Our History
Gonstead represents the ultimate standard in “hands on” spinal adjusting and remains the leader in chiropractic techniques. Adhering to the definition of true chiropractic as defined by D.D. Palmer, the founder of Chiropractic in 1895, Dr. Gonstead found there was no substitute or better method for analyzing or correcting spinal misalignments than with a pair of skilled chiropractic hands.
This remains true today!
Dr. Clarence Gonstead (1898-1978) began practicing chiropractic in 1923 in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, small farming community of 1,200 residents in south central Wisconsin. Dr. Gonstead’s reputation spread throughout the state, the country and ultimately around the world, as a multitude of patient’s health problems were corrected remarkably fast by his brand of chiropractic treatment. Hundreds of patients were seeking his care on a daily basis, and with his dedication to helping these patients, Dr. Gonstead worked from 8 AM to midnight six days a week plus every Sunday morning from 5 – 10 AM to be able to accommodate these growing patient numbers. When Dr. Gonstead’s schedule was at the limit of his physical capability, he knew the only solution to meet public’s health needs on the scale the public was demanding, was to build an unparalleled chiropractic treatment facility and staff it with Gonstead trained associates.
Dr. Clarence Gonstead (1898-1978) began practicing chiropractic in 1923 in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, small farming community of 1,200 residents in south central Wisconsin. Dr. Gonstead’s reputation spread throughout the state, the country and ultimately around the world, as a multitude of patient’s health problems were corrected remarkably fast by his brand of chiropractic treatment. Hundreds of patients were seeking his care on a daily basis, and with his dedication to helping these patients, Dr. Gonstead worked from 8 AM to midnight six days a week plus every Sunday morning from 5 – 10 AM to be able to accommodate these growing patient numbers. When Dr. Gonstead’s schedule was at the limit of his physical capability, he knew the only solution to meet public’s health needs on the scale the public was demanding, was to build an unparalleled chiropractic treatment facility and staff it with Gonstead trained associates.
The Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic, completed in 1964, was the third and final clinic Dr. Gonstead would design and treat patients from in his little town of Mt. Horeb before his death in 1978. Dr. Gonstead built the largest chiropractic facility on the world. A 22,0000 square foot clinic, it had a waiting room to seat over 1100 patients, 11 adjusting rooms, x-ray facilites and lab, and a lower level to hold Chiropractic seminars. It was to become the most renowned chiropractic facility in the world. Next to his new clinic, Dr. Gonstead added a 78 room, full-service motel to accommodate the clinic’s numerous long distance patients. Dr. Gonstead and his fellow staff members attended 300 to 400 patients on a daily basis.
This huge following of patients led Dr. Gonstead to start the Gonstead Seminar of Chiropractic, helping to teach and develop even more Chiropractors in the art and philosophy of the Gonstead system of chiropractic treatment.
The Traditions Continues
Dr. Alex Cox and Dr. Doug Cox joined Dr. Gonstead as staff doctors in 1964 and 1967 respectively. Having been trained by Dr. Gonstead and working side by side in the clinic with Dr. Gonstead over the years that followed, Dr. Gonstead made the brothers integral parts of the Gonstead Seminar presentation.
Dr. Gonstead was so pleased with the respect, dedication and coherence of the Cox brothers to his teaching and technique, that in 1974 he transferred and sold the Gonstead Seminar of Chiropractic to the Cox brothers. This “passing” of the Gonstead knowledge, not only included the teaching of his work through the Gonstead Seminar, but his faith and confidence in Dr. Alex and Dr. Doug also included the transfer and sale of the Gonstead Clinic and motel to the Cox brothers. Knowing that his teachings and legacy would live on under the guidance of Drs. Alex and Doug, his lifetime of work was safe from being altered or changed. Dr. Gonstead’s dedication and service to the patient, above all else, had been absorbed and passed on the Cox brothers, and is still being practiced and taught by these two masters of the Gonstead system today, along with their current staff of fellow instructors.
The Gonstead Chiropractic Approach
The connection that exists between the brain and all other parts of the human body is the nervous system. Signals pass between the brain, eyes, tongue, stomach, toes and indeed, throughout the entire body on “electrical wires” called nerves. These nerves pass from the brain down the spinal column or backbone, and exit between the spinal bones at 24 levels from the base of the skull to the tailbone, controlling all bodily functions. If the spaces between the spinal bones should become narrowed or cut off due to misalignments or “kink” in your spinal backbone, this is called subluxation, and the nerve signal is then interrupted or reduced at that specific level. The nerve fiber traveling away from this “pinch” has now become “short circuited” as it heads toward the muscle, finger or specific organ it controls. The result is a demonstration of pain, loss of function or degeneration in that specific muscle, finger or organ. Even an everyday headache can result from nerve pressure due to a spinal misalignment.
The Gonstead Chiropractic approach is to locate these misalignments in the spinal column, then specifically and gently adjust the segment back into place manually, removing the subluxation and “pinch”. By applying the Gonstead adjustment to the back, the pressure is removed from the nerve while joint function is restored. More importantly, nerve function is restored, and the path of that specific nerve is then again sending and receiving the “electrical” impulses as it should and ultimately,
health is restored.
Find the subluxation, correct it and then leave it alone.
Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead

The Gonstead practitioner is well educated in the teachings and application of his tremendously successful technique and case management system.
Beyond the eight years of chiropractic and college education required to become a chiropractor, followed by national and state board licensing requirements to be a practicing chiropractor, the Gonstead practitioner has spent additional time attending Gonstead Seminars to help perfect their application of chiropractic within the Gonstead System. For example, to achieve “Diplomat” status in the Gonstead System, a minimum of 200 hours of class room and practical study must be completed through the seminar. Testing and evaluation by the Gonstead Staff must also be passed. As a patient, to be treated by an individual who has achieved the status of diplomat, you are insured of receiving the Gonstead System as intended by Dr. Gonstead and the current staff of the Gonstead Seminar.
The Gonstead doctor has set the standard in Chiropractic for patient examination and care. Examination of the patient includes:
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Complete History
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Instrumentation
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Visualization
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Static Palpation
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Motion Palpation
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Full Spine X-ray analysis
When all this information is combined, a trained Gonstead Doctor will immediately let you know if your health situation is a Chiropractic case. If it is not, a referral to the appropriate health provider will be given. If your case is a Chiropractic case, the trained Gonstead practitioner’s goal is to utilize the dynamics of the effectual Gonstead Specific Adjustment to get you back to optimal health as quickly as possible, with no “pre-planned” treatment programs. The goal of a Gonstead practitioner is to get a patient back on the road to health as quickly as possible and then leave the patient alone. In the words of Dr. Gonstead, “Find the subluxation, correct it and then leave it alone”.