The Gonstead Technique
The Gonstead Technique is a chiropractic system of analysis that focuses on five components to aid in the detection and correction of vertebral subluxations.
Visualization - the objective is to find any small blemishes of the skin or even variations of posture. These small details can serve as cross-checks for any of the following steps of analysis.
Instrumentation - the use of a sophisticated heat-sensing tool, known as either a Nervo-scope or a Delta-T, during each visit aids in the understanding of where the specific adjustment should, and more importantly should not, be delivered.
Static Palpation - this is the process of simple palpation (or touching) of the spine and its surrounding structures in a stationary (or static) position. The goal here is to determine if there is the presence of swelling (or edema), any tenderness and any changes of muscle tone.
Motion Palpation - this process involves feeling the motion of the spine to determine the range of motion a segment of the spine possesses.
X-ray Analysis - the objective here is to allow the doctors to visually see the structure and integrity of the spine. This is extremely helpful in determining the posture and joint integrity of the spine, as well as any possible underlying pathologies or fractures that may be present.
The Gonstead History
The Gonstead Technique is based on the practice and teachings of Dr. Clarence Gonstead, who started his clinic in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin in 1923. In his early life, Dr. Gonstead was a mechanical engineer and it was this engineer background that created the basis of this chiropractic technique. Dr. Gonstead, like any engineer, understood the importance of the foundation of any structure, so naturally he saw this same thing in the structure of the human spine. Any changes in the foundation can result in a great amount of deviation to the structures above. With this principle in mind, Dr. Gonstead was able to assess the human spine with proper biomechanics using the pelvic girdle as the foundation upon which the rest of the spine is dependent upon. When the spine is level, within the anatomical limitations of the individual, the spine has the ability to possess its highest level of balance and stability.
The attention to detail that Dr. Gonstead practiced with lead to the creation of a rather scientific and specific chiropractic adjusting technique. As history has it, Dr. Gonstead was able to deliver more than 4 million adjustments to people from all walks of life. During the pinnacle of his practice, Dr. Gonstead had no choice but to create a clinic that featured both its own hotel and airplane landing strip to meet the demand of so many who sought his care. With this kind of success, Dr. Gonstead was clearly doing something right!
In continuing the discussion of Dr. Gonstead's Level Foundation principle, the explanation of subluxation is easily understood. As mentioned before, Dr. Gonstead understood that if there were any variations of the spine's foundation, then the structures above were subject to some variation of deviation.
The misalignments of the pelvis and the rest of the spine can cause pressure on the discs in between the bones of the spine. This can ultimately lead to a great deal of stress placed on the small nerves that are closely protected by the bones of the spine and extend from the spinal cord out to the rest of the body.
Subluxation is the word that describes a spinal misalignment that interferes with the nerve impulses the brain sends down the spinal cord and out the spinal nerves. When this interference is present, these nerves cannot effectively communicate with the cells, tissues, muscles and organs that make up the body. If the nerves are unable to properly conveying their specific messages, then disfunction is the result.
It is in the detection and correction of subluxations that gives chiropractic its uniqueness as it is the only profession that specializes in such a thing. By detecting true subluxations, the root cause of your health concerns can be uncovered and the body is given the chance to heal from within, just as it was designed to do.