Dorn Therapy was developed in the 1970s by the German healer, Dieter Dorn. It is a form of holistic therapy designed primarily to treat misalignments in the spinal column along with other joints, however it is also credited with alleviating headaches and organ problems that are results of back problems. Theoretically, it is similar to both osteopathy and chiropractic methods but in practice it is very different from either of these; it relies on the self-determined movements of the patients to re-align vertebrae. This treatment involves repetitive manual manipulation to effect balancing the body’s joints and spine.
Dieter Dorn was born in August 1938 in the South of Germany. He began his career as a sawmill owner and worker but suffered a sciatic pain from lifting heavy logs. A healer in his hometown alleviated the pain using some simple techniques, but would not pass on the secret of his success, as he believed Dorn already had the ability to heal. The healer died soon after, but Dorn was determined to develop his knowledge of vertebrae. Dorn researched traditional Chinese medicine, and used acupuncture and acupressure to great affect. During this time, he worked on his wife, and it is believed he was able to treat a spinal condition of hers that modern medicine was unable to fix without surgery. From then, Dorn refined his method, and found a connection between the meridians along the spinal column and the organs connected to the spinal nerves, which he employed in his treatments.
Dorn Therapy is based largely on the idea that correcting the length of uneven legs can lead to realignment of the spinal column. When legs are a different length to one another, it can lead to a twisted pelvis and results in displacements within the spine itself. The treatment uses what Dorn calls ‘dynamic’ movement, rather than manipulation. This is grounded on the belief that muscles can assume the wrong position if held in the wrong way, due to uneven leg length, and become difficult to correct through static correction. Rather, Dorn Therapy uses movement to divert the muscles’ tension, so that the bones beneath can be realigned more successfully.
The treatment begins with an explanation of the therapy itself, and possible causes of the patient’s problems. Then, the patient is instructed to lie down, and their hip joint brought to a 90-degree angle from the body, and the leg gently manipulated from bent to straight in order to align the bones. This is then repeated with the knee and ankle joints. This same treatment can be done for any of the body’s other joints, such as elbows, wrists and shoulders. After this, the lumbar vertebrae and thoracic columns are tested for any displacement, but this must be done while the patient is standing. The practitioner corrects any problems with gentle pressure of the thumb against the bone, while the patient swings the leg from the opposite side back and forth. This is designed to encourage the muscles to move back into a better position.
Dorn Therapy has been credited with treating: sciatic problems, hip pain, lumbago, protruding or prolapsed discs, pelvic pain, arthritis of any joint. differences in leg length, any kind of pain in the spinal column, pain in the neck or shoulders, tennis elbow, migraines, headaches, chronic inner conditions such as asthma or angina, emotional conflicts, and blockages in the flow of Chi.
Dorn Therapy is not recommended for: immobile patients, patients who have been recently injured, cancer patients, patients with inflammations, patients with acute migraines, numb or paralytic patients or patients who are taking medication that may cause internal bleeding.