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Specific, Scientific, Gonstead Adjustments

History of Technique

Gonstead Technique is a system of analysis based on the practice of Dr. Clarence Gonstead, who started his clinic in tiny Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin in 1923. He was a mechanical engineer, and looked at the body and spine with an engineer's eye. He developed a unique methodology based on proper biomechanical principles and the importance of a "level foundation" for the spine. Because of his incredible results (especially with so-called "hopeless" cases), people came to the clinic in droves, and he eventually built the largest chiropractic clinic in the world! In order to accommodate the patients coming from all over the world, he built a hotel next to the clinic and a landing strip for airplanes. It's hard to argue with that kind of success!



History of Gonstead Technique

Foundation Principle
Foundation Principle

Dr. Gonstead realized that the body’s foundation is formed by the pelvic girdle. When the pelvis or any of the spinal bones become tilted or out of alignment, dramatic changes can occur in the body that may result in pain and decreased health. Misalignments of the vertebrae and pelvis cause pressure on the discs between the spinal bones, and put pressure on the nerves extending out to the rest of the body. This pressure usually causes pain, but in the early stages, the person may not feel pain and may be unaware of the problem. Uneven pressure on the discs causes them to swell and protrude, and is commonly called a "slipped" disc. "Subluxation" is the term used by chiropractors for these misalignments which result in pinching or compression of the nerves. Compressed nerves become inflamed and impede the proper transmission of impulses to the corresponding areas of the body.



Why we adjust this way
Why do we adjust this way?

When a bone in your spine subluxates, it has to move backwards first (except for the top bone in your neck which goes primarily to the side).  For that reason for a majority of our adjustments, we will stand behind you in order to make the proper correction.

To necessitate this Dr. Clarence Gonstead developed three specific tables: Knee-chest table, cervical chair, and pelvic bench

Cervical Chair
Cervical Chair

Dr. Gonstead created the cervical chair in 1925.  The chair has a back that folds down in order to allow the chiropractor to use the nervoscope, to detect the subluxations.

When preparing the adjust the back of the chair comes back up and is stabilized by a solid wood wedge.  

This position allows for the best correction of the neck, including the top bone in the neck (the atlas).

Adjustments in the cervical chair, as on all other tables are gentle, easy, and effective.

Pelvic Bench

Dr. Gonstead created the Pelvic bench in 1928 in order to adjust the low back and the hips or pelvis. This table allows the doctor to position the practice member for the most gentle, and specific correction possible.

The pelvic bench is made with foam rubber for comfort and it is covered with durable cloth to prevent the practice member from sliding.  The table will always be against the wall to provide reassurance that you cannot fall off the back
of the table. 

This table enables the doctor to remove the subluxation of the low back or pelvis with ease but it also allows for the correction of extremities

The position of the doctor and practice member allow for correction of the many different listings, so each adjustment can be tailored to your specific subluxation.

Knee-Chest Table

Dr. Gonstead created the knee-chest table in 1924. This table is effective for adjusting the spine from the sacrum (tailbone) to the atlas (first bone of neck).  On this table, gravity is a great assistant in providing the force necessary for the adjustment.  

This table allows the doctor to use a lot less force while still being able to make the correction.  On this table, you are able to achieve maximum relaxation.

Because of the comfort of this table, many people, espescially pregnant women, prefer being adjusted on this table.  The knee-chest table, is the most portable table and can be used when adjusting people outside of the clinic.


Dr. Gonstead did not create the hi-lo, but he modified the original table to better suit the needs of the Gonstead chiropractor. Similar to the knee--chest table, the hi-lo can be used for most areas of the spine.  

The hi-lo table has specific height modifications to perfectly suit all people.  It allows the doctor to remove the most crucial aspect of the subluxation with ease. 

As with the pelvic bench, the hi-lo can be used to adjust extremities.

This table is the most widely used tables in chiropractic, so if you have been to a chiropractor n this past, this is most likely the table they have used. 

Slainte Hi-Lo.jpg
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