The history of chiropractic dates back as far as 17,500 BC. Hippocrates believed that a misaligned spine contributed to the health of an individual. Modern day chiropractic goes back over 100 years, when the first adjustment was given by Dr. Daniel Palmer on September 18, 1895.
Dr. Palmer, born in Canada in 1845, was very interested in the healing arts and first learned magnetic healing. This form of healing used the magnetism in the body. In 1886, Dr. Palmer opened his first office of magnetic healing in Burlington, Iowa. From there, he went on to open another office in Burlington, Iowa in 1887.
His interest was finding the cause and effect of sickness. He studied to discover what causes sickness and what effects sickness has on the human body. The first chiropractic adjustment he gave in 1895 was performed on a man who had lost his hearing 17 years previously. He reported to Dr. Palmer that at the time of losing his hearing, he had strained his back and had heard a noise in his back when this happened. Suspecting that there could be a spinal misalignment, Dr. Palmer examined him and found a vertebra out of line. Dr. Palmer adjusted the vertebra back into position and the man’s hearing improved.
This proved Dr. Palmer’s theory that if the spine is aligned correctly, the nerve flow to all parts of the body will work correctly and thus the body will be healthy and free of disease. Dr. Palmer was excited to think that he may have discovered a cure for all sickness. In 1897, Dr. Palmer opened the first chiropractic school in Davenport, Iowa calling it the Palmer Infirmary and Chiropractic Institute. The name was later changed in 1907 to Palmer School of Chiropractic. Chiropractic has come a long way since Daniel D. Palmer gave his first adjustment. Today, there are many methods used by chiropractors to correct spinal misalignment’s, joint dysfunctions and subluxation complexes. Many techniques are identified by the name of the person who was most instrumental in their development. Interestingly enough, one of the most advanced and scientific methods is a technique called the Gonstead System.
The Gonstead System
Gonstead procedures are the result of extensive clinical research by Clarence S.Gonstead, founder of the world famous Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and his associates. 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. So why don’t all chiropractors use this technique? Because the analysis takes more time and mastering the art of delivering a specific adjustment takes a lot of practice and dedication.
The “Gonstead Chiropractor”
The Gonstead Chiropractor goes beyond what many chiropractors consider a spinal assessment by conducting a thorough analysis of your spine using five criteria to detect the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex.
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 edema), 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.
Digital X-Ray Analysis – Digital x-ray films enable your doctor to visualize the entire structure of your spine. This is helpful in evaluating posture, joint and disc integrity, vertebral misalignment’s 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.