An Interview with Dr. Richard VanRumpt
1987 American Chiropractic
Richard VanRumpt D.C., Ph.C., graduated from the National College of Chiropractic in 1923 and did postgraduate work at Palmer College of Chiropractic. He is the founder and developer of Directional Non-Force Technique (D.N.F.T.) and has done research and taught thousands of students since 1923. He is 82 years old and retired. This is the first interview and information ever published on Dr. VanRumpt and his technique.
TAC: Dr. VanRumpt, how did you first become interested in chiropractic and how long was the curriculum at that time?
DR: I was a professional boxer for 8 years and my trainer, Dunk Robinson, sent me to a chiropractor, Dr. Carl Schilling, for a sprained wrist. He not only helped my wrist but relieved my headaches and indigestion. I asked him where I could learn these things and he suggested the National College of Chiropractic. I attended for 18 months, received my D.C. degree and went another 6 months, wrote a thesis, and obtained my Ph.C.
TAC: In the early days of chiropractic what were some of the techniques you learned? Was there any special technique you initially excelled in?
DR: We learned 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 we did very little spinous process adjusting. 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 our thumb on the seventh cervical and/or the first dorsal, then twist the head.
I was very well known as a foot adjuster, teacher, and researcher and wrote a pamphlet on foot adjusting that was also printed in one of Dr. Major Bertrand DeJarnette's books in 1929 or 30.
TAC: What other degrees or qualifications have you acquired?
DR: I earned a Doctor of Science degree in physiotherapy from the Metropolitan School of Physiotherapy by attending night classes for 2 years. I also have a Naturopathic degree I obtained by teaching dissection for 4 years at Philadelphia College of Naturopathy, owned by Dr. Tom Lake. I learned Endonasal and Cranial techniques and taught Endonasal prior to Dr. Lake, although he deserves full credit for popularizing it and writing a book on the subject. We were very good friends.
TAC: The chiropractic method you have been noted for the past several years is Directional Non-Force Technique. How did you first conceive ideas for its development?
DR: Directional Non-Force Technique (D.N.F.T.) began to develop while I was still in college. Due to my physical build I was known as one of the hardest adjusters in school. One day in the clinic I had been heavily palpating a patient, Mrs. Falconi, but did not have time to adjust her. When she came in the next day I was prepared to adjust her but she began bragging about what a good doctor I was, how I helped her headaches, how she slept like a baby that night, her digestion and elimination was better, etc. I wondered what I had done since I didn't adjust her.
It was then I realized it was the heavy palpation and I didn't have to "punch away" like I was and use heavy adjustments.
The analysis part of my D.N.F.T. began after I 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. That was in 1923 when I started experimenting to see if it was possible to use the positive and negative fingers in making a Chiropractic listing.
TAC: Exactly what is D.N.F.T. and how is it applied?
DR: It is a method of making a chiropractic analysis by skin reflexes and a thumb contact adjustment thrust a little deeper than skin deep. The "D" in D.N.F.T. 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 D.N.F.T. "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. I am the original developer of the "reactive leg reflex" and I believe I was the first to use the thumb to adjust any and all parts of the body.
There is also a certain amount of visualization in D.N.F.T. I visualize a certain subluxation while I simultaneously test the patient with my positive and/or negative fingers followed by the leg check. Prior to ascertaining a listing I use this method to determine a "true" reactive leg which then becomes the basis for testing of specific subluxation listings. There is an advanced stage of application for this method that is explained and demonstrated in seminars.
TAC: With regard to D.N.F.T. terminology how would you define subluxation, thrust, and distortion?
DR: A subluxation is anything in the body, osseous or soft, that is out of alignment and causing nerve interference. An adjustment is made when proper chiropractic procedures and a successful thrust are used to remove the subluxation and nerve interference. A thrust is just a thrust, and is not to be considered an adjustment, unless, or until it succeeds 100% in correcting the subluxation and removing nerve interference.
A distortion is not a subluxation. It is an adaptation or compensation to and for a subluxation. Innate knows how much distortion to remove after the D.C. has corrected the subluxation and removed nerve interference. You only have evidence of an adjustment when the following has occurred: First, you must have a 100% foolproof pre-adjustment test to determine and prove existence of a subluxation and nerve interference. This is done with the D.N.F.T '. procedure using positive and negative fingers, visualization, and "reactive leg reflex".
You now apply your chiropractic D.N.F.T. thumb contact thrust. Then apply your exact same pretest as a post test to prove you have successfully corrected the subluxation and have removed the nerve interference. Unless you successfully prove 100% removal of all nerve interference, you have not made an adjustment you have only made a thrust! Therefore, the mere cracking or popping of a bone does not mean you've made an adjustment.
TAC: Just how effective is D.N.F.T.? How broad is its scope, and why is it different from other chiropractic techniques?
DR: In my office the average patient, even the chronic patient, is dismissed as being subluxation free in from 1 to 4 visits. For several years I received yearly 8 to 10,000 letters or calls from patients all over the world wanting a D.N.F.T. chiropractor! They wanted a non-force type adjustment and objected to the rougher chiropractic techniques.
Being a chiropractor of the old school I have been trained that it is the duty of a D.C. to find and correct subluxations. Therefore, the scope of D.N.F.T. extends to finding and correcting those subluxations anywhere in the body that can be reached with your two hands according to the D.D. Palmer chiropractic premise and philosophy. D.N.F.T. is different than other techniques only in its application. Our analysis and adjustments are done by hand only. We do not use diagnostic instruments or treating devices. Not even X-Ray. We employ X-Ray for detection of pathology, legal purposes, to sell the chiropractic idea, etc., but not to make a chiropractic analysis. I believe that every D.C. should own a microdynameter and an X-Ray to help sell their patients the chiropractic premise, and also because under D.N.F.T. care the X Rays show more distortional corrections than any technique in chiropractic's history.
