What Is Gonstead?


In 1923 Clarence Gonstead developed his own system of Chiropractic based on his mechanical engineering background. Using this prior knowledge plus an enormous amount of anatomical studies, Gonstead formulated a system to analyse and correct joint dysfunction in the spine and other joints.

It is this functional examination that determines whether a patient has a subluxation or not. Applying the examination findings to the patient's X-ray allows the Chiropractor to determine the best way to correct the problem. Treatment involves administering a very specific manual procedure called an adjustment to the site of subluxation.

The goal of the Gonstead practitioner is to "do the least to achieve the most". That is to say, the least amount of vertebrae to be adjusted, with the least amount of force, the least amount of times. Of course, this is case specific to each patient.

During his practice Gonstead developed his clinic into one of the largest in history. Due to his relatively isolated location, in farmland Wisconsin, and his reputation the clinic required facilities including a 105 capacity waiting room, an onsite hotel and even its own airstrip. To cope with demand 3 chiropractors worked 16 hours a day.The Gonstead system is a very specific approach of analysing the patient for subluxations and then accurately adjusting these subluxations in order to restore normal nerve function.

The Gonstead approach has been so successful and effective in identifying and correcting subluxations because of a rule known as the Gonstead Formula:

Find it, accept it where you find it, fix it and leave it alone.