The Gonstead System is unique because it is thorough, complete and specific in both analyzing and treating the spine. The Gonstead practitioner addresses your entire spine when evaluating for the presence of vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments producing nerve interference or irritation) which cause ill health.

The Gonstead Analysis

The Gonstead chiropractor conducts a thorough analysis of your spine using five criteria to detect the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex.

X-ray Analysis

X-ray films enable your doctor to visualize the entire structure of your spine. This is helpful in evaluating for any disease processes, fracture, posture, joint and disc integrity and vertebral misalignments.


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.


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.


The Gonstead Adjustment

“Therein lies the uniqueness of my work -
The Gonstead Technique has a specific application
on the affected segment or segments only.”
C.S Gonstead

After a complete analysis, the Gonstead practitioner is ready to deliver any necessary spinal adjustments. The focus of the Gonstead adjustment is to be as specific, precise and accurate as possible, addressing only the problem areas (areas of subluxation). Great care is taken to ensure a mechanically correct position and precise thrust to provide the most accurate and painless adjustments possible. It is the goal of your Gonstead doctor to restore and maintain optimal health by locating and correcting any interference to the nervous system caused by vertebral subluxation.
*To learn more on how the Vertebral Subluxation Complex affects your health see the brochure titled Subluxation.
The Gonstead Clinic is located in Mt. Horeb, WI is currently staffed by chiropractors personally taught by Dr. Gonstead, and still sees patients from all over the world. Adjacent is the Karakahl Inn built by Dr. Gonstead providing a full service, relaxing atmosphere for visiting patients under care.

The Gonstead History

Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead practices chiropractic from 1923 until 1978. He decided to become a chiropractor after chiropractic adjustments allowed his body to heal from painful, crippling episode of rheumatoid arthritis. Using his background in mechanical engineering and extensive hours spent studying cadaver spines; he developed a unique approach to applying chiropractic care. His application brought him both national and international acclaim, and he was known as a” chiropractor’s chiropractor.” His practice located in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin (pop. 4000) drew patients from all over the world, and is still the largest to have existed to date. Dr. Gonstead’s brilliant mind and lifelong experience of treating over one million patients enabled him to develop and refine his technique which is now taught and practiced by doctors of chiropractic all over the world.


Herbst, R.W., Gonstead Chiropractic Science and Art. Chicago: SciChi Publications, 1968.
Plaugher, Gregory, Textbook of Clinical Chiropractic. Williams & Wikens, 1993
Gohl, Richard A., Clinical Biomechanical Spinal Analysis. Gohl Publishing, 1997
Goble, Mary E., The Master’s Touch. PRIDE! Incorporated, 1990
Fernandez, Peter G., The Miracle Man. GCSS website.
Heschong, Roger S., The Gonstead System. Chiropractic Products, Oct. 1997, pp.36-37
For research and other information on the Gonstead System see

Fid the Subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it and leave it alone."

C.S. Gonstead