The Gonstead Approach

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. Through this comprehensive, proactive approach to correcting the spine, we find that the entire body begins functioning better as a whole. There is a clinical logic to every decision made for each and every patient. This ensures the principles outlined by Dr. Clarence Gonstead will be duplicated and the results achieved.

  • 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 irritation. 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.
  • X-Ray Analysis — 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 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.


Your nervous system is so extremely important that it is the only organ system in your body that is completely surrounded and protected by bone. Your nervous system is responsible for every single function in the body and your day-to-day bodily functions, from how we think, act, and react all the way to immune, cardiovascular, digestive system, reproductive health and many more!

In your spine there are 24 moveable vertebrae that have nerves exiting on each side of your spine transmitting signals to every cell, muscle, tissue, and organ in your body. These nerves act as a highway communication system by sending vital information from the brain to the body, and sending feedback from the body back to the brain faster than the speed of light. Throughout life, the body undergoes traumas, stress, and chemical irritation. All of these can lead to the misalignment of two or more of your spinal bones, which is referred to as a “Vertebral Subluxation Complex,” also referred to simply as “Subluxations.” Subluxations cause irritation and inflammation to the nervous system, which alters the transmission of mental impulses and vital information from communicating properly between the brain and the body.

Due to the complexity of the nervous system, people can express subluxations in many different ways. Some people express low back pain, fatigue, headaches, heavy menses, infertility, allergies, ear infections, sleeping disorders, gastrointestinal issues, asthma, high blood pressure and many more. These symptoms are simply the body’s most intellectual way to notify the person that there is dysfunction in their nervous system. It is important to note that chiropractors do not treat any of these symptoms or conditions. Instead, chiropractors remove nerve interference with specific adjustments giving the bodies natural physiology the best ability to function and adapt, thus restoring overall health. Once the body is able to communicate properly, the body does the healing from within.  The best doctor is the one that is housed inside of each of you; let us unleash that potential through specific Gonstead Chiropractic care.

The Foundation Principle

Every engineer, architect, builder, and carpenter understands that to have a complete functional building you must have a stable foundation. Just as a stable foundation gives rise to skyscrapers, the pelvic girdle gives a solid foundation for the spine. If the pelvis or lower spine deviates slightly or is out of alignment there could be compromise to the structures above it, leading to instability.  This instability can lead to compensations in the spine known as “Compensatory Subluxations.” The goal of the chiropractor is to determine the “Primary Subluxations,” as to address the primary cause of the underlying weakness and dysfunction. Once the foundation of the spine is stabilized, the compensatory subluxations tend to self-resolve with time.

Gonstead Adjustment Tables

Every adjustment delivered at Resilience Chiropractic is catered specifically to what your body needs at that visit.

  • Cervical Chair
    • Dr. Gonstead created the cervical chair in 1925.  The cervical chair has a back that folds down in order to allow the chiropractor to use the nervoscope, to detect subluxations. When preparing to adjust, the back of the chair comes back up and is stabilized by a solid wood wedge. This position allows for the best correction of the neck region. Adjustments in the cervical chair, as on all other Gonstead tables, are gentle, easy, and effective.
  • Pelvic Bench
    • Dr. Gonstead created the Pelvic Bench in 1928 to adjust the low back (lumbar) region, as well as the foundation of the spine, also known as “The Pelvis.” A “Side Posture” adjustment will be delivered on the Pelvic Bench, in which you will lay on your side with one leg bent, in order for the doctor to deliver the most effective adjustment possible. The position of the doctor and practice member allow for correction of the many different listings, so each adjustment can be tailored to your specific subluxation.
  • Knee Chest
    • Dr. Gonstead created the knee-chest table in 1924. This table is effective for adjusting the entire spine from the sacrum (tailbone) to the atlas (first bone of neck).  On this table, gravity is a great assistant in providing the force necessary for the adjustment. This table allows the doctor to use a lot less force while still being able to make the correction.  On this table, you are able to achieve maximum relaxation. Because of the comfort of this table, many people, especially pregnant women, prefer being adjusted on this table.  The knee-chest table, is the most portable of all the Gonstead tables, and can be used when adjusting people outside of the clinic, if necessary.
  • Hi-Lo Table
    • Dr. Gonstead did not create the hi-lo, but he modified the original table to better suit the needs of the Gonstead chiropractor. Similar to the knee-chest table, the hi-lo can be used for most areas of the spine. The hi-lo table has specific height modifications to perfectly suit all people.  It allows the doctor to remove the most crucial aspect of the subluxation with ease.​ This table is the most widely used tables in chiropractic, so if you have been to a chiropractor in this past, this is most likely the table they have used.

  • Cervical Chair

  • Pelvic Bench

  • Knee Chest

  • Hi-Lo Table