Dr. Leahy If you are a guitar player and have what is known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome then this article is for you. This article also applies to anyone experiencing hand, forearm or any other body pain for that matter. Before you “go under the knife” and opt for surgery consider an alternative method to heal that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Dr. P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP has developed and patented a method to deal with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, tendonitis, tennis elbow and any other type of repetitive motion injury. It is called Active Release Techniques (ART). What is ART? This explanation is from Dr. Leahy’s website:

ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage 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.

I found Dr. Leahy and A.R.T. through my kettlebell trainer Mike Mahler that I mentioned in my articles “Hand Strength For Guitar Players: Eliminating Hand Fatigue” and “Tendinitis And Guitar Players: A Natural Cure“. I was experiencing a severe pain in my right shoulder as I woke up one morning and could barely lift my arm. Mike Mahler suggested I find an ART provider and go asap! You can do a search for providers on Dr. Leahy’s website. I found a chiropractor that is an ART provider a few miles from where I live and made an appointment immediately. The ART provider I found, Dr. Michael Gearinger of Active Chiropratic was very well versed in ART.  He did some tests and treated me within about a one hour session. I actually left his office feeling MUCH better and the range of motion increased dramatically after just one session! I regained 95%+ of my strength and mobility after my third treatment and was pain free! Dr. Gearinger told me my shoulder issue came from repetitive motion; guitar playing, computer work, kettlebell lifting, etc. and this was not a sudden injury but an accumulation of inflammation, impingement and adhesions. All signs of overuse. Along with the ART treatment I doubled my dose of Sorenzyme (systemic enzyme supplement) that I mentioned in my other articles above. Sorenzyme helped reduce the inflammation and assist with the breaking up of adhesion’s and scar tissue from the ART treatments. I have found a better enzyme supplement called Exclzyme which you can order here. I am not affiliated with the company but recommending it based on my personal experience.  Here is what Dr. Leahy says about overuse conditions on his website:

How do overuse conditions occur?

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:

  • acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
  • accumulation of small tears (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 cause tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

ART was specifically developed by Dr. Leahy for these types of conditions. I know some guitar players that do lots of gigs and sessions all year long without a break and their hands sometimes hurt from overuse. This includes tendinitis and the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

What is an ART treatment like?

Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her 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 providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

What is the history of Active Release Techniques?

ART has been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. He now teaches and certifies health care providers all over the world to use ART.

So before you opt for surgery with all the risks and long recovery time consider ART. It helped me and many others I have been in contact with. You can learn more and search for a provider here at Dr. Leahy’s ART website. I hope this helps anyone who is experiencing any limitation in their life. Especially when it comes to playing the guitar!




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