Dr. Clarence S.
Gonstead became a chiropractor in 1923 following a crippling episode of rheumatoid arthritis that was helped heal through
chiropractic. With an educational background in mechanical engineering, he was able to apply these principles to the
evaluation of the spine. He eventually developed what is known as the "foundation principle" which is used to explain how
fixation in one area of the spine can influence the structure and symptoms in another. He also developed a five step
protocol for determining the exact location of vertebral subluxation (A subluxation involves a spinal
bone that is stuck in a misaligned position resulting in nerve pressure, thus interfering with the
body's ability to maintain health). This five step protocol involves the visually inspecting the
spine/posture, using palpation to feel for areas of swelling or tenderness, using motion to assess
the function of the spinal segments, using a heat detecting instrument to pinpoint and monitor
inflammation and healing, and using x-rays in order to accurately study the structure and orientation
of the spinal segments. By the early 60's Dr. Gonstead's practice in Mount Horeb, WI was drawing
patients from all ages, walks of life and locations of the world.
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".
Dr. Gonstead studied the spine extensively and would often visit chiropractic colleges in order to
use cadavers for his research. He learned, and therefore taught, that excessive rotation or twisting
of the spine during the chiropractic adjustment was harmful to the patient. Current Chiropractic,
Osteopathic, and Medical literature finds that twisting of the spine is associated with accelerated
degeneration of the cushion (cartilage disc) located between the spinal bones. Crude methods of
"manipulating" the neck or cervical spine which involve excessive amounts of rotation been linked to
rare incidences of stroke associated with chiropractic "treatment". Unfortunately, these events
occasionally reported in scientific journals and the popular press, have diverted attention away
from the enormous benefits of quality, properly administered chiropractic care.
One hallmark of the Gonstead Method involves the adjustment of the neck with a very specific
maneuver performed 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 Method was
recognized throughout the chiropractic community as one of the safest systems of evaluating and
caring for conditions related to the spine.
At Krieser Family Chiropractic, we proudly report that the Gonstead Method is utilized with the
utmost care and precision in order to insure that our patients are safe and receive the best
chiropractic care possible.
For more information about the Gonstead Method, Please visit their website at www.gonstead.com
Information above was provided by the gonstead clinical studies society.