“Specificity is what changed my life and specific is the only way I vowed to ever practice.”
We use a highly-effective adjusting approach, called Gonstead, to help improve spinal biomechanics and reduce nervous system interference. The approach we use is based on a variety of factors too numerous to describe here.
Dr. Clarence Gonstead
Who was Dr. Gonstead? In the early 1960’s word was spreading throughout the world that there was a healer in a small farming community in Wisconsin to whom people of all ages, and walks of life, were flocking. Who was this man and what was his method?
The man was Clarence S. Gonstead. He became a chiropractor in 1923 following a personal experience with chiropractic that had helped his body heal from a painful, crippling episode of rheumatoid arthritis. With a background in mechanical engineering, he would come to apply the principles of this discipline to the evaluation of the spine. As part of a life long study of the spine, he would often fly his private plane to Indianapolis to dissect, study, stain, photograph and then reconstruct cadaver spines at Lincoln Chiropractic College.
Based on his studies, he developed the “foundation principle” to explain how a fixation in one area of the spine created compensatory bio-mechanical changes and symptoms in another. He was a pioneer in the chiropractic profession, developing equipment and a method of analysis that used more than one criteria to verify the precise location of vertebral subluxation (A subluxation is a spinal bone that is fixated or “stuck” resulting in nerve pressure and interfering with the innate ability of the body to maintain health).
A Unique Application
Considering his system, in light of current knowledge, it is surprising that the concept of adjusting the spine only if and when there is a fixation, has not been universally accepted. Gonstead stated in the 1940’s, “Therein lies the uniqueness of my work – The Gonstead Technique has a specific application on the affected segment or segments only.” His approach is often summarized by the phrase he coined, “Find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it and leave it alone”. The common sense, evident in his work, is further summarized in another phrase that he often used: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
(Above All, Do No Harm). It is also interesting to note that because of his detailed study of the spine, he taught that rotation or twisting of the spine during the chiropractic adjustment was harmful to the patient. Current Chiropractic, Osteopathic, and Medical literature links twisting of the spine to accelerated degeneration of the cushion pad, or disc, located between the spinal bones. The twisting motion associated with crude methods of “manipulating” the neck or cervical spine has also been implicated as the major factor in the rare incidence of stroke associated with chiropractic “treatment”. This tragic occurrence, occasionally reported in scientific literature and the popular press, has diverted attention away from the enormous benefits of properly administered chiropractic care.
One hallmark of the Gonstead Technique is adjustment of the neck with a very specific maneuver that is completed with the patient seated. The neck is adjusted in this manner to eliminate the twisting or rotation aspect of the adjusting procedure. In the 1990’s, the Gonstead Technique is recognized throughout the global chiropractic community as one of the safest systems of evaluating and caring for conditions related to the spine.
The contents of this page were taken from the Gonstead Chiropractic Technique Homepage
The “Gonstead Chiropractor”
The Gonstead Chiropractor goes beyond what many chiropractors consider a spinal assessment by conducting a thorough analysis of your spine using five criteria to detect the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex.
Visualization is a way to cross reference all the other findings. Your chiropractor is an expert in looking for subtle changes in your posture and movement which could indicate any problems.
The instrument of choice in the Gonstead System is the Nervoscope. The Nervoscope detects uneven distributions of heat along the spine which can be indicative of inflammation and nerve pressure. This instrument is guided down the length of your back and feels like two fingers gliding down each side of your spine.
This is simply the process of feeling (or palpating) your spine in a stationary (or static) position. Your chiropractor will feel for the presence of swelling (or edema), tenderness and any abnormal texture or tightness in the muscles and other tissues of your back.
This process involves feeling the spine while moving and bending it at various angles. This enables the chiropractor to determine how easily or difficult each segment in your spine moves in different directions.
X-ray films enable your doctor to visualize the entire structure of your spine. This is helpful in evaluating posture, joint and disc integrity, vertebral misalignments and ruling out any pathologies, or recent fractures that may be present or contributing to the patient’s condition. These full-spine radiographs are taken in the standing, weight-bearing position to fully substantiate the examination findings.
To learn more about the gonstead technique, visit www.gonstead.com.