it will just go away with time; 2) Just live with the pain; or 3) Seek help (because after 6 months it didn’t go away and you’re not ready to live with the pain).
I am guilty of the first option and refuse to live with the pain. I have seeked help with several forms of body treatment (massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy) which have provided relief, but the pain eventually comes back. I have been preparing myself to schedule an MRI, and possibly surgery, but then I met Jonathan Pierce, certified A.R.T. provider and founder of Kinetik. After listening to him speak about body assessments, I decided to seek his wisdom to help me with my nagging issues. I knew a little about his form of therapy, but had never experienced it. The release of tension that I received in my shoulder after my first visit sold me on the benefits of Active Release Technique (A.R.T.).
Jonathan is so precise in discovering exactly what is going on due to his highly skillful knowledge of how the human body moves – a knowledge that was inspired by his own experience with therapy as an athlete. He first learned about A.R.T. during the 2008 Olympic Trials, where he was competing as a long distance runner. He had a significant injury and through the work of some great practitioners using various techniques, including A.R.T., he was able to toe the line and get through the race.
I feel that some of the best healers are those who have personally experienced therapy in a life-impacting way. I left so encouraged from my two sessions with Jonathan, that I reached out to him for more information about A.R.T. and how I can share it with the athletes that I work with everyday.
What is Active Release Technique therapy?
Active Release Technique is a soft tissue treatment and diagnostic system developed over many years, and made famous by the work of Dr. Michael Leahey. It’s a complex, dynamic and powerful way to approach injury in the body, and has been vetted in the highest levels of sport all over the world. A.R.T. is considered the gold standard in sports therapy, and uses movement and treatment together to optimize mechanics of tissues and heal damaged tissue. It also is quite comprehensive, having protocols for treatment of joint capsules, nerves, ligaments, tendons, relative motion of multiple structures as well as myofascia.
Why A.R.T. for athletes?
Athletes are usually very driven, looking for results and a timely ones at that. I think A.R.T. is effective in speeding up injury recoveries, and it produces real-time results and also a real-time working diagnosis. Some of my clients are shocked with how much better something feels even after doing 2-3 protocols over 5 minutes. Making change is powerful. As you treat, you constantly are unraveling the injury and figuring out where there are lesions, or problems in the tissue, or in the surrounding areas. A.R.T. takes into account mechanics and the overall system, with the understanding that sometimes pain in one area, doesn’t just indicate a problem there but one that’s more global.
When should an athlete seek A.R.T.?
If they have an injury of course, but really most athletes have mobility restrictions, or injury history that remains unresolved. Many constant aches and pains are signs that something isn’t right. A.R.T. works really well with a variety of issues outlined above, but at Kinetik it’s only one of the things in the tool box. I think the ideal is to treat mobility issues, injured structures, do specific strength work and also work at the same time toward better mechanical models of movement. If you improve postures, movement paradigms and injury history for any athlete, they have a better chance to perform and also stay healthy through high training demands.
Jonathan approaches his new clients just like Invictus does with their new members, he wants to know what their goals are. Once he knows that, he will address what is going on currently as well as injury history, and what the treatment approach has been in the past. Then the fun begins. He will assess where you are deficient in terms of mobility, stability and strength and also why you have a problem where you do. The best part, at that first visit he provides enough time to also treat as needed to improve all the above findings, and devise a plan to continue the progress to meet your goals. With that plan he will take into account education for how you can help yourself to improve continually. Jonathan’s goal is for you to leave as an empowered, healthy and educated athlete.
If you have a nagging injury that won’t go away, give Jonathan and his staff a call. Kinetik has two locations and one of them is right inside the doors at Invictus Sorrento Valley.
For more information or to schedule an assessment with Jonathan Pierce: CLICK HERE
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