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Richard Van Rumpt

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Dr. Richard Van Rumpt

Richard Van Rumpt, DC
Born 1904
Died 1987
Nationality American
Education Chiropractic
Alma mater National College of Chiropractic
Occupation Chiropractic Physician Team Doctor
Known for Creating DNFT technique
Title Chiropractor, (DC)


Richard Van Rumpt, DC [1][2] (1904 - 1987) was a professional boxer in New York at the young age of 16. When Van Rumpt and the other boxers would prepare for a fight, the boxing trainer did a rudimentary leg check before performing a cervical manipulation. This experience left him with a curiosity about leg checks, and he subsequently spent many years observing the phenomena involving dynamic changes of relative leg length 30.” Van Rumpt graduated from National College of Chiropractic in 1922 and by the late 1920’s had met Dr. Major DeJarnette and became his student. Not much later he was chosen by DeJarnette to head up the SOT east coast research group. By the late 1940’s the two men parted ways and Van Rumpt began to teach his own adjusting technique and system of subluxation analysis.[3]

Early Chiropractic Career

VanRumpt was a professional boxer for 8 years and his trainer, Dunk Robinson, sent him to a chiropractor, Dr. Carl Schilling, for a sprained wrist. He not only helped his wrist but relieved his headaches and indigestion. VanRumpt asked him where he could learn these things and Dr. Schilling suggested the National College of Chiropractic. VanRumpt attended for 18 months, received his D.C. degree and went another 6 months, wrote a thesis, and obtained his Ph.C.[4]

In his early years practicing chiropractic he learned what he described as the usual cervical rotaries, the lumbar roll, the double transverse on the spine and some osteopathic techniques. At that time the Palmer school used the pisiform with contact mostly on the spinous processes but at National he noted they did very little spinous process adjusting. VanRumpt stated, "We did mostly double transverse and what they called the T & M, a thumb contact. The patient would lie face down and we would make contact with the thumb on the seventh cervical and/or the first dorsal, then twist the head."[4] VanRumpt was very well known as a foot adjuster and wrote a pamphlet on foot adjusting that was also printed in one of Dr. Major Bertrand DeJarnette's books in 1929.[4]

Following chiropractic college VanRumpt earned a Doctor of Science degree in physiotherapy from the Metropolitan School of Physiotherapy by attending night classes for 2 years. Then he also received a Naturopathic degree by teaching dissection for 4 years at Philadelphia College of Naturopathy, owned by Dr. Thomas Lake. The he learned Endonasal and cranial techniques and taught Endonasal prior to Dr. Lake, although VanRumpt notes he deserves full credit for popularizing it and writing a book on the subject. They were very good friends.[4]

Development of Directional Non-Force Technique DNFT

He began developing Directional Non-Force Technique (D.N.F.T.) while he was still in college. Due to his physical build he was known as one of the hardest adjusters in school. One day in the clinic while heavily palpating a patient he didn't have time to adjust her. However when she came in the next day she began bragging about what a good doctor he was, how he helped her headaches, how she slept like a baby that night, her digestion and elimination was better, etc. VanRumpt wondered what he had done since he didn't adjust her.[4]

At that time he realized it was the heavy palpation and maybe he didn't have to "punch away" like he was and use heavy adjustments. The analysis part of DNFT began after he read in a Rosicrucian magazine that the body was positive and negative and that every other finger on either hand might be positive and negative. In 1923 he started experimenting to see if it was possible to use the positive and negative fingers in making a chiropractic listing.[4]

Reactive Leg Reflex

VanRumpt describes DNFT as a method of making a chiropractic analysis by skin reflexes and a thumb contact adjustment thrust a little deeper than skin deep. He noted that "The "D" in DNFT stands for directional because we thrust in a specific direction as determined by analysis. The term, "Non-Force" is used because it is non-force compared to some chiropractic techniques. It does not cause the usual "snap, crackle, and pop!" of many chiropractic adjustments, Our analysis is made via skin reflexes manifested as a 11 pull-up" of one leg called the "reactive leg reflex". The thumb adjustment uses the Toggle and Torque principle but no recoil. Although leg measuring was taught at National and might have existed hundreds of years, it and other types of leg measurement are not related to the DNFT "reactive leg reflex". Congenital or traumatic short legs are also not related nor have any bearing on my technique based on over 60 years of personal research. VanRumpt is believed to be original developer of the "reactive leg reflex" and as well as to use the thumb to adjust any and all parts of the body."[4]

Teaching DNFT

VanRumpt began officially teaching DNFT to the profession on a small scale in New York in approximately 1940 and on a national scale in the late 1940's. In 1924 he taught his first field seminar in 1924 on "Neurological Reflexes to Diagnose Diseases of The Nervous System". According to VanRumpt he was also Dr. DeJarnette's first and only so-called Director of the Sacro Occipital Research Society.[4]

VanRumpt and Research

VanRumpt stated that "Research has been extremely important for D.N.F.T. and its development. A chiropractic researcher is one who is dedicated to chiropractic, who has an ability to research and actually spend his entire lifetime researching. In my research I saw 20-30 patients a day for free and put them through every conceivable test, researching sequence of adjustments, every possible listing, frequency of adjustments, and dozens of other things pertaining to research."[4]

He continued that, "A researcher must also be capable of teaching his research findings often at great personal expense. All the big advancements in chiropractic have been in field research by such practitioners as Hurley and Sanders, Logan, DeJarnette, Gonstead, Goodheart, Nemo, Pettibon and me, as well as dozens of others. There is a move to limit field research but I really believe chiropractic would have died long ago if it were not for the field researchers who eliminated much of the rough, knock 'em down, drag 'em out chiropractic."[4]


  1. Editorial Staff (Nov/Dec 1987). "DNFT creator Van Rumpt dies at age 83". ICA Rev 43 (6): 3. 
  2. Cooperstein, R; Gleberzon, BJ (Apr 2004), Technique Systems in Chiropractic, New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone 
  3. Boro, WJ; Blum CL (May 2012). "Treatment of Low Back Pain by Cranial Adjustment: A Case Report". 4th Annual Sacro Occipital Technique Research Conference Proceedings (Atlanta, GA): 27-33. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Editorial Staff (Sep 1987). "An interview with Dr. Richard Van Rumpt". Am Chiropr: 4-7. 

External links

DNFT Website