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Dorn Method

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The Dorn Method is an alternative therapy described as a holistic, gentle, effective, non-manipulative and safe way to correct misalignments of the spinal column and other joints. In its theoretical approach, it is somewhat related to chiropractic osteopathy, although it is different in its practical application. It is considered useful for complaints such as back pain, neck and joint pains, sciatica, scoliosis, migraine and hip problems.

This therapy method was developed in the 1970s by Dieter Dorn, a farmer and sawmill owner in Germany. He damaged his lower back in an accident and went to visit a village healer. After a few legs swings and gentle pushes he felt great relief and found he could stand straight again. Dieter Dorn then combined principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern anatomy and physiology to develop a method of healing through alignment of the spine. He decided not to patent this method of treatment to ensure its free availability to all those who needed it.

In the 1990s, Helmuth Koch, Hildegard Steinhauser, Harald Fleig and other early students of Dorn, started teaching the Dorn Method to interested students. This spread this method of treatment throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Dorn Method is now being taught internationally and available in many countries worldwide. Open accessible Information Platforms on the Internet include Practitioner Directories, Standard Guidelines and a Code of Ethics and Conduct. Free and Independent Umbrella Organizations offer Information and Basic Standards for Practitioners.

The Basic Principles and Reasoning behind the method

Proponents of the Dorn method claim that it is based on simple laws of physics and human anatomy and applied through cooperation between the practitioner and patient. The therapy is not done on the patient but rather with the patient, who is in control during its application.
The method incorporates 3 main factors:
a) an explanation of the contributing causes of most spinal and joint problems;
b) an effective and safe therapy in cooperation with the patient and
c) self help / self therapy exercises for patient's 'after care'.
The Dorn Method is a gentle vertebrae and joint treatment. It can be helpful for treating illnesses directly or indirectly connected to the spinal column. It is completely safe but still very effective. No medication is needed and no medical training is necessary to use the method successfully. It can be learned and mastered easily; all you need is sensitive, healthy hands.

The method is based on the notion that our skeleton should be symmetrical, harmonic and in static-dynamic alignment equilibrium. When we 'upset' this 'bone order' our joints may be moved out of place especially in the spine, and cause various pains and disorders. When the skeleton is re-aligned people feel better and symptoms of illness can disappear or abate. It also involves the correction of uneven leg length which can be diagnosed in almost every human today. Due to this problem the pelvis is found twisted and this often results in an asymmetrical, crooked or displaced spinal column due to the compensatory reactions.

The Dorn Method is different from Chiropractic form of treatment. In the Dorn Method, the treatment or correction of joint or spinal column misalignments always takes place in a 'dynamic' or moving action. It has been observed that muscles while trying to hold the positions of misaligned joints and spine, assume 'wrong' position as the correct one and hold it there. Chiropractic treatment goes for static correction. However, during static correction as done in chiropractic method of treatment, the strength of the holding muscles needs to be overcome and the patient is often quite tense since the treatment is done 'on' them and not 'with' them.

The Treatment

Following from the idea that the treatment needs to be done “with” the patient, the therapy is begun with a detailed explanation of the Dorn Method. The possible contributing causes of the spinal problems are explained so that the patient also becomes capable of taking preventive measures.

After this starts the therapy proper. As explained above this is done in a dynamic process with the areas where the bones are being brought back into position are always moving. Gentle counter pressure, meaning that the patient resists against the thumb or hand of the therapist, is applied while the patient is doing certain simple, guided movements to distract the muscles tension. The goal is to allow the body to self re-align in this relaxed and dynamic state and the pressure applied must therefore never exceed the patient´s threshold of pain to avoid even unconscious tensioning of the muscles.

To begin with, the patient's leg lengths are checked; this is done in a lying position. If found unequal, they are corrected. The therapist then moves upwards. The pelvis is checked after the legs; this is done in a standing position. Next come the lumbar and thoracic parts of the spine. After the thoracic, the cervical column is corrected, usually in a sitting position. After the legs and spine are re-aligned, the therapist works with the other joints like shoulder, elbow, hand, collarbone and jaw.

Post-treatment the patient is shown some simple self help / self therapy exercises that basically try to simulate the actions during the treatment and it should be explained how to adjust uneven movements and bad postural patterns to achieve long lasting results and sometimes psychological connections are discussed which need to be addressed to avoid reoccurrences.

The Dorn Method, ISBN: 9719222077 published 2005 by Dreamtime, Manila, Philippines, distributed by Asiatype Distribution

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