Dr. Wensley's Vancouver A.R.T. Seminar

ART logo for Dr. Wensley seminar newsletter

The Active Release Seminar (aka ART ) I attended on the 16-17th of January in Vancouver, B.C. was by far the most educational and challenging seminar I have ever attended. There were 30 practitioners in a conference room with 6 instructors. The seminar focussed on the lower extremities, including the feet, legs and pelvis.
Most seminars are passive, in that you sit, and listen to the instructor give the lesson..Not so with ART! Each instructor was assigned 5 students/ practitioners and each protocol, 96 in total, was reviewed. We then had to perform the protocol on the instructor. Our ability to find the muscle to be treated , the pressure we used on the muscle, and our knowledge of the technique was evaluated. Being evaluated helped to increase awareness resulting a greater appreciation of what I am trying to achieve . I came away feeling rejuvenated, and excited about what I can achieve with this technique.
One of the more important muscles that we reviewed was the Iliopsoas muscle. This large muscle starts near our rib cage, travels down our spine, and into the hip. It is a hip flexor, which means that its function is move our leg forward when we are waking or running. In most of us this muscle is chronically shortened because of our day to day posture, especially if we sit at a desk all day, as the muscle is shortened when we sit and lengthened when we stand. On weekends we might go for a long walk, hike or run; the activation of a chronically tightened muscle can lead to hip pain, groin pain, or low back pain. The protocol to treat the iliopsoas has been modified. This is exciting breakthrough in the effectiveness of the treatment.
Another muscle that is closely aligned with tight hip flexors is a weak gluteus medius. So many patients come in with a “weak gluteus medius” . Its important to check the hip flexors, release them then treat the glut medius. This gives better results.
An exciting modification of ART protocols is the way we treat Plantar Fasciitis. If the bones of the feet are restricted, then the plantar facia (a thickened structure on the bottom of the foot) becomes over-loaded. This in turn will cause plantar fasciitis. Treating the plantar facia, along with the muscles is effective, but once the bones of the feet are aligned the process is more effective.
I enjoy going to these type of seminars - it brings new energy and knowledge to my practice. I look forward to the next seminar, and in the meantime I look forward to sharing what I have learned with my patients.