Activator Methods chiropractic technique is a comprehensive, integrated series of procedures to find and correct subluxations in the spine and other areas of the body framework. Subluxations involve joint dysfunction and associated interference to the nervous system’s control and coordination of your body’s function and your health.
This technique was developed by American chiropractors Dr Warren Lee and Dr Arlan Fuhr, beginning in the late 1960’s.
At the age of seven Lee was diagnosed as having spinal meningitis and sent home from hospital, as he had not expected to live through the night. His parents called for their chiropractor, who stayed at their farmhouse, checking and adjusting the boy every 20 minutes for 48 hours. He recovered and decided to become a chiropractor.
Fuhr was one of Lee’s patients many years later. By the age of 14 years, Fuhr had endured chronic sore throats every Winter of his life. After enduring 72 penicillin injections of a matter of months, his mother took him to see Lee. After 12 chiropractic spinal adjustments his sore throats were history, and he to decided to become a chiropractor.
Two Features are unique to the technique, and offer special benefits for patients.
The first feature is a very particular way of locating and characterising subluxations.
The involves “leg length checking”, in which the chiropractor carefully compares the relative lengths of the patient’s legs while the patient is lying face down on a special comfortable adjusting table. The patient is asked to move certain body parts in certain ways. For example, turning the face one way and then the other. This places stresses on related areas of the spine.
When a subluxation is present in the area being tested, the movement causes an abnormal nerve reaction in that area which leads to tightening of associated muscles. Muscles on one side of the body contract and shorten relative to the other side, and the chiropractor can detect this by noting a shortening of one of the legs relative to the other.
The chiropractor uses these tests to determine which areas of the body, particularly the spine, need adjusting at any particular time.
Adjustments are delivered by the second feature of Activator Methods technique, the Activator adjusting instrument.
When any force, such as a chiropractic adjustment, intrudes into the body, muscles in the involved area are automatically contracted by reflex mechanism, in order to “protect” that area from the intrusion.
The Activator instrument produces a thrust which is quicker than the body’s reflexes can respond and tighten up the local muscles. So, in simple terms, the force necessary to move and adjust the joint is developed by the “speed” of the instrument’s thrust, and not by a high “force”. So although the Activator instrument produces a very effective thrust, it is felt as a very gentle sensation only.
Experience over a quarter of a century has shown that, used properly, the Activator instrument is suitable for virtually all patients, including the smallest baby, the frail senior citizen, and the burly sportsman.
Put together as an integrated series of procedures, the use of the isolation tests, leg length checking and the Activator adjusting instrument provides a safe, gentle and effective way of chiropractic health care.