What is Gonstead?

Chiropractic began with Daniel D. Palmer giving his first adjustment in September 1895 in Davenport, Iowa. Today, there are many methods used by chiropractors to correct spinal misalignments, joint dysfunctions and subluxation complexes. Many techniques are identified by the name of the person who was most instrumental in their development. One of the most advanced and scientific methods is a technique called: The Gonstead System.

Dr Gonstead developed his procedures as a result of extensive clinical research in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. These procedures were developed over many years of clinical observation and research to work out how to get sick patients well. Doctor Gonstead’s fifty-five years of continuous practice and over four million chiropractic adjustments resulted in the most complete method of biomechanical analysis available for use by today’s doctors of chiropractic. Many of Dr Gonstead's clinical approaches, theories and results are now being explained by modern scientific research and studies. Dr Gonstead was asked by other chiropractors to teach them what he did and how he got the results that he did. This lead to the development of the Gonstead Seminar in the mid 1940's and a systematic approach to explaining the way he practiced and got sick patients well.  A full history of the Gonstead Seminar is available at www.gonsteadseminar.com.

The Gonstead System is taught in many Chiropractic schools around the world. In Australasia Gonstead programs are taught at Macquarie University (Sydney), RMIT (Melbourne) and New Zealand College of Chiropractic (Auckland). The GCS runs several seminars a year in Australia and New Zealand and conducts regular workshops for Chiropractors and students to further their skill and knowledge of the Gonstead System. The Gonstead Seminar has presented annually in Australia since 1990.

The Gonstead Chiropractor conducts a thorough analysis of your spine using a variety of tools to detect the presence spinal dysfunction known as the vertebral subluxation complex.

History - Your Chiropractor will take a thorough history of your presenting complaint and include your overall health and medical history. This can assist in determining if you are a Chiropractic case 

Visualization – Visualization is a way to cross reference all the other findings. Your chiropractor is an expert in looking for subtle changes in your posture and movement which could indicate any problems.

Instrumentation – The instrument of choice in the Gonstead System is the Nervoscope. The Nervoscope detects uneven distributions of heat along the spine which can be indicative of inflammation and nerve pressure. This instrument is guided down the length of your back and feels like two fingers gliding down each side of your spine.

Static Palpation – This is simply the process of feeling (or palpating) your spine in a stationary (or static) position. Your chiropractor will feel for the presence of swelling (or oedema), tenderness and any abnormal texture or tightness in the muscles and other tissues of your back.

Motion Palpation – This process involves feeling the spine while moving and bending it at various angles. This enables the chiropractor to determine how easily or difficult each segment in your spine moves in different directions.

X-Ray Analysis – X-rays enable your doctor to visualise the entire structure of your spine. This is helpful in evaluating posture, joint and disc integrity, vertebral misalignments and ruling out any pathologies, or recent fractures that may be present or contributing to the patient’s condition. These full-spine radiographs are taken in the standing, weight-bearing position to fully substantiate the examination findings.

When all this information is combined, a trained Gonstead Doctor will immediately let you know if your health situation is a Chiropractic case. If it is not, a referral to the appropriate health provider will be given. If your case is a Chiropractic case, the trained Gonstead practitioner's goal is to utilise the dynamics of the effectual Gonstead Specific Adjustment to get you back to optimal health as quickly as possible, with no "pre-planned" treatment programs. The goal of a Gonstead practitioner is to get a patient back on the road to health as quickly as possible and then leave the patient alone. In the words of Dr. Gonstead, "Find the subluxation, correct it, and then leave it alone".

Gonstead chiropractic is so effective and popular with patients because it is:

  • Gentle Safe
  • Thorough
  • Gets lasting results relatively quickly
  • Is based on uniquely sound biomechanical and neurological principles

A great deal of skill and knowledge is required to perform a Gonstead adjustment. Your Gonstead chiropractor has spent many years developing this level of expertise, including 5 years of tertiary study and ongoing post graduate seminars, workshops and private study. What makes the Gonstead system so different is the detail of the analysis, the specificity of the adjustment and the principles of patient management.

The Adjustment: In the trained hands of the Gonstead chiropractor, the adjustment is simply a gentle direct movement of the misaligned spinal segment towards normal alignment and mobility.