The 3 Components of DCT
Dynamic Contraction Technique™ uses three different muscle contractions in order to recruit, retain, and release muscle and fascial tension in the body.
1.) Strength Phase = Concentric Contraction = Recruit
2.) Transition Phase = Isometric Contraction = Retain
3.) Stretch Phase = Eccentric Contraction = Release
Strength Phase = Concentric Contraction = Recruit
To Recruit muscle/fascial tissue for the Strength phase of a DCT™ exercise a concentric muscle contraction is used. A concentric contraction is a contraction in which a muscle moves from a lengthened position to a shortened position under resistance.
Transistion Phase = Isometric Contraction = Retain
To Retain activation of muscle/fascial tissue for the Transition phase of a DCT™ exercise an isometric muscle contraction is used. An isometric contraction is a contraction in which a muscle is resisting but there is no movement involved. Holding an isometric contraction both increases the muscle recruitment and ensures that the activated tissue remains engaged during the stretch phase of a DCT™ exercise.
Stretch Phase = Eccentric Contraction = Release
To Release muscle/fascial tissue in the Stretch phase of a DCT™ exercise an eccentric muscle contraction is used. An eccentric muscle contraction is a contraction in which a muscle moves from a shortened position to a lengthened position under resistance. This is the exact opposite of the concentric muscle contraction.
Why is DCT Unique?
What separates DCT™ from other forms of resistance stretching like PNF? Simply put, it is only the practical application of the technique that sets it apart. On paper one could argue that DCT™ uses the same sequence of contractions as the Combining Isotonics variation of PNF. However, when applied there is a critical and profound difference between DCT™ and PNF. 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.
What to expect from a DCT Session
With every DCT™ session you can expect to walk away feeling different in your body. A typical DCT™ session blends soft tissue work (massage) with active stretching of isolated muscles to make a direct physiological effect on the tissue and fluid circulation in a specific area of the body. In your DCT™ session you will focus, analyze, and express yourself physically like never before. You will feel muscles you never knew you had and be asked to move in ways that you never knew you could before. A DCT™ session is an expression of what is possible in feeling and expression. You can expect to transform your understanding and evolve your perception of health and wellness in the first hour of treatment.
DCT™ Practitioners are taught a form of Barefoot Shiatsu that is nicknamed “Mashing.” Barefoot Shiatsu is a massage technique that utilizes a practitioner’s body weight and feet to apply pressure into a target muscle group or fascial line. The intention of the practitioner is not to remove muscle or facial tension, but instead to pump blood through the affected area. Blood carries both oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the body, and when tension is present the floow of blood is restricted causing cells to suffocate and starve. This is the leading cause of degeneration in the body. Barefoot Shiatsu is an incredibly effective modality that can be used to improve health and function in the human body.
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.[/tab][tab]
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.
Click here to see some of the conditions that can be treated with DCT™.