The Background of Dr. Clay Thompson
Dr. Clay Thompson, DC, PhC realized early in his practice that traditional adjusting methods and tables caused fatigue for chiropractors and discomfort for patients.
During his high school years, he worked at a machine shop and later studied engineering through an international correspondence course.
In 1936, while working at John Deere, Thompson suffered a severe blow to the head, and shortly thereafter experienced the onset of diabetes. He sought out medical doctors for help, but his condition progressed, and he was diagnosed as terminally ill. Clay’s father, Dan, advised him to go to a chiropractor.
Although skeptical, Clay followed his father’s suggestion and went into treatment with a Chiropractor. Within 16 days, all of his symptoms had disappeared.
This sparked a fascination with chiropractic and almost ten years later, Thompson made the decision to study chiropractic at the Palmer School of Chiropractic (PSC). Before graduating, he ended up being part of the faculty where he grew a strong friendship with the school’s founder, BJ Palmer.
The Thompson Segmental Drop Table
His understanding of biomechanics and Newtonian physics made him a natural to evaluate chiropractic adjusting methods and eventually develop a system for analyzing full-spine subluxations.
Having an inventive mind, Thompson developed a variety of innovative accessories to assist Chiropractors.
His most famous invention was the Thompson Segmental Drop Table which Dr. Rob employs in his chiropractic adjustments.
This adjusting table helps in enhancing the motion of the area or segment which is to be adjusted, which is usually the neck, mid-back, low back and pelvic area. Each area has a specific drop piece that can be adjusted to each patients build and weight. These drop pieces aid in the thrust, thus minimizing the force and pressure required for an adjustment.
This special table drops slightly in a variety of places when the chiropractor applies shallow thrusts or force during the adjustment while keeping the patient stable.
The segmental drop system enables adjusting with less force, which benefits both you and the chiropractor.
Derifield Leg Check Analysis
Another key part incorporated into the Thompson Technique is the Derifield Leg Check Analysis.
This leg check technique is part of the analysis for many chiropractic techniques today and was established by the work of Dr. Weldon Derifield and his father.
This concept is used to determine imbalance in the leg lengths with the patient lying in a prone (face down) position on the table. The feet are observed in extension and then in flexion, prior to an adjustment.
It is based on a neurological imbalance that affects the musculature of the legs, resulting in their contraction which creates the appearance of one leg being shorter than the other.