Dr. Clarence Gonstead was one of the profession’s greatest influencers, developing a chiropractic method that is taught in every chiropractic school worldwide. Dr. Gonstead graduated with his doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1923. Shortly thereafter, he opened his practice in Mount Horbe, Wisconsin, a small farming community of just 1,200 residents. There, he developed a technique that is now one of the primary spinal adjusting methods used today.
He combined his experience as a former engineer with observational scientific method to create the Gonstead chiropractic technique. Word of Dr. Gonstead’s abilities spread across the state, then the country. Eventually, people were flying in from all over the world to be treated by Dr. Gonstead. Patients overflowed his reception and often spilled into the street. This lead to the creation of the Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic. This was a two story, 29,000 square foot facility with 11 treatment rooms, radiology facilities, research facilities, blood chemistry lab, and seminar rooms. The waiting room could seat 100 patients. To accommodate visiting patients a 78 room motel was created. Patients flying on private planes would land at Gonstead’s private airport. Dr. Gonstead’s work ethic was legendary. Monday to Saturday he treated patient from 8am until midnight, sometimes seeing patients until 2:30am. Sunday’s he saw patients from 5am until 10am.
In the 1960’s, Palmer College of Chiropractic decided to rewrite its technique curriculum, making the Gonstead method the cornerstone of the technique education. Eventually it was added to the curriculum of every chiropractic school.
The technique is known for it’s high degree of specificity. Detailed x-ray line analysis reveals the precise listing of the spinal subluxation, or misalignment. A single sheet full spine x-ray used to be performed, but today regional x-rays are done. Static and dynamic motion palpation exams were refined to confirm the existence of subluxations.
Using a precise line of correction, a high velocity low amplitude adjustment is used to correct the misalignment. What this means is that a quick but very shallow adjustment is made. Very often, a joint cavitation, or crack, can be heard at the moment of adjustment. This sound is merely The formation of a small gas bubble within the joint fluid. With improved spinal mechanics, pressure is lifted off the spinal nerves allowing proper communication between the brain and body and ensuring better health.