Dr. Gensler’s Memorial to Dr Richard Van Rumpt

(which he authorized and approved before he passed away)

Dr. Richard Van Rumpt, one of the great pioneers of chiropractic, died of prostatic cancer on September 23, 1987, at the age of 83. He is survived by his wife, Franya, and his brainchild, the Directional Non-Force Technique.

For the most of Dr. Van Rumpt’s 64 years as a chiropractor, he was in his own words, “a silent chiropractic researcher and field instructor”. He taught his research findings to thousands of D.C.’s and students in seminars throughout the world. Another noteworthy achievement was Van’s work with Dr. Major DeJarnette as the director of the Sacro-Occipital Technique Research Society for 15 years.

Van was a professional bantamweight boxer who fought under such names as Tiny Trinkle, Dickie Van, and Kid Ritchie before entering the National College of Chiropractic in 1921. He continued to box during his college days for a few years after earning his degree in 1923.

Dr Van Rumpt began as a rough adjuster. He acquired a reputation at the National College as being the man to see if you needed to have a stubborn bone moved. Yet, it was he who founded and developed the grandfather of non-force, full-body chiropractic adjusting techniques, DNFT.

During his days at the National College, Van began researching “using less and less force to make a dynamic adjustment”. He began teaching DNFT in the early 1940’s. A number of today’s low-force techniques, though they are much more popular than DNFT has ever been, owe much of their inspiration to Van’s work.

DNFT’s premise is that it doesn’t take much adjustive force to correct a subluxation if you have a perfect subluxation listing and a perfect corrective thrust. Van was the first to use the thumb in a modified toggle to adjust all parts of the body. He was the original developer of the reactive leg reflex to ascertain subluxation listings and whether or not a correction was made. He became know as “Van – The Innate Man” because he was literally “asking Innate”, via the reactive leg reflex, for the subluxation listings.

Despite his many accomplishments, Dr. Van Rumpt has not been accorded the same recognition as DeJarnette, Goodheart, Gonstead, and other great contemporary chiropractic pioneers. DNFT has never been taught at any chiropractic college. Van was an eccentric genius in an out-of-the-mainstream profession, a man who could not shape his character or technique for easy acceptance. He was a colorful character who would be worthy of a motion picture biography. Numerous failed operations impaired his sense of balance, hearing and vision, but despite all of these health problems, he had amazing energy. His seminars were four-day marathons that left many of us, who were 50 years, his junior, struggling to keep pace. Hew as the kind of irreverent character who would praise God as all-loving and non-denominational, and in the next breath tell a joke insulting someone’s religion. He probably offended more D.C.’s and students than not, but for those of us who studied with him over the years and got to know him, he was a loving human being who inspired us to chiropractic excellence.

The first time I heard of DNFT or Dr.Van Rumpt was while I was a clinician at chiropractic college. A fellow clinician whispered to me that a seminar was being conducted off-campus by an old-time chiropractor who corrected subluxations by using very little force. I was intrigued, but I was also told if the school authorities caught a student attending this seminar he faced expulsion from the clinic. It was the forbidden mystery that first attracted me to DNFT. I owe much of my growth as a chiropractic healer to Van.

Van wrote in a short autobiography, “on rare occasions I have been asked how I want to be remembered when the Lord Calvert calls me home. I guess my best answer is, as Van – the Innate Man, or as the man that gave his non-denominational God all the credit for what he has allowed me to accomplish in the name of chiropractic during my stay on His planet Earth”.