Directional Non-Force Technique®

also known as “DNFT” Chiropractic


No popping, No cracking. Only gentle, specific adjustments.

Non-Force chiropractic techniques correct the majority of structural problems that cause pain commonly experienced in the low back, neck, and head, with most of these problems corrected in very few visits — usually 2 to 6!  Patients will typically feel and see results immediately after their first adjustment and are generally pain free in 3 visits.  There is NO twisting, cracking, popping, or after-treatment swelling.  

Traditional chiropractic uses high velocity adjustments to relieve nerve interference caused by bone misalignment, which can be traumatic to an already injured area and requires numerous (often astronomical) amounts of visits to correct problems.  Non-Force chiropractic totally corrects the majority of structural problems in 4-6 visits (most muscle and skeletal pain including low back pain, neck pain, headache, etc.) while very complicated cases can take up to 12 visits.  “Tune-up” (wellness) visits are encouraged to maintain optimal vitality a few times a year.

You are the judge of the effectiveness of your treatment. Your success is Dr. Mark’s success and joy.

Why DNFT Works

What makes Non-Force chiropractic more effective is the ability to differentiate between “primary misalignments” and “compensations” which occur to protect the body from the more major, primary, symptom-causing misalignments. If compensation misalignments are adjusted, they will revert because they are a result of the actual misalignments and not the cause (which is why so many visits are required for relief with traditional chiropractic methods). With Non-Force chiropractic, each visit is different. If a vertebrae presents on two consecutive visits, it is a compensation and will not be adjusted a second, consecutive time. By identifying a compensation, we are then able to “peel” that layer back to find causative mislignments  and create a more direct path from dysfunction and pain to total relief and complete removal of the problem.  See What Is Muscle Tension and Subluxation? below.

What to Expect

See Patient Information

Briefly, Dr. Leder observes your body’s reaction to light touch when applied to specific areas. If touching on one side of the spine produces a contraction in an extremity (for example, your leg or arm), a problem is identified. Gentle pressure, such as a light press on the opposite side of the spine eliminates the contraction and allows your body to align itself without force.  Because the body desires to be in a corrected state, much (sometimes all) of the work done in the initial visit will hold. The cause of any residual patterns or symptoms can usually be identified and addressed at this point.

The Gown

During your treatment you are given a 100% cotton, opaque gown to wear which closes in the back and exposes your back for observation and treatment. Unlike standard, hospital gowns, you are fully covered with only your back exposed.  You will be covered the entire time except for the area along the spine.

The Shoes!

Dr. Mark Leder, DC

DNFT – Examination shoes

Muscle contraction causes subluxation (spinal misalignment) and usually causes your heels to be uneven in length. The funny-looking, half shoes with thick heels are placed on your feet to observe when your heels line up during treatment.

When Dr. Leder touches a hot spot (tender spot) on your back, one of your legs will contract, causing the shortened leg to lift slightly.

The Treatment

Dr. mark Leder, DC

DNFT examination starts by marking a patient’s back

After discussing your problem(s) with Dr. Mark, you lay face down on an examination table while Dr. Mark marks your spine with light (easily removable) lines with a hypoallergenic pencil on top of each spinal bone, as well as on some other areas. These marks allow him to accurately apply gentle pressure to problem areas during treatment without having to hunt for the exact spot each time he begins a new procedure. Place marks may be made for treatment accuracy.

Gentle Motions

With your back and corresponding hot spots marked, Dr. Leder systematically presses until all spasms are relieved.

Dr. Mark Leder, DC

DNFT pressure, not twisting or cracking, relieves pain

While most patients experience instant relief of their most painful problems, it may take a few more visits before everything is OK because, often, several problems are present at once. These include head, neck, arm, hand, leg, and foot problems, plus pain in the back itself. Sometimes, pain in one area is so intense that it masks pain in another. When the first pain is relieved, the second is noticed and able to be corrected.

What Is Muscle Tension and Subluxation?

Muscle tension refers to a muscle contraction that does not release. Motion can be forced when muscles are contracted, but this tension pulls on your bones, especially on your spinal bones.

When your spinal bones become misaligned because of tension, they clamp (pinch) your nerves, which is why you feel pain. Some pain can feel like arthritis, joint problems, or even broken bones. Experiencing relief after an adjustment is truly amazing!

To feel and understand the concept and effect of muscle tension right now:

  • Ball your hand into a tight fist and bring it to your ear.
  • Now flex and hold your upper arm muscle tight (pretend you are showing off your muscle).
  • Keeping your fist balled and your muscles tight, reach out forward, completely stretching your arm (but only if it doesn’t hurt).

While you can always move stiff muscles, they restrict motion.

If you tried the above experiment, you will feel the extra force being exerted on related body parts, such as in this case, your shoulder blade, lower neck, and even rib cage. After experiencing this type of compression day after day, you tend to forget what normal motion feels like. Compounding the problem is that while in this state, your blood supply to tense muscles decreases, causing your muscles to atrophy and elasticity to diminish.

Correcting Your Problems with Non-Force Chiropractic Techniques

As discussed above, tension and pressure causes problems. Therefore relief  requires gentle treatment.

  • No twisting.
  • No cracking.
  • No after-treatment swelling.

DNFT Illustrations by Karen Little

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