Manual therapy + movement for the masses

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Dermal Traction Method

1. Find out why direct pressure might make some people worse
2. Learn which tissues demand your attention first (hint: it’s not muscle)
3. Works well with ANY bodywork method
4. Generates freakishly effective results
5. Gets patients and clients talking to others
6. Is the least expensive continuing ed course work you will take this year

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Your one time $349 purchase offers you lifetime access to our library of detailed videos that show how to directly apply DTM methods to address chronic pain conditions that have previously been resistant to other therapies. Become part of a community of professionals that are breaking new ground in physical medicine and pain management. Troubleshoot with others to improve your effectiveness in helping others. Your one time purchase allows full lifetime access. A 30 day, 100% guarantee means if you are not completely satisfied, you get your money back.


  • Alexander Sundin-Chiropractic Physician
    Alexander Sundin-Chiropractic Physician"Tried the low back protocols for a chronic low back pain patient , following DTM-ing him, he stood up and for the first time and had no pain. Very cool stuff Phillip Snell and Justin Dean. Excited to see where else I can implement it. THANK YOU!"
  • Patrick Muller, Doctor of Physical Therapy
    Patrick Muller, Doctor of Physical Therapy"DTM'd a co workers shoulder with complaints of 8 years of pain when overhead AROM completed and was able to active lift into flexion immediately without any pain. Cool stuff. Thanks for the content and looking forward to more."
  • Deej Goldstn, Chiropractic Physician
    Deej Goldstn, Chiropractic Physician"Pt. came in months ago with chronic medial ankle pain of 2 years duration aggravated with running. Had been treated for years by DCs doing mostly soft tissue and diversified manipulation with some cold laser. 2 sessions of DTM (dynamic cupping) ...(along with at-home nerve flossing techniques) resolved pain completely. Saw the patient again recently and still no pain. Score one for team DTM!"
  • Dan Swinscoe, Physical Therapist
    Dan Swinscoe, Physical Therapist"I DTM'd for the first time today and it was pretty awesome. Thanks for going to the trouble to share this cool tool"
  • Marc Heller, Chiropractic Physician
    Marc Heller, Chiropractic Physician"A novel approach to nerve pain. A wonderful addition to our manual toolbox, and a great new self care model Thanks to Phillip Snell and Justin Dean!"
  • Allen Rubin, LMT-Bodyworker
    Allen Rubin, LMT-Bodyworker"Plugging in some DTM over superior cluneal and iliohypogastric neurology for long standing, diffuse SIJ and lat. hip pain. Client reported decreases in pain and demonstrated increased E/ROM. Instructed how to use DTM at home with guidance from the DTM website."



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DTM or Dermal Traction Method is a different type of manual therapy approach that prioritizes the health of the neurology in painful movement patterns. Pain of nerve origin (neuropathic pain) is often not considered in painful syndromes because most physical medicine and rehabilitation target bone, joint, muscle, tendon, and ligament. Therapies such as McKenzie Method allow us to reduce pain but superficial nerves are often overlooked by McKenzie Methods. This new method, DTM considers the neurodynamics of the superficial and cutaneous nerves as well as the peripheral nerves.


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Blog posts suggesting ways to market yourself to medical doctors in your community to let them know how you can help their patients.

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Dermal Traction Method

  • Who developed the Dermal traction Method?

    Dr. Phillip Snell and Dr. Justin Dean collaborated to develop the DTM process in their chiropractic practice in Portland, OR, USA. You can read more about both of us below!

  • Can anyone apply the Dermal Traction Method process?

    Painful conditions should FIRST BE ASSESSED BY A DOCTOR TO RULE OUT SERIOUS PATHOLOGY!! Once that has been done, we encourage people without healthcare training to use the DTM process under the guidance of your healthcare professional (massage therapist, coach, personal trainer, acupuncturist).

  • Will the Dermal Traction Method fix everything?

