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What is the Gonstead Chiropractic Method?

Don't want to put up with the pain any longer?

Chiropractic is the science of adjusting the spinal column to allow the nervous system to restore you to full health. New Farm Chiropractic’s doctors specialise in practicing the Gonstead Method to assist patients in achieving optimum health.

The Gonstead Chiropractic Method states that an adjustment is not scientific if it is not specific and we apply this to our treatment philosophy so our patients get the best care and best outcomes.

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractors are concerned with diagnosing and treating health concerns with the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractic can provide both symptom-based and preventative approaches to treatment. By using Chiropractic you are taking pressure off your nervous system to allow the body to regulate and heal itself. Through manual manipulation – known as an adjustment – a Chiropractic professional is trained to restore function to the spine and peripheral joints.

A Chiropractor examines your history and carries out orthopaedic, neurological, biomechanical, and other specialised tests to give you the best management plan for your health issues. New Farm Chiropractic utilise the Gonstead Method of Chiropractic to carry out your health plan.

Who is Dr Clarence Gonstead?

Dr Clarence S. Gonstead developed his method of Chiropractic from his extensive clinical research in Mount Horeb in Wisconsin, USA. In the early 1920s, Dr Gonstead began his 55 years of continual practice and carried out more than four million adjustments. This experience and research has resulted in the most complete method of biomechanical analysis for use by todays’ Doctors of Chiropractic.

Clarance Gonstead

In the mid-1940s, Dr Gonstead developed a systematic approach to teaching his methods following many requests to share his knowledge. His explanations on how to treat patients and returning them to health became world renowned. Dr Gonstead travelled the world teaching Chiropractic students his methods.

This system of Gonstead Chiropractic has changed very little since the 1940s. In Australasia, the Gonstead Chiropractic Method is taught at Macquarie University (Sydney), RMIT (Melbourne),and the New Zealand College of Chiropractic (Auckland). The Gonstead seminar that was developed by Dr Gonstead himself in the 1940s has been presented annually in Australia since 1990 to allow students and practicing Chiropractors the ability to hone their skills by learning from the master himself.

The Gonstead method of Chiropractic gives a trained Chiropractor a set of very useful guidelines to practice effective case management from collecting the patient’s history, carrying out relevant tests and developing  and executing the appropriate health care plan. The guidelines are derived from Dr. Gonstead’s observations during his extensive clinical experience over 55 years in practice.

A student of Gonstead Chiropractic takes many years of dedication, perseverance and practice to learn the skills of a Gonstead practitioner. The Gonstead Chiropractic Method gives followers the tools and understanding to best serve their patients and carry out a health plan with the goal of treating the root cause of issues rather than just the symptoms themselves. We aim for a lasting and sustainable result.


Gonstead Chiropractic Method

The Gonstead Chiropractic Method begins with a basic biomechanical principle of physics – that is that you need a solid foundation or base to have a solid structure. The body’s foundation is formed by the pelvic girdle. When this bone structure consisting of the lower back bones and hips are level there is maximum balance and stability of the spinal column. When the pelvic girdle or any associated bones are out of alignment through tilting, rotating, or unlevelling, dramatic changes can occur within the body.

The Gonstead Clinical Studies Society says “These misalignments can cause pressure on the discs that separate the vertebrae. (The condition of the disc is the key to the patient’s health problem in many cases.) Vertebra can become misaligned either from the cumulative effects of several minor episodes or from a single accident. Nature frequently is able to cope with these jolts to the spinal column without assistance. Sometimes, though, vertebrae tilted or rotated out of their normal position can be too much for nature to deal with effectively.”

These misalignments are known as subluxation when there is resultant irritation of the normal nerve function – the proper transmission of messages controlled by the nerves becomes impeded.

A Gonstead Chiropractor is adept at identifying misalignments – including those in the harder to diagnose upper portion of the vertebral column. Identifying these issues is at the heart of Gonstead Chiropractic practice as the specific adjustments after diagnosis leads the patient back to wellness.

