Here’s a brief summary about Dr. Gonstead to help you understand how an engineer decided to become a principled doctor of chiropractic and developed a technique that bridged his expertise’s as a doctor and engineer:
The Gonstead technique was developed by Dr. Clarence Gonstead. Prior to chiropractic, Dr. Gonstead was a biomechanic engineer. At very young age, he had been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. His parents took him to a chiropractor and the chiropractor was able to help him tremendously. Because of the success, Dr. Gonstead was inspired to become a chiropractor himself.
Doctor Gonstead is holding a thermometer.
In 1923, he graduated with a class known as the “Crusaders” because most of the students from that graduating class became important pioneers that helped to shape and push the chiropractic profession forward. Because Dr. Gonstead was a biomechanics prior to becoming a chiropractor, he was very interested in the biomechanics of the spine and the intervertebral disc (the cushion between the spine). He dissected over 200 cadavers to study the anatomy and structures of all the segments that make up the spine. He found that the worst stress that could be applied to the spine was rotation and that the spine always misaligns backwards. For this reason, he found that in order to make a difference and to help the patient get the best results possible, it was crucial that the doctor finds the vertebra that has shifted backwards and to correct it by bringing forward to remove nerve irritation on the nerve root caused by the misalignment. He also found that in order to deliver the BEST RESULTS, it is important to be as specific as possible and to only adjust the segment that was misaligned and not to randomly manipulated (“cracks) and rotate the spine.
With much research and study, he developed a specific approach, the care that attracted thousands of people all over the country and world to his clinic in Mt. Horeb Wisconsin. At the time, he built the very first stand alone chiropractic clinic in the world that was 22,000 square foot with a waiting area of over fifty seats. In addition to this clinic, he also built a motel right beside the clinic accommodate patients that travel to his clinic from afar. Dr. Gonstead was a very dedicated and hard worker who gave his entire life to his patients and the professional. Due to his great results, many doctors around the country wanted to learn his approach. Due to high demand and popularity, he started the Gonstead Seminar in hopes of passing on his knowledge so that more patients would be able to receive this type of specific, hands-on care. As much as he worked, and as many patients as he saw, he knew that he could not do it forever and alone and needed to pass on the knowledge and his experiences to other doctors. Gonstead Seminar continuous to travel around the world to keep Dr. Gonstead’s ideals alive.
The Gonstead technique emphasizes the importance of finding the cause of a problem and not chasing the symptoms. That is the reason why Dr. Gosntead was able to produce results in shorter time frames than most doctors. He understood the importance of the biomechanics of all joints and foundation level principle in conjunction to nervous system regulates everything in the body.
Chiropractic does not cure or treat any diseases but it removes interferences, which then allows the body to function at its optimal level; thereby, healing itself. “The power that made the body heals the body.” Our body has the ability to self-regulate and repairs if we allow it to do so by removing all interferences that includes but are not limited to trauma, poor mental health, and poor nutrition.
That too is a question I challenged my peers and constantly ask myself to make sure I am delivering that best patient care that I can provide for my community. The conclusion I came to is what I call the ‘Gonstead Edge’, this precise methodology which consists of six parts examination: patient history, visualization, static palpation, motion palpation, nervoscope, and x-ray. To me, there’s a palpable difference in clarity and quality when using the Gonstead Technique for my patients. It is grounded in philosophy, science and art (what we sometimes call the Chiropractic Triune) as it’s founder Dr. Clarence Gonstead developed this technique was deeply rooted in all three.