Active release technique, also known as ART, is a combination of movement and massage to treat pain in ligaments, nerves, tendons, muscles, and other connective tissue in the body, according to practitioners. Some people admit it can be painful.
“This is quite different from a massage,” says Jessica Tranchina, an Austin, Texas–based ART-certified therapist. “It’s not relaxing, in fact it hurts.” She is usually works on specific muscles rather than the whole body.
P. Michael Leahy obtained a patent for ART in 1990. Dr. Leahy is the team soft–tissue specialist for the Denver Broncos, and the head of the ART treatment team for the North American Ironman Triathlons. Dr. Leahy and his staff in Colorado Springs, Colo., train and certify ART therapists.
Though professional athletes use the technique, people who sit at a desk and suffer from neck, back and shoulder pain can benefit, says Ms. Tranchina.
The idea behind ART is to identify scar tissue on and in between a patient’s muscles. Scar tissue can make muscles shorter and weaker and nerves can become compressed. ART therapists break up the scar tissue by applying pressure with their hands to lengthen the tissue.
Robert Gazso, an ART physiotherapist at Studiomix, a fitness studio in San Francisco, says other types of massage don’t allow for the proper tension on the muscles to break up scar tissue: “We are prying a muscle off of a muscle or a nerve off of a muscle by breaking up the scar tissue with our fingers,” he says.
A. Lynn Millar, a physical–therapy professor at Winston–Salem State University says ART is like deep tissue massage and myofascial release, which treat chronic pain.
“It’s the same principle of breaking up scar tissue so that the muscles move more freely,” she says.
Jessica Tranchina has a doctorate in physical therapy and has been a PT for 13 years.
She says she loves her job because she is simultaneously helping and instilling happiness in her clients.
Tranchina does everything witha a smile. She's the kind of person you want to be your personal trainer.
What is your favorite exercise? Trail running. I love that you're out in the woods; that you don't know where the next turn is or where you're going. You have to be agile and have speed. It adds that little aspect of technicality and difficulty.
Least favorite exercise? Well, I love challenges. If someone says, "We’re going to do this today," I actually get more excited because it’s not in my routine. I hate boring, monotonous routines. I can't say I dislike an exercise because I love to exercise.
How do you stay motivated? It’s maybe cliché, but exercise makes me feel good. It’s invigorating. It’s energizing. It’s like my happy pill. I'm down if I don’t exercise. I need it to stay motivated to do other things in life.
How was exercising pregnant versus exercising not pregnant? What was more challenging? I knew immediately when I was pregnant because I was short of breath. I knew I shouldn’t be running as fast — that I should be taking it down a notch. My husband saved my message on his phone: "I think we’re growing a baby." At that point I was only two weeks pregnant.
After Domenico was born, I had to get my pelvic musculature back. I immediately got my breath back. It’s amazing how the body will take what it needs to grow this life. Four days after I gave birth I was back running again. I also started P–90x a week after I delivered. It is a butt kicker, especially after you’ve had a baby. I always tell people, "Listen to your body, that’s key." People were telling me, "Jessica, you’re crazy. You just had a baby, everything’s loose." In early December I started serious triathlon training. When he was 5 months old, I did a half Iron Man in 5:04.
It’s interesting because I didn’t have any athletic friends that were recent parents. Now, like five of my athlete friends are pregnant. I just had to feel it out. I guess I paved the way for my friends.
What’s one of your most memorable fitness achievements? I won my age group in an XTERRA Trail Run Series 10K while 5 months pregnant.
Name someone who has had a major impact on your life and why. My parents, who instilled in me the importance of having a strong work ethic and to stay motivated and driven in any challenge I tackle.
Jessica Tranchina loves what she does, and it is evident when you meet her. Get her talking about her passion for fixing people and you can tell she loves her career. She knew as a teenager that she wanted to be a physical therapist and promptly entered physical therapy school after graduating high school. She has now been practicing physical therapy for 12 years. Tranchina has worked in several states and developed a loyal client base across the country.
Treating a variety of injuries, from a chronic cumulative injured Microsoft employee in Washington to a sub-10 hour Kona Ironman Finisher in Hawaii, she loves to treat the weekend and weekday warriors.
Tranchina also has been a competitive runner and triathlete for more than 12 years, receiving her fair share of injuries. She uses her personal experiences, knowledge of physical therapy and biomechanics, full-body certification in Active Release Techniques (ART) and cutting-edge treatment techniques to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
In her career, Tranchina has treated tennis players, high school and college football players, professional surfers, runners, triathletes, swimmers, cyclists and competitive paddlers. She also loves to treat the everyday active person.
Tranchina is a new mother, and after havinga 27-hour natural childbirth, she has a whole new perspective on treating female athletes, addressing their prenatal fitness and getting them back to competititon.
Come see Dr. Jessica Tranchina DPT, NASM-CPT, ART, CKTP for Physical Therapy, ART, Kinesio Taping or for a consultation. She also offers personal training for individuals or groups.