    Of course not! Pain may be an indication of serious injury or organ pathology. For that reason, we suggest that a doctor evaluate anyone for presence of those serious pathologies prior to investigating with the DTM process. Once those items are ruled out, then using the DTM process to quickly and inexpensively assess the status of the neurology in the area of the pain may offer a very quick and easy intervention the patient can take part in.

  • How does “functional rehab exercise” figure in to the Dermal Traction Method Process?

    The principles of functional movement assessment in rehab, suggests that pathomechanical movements may lead to tissue overload and subsequent injury. If a clinician is so inclined to include DTM and functional assessment into practice the goal is to use DTM to quickly allow the person to perform previously painful movements. The functional assessment may offer clues to movement patterns that may have resulted in tissue overload. Performance of those corrective exercises may theoretically reduce likelihood of injury or pain recurrence.  The common statement “First move well, then move often” echoed in the FMS system might be applied here.

  • What exercises are included with the Dermal Traction Method?

    The prescribed exercise movements are best thought of as manually assisted neurodynamic movements. They are individual to the patient and need not be very specific. Simply follow the principles of 1. Creating space around a painful nerve, 2. move the involved area in a way to “floss” the nerve painlessly through the tissues, 3. reperform the previously painful movement to normalize the body’s perception of the area with movement. The goal is to return the person to their desired activity without pain.

  • I still don’t understand how the Dermal traction Method works. Can you provide an example?

    When presented with a painful movement pattern, the DTM student first considers the neurology servicing that area. Those considerations include the spinal nerve roots, the downstream peripheral nerves, and the superficial neurology. We then apply an empirical “clinical audit process” (CAP) to explore the potential involement at each level of neurology.


    A patient presents with pain in the plantar foot that has become chronic and has responded poorly to local interventions targeting the plantar fascia itself. Our investigation might first consider the health of the spinal nerve roots servicing that area. Using a McKenzie-oriented assessment (review the books of Robin McKenzie or the courses from MDT for detailed information), repetitive endrange extension might be applied, followed by a re-assessment of the painful movement to see if the movement is less painful. The peripheral neurology servicing the plantar foot might be screened using neural tension testing (see the work of David Butler and Michael Shacklock for excellent books, DVDs and courses) to attempt to reproduce the familiar pain. Neurodynamics may follow, if indicated, to address the mechanical interface of the peripheral nerves. Locally, the superficial nerves and their course through the painful area are addressed with a goal of “creating space” and improving bloodflow to the involved neurology. With a similar neurodynamics mindset, we lift the tissues around the involved neurology while the painful movement is performed to see if the symptoms improve. If these assessments greatly reduce or resolve the painful movement, then teach the patient to “create space” for the involved neurology and then move in ways to improve the mechanical interface of the neurology.

  • Is there any scientific evidence to support the Dermal Traction Method?

    This work is relatively new, and research has yet to support its inclusion into practice. However, the extremely low risk, ease of understanding and implementation in many commonly seen clinical pain syndromes offers quickly explorable options to opioid medications, steroid injections and surgical interventions. It’s focus on patient education and establishment of locus of control for the patient on pain management reduces fear avoidant behavior and costs associated with passive types of palliative care. The focus on restoration of painfree movement and encouragement for more exploration of movement is in accordance with research on exercise and active care in pain management. For these reasons, we feel the dissemination of this information in a public health environment seeking alternatives to alleviate disability and costs associated with pain is warranted.

    1. “Unhappy” neuro can alter motor behavior
    2. Neuro can become “unhappy” when it’s mechanical interface with the tissues it interacts with is poor
    3. Poor mechanical interface of neuro may lead to pathological compression or tension of the neuro
    4. Pathological compression or tension may lead to venous congestion or ischemia in vasculorum nervorum>sensitization of nervi nervorum>neuropathic pain
    5. Improving blood flow to neuro and mechanical interface of neuro can quickly remove nociceptive signal in a painul movement
    6. Removing pain in the movement pattern, even temporarily, allows for reprogramming of previously painful movement patterns