This article on the traditional Thompson technique is based on an interview with Dr. Beth Zogg. It is part of a collection of articles on different techniques in the Art of Chiropractic. Please find additional articles on the Art of Chiropractic on our website at lifewest.edu/magazine under the category “Vitalism” in the coming weeks.
Beth Zogg, DC
- President, J Clay Thompson Technique Foundation
Founded: Early 1950s
The Thompson Technique is both an analysis technique using leg check (originated by Dr. Romer Derefield and further developed by Dr. Thompson) and an adjusting procedure using a drop table, developed by Dr. Clay Thompson. Both help the chiropractor understand where to adjust and how to make a gentle and effective adjustment that is also easier on the doctor’s body.
Dr. Zogg, Dr. Thompson’s granddaughter, calls the Thompson Technique a very innate-based technique. “We’re allowing a patient’s body to tell us where to adjust based on the leg check; we don’t necessarily adjust where symptoms are,” she said. “We’re just providing a force, and innate intelligence is taking that force and correcting the vertebral subluxation. We facilitate that with the adjustment.”
What’s happening now?
Dr. Zogg said many advances in the technique have come via the engineering of the drop table, through the company that makes it, Williams Healthcare Systems.
As far as the technique itself, Dr. Zogg said she really feels that the Thompson technique is still the best adjusting procedure utilizing the drop table because the technique was created for it by Dr. Thompson.
“It’s such a great technique, and it’s helped so many people,” she added. “We want to make sure it’s preserved and taught correctly in the future.”
She added that the Thompson technique offers a great opportunity for women coming into the chiropractic profession. “The Thompson technique is amazing for women because they may not be as big or strong as male doctors. Some techniques do take a lot of upper body strength, but this one really levels the playing field, and this is important for smaller doctors. The technique is so simple and gives a doctor so much confidence.”
Dr. Zogg says chiropractors are always looking at methods that work better for themselves or for their patients. “We hope, through the revitalization of the J Clay Thompson Technique Foundation, to offer more advanced work and elaborate all of those ways of adjusting a vertebral subluxation on the table,” she said.
She is among a group of chiropractors working to set up the J Clay Thompson Technique Foundation so that it will continue long into the future. “We’re starting off with a large number of chiropractors who were either certified by my grandfather or people he had trained. It’s a good group, and we’ll start promoting and teaching the technique.”
She said the goal is to have certified instructors all over the world so that classes can be offered more frequently and taught by qualified people who live more locally.
The foundation is also looking for support for the technique in colleges and plans to put together a strong curriculum that can be offered to colleges.
“We want to offer the most accurate information about the Thompson technique so that students coming out of school have a good foundation,” she said.