Chiropractic Techniques

Yet, in my experience and the experience of my colleagues, cranial adjusting can produce significant results.

The Activator Method uses a series of what are termed “Stress” and “Pressure” tests to confirm the presence and correction, respectively, of cranial misalignments. A “Stress” test is applied in the direction of a suspected cranial misalignment. A “Pressure” test is applied in the direction of correction of the cranial misalignment. The

indicator used to assess for misalignment or neuro-articular dysfunction is reactive leg length change as taught in the Activator Method protocol. The protocol is efficient and easy to use in a clinical setting. Corrections are made with an Activator Adjusting Instrument, either an Activator IV or an Activator V.


• Headaches that worsen • Seizures

• Focal neurologic signs • Drowsiness • Slurred speech • Can’t recognize people or places

• Increasing confusion or irritability

• Weakness or numbness in arms or legs

• Neck pain • Unusual behavioral changes

• Significant irritability Ple xus Oct/No v 2019 15 Parietal Bone Adjustment

In my clinical experience, the clinical experiences of Dr. Arlan Fuhr, co-founder of the Activator Method, and other experienced Activator trained practitioners, it has been observed that the cranial bones tend to subluxate in a superior and central direction, toward what would have been the fontanelle or soft-spot on an infant skull as a reference point. For example, the doctor would perform a stress test on the Frontal bone by lightly stroking across the Frontal bone from anatomically inferior to superior toward the center of the skull. A reactivity in leg length would indicate a misalignment in that direction. Correction would then be made with the previously mentioned adjusting instrument in the opposite direction, contacting the body of the frontal bone near the suture of the frontal and parietal bones. One thrust is performed, with the instrument on its lowest force setting. Utilizing an Activator IV requires the thrust to be done through the doctor’s thumb that is in contact with the cranial bone. Utilizing an Activator V allows for a direct contact of the instrument on the cranial bone.

The Parietal and Occipital cranial bones will tend to misalign in the same superior and central direction. Correction is also made in the opposite or inferior direction. The Temporal bones tend to show a pattern of misalignment of either a clockwise, posterior to anterior torque or a counterclockwise, anterior to posterior torque. The correction is done with the instrument directed in an anterior to posterior line of drive or a posterior to anterior line of drive respectively.

I realize that I have not included a discussion of the other cranial bones, such as the sphenoid or the maxillary bones. While these are important cranial bones, the Activator Method has not had enough clinical experience with the misalignment patterns of these cranial bones. Doctors in the field are working with further observations that may be included in the Activator protocol in the future. In my personal clinical experience, I have found cranial adjusting to be particularly effective with patients presenting with chronic headaches, including migraine headaches, balance disorders, mild traumatic head injuries, sinus conditions, chronic cervical spine conditions and temporomandibular disorders. Patients usually find that cranial adjusting is relaxing and comfortable. It is clinically worthwhile to consider adding cranial adjusting to the methods already utilized in a chiropractic clinical setting.

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