A Short History:
Over the years ART was primarily delivered through individual private practices and word spread from patient to patient and athlete to athlete. Then as repetitive stress conditions became more prevalent, ART became utilized for such care as well. As the workers' compensation arena is quite political and the number of ART providers is still relatively small, many cases never end up in the care of an ART provider and still many people (including medical professionals) are learning about the treatment.
Approximately seven years ago ART began delivering on-site care to corporations who had significant expenses in the area of MSD's, high recordable injury rates, or who simply wanted to prevent conditions from developing as their population ages. A pilot program took place at Sanmina- SCI in Fountain, CO. SCI's worker's compensation costs were approaching 1 million dollars and primarily were attributed to soft tissue injuries. At the time SCI had around 1100 employees. ART placed an experienced ART provider on-site at SCI for 6 hours per week (two 3-hours shifts on separate days). SCI permitted employees to periodically have their backs, elbows, shoulders, knees, hands or wrists attended to from a preventative maintenance standpoint (much like what maintenance technicians do for machinery). Individuals with minor aches or discomforts that had not become formal "injuries" were also permitted to see the ART provider. After one year SCI's soft tissue expenses reduced by approximately 80% and ART helped SCI maintain these savings for over 3 years. Sanmina-SCI's EH&S Manager, Mary Betsch, stated,
Although SCI has made efforts in other areas to reduce workers' compensation costs, our significant reduction in expenses is largely due to ART's program.
OSHA VPP auditors called this program a Best Management Practice after auditing Sanmina-SCI
ART is currently deploying this program at more than 175 corporate locations across North America including white collar to manufacturing facilities. Sessions are very brief (10 to 15 minutes).
ART care has been recognized as a form of massage, not a medical treatment, by OSHA's national office and therefore, it is utilized as a wellness and prevention program that does not generate an OSHA Recordable Injury when delivered for employees in this type of on site care program. OSHA VPP auditors called this program a Best Management Practice after auditing Sanmina-SCI. When working on-site at a corporation, ART is rendered to individuals with job tasks that may have a high propensity for developing MSD's. By preventing soft tissue injuries from developing, companies can surely reduce recordable injury rates significantly.
Prevention is a large part of the ART program. The goal is to keep employees' muscular and joint systems well. ART providers teach employees very specific stretches to be done throughout the day during moments of downtime. These stretches take seconds, not minutes, and no formal breaks are required. ART provides these stretches both in handout form and in videos to client corporations. Stretches are only taught from a preventative-wellness standpoint (Not in response to work-caused "injuries.").
ART Corporate Care Programs:
ART is utilized in several capacities by everyday individuals, athletes, employers, and sports teams:
Wellness-Preventative Level ART (WPL-ART):
Physical labor, an "Aging Workforce," activities outside of work, poor posture and many other factors can surely take a physical toll on the human body. The Wellness-Preventative Level ART program was designed to maintain the muscular and joint systems of an employee base. Most employers currently utilize Maintenance Technicians to prevent the breakdown or downtime of valuable machinery. Employees tend to be the most valuable asset of any corporation, yet traditionally the only care provided occurs once an employee becomes injured significantly enough to warrant medical intervention. With WPL-ART the focus is put on maintaining the muscular wellness of a workforce and preventing musculoskeletal (MSD's) from occurring.
This level of ART care is primarily utilized by ART Corporate Solutions' client companies, within corporate settings. ART providers work closely with onsite health and safety professionals to develop a strong understanding of various job descriptions. Ergonomic modifications and improvements are taken into consideration* and ART's programs are considered a complement to ergonomics, not a replacement. Past trends in injury experiences are analyzed. Employees are listened to. Note: Employee participation in such wellness programs is strictly voluntary. ART implements and offers employee well-check assessments for various relevant regions of the body (shoulder, back, elbows, wrists, hands, knees, feet). If tight or restricted areas are identified the employee may elect to receive specific movement based massage techniques to prevent tight muscles from becoming a worse condition. The Wellness-Preventative Level ART program is completely proactive rather than reactive.
First Aid level programs:
Movement-based-massage sessions may also be offered to employees for minor discomforts that have not yet escalated to the level of a recordable injury. If an employee senses a muscular discomfort, that is a pre-injury, or not of a significant level, and elects to receive massage they may be permitted to do so. Since our providers come to your facility, there is very little time away or loss of production. ART Corporate Solutions true goal is to prevent first aid cases from occurring therefore profoundly reducing the more severe cases as well.
ART is not Rolfing, Thai massage, Shiatsu, or Myofascial Release Deep Tissue Massage. When ART Corporate Solutions manages and delivers first aid level soft tissue services the therapy rendered is simply a movement-based-massage.
Performance Care Level ART (For Athletes):
Performance Care Level ART involves a system of analysis of the body in motion in conjunction with manual therapy designed to improve athletic performance. An ART provider, who is trained in biomechanics, can provide athletes with a system to enhance their sports performance by identifying and releasing restrictions that reduce their performance during their activity.
The first step is involves the ART provider watching the athlete perform the athletic event. When observing an activity several factors are looked for. Asymmetrical movements, shortened ranges of motion, and excessive effort are among the most common problems. This step is the most important and technically difficult. Many of the problems require a very well trained eye and years of experience to identify. The observer needs a strong understanding of biomechanics and knowledge of common dysfunctions associated with the sport being observed.
The ART provider next combines his finding from the biomechanical analysis with a hands-on palpation process. The provider uses their developed tactile ability with knowledge of over 500 specific protocols to address any restrictions to soft tissue structures. This is achieved via precise hand placements on or in between the muscle(s) while the athlete provides slow movements to free any adhered structures and restore proper function of the effected soft tissues.
Clinical Level ART (For Injuries):
Clinical Level ART is comprised of a soft tissue management system, which is so different that it has been granted a US process patent. A.R.T. providers use this hands-on therapy for a wide variety of conditions involving soft tissue such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia (the fibrous tissues that hold muscles together) and trapped nerves. ART treatments have been very effective with many post surgical cases as well as repetitive strain, industrial and sports injury cases.
The goal of A.R.T. clinical level care, is to relieve pain and dysfunction. The basic premise is that scar tissue builds up at the injury site, trapping nerves or preventing tendons, ligaments and muscles from working properly. It is as if your muscles are adhered together when they should be moving smoothly across one another. The practitioner finds the scar tissue and frees up the adhesions by putting manual tension on it while moving the muscle through a full range of motion, to "release" the problem area.
Although ART is often an effective stand-alone therapy, for various conditions, many providers may utilize ART in conjunction with other modalities or techniques. Such decisions are solely made by the health care provider and may very from office to office and within different disciplines or license types.
ART's providers keep employee session notes in a secure electronic treatment note system. With this system, ART captures all pertinent details on every session rendered. With such data client companies can continue to improve in all areas of health, welness and ergonomics.
ART provides on-site employee orientations for employees so they will understand and utilize the program immediately. Through education employees become more aware and tend to be more inclined to take part in the promotion of their muscular wellness.