Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Iron and A.R.T.

For my 6th wedding anniversary my hubby surprised me with lots of wonderful gifts. For anyone that follows anniversary traditions, the theme for 6 years of marriage is "IRON". With iron, you can easily imagine what kind of gifts you would give with a triathlete couple: anything ironman related. Think bike components, A.R.T. therapy, and a hot pink road ID.... And the best surprise: scott is coming to watch me at Rev3!
Last week I reluctantly headed off to my first A.R.T. session. Although I had no glaring ailments, I thought it would be a good idea to start to incorporate into my training regiment. The place I chose in NOLA was a chiropractic place. After being scolded for my bad posture, weak scapular stabilizers/bad scapular mobility, tight hamstrings/hip flexors my guy went to town. He paid special attention to my psoas, pirformis, and posterior tibialis tendon which was super contracted. As a warning the hip flexor technique is by far the worst/most painful. Despite the painful session, I walked out of there feeling A-M-A-Z-I-N-G....

I heard about A.R.T awhile back but never really got around to trying it since I wasn't technically injured. I've heard countless other triathletes rave about how well it works. In case you haven't heard of it.... (from their website):

ART is a soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. With the rigors of training, our bodies can produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area(s). 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 causes tendinitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain.

As a physical therapist, I have yet to read any relevant research or randomized controlled trials for A.R.T therapy. Despite the missing evidence, I can say I've become a huge fan after my 1st two sessions. My belief is that it's better to fix the small issues now before they lead to bigger issues down the road. I think I'm enough of a believer to become an A.R.T provider myself....

The big test will be next weekend.... Bring it Rev3... I'm feeling ready :)


  1. So awesome that you'll have Scott with you at Rev 3! Happy anniversary!

  2. GOOOOD luck in Ohio!!! You will be awesome!!! :) Oh and I totally don't know how I'd manage without ART. There was nothing (sorry to say, but PT included) that would make my hamstrings work well until I started routinely going to ART. I know it's different for everyone though. Still, it would be awesome if you were an ART person too! :)

  3. Happy anniversary to both of you! I can't say enough positive comments about ART. It saved my ass this year, literally and figuratively. And I even went the PT route first with no luck. I think they are 2 different animals with totally different aspects of healing. ART is more of a breaking the scar tissue up so the muscle can glide easier whereas the PT is more of balancing out and strengthening the muscles. I also think both can work harmoniously together. My PT person who I have gone to for years, had never heard of ART until I told her about it. Not surprising since like you mentioned, it does fall into the chiro field and like a lot of others in the medical field, we are not sold on chiro's. Have an awesome race at Rev3!!

  4. I have been toying around with the thought of doing ART for a while being that I haave so many injuries...looks like I may give it a shot. Good luck in OHIO! so exciting!

  5. hurray for anniversaries, presents, and scott coming to watch you race!! i have a love/hate relationship with ART - love the aftermath, hate the pain and bruising. and the cost...$90/session takes a toll on my wallet.

  6. I love ART! But damn does it hurt!

    Good luck at Rev 3! I can't wait to hear how it goes.

  7. Happy anniversary! :) I have a hot pink road id too.. and love it!

    I've heard such great things about ART. I might have to give it a shot...

    I'm excited to meet you next weekend. If you get a chance, shoot me your email so I can include you in a meet up! thekingerys at hotmail.com.

  8. So did you get the Rotor Cranks/QRings as well as an anniversary surprise? Thinking about trying ART, but so far massage is doing the trick for me. Congrats by the way on Rev3 and the PR!