Please cheer Tranchina on as she has qualified for a free entry to the Toyota Cup National Championship competition coming up in Octover from her performance at the Capital of Texas Triathlon here in Austin. Go Jessica!
Jessica loves what she does and it’s evident when you meet her. Get her talking about her passion for fixing people and you can tell she loves her career. She knew as a teenager that she wanted to be a physical therapist and promptly entered physical therapy school after high school. She’s now been practicing physical therapy for 11 years. Jessica has worked in several states and developed a loyal client base across the country.
Treating a variety of injuries – from the chronic cumulative injured Microsoft employee in Washington to the sub-10 hour Kona Ironman Finisher in Hawaii – she loves to treat the weekend warriors as well as the weekday warriors.
Jessica also has been a competitive runner and triathlete for more than 10 years, receiving her fair share of injuries. She uses her knowledge of physical therapy, biomechanics, ful-body certification in Active Release Technique (ART) and cutting-edge treatment techniques to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
In her career, Jessica has treated tennis players, high school and college football players, professional surfers, runners, triathletes, swimmers ,cyclists and competitive paddlers. But she loves to threat the everyday active person, too.
In April of 2010, Jessica and her husband left Honolulu to come back to Austin, They are expecting their first child this fall.
Not one to rest and take it easy, Jessica has quickly created PRIMO Performance and Rehabilitation, with the goal of providing the best physical therapy, performance training, prenatal fitness and nutrition consulting in the city.
Come see Dr. Jessica Tranchina, DPT, NASM-CPT, ART, CKTP for physical therapy, ART, Kinesio taping or for a consultation. And don’t forget to check out her Web site for upcoming fitness and nutrition classes!
Unlike our Male 2006 Oklahoma Runner of the Year, our female winner did not start running at age 9. Jessica Tranchina did not start running and competing until age 22, but she does share one thing in common with Kevin Schwab – they both win and win often. Jessica was easily our top female vote getter, outdistancing our other nominees Sheryl Weatherford of Jenks, Sara Vaughn of Tulsa, Tiffany Cone of Edmond, and Tracy Evans of Woodward.
In 2006 Jessica was dominant, winning all of the key fall races in the state including the inaugural Route 66 Marathon. She also showed great range of ability, winning 5k’s, triathlons, duathlons, and marathons. Her wins at the Tulsa Run and Route 66 are even more impressive considering she suffered a major viral infection and was hospitalized only ten days before the Tulsa Run. Jessica is a competitor, and possesses a smile and exuberance that shines the spotlight not on herself but on those around her.
She began running and racing at age 22 while living in Biloxi, MS. Interestingly Jessica did not train back in those days, she just raced. A friend took her to a local 5 km run, and Jessica started out with a bang, finishing first in a time around 23 minutes with no training. In those days Jessica would stay in shape by working out at the gym and teaching spin classes, then race on Saturdays and generally win. Jessica relates she loved the “adrenaline and excitement of racing and the experience of competing in such a tight knit community”. Jessica raced all over the south during that period of her life, and attempted her first tri at age 24. Although she still competes frequently in triathlons, and has finished two ironman distance events, her true love is running and she tolerates the swim and the bike waiting for her chance to dominate on the run.
Jessica was born in Queens, New York, but found herself in Alabama with her family when she was still quite young. She lived in the south until moving to Texas a few years ago then to Tulsa in late 2005. She immediately met several runners in town, and joined the New Balance Tulsa racing team. Her first notable performance was the 2005 Tulsa Run, where she finished 3rd behind 2005 OK Runner of the Year Fride Vullum. Since that time Jessica has raced frequently, and was unbeaten in road races in Oklahoma in 2006. The only running events she did not win in 2006 were the Boston Marathon, and the First Light Marathon in Mobile, AL, where she finished second.
Jessica is by training a physical therapist and this profession must giver her insight into how to keep herself healthy and injury free. She has amazing range, competing at all distances and disciplines, and perhaps this is the secret to her success. She appears to be a workout fanatic, and still cross-trains, swims, bikes, and teaches spin classes each week in addition to running 40 to 50 miles per week. Her key workout: a weekly tempo run, typically 2 x 20 minutes at 6:45/mile pace or 1 x 40 minutes at 7:00/mile pace.
What seems to drive Jessica is her love of competition. She loves to race; it is as simple as that. She is also one of the nicest and most encouraging runners I have ever come across and always has a smile and a kind work for her front of the pack competitors as well as the middle and the back of the pack runner. What does she love about Oklahoma? The friendly running community and high quality of races staged here. Her most memorable performance? Winning the inaugural Route 66 Marathon, feeling great while doing so and setting a personal best time. This was especially significant for Jessica given her bout with the viral infection only two weeks before the marathon.
Jessica is engaged to Delfin Ward of Tulsa and the two will wed next summer in Lake Tahoe, CA. She indicates that Delfin, who also runs and races, is her biggest supporter and inspiration in her running and racing. Oklahoma Runner is proud to have Jessica Tranchina as our 2006 Female Runner of the Year.