The Gonstead Method

Gonstead represents the “Gold” standard in “hands on” spinal adjusting and remains a leader in chiropractic techniques. Adhering to the definition of true chiropractic as defined by D. D. Palmer, the founder of Chiropractic in 1895, Dr. Gonstead found there was no substitute or better method for analyzing or correcting spinal misalignments than with a pair of skilled chiropractic hands. This remains true today.

Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead (1898-1978) began practicing chiropractic in 1923 in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, a small farming community of 1,200 residents in south central Wisconsin. Dr. Gonstead’s reputation spread throughout the state, the country and ultimately around the world, as a multitude of patient’s health problems were corrected remarkably fast by his brand of chiropractic treatment. Hundreds of patients were seeking his care on a daily basis, and with his dedication to helping these patients, Dr. Gonstead worked from 8 a.m. to midnight 6 days a week plus Sunday morning from 5am to 10am to accomodate these growing numbers of patients.

The Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic, completed in 1964, was the third and final clinic Dr. Gonstead would design and treat patients from in this little town of Mt. Horeb before his death in 1978. Dr. Gonstead built the largest chiropractic facility in the world. A 22,000 square foot clinic, it had a waiting room to seat over 100 patients, 11 adjusting rooms, x-ray facilities and lab, and a lower level to hold Chiropractic seminars. It was to become the most renowned chiropractic facility in the world. Next to his new clinic, Dr. Gonstead added a 78 room, full-service motel and an airplane landing strip to accommodate the clinic’s numerous long distance patients. Dr. Gonstead and his fellow staff members attended 300 to 400 patients on a daily basis. This huge following of patients led Dr. Gonstead to start the Gonstead Seminar of Chiropractic, helping to teach and develop even more Chiropractors in the art and philosophy of the Gonstead system of chiropractic treatment.

Theory Behind Gonstead: Gonstead Chiropractic is based on the biomechanical principles of physics. Dr Gonstead was a trained mechanical engineer who realized that the body’s foundation is formed by the pelvic girdle. When this or any of the vertebrae making up the spinal column 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 or pelvic girdle can cause pressure on the discs between the bony structures and the nerves extending out from the spinal column to reach the rest of the body. Uneven pressure put on the discs can cause them to swell and protrude, which is referred to as slipped, herniated or ruptured. When misalignments result in pinching or compression of the nerves that run through spinal areas it is called “Subluxation” by chiropractors. Compressed nerves become inflamed and impede the proper transmission of impulses to the corresponding areas of the body.