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Gonstead Chiropractic

Over recent years we have been contacted be members of the public from various parts of the country requesting more information about chiropractic and more specifically Gonstead Chiropractic. Many people have already seen chiropractic adjustments on Youtube and other sites and possibly seen some Gonstead adjustments and the results that can often be expected. The following has been compiled to assist you in understanding some fundamentals so you can more easily observe the subtle uniqueness of this System.

Chiropractic is defined as 'done by hand' by its founder DD Palmer and has been practiced for more than a century. It has had many colourful characters and many practitioners creating their own 'style' of delivering the hands-on adjustment that we now refer to as 'technique'. Some  believe that as many as 200 different techniques have developed over time. One such chiropractic technique was created by Dr Clarence S Gonstead. While his career and life are very interesting. It is his legacy - The Gonstead Chiropractic System that has stood the test of time.


A technique can be defined as - a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure. A chiropractic 'technique' is the execution or delivery of an adjustment (hands-on application of force on a spinal joint to restore normal function). It requires a specific skill set involving hand-eye co-ordination, timing, control, speed etc. This is  similar to a golfers swing in golf but as most golfers know there is more to the game than how you swing a club.


A System can be defined as - a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done. A chiropractic system is a methodical process involving the technique and the reason for applying the technique.

The Gonstead System of chiropractic is more than 'how' to adjust the human spine. Dr Gonstead is well known for his catch cry "FIND IT - ACCEPT IT WHERE YOU FIND IT - FIX IT - AND LEAVE IT ALONE". This approach requires a great deal of understanding and skill before the Chiropractor can even deliver the adjustment or technique.

Very specific.

Because the Gonstead Chiropractic System is methodical  it is also repeatable with a higher level of consistency than simply applying a technique. The processes of this system have a flow that is logical and rigorous, assessing  the patients presenting complaint and their symptoms, various other signs and the use of instruments and images that help formulate an impression of the underlying cause and the most appropriate way to correct it.

The Gonstead Chiropractic has a unique idiom or phrase set to describe what the chiropractor has determined in the examination processes to be the underlying problem and this same phrase set also implies the adjustment required to correct it.

Many Gonstead Chiropractors over many years have used this system and from hundreds of thousands of applications of this system have compiled a wealth of knowledge regarding the results they have obtained using it.

This is the true value of the Gonstead System.  A set of processes that are repeatable, logical and very predictable. This of course contributes to the desired outcome - superb results for patients.

The 'level foundation' principle

A key principle Dr Gonstead put forward and developed was the 'level foundation' principle which is paralleled in the engineering industry. It revolves around the fact that the pelvis (Ilium and sacrum) forms a ring structure that supports the spinal column. This 'foundation' if unlevel or tilted away from a 'normal' position sets the vertebral column into a compensatory deviation. This is to try and return the eyes to a horizontal plane because this is a normal compensation that is required for ambulation and erect posture.

The concept of the level foundation suggests that there will be a need to compensate for any restriction or change in the normal position or motion of the pelvis. This compensation can be evident in the opposite SI joint, the pubic symphysis or the vertebral column supported by the pelvic.

With a short leg the pelvis will lean to the short leg side and the compensation for that can be in the pelvis or just the vertebral column. However, the low side SI joint will be loaded differently to the high side.

Gonstead Chiropractors compare relative motion of each SI joint to decipher any positional abnormality that corresponds to the motion change.

Gonstead Chiropractic has a long history of using 'spinographs' (full spine standing X-rays) to confirm any foundational changes. Spinographs also reveal corresponding compensations elsewhere in the spine when a distortion is in the pelvis.

Gonstead Chiropractic System makes the difference.

Gonstead Chiropractors use this systematic assessment of the foundation to the spine and combine this with a thorough history and examination to develop a clearer understanding of a patient presenting problem and proceed with more relevant tests and procedures such as motion palpation and other orthopedic tests to decipher any motion changes at a specific joint. This may correspond to a positional abnormality that requires further investigation.

When required a safe and very specific adjustment can be delivered using the information gained through the various tests and examinations.

You may like to try this method for yourself.

You may find that the Gonstead System of Chiropractic makes the difference.
The Gonstead System of chiropractic is a very useful non-invasive approach to the effective care of patients. This approach is designed to expose the underlying cause of patient symptoms rather than just masking them.
If you or someone you know has an unresolved problem, why not get a Gonstead Chiropractic assessment to get to the underlying cause.

If you have any more questions about Gonstead Chiropractic please call us.

Gonstead Chiropractic: Our Clinic
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