>> Wednesday, February 03, 2010
June 5th, 2008.
That was the day I first went to Dr. Folske for ART.
Here’s an excerpt from a post of mine on Friday, June 6th, 2008 as I described that first appointment:
...And then he dug into my hammy and heel. He would bend part of my body in one direction (let’s say my foot), then press his fingers along that muscle or tendon, and then force that body part in the other direction so the muscle moves across his dug-in fingers. Yummers.
It wasn’t too painful, except for a few moments. Those moments snuck up on me during our conversation: “...so when I was on the 17.5 mile RUN, MY HEEL STARTED flaring up around mile 10...” Yes, the loud talking indicates a sudden and unexpected jump in pain while the doc was doing his thang. But that really only happened twice.
I went on to write that he told me to go on a 4 miler just a day after working on me. Two days before, I was in pain 1 mile into my run. But my heel held up for the first 3.5 miles of that post-ART run, only to start to hurt a little as I was climbing the final hill towards home. Later, in that same post quoted above, I said this:
I’m pretty sure Dr. Folske is the second coming of Jesus Christ (in a completely non-blasphemous way)! He’s gotta be related to Jesus at least. Maybe he’s the second coming of Jesus’s long-lost chiropractor cousin.
Ha! I’d forgotten that I’d said that!
So what’s ART? Here’s what Dr. Folske’s website says about it:
Active Release Techniques (ART) is a patented soft tissue treatment that requires intensive training and dedication by the health care professional providing the treatment. Only a handful of practitioners in the world are certified in this procedure. For a list of providers trained in ART visit www.activerelease.com. ART is designed to locate and break down scar tissue and adhesions which cause pain, numbness, weakness, stiffness and biomechanical dysfunction associated with repetitive strain injuries (RSI).
Since June 2008, I’ve been to Dr. Folske probably about a dozen times. I saw him a lot in 2008 when I was really working through some heel issues. I only saw him a few times last year, and it’s probably been nearly 6 months since I’ve had to go in.
The thing that struck me when I first met with Dr. Folske was how fast he told me to get back out there. If you make an appointment with a “regular” medical doctor (or maybe even a PT), the first recommendation might be to take 2-4 weeks off. Dr. Folske told me to run the next day. That was surprising. He also DIDN’T say “You should make 2 appointments a week with me for the next 14 years.” Sometimes when I have an appointment, he’ll say “Go on your long run tomorrow. Let’s make an appointment for you for 3 days from now IN CASE you need it, but you can call and cancel - only come back if you think you need to.” And he also gave me special stretches and a few exercises to strengthen the weak areas that cause my problems.
ART: Grade of A. It really helps me, but I’m too cheap to always want to pay that co-pay. So the only thing keeping from being an "A+" is the price. (It’s still only $25 on our insurance, but that adds up.)
If you’re in the Twin Cities somewhere, check out Dr. Folske for all your ART needs. (I should mention that Dr. Folske is a triathlete and an Ironman himself, so he “gets it.” He knows you want to get back out there for a swim / bike / run.)
Have you had ART done to you? Was your experience as “raving” as mine? And don't forget to check back at 2 am and 2 pm every day this week for more “Does It Work” posts. Click on the “Does It Work” tag to see all posts in this mini-series.
(BTW, the next post at 2 am is going to be a very extensive review of a few different free websites where you can track your mileage, workouts, and races. Check back tomorrow morning for that!)