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Body Alignment

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Extended family sitting in gardenIn today’s world, where people are investing in their health, interested in living longer lives, and searching for more holistic lifestyle and wellness solutions, chiropractic has truly become relevant.  Chiropractic is based on the premise that the brain and the nervous system assemble and transmit information necessary for the proper functioning and coordination of the body.  The spinal system, consisting of the vertebrae, the spinal cord, and the spinal nerves carry this information from the brain to all parts of the body.  The nervous system is the communication network of the body and, therefore, the proper position, or alignment, of the vertebrae is integral to this communication.  The misalignment of even one vertebra could cause pressure on the spinal cord or on small spinal nerves.  This interference is called “vertebral subluxation” and is responsible for the malfunctioning of the body.  A chiropractor, therefore, manually “adjusts” the subluxated vertebrae to their proper position, thereby removing nerve pressure and allowing unimpeded communication between the brain and bodily organs – facilitated by a healthy spine.

Chiropractic has been widely practised in different geographies, among different peoples of the world.  The term ‘Chiropractic’ stems from Greek, meaning ‘practical hands’.  Greek physicians, Hippocrates for example, are known to have used their hands to manually adjust spinal vertebrae to treat various forms of disease, pain, and ill health.  Today, chiropractic care is one of the most popular forms of medical therapy.  The theory and method of Chiropractic was developed by David Daniel Palmer, a Canadian living in the United States, starting in 1895. It is based on the concept that most, if not all, ill-health or disease were due to neurological dysfunction (or problems with the central and peripheral nervous systems) and that by using manipulation and adjustments of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine, as well as support techniques, much ill health and disease could be corrected.

Chiropractors recognize that many factors affect physical health – including exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity.  Chiropractors provide natural, drugless, and non-surgical health treatments that rely on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities.  They also recommend changes in lifestyle – in eating, exercise, and sleeping habits, for example – to their patients.  When appropriate, chiropractors consult with, and refer patients to other health practitioners.  Like other health practitioners, chiropractors tend to follow a particular routine to obtain information they need for diagnosis and treatment.  They review the patient’s medical history and conduct physical, neurological, and orthopaedic examinations; when required, chiropractors may order laboratory tests such as blood work and X-rays as these provide indicators of spinal health and bodily health.  Chiropractors also employ a postural and spinal analysis common to chiropractic diagnosis.  In cases in which difficulties can be traced to the involvement of musculoskeletal structures, chiropractors manually adjust the spinal column.  Some chiropractors use ice, light, massage, ultrasound, electric, acupuncture, and heat therapy. Some may also utilize supports such as straps, tapes, and braces.  Most chiropractors counsel patients about wellness elements such as nutrition, exercise, changes in lifestyle, and stress management, but do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery.

What is the Gonstead Method?

imageOne of the pioneers in the field of chiropractic, and the founding father of the Gonstead System of Chiropractic, was Clarence S. Gonstead.  From his personal experience with chiropractic (that helped him heal from rheumatoid arthritis) and with a background in mechanical engineering, Gonstead propounded the “foundation principle”, which was based on a detailed examination and study of the spinal system.  He proposed that rotation, twisting of the spine, manipulation of the neck or cervical spine in chiropractic practice was harmful to the patient with potential complicated consequences, such as stroke. Aiming to avoid such complications, Gonstead developed his own system of chiropractic.

As a chiropractor and mechanical engineer, Gonstead leveraged his skills and expertise to develop cutting-edge chiropractic equipment.  His methodology of analysis uses more than one criterion such as x-ray analysis, instrumentation, static palpation, motion palpation, and visualisation to verify the precise location of the vertebral subluxation.  Gonstead’s principle was “find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it, and leave it alone.”  The common sense, evident in his work, is further summarised in another phrase that he often used: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The Gonstead System of Chiropractic represents the ultimate in “hands on” spinal adjusting and remains among the foremost of chiropractic techniques.  Dr. Gonstead’s reputation spread far and wide, and he received hundreds of patients from all over the world.  In 1964, he built the largest chiropractic clinic in the world in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.  After his death in 1978, the Cox brothers continued the Gonstead System of Chiropractic.

Today, Gonstead practitioners are educated in the teachings and application of this highly successful technique and case management system.  Beyond the eight years of chiropractic and college education typically required to become a Chiropractor, followed by national and state board examinations to be a licensed Chiropractor, the Gonstead practitioner has spent additional time attending Gonstead Seminars to help perfect their application of chiropractic within the Gonstead System.  Dr. Rahim is certified in the Gonstead System of Chiropractic and Extremity protocols with over 400 post-graduate hours of training by Gonstead seminar staff and field doctors.