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Chiropractic > Chiropractic Techniques > Directional Non-Force Technique

From: The American Chiropractor/July 1989

Directional Non-Force Technique, or D.N.F.T. as it is abbreviated, is the original non force technique of chiropractic developed by Dr. Richard Van Rumpt. At the heart of the technique is a method of challenging and leg measuring to detect the presence and location of subluxation, and a thumb thrust for correction. Structures included in analysis and correction are vertebrae, ribs, muscles, discs, cranials, soft tissues, extremities, and some ligaments.

The appeal of D.N.F.T. to today's chiropractor lies in the power, efficiency, and holding qualities of the adjustment. Over the years, experienced D.N.F.T. practitioners have earned the reputation of being able to correct difficult and complex chiropractic cases in a very few number of visits. This potential to quickly and permanently correct subluxations must rank as a high priority in view of today's climate of competition within and outside of our profession and the growing trend of the insurance industry to limit the number of patient visits.

The roots of D.N.F.T. research and development go back to 1923 when Dr. Van Rumpt discovered that a very specific light force thrust was successful in accomplishing an osseous correction. A different method of analysis, the next phase of investigation, took some years to complete. Challenging structures with a gentle directional pressure in their different directions of possible misalignment was employed in conjunction with a leg check. The intention was to find a way to allow the body itself to be the indicator of subluxation. He finally arrived at a method of eliciting a leg reflex which proved to be qualitatively different from both static leg measuring and other distortional phenomena. This leg reflex has in time become known as the Van Rumpt leg check, the reactive leg reflex, or D.N.F.T. leg measuring. The mechanics of performance of this leg check are exacting and result in a highly reliable diagnostic indicator of subluxation.

Dr. Van Rumpt taught D.N.F.T. around the country beginning in the late 1930s. During his more than forty-five years of conducting seminars, he single-handedly taught over 6,000 D.C.s and chiropractic students. In 1986 he trained Dr. Chris John and Dr. Phil Convertino to teach D.N.F.T. and to continue his lifelong clinical research. For the past two years Dr. John has been conducting D.N.F.T. seminars throughout the country. Dr. John and Dr. Convertino collaborate on D.N.F.T. research and together teach an annual advanced seminar. [Note from Dr John - Dr. Convertino is no longer associated in any way with D.N.F.T. Seminars - this article is old and now dated]

There are certain features of D.N.F.T. which should be mentioned for the benefit of interested doctors and students. They are:

  • A direct analysis of disc subluxation and a direct correction for a bulging or even herniated disc.
  • The ability to distinguish between nerve interference being produced by muscles, vertebrae, discs or any combination thereof.
  • A knee correction which includes all osseous structures, ligaments, meniscus, and related muscles.
  • A comprehensive TMJ/cranial correction.
  • A comprehensive and effective shoulder correction.

From the viewpoint of D.N.F.T. philosophy and practice, fixations in the spine are protective functions of the body to guard against further irritation or nerve insult from a subluxation. We find that specific correction of all components of a subluxation allows the body to remove all or the appropriate amount of that fixation. Distortions are viewed in the same manner, i.e. by correcting the subluxations analyzed through the testing procedure, distortions (including scoliosis) are automatically reduced or eliminated by the body itself.

D.N.F.T. views x-rays as being valuable in diagnosis of pathology, anomalies, and any possible contraindications to adjusting. We do not, however, feel that analysis of x-rays yields information as to which structures are actively producing nerve interference. We rely, therefore, upon the testing procedure of challenge and leg check to allow the body to indicate the presence of subluxation and the directions of misalignment of the involved structures.

D.N.F.T. has been considered radical because of its unorthodox approach and from the general misunderstandings about it which have existed for many years. We are bold, however, to state that on the basis of much clinical experience, any one subluxation anywhere on the body can be corrected in one visit without the need to repeat it. Lengthy series of treatments are rare with D.N.F.T., and the average number of visits to correct acute or chronic symptoms existing in one area of the body are one to four. Even correction of multiple problems in more than one area of the body seldom requires more than five to ten visits. While periodic maintenance is certainly beneficial, we do not consider chiropractic care to consist of ongoing weekly treatments.

D.N.F.T. is for the D.C. or student who:

  1. Appreciates the value of specificity in adjusting.
  2. Believes that the subluxation entity does exist and that there is a vast difference between specific correction and manipulation.
  3. Is philosophically open to the concept of the body being able to yield information about subluxations.
  4. Aspires to chiropractic excellence measured in terms of benefits to the patient and not merely statistics consisting of patient visits per week or dollar totals.
  5. Wants no restrictions or limitations to results and wants to experience certainty and integrity about his adjusting every day.

D.N.F.T. is sophisticated chiropractic, but is simple in concept since there is no complex theoretical structural or biomechanical model to rely upon for analysis of subluxations. Although D.N.F.T. is a part of chiropractic history, it has always been on the cutting edge of chiropractic technology.

Dr. John teaches weekend seminars in three modules throughout the country to field D.C.s and chiropractic students. It is being taught in school by Dr. John at Southern California College of Chiropractic as part of the elective curriculum, and also through the continuing education departments of Life Chiropractic College and Life West Chiropractic College.

For more information on D.N.F.T. or Dr. John's seminars contact D.N.F.T. Seminars, 256 S. Robertson Blvd., Suite 1636, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. (213) 657-2338.

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