Every vertebra releases a pair of nerves that supports certain parts or organs of the body. By working on the vertebra you are actually working on the entire body.
Dieter Dorn developed the therapy in Germany in the 80’s after suffering from increasingly severe lumbago that made even the simplest of movements painful. He became desperate for relief, and his search led him to a farmer also working as a ‘setter’ – a fixer of backs.
After the treatment, Dorn was amazed. His lower back pain completely vanished. He then tried the technique on his wife who had suffered severe headaches for 20 years. By applying pressure to the sides of two protruding cervical vertebra (near the neck), he discovered that her headaches disappeared within hours.
Dorn refined the technique and taught practitioners the steps of treatment.
Dorn therapy can be used for a number of conditions, some of which seem to have little connection with the back. For example, problems, such as headaches and dizziness, can be caused by nerve pressure around the cervical vertebra.
Many people have tried many other forms of spinal manipulation with out lasting success and have found fundamental changes through Dorn Therapy.
The initial visit will start with a check of your hips for twists and the legs for any difference in leg length. A difference in leg length is usually caused by a bone sitting out of the actual joint, and can obviously cause a major problem with the pelvis and spine. It’s estimated that around 80 per cent of people have a difference in leg length. You can be born with different lengths of bone, which you cant fix but there are also other causes such as sitting with your legs crossed, standing unevenly or putting more weight on one side of the body than the other.
What happens is that body waste and toxins get into the joint, and it finally becomes congested, so the longer leg doesn’t move back in again.
Dorn therapy usually begins with the patient lying on their back while
the practitioner gently applies pressure to the cause of the problem,
which may be the hip, knee or ankle. It then takes place standing
with the patient swinging one leg backwards and forwards while the
practitioner works on the lower back, vertebra by vertebra. While
swinging the left leg, pressure is applied to the right side of the back,
with the focus moving to the left side left side while the right leg is
swung. The practitioner uses their thumbs to ‘walk’ along the spine
feeling and looking for any kind of deviation that is a sign that a
vertebra is not exactly in the position that it should be. The practitioner
then works on that vertebra with their thumbs gently moving it back
to its correct position, while the client swings one of his legs.
Then the client sits down and starts swinging one arm at a time
while the practitioner works on the opposite side of the middle and
upper back, up to the cervical spine where the client moves their
head from side to side. Shoulders, elbows, hands, fingers and toes
can all be adjusted also
How does the therapy work?
The key to Dorn therapy is movement. Through the movements of
Dorn the nervous system is kept busy. Through using muscular
movements the spine is more open to change. The therapy is not
preoccupied with holding the spine in position, and this makes it
easier to get the vertebra back into the position where they belong.
There is no major spinal manipulation as can be experience with
other forms of spinal manipulation and generally there is very little
pain experienced. The client will notice it but it is not excruciating,
because of the movements it is very gentle.
This makes it an incredibly safe treatment and, as there is no
sprain placed on the spine or cartilage, treatment can be repeated
as often as necessary. If it is an acute problem, one session can
be enough or if it is a chronic condition you may need more than
It is also necessary to follow up the treatment with the simple and
strategic exercises that the practitioner will give you. These
exercises are aimed at retraining your body to maintain the new
and correct positioning that the practitioner has attained for you.
There is a series of exercises that will be given to you at the time of your treatment - these exercises are a self-treat and method of stabilising the changes that have been made during your treatment. The body does not always accept changes - even if they are for the better - if your alignment has been out for a lenght of time - so these exercises are a reminder to the treatment areas of where they 'should be' until the body has accepted the changes.
These will take up less than 10 mins of your day - but the benefits are immense and you can reduce yur return visits to the practitioner by being diligent.
You must also drink plenty of fluids post treatment, to flush away the toxins that have been released and broken down during the course of the session.
A wholistic approach
While Dorn therapy can be practised successfully on its own, it can also be used alongside of other therapies such as acupuncture, Feldenkrais, reflexology and massage. In particular a specialised massage called Breusse massage, a gentle and sensitive treatment of the spine that is often combined with Dorn therapy. It involves massaging oil of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum) into and around the spine, expanding the discs and increasing the distance between the vertebrae, which results in increased flexibility. Pauline offers Breusse massage as part of her treatments if indicated.