TAC: Can D.N.F.T. be applied to any chiropractic patient, and are anomalies or malformed bone structures difficult to analyze? Can concepting be applied in your method?
DR: Our technique is applicable to every patient. No patient is ever too old, too young, or too feeble to receive our nonforce adjustments. Anomalies or malformed bones are never a problem in D.N.F.T. when you learn to make an accurate listing and a 100% accurate adjustment.
In recent years we have heard a great deal about concepting, concepting patients into our offices, and concepting patients into getting well. I have always been a firm believer that the D.C. who knows how to find and correct subluxations will have very little need for concepting. With D.N.F.T. you learn to adjust for causes rather than effects and correct subluxations with little or no so-called retracting symptoms or reactions.
Our premise is, no subluxation, no adjustment. We find it, we fix it, and we leave it alone. There is no lack of patients or financial reward for the D.C. who gets sick people well, quickly, cheaply, permanently, and who gives inspired service with the "Love" principle in mind.
TAC: Dr. VanRumpt, do you feel that D.N.F.T. is superior to certain, other chiropractic techniques? And, if so, how?
DR: Even though I have been engaged in chiropractic research for over 60 years, it has never been beneath my dignity to study with other chiropractic researchers in our profession. I believe I have studied with all of them. You name them and I have studied with them. Being familiar with all other techniques places me in a pretty fair position to make comparisons. It is not just my opinion that D.N.F.T. is a wonderful, advanced technique, but is also the opinion of students and D.C.'s who have studied D.N.F.T. and found it to get results.
In D.N.F.T. we always discharge our patients. They never discharge us. Discharging your patients rather than having them discharge you is a major benefit to chiropractic. I believe that in order to be a better Doctor of Chiropractic you must first have a great desire to know all of chiropractic's truths, to believe in chiropractic wholeheartedly, and then discipline yourself by learning new facts and techniques and acquiring its mutual spirit.
TAC: You have taught since 1923, while still in school, but when did you begin to teach D.N.F.T. on a seminar basis to the chiropractic profession? At what colleges did you teach?
DR: I began officially teaching D.N.F.T. to the profession on a small scale in New York in approximately 1940 and on a national scale in the late 40's. Although I have taught many D.C.'s I prefer to teach students since they're more receptive.
Our type of teaching is unique in chiropractic education since close supervision is given each doctor and student. Most of the D.C.'s using D.N.F.T. full-time now were students I taught many years ago. You can lecture to a large class but it is impossible to teach one, therefore small classes are given.
I taught my first field seminar in 1924 on "Neurological Reflexes to Diagnose Diseases of The Nervous System". I taught at National, of course, and have taught at more than a dozen schools, often as a "visiting professor" - the Progressive, Peerless, American, Standard, Atlantic, Metropolitan, Dr. Brady's school in Colorado, the Columbia in New York before it became the New York School, the Eastern Institute in New York.
I taught for Dr. Jim Parker, many homecomings at Palmer, and the Pasadena college. I was also Dr. DeJarnette's first and only so-called Director of the Sacro Occipital Research Society and my foot adjusting techniques, I mentioned earlier, and my endonasal techniques are in his books. Many of the old schools no longer exist. I've taught students from almost every chiropractic college in existence in the United States.
TAC: Do you consider yourself to be a "mixer" or a "straight" chiropractor?
DR: I dislike terms, "straight" and "mixer", but I do consider myself a broad-minded, "straight" chiropractor. I consider myself a broad D.C. in that I believe in the chiropractor principle, the philosophy, the purpose, and I believe the duty of a chiropractor is to find and remove nerve interference anywhere in the body. Innate can be interfered with anywhere in the body. I also take vitamins and minerals and suggest them to my patients since I find them to be very effective.
TAC: How important has research been for D.N.F.T. and how important do you think research is for the chiropractic profession?
DR: 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.
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, 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.
TAC: In your many years of private practice have you had celebrities or famous athletes as patients?
DR: Oh, yes. Many celebrities and athletes were chiropractic oriented. I took care of Babe Ruth and other members of the Yankees, tennis player Big Bill Richards, Jean Arthur, Franchot Tone, Sabine Sun, ballet stars Tamara Tumanova, Jacques D'Amboise (married to Maria Tallchief), Enrico Caruso, members of the Teddy Roosevelt family, mayors, senators, and many others. The famous psychic, Edgar Cayce, personally sent me 200 patients and I took care of many more who had Cayce readings.
TAC: Besides boxing did you have any other activities while in chiropractic college?
DR: Yes, I was a dancer. Not a professional but I used to enter dance contests in New York, especially the Tango, Peabody, Spanish dances, Rhumba, Samba, etc. I've won over 100 cups for dancing. I also taught the girls at school dancing and the boys boxing so I guess you could say I "fought and danced" my way through chiropractic college!
TAC: Since you've retired have you named anyone to succeed you and continue with your research and teaching of D.N.F.T.?
DR: Yes. Two** very capable, young chiropractors: Christopher John, D.C., located at 256 South Robertson Blvd., Ste. 1636, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, 310-657-2238. **[Note: At the time of this interview there were two successors, but now Dr. John is now the sole successor to Dr. VanRumpt in researching and teaching Directional Non-Force Technique]
TAC: Dr. VanRumpt, do you have any special comments about chiropractic and your life?
DR: Our course for survival as chiropractors, and as a profession, lies in helping so many people so quickly, that the public, the insurance companies, the legislators, etc., will accept us and become aware that chiropractic holds the key to regaining and maintaining health.
I'd like to be remembered as, "Van - the Innate man!", and give God credit for what he has allowed me to accomplish in the name of chiropractic during my stay on His planet earth.