When I initially started to work with clients, they would come in with all of these beliefs about muscle tension and stretching. Through this dialogue process, I would show and prove to them what stretching is supposed to feel like and what’s possible in the body. After explaining all of that to them, they could never go back again to their original thoughts about stretching.
Dynamic Contraction Technique™ (DCT™) is a form of physical therapy that uses Eccentric muscle contractions to breakdown scar tissue, which in turn restores muscle function. The implementation of DCT is a unique blend of resistance stretching and strength training that incorporates principles from western biomechanics and eastern holistic modalities to give users a powerful yet efficient therapeutic workout experience. Developed over the last 17 years by Nic Bartolotta, a licensed Physical Therapist/Holistic Healthcare Practitioner, the DCT™ system includes over 450 exercises that can be done with a skilled DCT™ Practitioner, or alone using the DCT™ Personal Exercises.
“DCT is Simple in Principle, Practical in Use, and Profound in Results.”
Why Dynamic Contraction Technique?
Dynamic Contraction Technique™ is founded in Science. Every DCT™ exercise works to release both muscle tension and fascial tension in the body. In order to understand how DCT™ does this we first need to understand how tension forms in the first place. In this video you can see tension being created in a muscle and watch how Dynamic Contraction Technique™ works to remove it. DCT™ has been clinically tested and proven to be effective in improving flexibility in the body. (to see DCT Research Study click here)
History of DCT
Nic Bartolotta founded DCT in January of 2012, and was formed in order to facilitate teaching and certifications of the method called Dynamic Contraction Technique™ (DCT). The story behind DCT began way back in July of 2001. DCT creator Nic Bartolotta was a college athlete facing a career ending knee injury. Confronted with the not so uncommon ultimatum, “deal with the pain or pick a different sport,” Nic decided to find an alternative solution. That summer he was introduced to the amazing and relatively unknown world of resistance stretching. He was 19 years old and had his first moment of clarity where everything in his life came into focus and the path to success resolved from the blur into undeniable high definition. Driven by the self-serving vision of becoming a world-class athlete (springboard diving), Nic poured himself into the genre of resistance stretching. With the support of his family, several key mentors, and his friends Nic was given the unbelievable opportunity to give all of himself over to his sport and personal development.
In 2004, Nic ended his athletic career ranking in the top 50 in the nation having completely resolved his knee injury. Between 2004 and 2011 Nic devoted himself to studying the human body, at first acquiring a 1000 hour Holistic Health License from IPSB in San Diego, and then a Master of Physical Therapy degree from CSU in Long Beach. Out of this passion for knowledge grew a model for a preventative healthcare system which would later become the Dynamic Contraction Technique™. Along the way, Nic met some amazing individuals who shared his in his vision and now make up the DCT™ Instructor Staff helping to operate and grow Harmonix Health LLC. Each team member has their own story of personal growth which has added to the depth and integrity that makes Dynamic Contraction Technique what it is today. To learn more about out DCT™ Instructors click here.
With the warmest regards, we invite you to explore our website, and we hope that our stories and the information on our site help you with your own journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.
DCT™ & Resistance Stretching
Resistance stretching has been around since the early 1900s. The first standardized method of resistance stretching was called Proprioceptive Nueromuscular Facilitation (PNF) and was originally used to rehab post polio patients and was later adapted for stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. In the 1970s these PNF techniques were adopted by orthopedic therapists to treat musculoskeletal dysfunctions and to work with the more “healthy” population. Since the 70s there have been relatively few advances in the basic approach to resistance stretching. Dynamic Contraction Technique™ represents the first major shift in the genre of resistance stretching since its implementation into the wellness and fitness fields.
Benefits of DCT
Improve Joint Function:
Muscle and Fascial Tension can cause mal-alignment of your bones which then creates inefficient movement or even restricted movement of your joints. DCT™ works to release tension in the muscles/fascia of specific joints which works to re-establish proper joint mechanics and function.
Reduce Joint Pain:
The same tension that causes poor joint function serves to increase pressure in the joints. You can imagine when two gears are not lined up properly the teeth of the gears do not meet appropriately and will grind and wear out. The same is true in the body when two bones are held out of position. The resulting wear and tear in the joints causes inflammation and pain. Using DCT™ exercises to reduce pressure in joints and realign the bones directly impacts joint health and helps eliminate joint pain.
Maximize Muscle Recruitment:
As tension builds locally in muscle fibers the ability to activate and recruit muscle tissue for exercise or activities becomes greatly reduced. The working parts of each muscle fiber (Sarcomeres) must be able to move freely in order to generate strength for a desired action. When tension forms in and around muscle tissue the sarcomeres lock and bind creating a “knot” and eliminating the ability to recruit those parts of the fiber for the action. Using DCT™, one can isolate the restricted/bound sarcomeres in a muscle and release them immediately increasing the potential for muscle recruitment and thus the overall strength of the muscle.
Correct Postural Dysfunctions:
At a more global level Muscle and Fascial tension creates mild to severe postural dysfunctions. Hunched shoulders, duck feet (turned out), flat feet, high arches, or knock knees are all examples of postural problems that can be caused by either overly tight or overly weak/loose muscles. DCT™ can be used to determine where these limitations are in the body, and once identified they can be addressed and the postural problems can be mitigated or resolved.
There are myriad factors that effect a person’s experience of Stress. With regard to the body, pain or dis-ease are the two greatest contributors. These two factors will affect your mental state by limiting your ability to focus or feel content with your life and circumstances. There are many studies that have shown high stress to negatively impact quality of life. DCT™ directly reduces stress by eliminating pain and allowing increase function and activity.
Increase Body Awareness/Control:
The human body is a machine that relies on sensory receptors in both the joints and muscles to allow for dynamic movement and unique and complex activities. The most important of these receptors are the proprioceptors. Proprioception is the ability to identify where your body is in space without looking at it. (ie. Close your eyes and bend your arm and you can tell that it is bent without seeing it.) Without this proprioceptive ability you would likely fall down every time you tried to walk, let alone perform any more complex activity. Muscle/Facial tension limits proprioception via limiting overall movement or via restricting blood flow to the joints and tissues bearing these receptors. DCT™ can be used to immediately increase body awareness and control by restoring function to the body and increasing circulation to the joints and by extension the sensory receptors in the affected areas.
Neuromuscular Re-Education is a term used to describe therapeutic modalities that are used to establish or correct movement patterns performed by muscles of the body. DCT™ is incredibly effective at re-establishing neuromuscular control of muscles. The movements used in a DCT™ session are designed to isolate individual muscle recruitment and then progress to more compound movements as the participant demonstrates the ability to appropriately sense each muscle during it’s pure and isolated action(s). Removing tension and increasing proprioception and muscle recruitment serve to enhance the neuromuscular re-education achieved by a DCT™ exercise.
What makes DCT Unique?
There is a critical and profound difference between DCT and other forms of resistance stretching. The difference has to do with communication and education. DCT is a collaborative process where an understanding of what the treatment is supposed to feel like is needed in order to facilitate the treatment. Every DCT treatment is driven by the sensation experienced by the participant. Sensation dictates the treatment protocol, which means that every session is customized and unique to the client’s specific pattern of tension. Dynamic Contraction Technique is itself a diagnostic tool that allows a skilled practitioner to learn where areas of restriction are located and to work in unison with the client to resolve postural and muscular dysfunction within the body.