Northern Health Chiropractic in Ishpeming, Michigan strives to bring you the highest quality of care, so you and your family have the best wellness and can enjoy each day and moment that comes your way. With this as our goal, we proudly use the Gonstead Technique which is a more advanced method of diagnosis, treatment, and care than other chiropractic methods. This allows us to better relieve your pain and get you back on track to better health!


What is the Gonstead Technique?

Information from Gonstead Clinical Studies Society:

The Basic Principles of the Gonstead Method of Chiropractic Analysis

The Gonstead Concept of chiropractic begins with a basic biomechanical principle of physics. Every engineer, architect, builder and carpenter knows the importance of a proper foundation in constructing a building, for this insures durability and long life. Any slight change or shift in the foundation can cause a great amount of deviation in the top part of the structure and, perhaps, ultimately, its collapse.

The body’s foundation is formed by the pelvic girdle. When this bony structure consisting of hip bones and the lower bones of the back is level, there will be maximum balance and stability in the spinal column. When the pelvic girdle or any of the vertebrae (bones making up the spinal column) become tilted or rotated out of their proper position, dramatic changes may occur in the body.

These misalignments can cause pressure on the discs that separate the vertebrae. (The condition of the disc is the key to the patient’s health problem in many cases.) Vertebra can become misaligned either from the cumulative effects of several minor episodes or from a single accident. Nature frequently is able to cope with these jolts to the spinal column without assistance. Sometimes, though, vertebrae tilted or rotated out of their normal position can be too much for nature to deal with effectively.

In order to more fully understand what occurs, we should know that the discs are really pads between the vertebrae and consist of a spongy substance surrounded by fibers of cartilage. When there is misalignment of a vertebra, there is uneven pressure on the disc causing it to swell and protrude. (One often hears this referred to as a slipped, herniated or ruptured disc.)

Chiropractors call this condition a SUBLUXATION when it results in the pinching or compressing of the nerves that run through that particular area. These compressed nerves often become inflamed and impede the proper transmission of impulses to the section of the body controlled by these nerves. A seemingly endless list of ailments and pain may be brought about by these subluxations.

Generally, misaligned vertebrae in the spine are easily recognized, particularly those in the upper portion of the vertebral column. However, less easily found and often overlooked are misalignments in the foundation or lower portions of the spine.

The ability to recognize and correct these misalignments forms an integral part of the Gonstead Concept. For example: When the lower portion of the spinal column has misaligned vertebra, the body tries to keep itself and its skeleton upright and straight. Often it compensates by causing a vertebra above to become misaligned. This is the body’s way of attempting to re-establish the normal perpendicular position of the body.

If just the top misaligned vertebra was adjusted, in cases where additional vertebrae are misaligned, only limited relief could result. This would not be getting to the source of the trouble. For complete and lasting results, all of the misaligned vertebrae must be identified and then a program can be initiated to restore them to their normal position. Every chiropractic case presents a different combination of misaligned vertebrae.

The Gonstead Analysis:

At Northern Health Chiropractic, our doctors have specialized training in the system Dr. Gonstead invented. We’ll analyze your spine to detect for the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex. Generally speaking, a vertebral subluxation is nerve pressure produced from improperly functioning or misaligned spinal bones. To find out if you have vertebral subluxations, we use five important criteria:

1. Instrumentation: We use an instrument invented by Dr. Gonstead called a Nervoscope. The Nervoscope detects heat along your spine which is consistent with inflammation and pressure on nerves. The instrument has two probes and gently glides down each side of the spine during the examination.

2. Static Palpation: When nerves are compressed and spinal joints malfunction they can produce swelling (edema) in that area as well as tightness in the muscles. We will feel for these areas on your back and neck using the finger tips while you sit in a stationary position.

3. Motion Palpation: When spinal segments malfunction, they can lock up or become too loose. By gently moving the spine in different ways, we can feel which segments move improperly.

4. Visualization: We visually look for abnormalities in posture and gait that are uneven. This is important when taking into account all other criteria and making important decisions about your care.

5. X-Ray Analysis (except during pregnancy): The prior four analysis criteria allow us to find which spinal segments are malfunctioning and the exact location of where nerve pressure exists. Spinal x-rays allow for a “blue print” of your spine which is important in determining specifically how the spinal segments involved are to be adjusted. X-Rays are also helpful in determining fracture, postural distortions, arthritic conditions, etc.
These five criteria allow us to locate your problem down to the individual segment and nerve involved. This information along with a detailed heath history, allows us to deliver a precise adjustment in the most mechanically correct way to only the problem segments. In doing so, the goal is to eliminate nerve pressure caused by the effects of the subluxation and allow the body to function optimally.

Specialized training we have received goes beyond the knowledge gained in chiropractic school. The training consists of hundreds of hours of seminar work study in adjusting technique, analysis as well as specialized case management of a variety of health conditions.

What Dr. Gonstead left behind is a legacy; a system of chiropractic used to find and help correct the cause of spinal and extremity problems as well as other health issues. Dr. Gonstead was known for his dedication and for his phenomenal ability for getting sick people well without drugs or surgery. That same passion that drove him, still fires the hearts of our chiropractors today.

1720 U.S. 41 West, Ishpeming, MI 49849


7:30AM - 6:00PM
7:30AM - 6:00PM
7:30AM - 6:00PM
7:30AM - 6:00PM
7:30AM - 1:30 PM