Founder: Arlan W. Fuhr, DC
Year founded: The Activator technique was founded in 1967, but in his book titled The Activator Method, Fuhr explains the Activator Adjusting Instrument was not patented until September 26, 1978, and registered with the Food and Drug Administration shortly thereafter.
Certification requirements: Spine-health reports that there are two levels of certification a practitioner can earn with regard to the Activator technique. They are:
Basic proficiency: provides basic body-scan protocol and leg-length analysis; requires passing a college-level written and practical exam or post-graduate training (12 hours) followed by passing a written and practical exam.
Technique description: The Activator Technique, also commonly known as the Activator Method, is a chiropractic modality that uses a small handheld device called the Activator Adjusting Instrument to deliver fast, low-force impulses to specific areas of the spine.
Basic technique principles: In The Activator Method, Fuhr explains that this method of adjusting involves analyzing subluxations using leg length. Traditionally, once located, these subluxations are initially addressed by using a thumb toggle adjustment. However, Fuhr says that this “generated extreme fatigue, muscle strain, and frequent elbow injury caused by the elbows striking each other during rapid movement when thrusting into patients’ spines.” Thus, the Activator Adjusting Instrument, which was inspired by a dental impactor, was later developed to mitigate these effects.
The Activator technique works by restoring motion to the subluxated area and is said to provide two advantages over many of the other chiropractic techniques. The first is a reduced likelihood of muscles tensing and resisting the adjustment because the device works so quickly. The second is that the force is localized at the problem area, providing more effective results.
Conditions this technique helps treat: Some of the conditions that research has found the Activator technique effective to treat include: