The Dorn Method for back pain

The Dorn method is a holistic alternative therapy used to correct claimed misalignments in the spinal column and other joints in the body. Asma Merchant reports. 


Imagine walking a mile wearing just one shoe. In essence, that’s what almost all of us are doing but we have

been doing it for such a long time, we don’t realize that we’re off balance.

In this day and age, many of us slouch at our desks or on the sofa, drive for long hours, sit cross-legged, lift heavy objects etc. All these activities cause a difference in our leg length that causes imbalance, not only in the lower body but also in the hip, spine, shoulders, neck and jaw. You may not have any painful symptoms now but such an imbalance can be harmful in the long run.

Dorn Method is a self-help technique aimed at easing muscle-skeletal pains and aches resulting from leg length differences and/or misalignment in the spine. Karima Nanji, a Dorn Therapist at SpaDunya Club, has been practicing this method for the last four years. “Even though Dorn does not replace traditional medicine,” Nanji says, “I have seen it help alleviate severe back pains, menstrual cramps, sciatica and even slipped disc-related pain. It helped
a lot in case of my daughter who suffers from scoliosis – although early detection of scoliosis is crucial with this method.”

More empowering than other forms of osteopathic and chiropractic treatment, the Dorn method involves dynamic movements that include the patient as opposed to having a treatment done to them. Also, Dorn therapy is gentle in its approach and does not involve any manipulation or cracking of joints.

A typical treatment starts with a leg length assessment followed by exercises to bring the leg length back into alignment. The alignment of the hip bone, shoulders and jaw is also checked along with a manual examination of the spine, vertebrae by vertebrae. The final step is a relaxing Breuss massage of the spine, which aligns any blockages and soothes any aches or pains.



Q. I don’t suffer from back pain or any other pain? Is this for me?

Dorn method is suitable for anyone looking to align their body or improve their posture or anyone suffering from pain in the legs, hip, back, shoulder, sciatica, neck etc. It is not suitable for paralysis and you should wait hree months after surgery to have a session.

Q. Will it hurt?

The therapy is gentle and may feel like a strenuous workout afterwards. If you are already suffering from pain, then the therapist will ensure that the movements are limited to the patient pain threshold.

Q. How many sessions do I need?

You will see improvement in the leg length and spinal alignment within two sessions but you may need more depending on the severity of the condition.

Q. Where in UAE can I go for Dorn treatment? And how much does it cost?

Karima Nanji is an AHHAI certified Dorn Method and PIDDDS Master practitioner. She practices at SpaDunya, Jumeirah Beach Residence. Contact or 04 439 3669 to book a session. AED 550 each or AED 1000 for two sessions booked together. 



Asma Merchant climbs on the massage table to find out first hand what a Dorn Method treatment entails…

My idea of Dorn therapy was limited to “something to do with spinal alignment”. I have never complained much about back pain so I wasn’t sure about what I would get out of this session. The session started off with a relaxing cup of beetroot tea as Dorn therapist Karima Nanji explained how she integrates SpaDunya’s signature colour therapy with Dorn. I am asked to pick four colours out of an array of fourteen, these were then sprayed one after the other on my palms and I inhaled three to five times. She then explained what each color meant for me and where the blockages could be related. Next, Karima showed me the difference in my leg length. I had really noticed it before but the left and right sides of my hip, shoulders, jaw and hairline were not in a straight line. In short, I was lopsided but happily Karima assured me that such a slight difference can be fixed within two sessions.

She showed me a few exercises which I could do at home which would keep the difference in check. All the exercises were gentle – no cracking or popping of joints involved. This was followed by a gentle massage of the spine using Altearah Bio oils and a relaxing lie-in with hot stones on my back. Aaaah bliss! After this, checked my entire spine vertebrae by vertebrae to see if there were any blockages or issues from sacrum right to my ears. This was all corrected through gentle movements and exercises. I saw a marked difference in the leg length within the first session and I feel that my posture is much better and back much straighter. This is a must-do for not only people with back issues but for anyone and everyone wanting to avoid them down the track and for better posture.



The Dorn Method was developed by German Dieter Dorn in the 1970s. Dieter says every organ in the body lies on a meridian that connects to the spine, which means that easing out blockages in the spine helps heal diseases of the corresponding organ. This translates to the energy body and treating the misaligned vertebrae would clear the corresponding chakras and its emotional issues.


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