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!
Learn from the Best in Health!
Whether you are looking for private sessions from one of our DCT Practitioners or pursuing your own DCT™ certification, you will find that we have cultivated the best therapists and trainers in the industry. The practitioners and instructors that you will meet when you show up to train are living examples of what is possible with this incredible method of therapy. Getting certified in DCT™ requires commitment and integrity, which you can see in this interview with DCT™ Lead Instructor Jim Rooney!
- Barefoot Shiatsu
- M11 Fitness
- LibaFit Corrective Stabilization Program
- EZIA Sport Specific Exercise Programs
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.
M11 Fitness is a therapeutic modality that focuses on isolating the facial system through the contraction of specific muscle groups while anchoring the skeletal system during movement. Where DCT™ creates a force of “stretch” that is in direct opposition to the concentric contraction of muscles, M11 provides a “stretch” force in the 3 other dimensions of planar movement. When scar tissue forms in the body it does not adhere in one direction, it clings and reaches in every direction possible. A practitioner who is trained in M11 has a perspective on fascial tension that allows them to address significant restrictions and provide a profound therapeutic effect in the body. DCT™ and M11 are extremely complimentary and can be performed with incredible synchronicity! Learn more about M11 Fitness at m11fitness.com
LibaFit is a corrective body alignment program that emphasizes the use of unique strengthening and stabilization exercises to correct posture and improve functional movement. The LibaFit system incorporates a body analysis program where photographs of a person’s posture are compared to post treatment photographs and then used to define true areas of postural dysfunction. Once identified the LibaFit practitioner can prescribe a “menu” of exercises that can be used to address the postural dysfunction that has been identified. Many of Harmonix Health DCT™ clients can present with instability issues where either traumatic injury or prolonged weakness has been evident which allows muscles/connective tissue to deteriorate to degree that the structure are no longer supported properly for their function. In these situations DCT™ is not the ideal modality of choice to give relief to the client. A stabilization technique such as LibaFit will have profound and lasting results with this client demographic. DCT™ Practitioners are trained to identify these areas where DCT™ is not indicated and to refer out immediately where appropriate. Learn more at libafit.com
DCT™ has its roots in a method of resistance stretching that was developed to directly affect the meridian lines of the body. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that uses needles to adjust the flow of “Qi” or energy that courses through the body. Modern science has been able to identify these lines and actually document the existence of meridians in the body. Because these lines run in the connective tissue (Fascia) and muscle tissue of the body DCT™ exercises are able to stimulate and release blockages to the flow of Qi along these meridian lines. Acupuncture is an amazing adjunct to a DCT™ program and offers significant benefits to muscle recovery and or sensory problems (pain or numbness) that may be inhibiting a person’s ability to perform their DCT™ exercises at their full potential. To learn more about the benefits of acupuncture visit omniqi.com
In the modern world of Fitness and Wellness Pilates has taken on a multitude of new and amazing styles and expressions. Originally conceived by Joseph Pilates and used to increase body awareness and performance with Ballet dancers Pilates is now a remarkable modality that is used equally by fitness professionals and health professionals around the world. Any form of Pilates is a good addition to a DCT™ program, however, the Freestyle Method taught by Milla Nova in Los Angeles California has a particular expression that helps inform the body mechanics and underlying technique used in DCT exercises. In the Freestyle Method Milla teaches students to expand as they compress and to stabilize themselves from the inside outwards. DCT™ orients from an external leverage point and stabilizes from the outside inward. When a DCT™ client or student learns the principals of the Freestyle Method a deeper understanding of maintaining true body integrity during movement is achieved. To learn more about the Freestyle Method contact Milla Nova at www.novapilates.com
EZIA is a comprehensive fitness and athletic training program created with the intention of maximizing human performance on every level. The EZIA program breaks down training into 3 basic categories: Power, Strength, and Endurance. EZIA workouts are customized within these categories based on the precise functional demands of the activities you desire to excel at. Where DCT™ focuses on isolating individual muscle groups or facial lines to resolve dysfunction EZIA emphasizes compound functional movements to strengthen your body’s ability to maximize performance through coordinated muscle/fascial activation or stabilization. The combination of DCT™ and an EZIA training program allows for a full integration of muscle recruitment with muscle action. EZIA is the intelligent way to utilize the benefits reaped from DCT™ sessions. To learn more about the EZIA exercise system visit eziahp.com
History of Resistance Stretching & DCT
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.