There is a wonderful line from the poet Anias Nin that reads “And the day came when the risk to stay tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” This has often been my own experience with human growth and through witnessing the lives of other people.
Certified as a fitness trainer in the mid 90s I chose life, and I used exercise and heavy weights to train myself to withstand any challenges. Not only was my body powerful and resilient, but my heart was, too. To overcome all strong circumstances in my life, emotionally I was like flint and capable of anything; I was strong and good. I soon discovered yoga and this rounded and softened me to a place of joy and peaceful flexibility, changing my being in palpable ways. The truth was ,I didn’t practice yoga, I was yoga. Moving like water through all circumstances. Sometimes moving in ways spontaneously, and I was astounded at the patterns and poses I could take and hold.
Then it seems that the opposite of Anias’ sentiments took place in my life and I closed. My life drastically changed and needed to be used for other things. The yoga faded… and it was quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to me.Though I dedicated my life to helping others, I didn’t save time for my own personal maintenance, My body stiffened and I began to need relief..
I tried sporadically to do yoga and yet I noticed how different it felt–so tight inside my body, but it didn’t feel like stiff muscles. But there was something more happening, like wearing a body glove that doesn’t fit. In my research, discovered it was my fascia, that amazing gossamer web cinching down on me Yoga was designed to stretched the fascia, and I had ceased my yoga. My fundamental training as a personal trainer taught me that we had over 600 muscles in the body with their own origins and insertions, separately. But my journey with Thomas Myers into the Anatomy Trains taught me something else, something quite amazing, really, in that the body is rather one muscle with 600 fascial compartments. We used to think, “There’s the calcaneus and the achilles oh and then the gastroc,” but now we think in a more enlightened and evolved way that the calcaneus becomes the achilles, which becomes the gastroc, which becomes…
I practiced PNF and lock and stretch on my clients with very good results, but….. my hands ached. One day a friend sent me a video on Youtube with Bob Cooley. So I researched them and I ended up in LA for a workshop. Amazed, I practiced this form of resistance stretching on clients until I was physically exhausted. Determined to soldier on one day I heard about Station Co-lab in Carlsbad CA, and that there were some people there doing this really interesting form of stretching. I knew immediately in my heart that they were connected somehow to Bob Cooley. I ventured to the Station and that day ran into Nic Bartolotta. He confirmed his connection to Bob Cooley but shared with me that he and his colleague had taken the idea and expanded it, making it more effective and easier on the practitioner. I was all in and determined to learn.
I saw Nic again one night and had an extensive conversation with him, and I pursued the journey to become certified in Dynamic Contraction Technique. A special program was designed for us called DCT Performance specifically for us as personal trainers.
I realized in my practice that often it is true that muscle tightness is usually due to involuntary protective mechanisms by the body to protect an injury, prevent one, or compensate for a weakness; It would stand to reason, then, that mechanical problems are integrated. Therefore, I create programs now with DCT., corrective exercises, and strength training, Often for the first week to two weeks with new clients I will use DCT by itself to balance tension across the joints,and bring mindbody awareness.Then I begin to integrate corrective exercise and strength training into their program .All existing clients have DCT integrated into their current regimen, and it is absolutely used for strength and flex-ability with everyone to bring them into higher levels of performance in sport and daily life, adding positive personal regard through the mindbody awareness it develops.
All phases of DCT strengthen, lengthen, and expand the total human. And not just in a myofascial way, and here is why: Because we cannot really even contract our bicep without globally affecting the myofascialskeletalpsychoemotional being. Therefore, DCT graduates the total human. This is the new evolution of thinking. And still, in that search for the seamless flow and contrasting movements I once found through yoga, I was led once again to even greater places.