A Runner's High
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A Runner's High

I believe in active release technique, which is method used by therapists to delicately manipulate tissues to heal muscles without medicine. It did more for me than save my knee, it saved my life. A.R.T. was introduced to me when I was injured in the midst of my cross-country season. There was a fluid in my knee that would swish from side to side as I attempted to walk. Due to this injury, scar tissue developed in my knee. Before my injury, I developed a habit of running eight to ten miles everyday. This injury caused sharp pains that continually shot up and down the left side of my leg as I ran. Eventually the pain took over my body and mind, so I had to give up running. One of the hardest things was that I could not be around my cross-country team, which provided a sense of community that cared for me more than I cared for myself.

In my junior year of high school I began to drink an average of six drinks every night due to depression. I used the alcohol to suppress the events that were unfolding in my life. My body was no longer filled with the relaxation from running, but with Keystone Light. The carbonated alcohol would rush down my throat until I felt in a state of euphoria. I was using alcohol as a coping mechanism, and although it was damaging, it filled the void that running had left behind. I searched for a remedy besides the drinking, and discovered active release technique.

As I progressed through A.R.T, I could see my recovery on the horizon. The therapist removed the scar tissue with a smooth finesse along my quadriceps and hamstrings. With every deep tissue stroke, she broke down the scar tissue forcing me to rebuild muscle, which caused my body to become dehydrated. Bright red blood would rush into my muscles, causing them to be hot to the touch. At times I thought my muscles would snap because of the pressure she applied to my adductor, the inner muscles of the thigh. The pain of the treatment was worse than the injury itself, but I pushed through and became my old self again.

I believe that A.R.T. is a way of life and has relieved my physical and mental scar tissues. As a result of having my mind and body torn down and “flushed out,” I gradually began to get better; I was receiving all the benefits that A.R.T. had to offer. When I went for my first run after five treatments, I knew that I would no longer need the alcohol. The treatment of A.R.T. has changed how I treat myself as a whole. Although I thought the scars would take over my life, I developed a passion for A.R.T., which helps keep my life balanced.

Justin J