The Gonstead Chiropractic method goes beyond what many practitioners consider a spinal assessment. A Gonstead Chiropractor conducts an assessment using five criteria to identify the presence of vertebral subluxation.

  • Visualisation:

    A Gonstead Chiropractor uses visualisation to cross reference all other findings. This includes looking for subtle changes in posture and movement which indicates issues with the spinal column.

  • Instrumentation:

    The Gonstead Chiropractic instrument of choice is a Nervoscope. This tool detects uneven distribution of heat along the spinal column as this is indicative of inflammation or nerve pressure. Your chiropractor will guide the Nervoscope down the length of your back and patients report that it feels like two fingers running each side of the spine.

  • Static Palpation:

    While the patient is in a static position, a Gonstead Chiropractor will palpate the spine and surrounding muscles to feel for swelling, tenderness, or any other abnormal texture or tightness in the muscles and other tissues of your back.

  • Motion Palpation:

    To achieve this part of the examination, the Gonstead Chiropractor will ask you to move and bend at various angles while they are feeling your spine. This allows your treating physician to see for themselves how easily your spine’s segments move in different directions.

  • X-ray Analysis:

    X-ray films allows a Chiropractor to see the entire structure of your spine. These films help the chiropractor to evaluate your spine in terms of posture, joint and disc integrity, and vertebral misalignments. This allows for pathologies or recent fractures to be ruled out as causes for your condition. When required, a Gonstead Chiropractor recommends that films are taken while the patient is standing in the weight-bearing position to fully substantiate the examination findings.

As a practitioner of the Gonstead Chiropractic method, your Chiropractor will combine all of this information to decide if they can help the patient or if they must be referred to another health care provider. If the findings of the assessment show that your health issues are potentially caused by a subluxation, a Gonstead practitioner will carry out the adjustment with the goal of getting you back to your optimal health as quickly as possible.

Gonstead Chiropractic Philosophy

The philosophy of a Gonstead Chiropractic doctor is to “find the subluxation, correct it, and then leave it alone”. In the hands of a Gonstead doctor, your adjustment will be gentle and specific. The Gonstead Chiropractic method supports the use of gentle direct movements aimed at the areas of the spine that needs to be returned to full movement and alignment.

A great deal of training goes into becoming a practitioner of the Gonstead Chiropractic Method, and that training continues through the Chiropractor’s career. In Australia, the Chiropractic field of medicine is a regulated industry where practitioners must have completed at least five years of university study to obtain their degree and registration. A huge amount of skill and expert knowledge goes into being able to carry out an effective Gonstead Chiropractic adjustment. On top of their university education and training, a Gonstead doctor continues to study and learn through graduate seminars, workshops and private studies. All of this training means that as a patient, you will be receiving the best non-invasive, surgery and drug free medical care.

Why we believe in the Gonstead Chiropractic Method

At New Farm Chiropractic, our doctors practice the Gonstead Chiropractic Method. We do this because the Gonstead Chiropractic Method is a hands-on approach to preventative and restorative health care. We want you on the path to your best health with minimal intrusion. New Farm Chiropractic believes that Dr Gonstead was right when he said “do the least to achieve the most”. We believe that this is the best course of action for most people to assist them in getting their body on track to allow the nervous system to do its job in fixing the root cause of health issues.

Our clinic offers patient centric care – which aligns with the teachings of Dr Gonstead – to focus on the cause of your health concerns, tailoring treatment to meet your specific needs. As Gonstead Chiropractic doctors, we believe the case is not scientific unless the adjustment is specific. We follow the ideal of less is more when it comes to adjusting your body to ensure that your body is able to function normally.

By using the Gonstead Chiropractic Method, the doctors at New Farm Chiropractic are able to treat patients of all ages. From newborns to the elderly, our gentle approach can assist the body in finding the right balance so the nervous system is able to do its job properly and without hindrance. We look at the body as a whole before we touch a patient to ensure that at the heart of what we do is your wellbeing.

To discuss your treatment options and how the Gonstead Chiropractic Method can assist you to regaining your health and wellness, call the Brisbane offices of New Farm Chiropractic on (07) 3254 3011.

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