Friday, October 9, 2009

Wikipedia Clarence Gonstead

In 2009, wikipedia started an article on Clarence Gonstead.

You are invited to join in the sythesis of this work. If you have not edited anything before on wikipedia, you need to log on as a new user. When editing material, please start very small otherwise your material while be rejected either by other more senior editors or by the wikipedia system itself. In other words, start with simple changes in prose versus the addition or deletion of major material. With time, your status as an editor increases and your less likely to get trumped.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chiropractic History Journal Paper #1

"The Machines and Tools of Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead." Chiropractic History Journal. Volume 27 Number 2. pp. 55-58. Winter 2007. Matthew Amman

While important research on the history of chiropractic machines has been published, relatively little attention has been paid to its heterogeneous acceptance. Technology's role in chiropractic split according to the philosophical assertions of straights and mixers; however, a review of the instruments used by one of the most prominent men in the field, Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead (1898-1978) illustrates that state law played a role. His embrace of machines reflects the profession's emerging cultural identity toward techno-scientific within legislative constraints and the pursuit of clinical competency.

Key Words:
Clarence Gonstead, Technology, Neurocalometer, Nervoscope, Viking X-Ray Machine, Versubtec, Full-spine cassettes, Cameron Heartometer, Gonstead equipment, Wisconsin Chiropractic Law

Friday, October 2, 2009

Profile - Curtis Gonstead

Curtis Gonstead, DC
Beloit, WI

Curtis (Curt) began practice in 1956 after graduating from Palmer School of Chiropractic at his dad's clinic in Monroe, WI. His father, Merton, was Clarence's younger brother. In the beginning, Curt and his father practiced the proto-typical Gonstead method. The only slight differences was that Merton used the ASS/ASIS/Anterior Superior Iliac Spine as a reference point in the pelvis and used a slightly different hand position for atlas adjusting because he lost the distal phalange of this right thumb in a farming accident. Merton preferred to use the ASS for adjusting the pelvis versus the PSS because he liked the mechanical advantage it provided.

In 1958 Merton and Curt changed everything with the discovery of "neutral adjusting" by Clay Thompson, DC and began incorporating drop tables/inertia tables into their technique. By 1962-1963, Merton and Curt stopped using the nervoscope and eventually called their specific approach Gonstead Inertia Specific Technique.

The Gonstead Clinic of Monroe was later moved to Beloit, WI. The new clinic was built in 1964. It was designed in a similar mid-century modern fashion as Clarence Gonstead's clinic in Mount Horeb but with only 7,000 sq feet. The architect was Taliesin's James Dresser of Frank Lloyd Wright fame.

The Gonstead Clinic in Beloit is now operated by Curt's son Eric and daughter Andrea.

- Matt Amman

Profile - Phyllis Markham-Richelieu

Phyllis H. Markham-Richelieu, D.C.
August 8, 1921 – November 7, 2005
Mount Horeb, WI

Phyllis Markham-Richelieu first became acquainted with Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead as a patient following a serious accident as a youth – and was immediately aware of the effective results possible through his unique application. Following this experience, Phyllis maintained an allegiance and loyalty to the principles and practice of Dr. Gonstead.

Phyllis grew up in the Dodgeville area attending public schools. She decided to attend the Madison Business College in 1940-1941. Then World War II came, and Phyllis enlisted in the United States Navy where she served three years for her country. After her honorable discharge, Phyllis enrolled at University of Wisconsin – Madison and studied liberal arts. After receiving her basic studies and at the request of Dr. Gonstead, Phyllis enrolled at Lincoln Chiropractic College. There she met her future husband, Ted Markham, and together they graduated in 1951. It was a formidable experience for them. In the years to come, their college classmates would become important allies in growing the Gonstead enterprise and method. They included: Albert Grove, Marv Klaes, Gaylord Culp and instructor Lester Cheal.

After graduation, the new chiropractic couple returned to Mount Horeb and beseeched Dr. Gonstead for work as associates. He turned them down and told them to get some “field experience” first. Meanwhile, Phyllis took post-graduate courses in Logan Basic at Lincoln that year and then post-graduate education from Palmer College. Later in 1951, the new couple started their own practice in Beaver Dam, WI. Ted took care of the practice, and Phyllis started raising their children.

Despite starting a family, Phyllis kept in regular contact with Dr. Gonstead to study his methodology. She regularly took her children to Mount Horeb to have Dr. Gonstead work on them. At the same time, she and her husband started to research Dr. Gonstead’s approach to chiropractic within their own clinic.

In 1954 at the urging of Phyllis, Dr. Gonstead began to teach “classes” to other chiropractors. At the very beginning, Phyllis acted as class secretary collecting money and taking notes. Later, she began promoting the Gonstead method through a small publication called Chiropractic Ethics and Economics.

As the Gonstead project evolved from small classes to large nation-wide seminars, Phyllis became the chief investigator for understanding Dr. Gonstead’s work while Ted and brother-in-law Lee Vogel organized and taught seminars. She worked as an unpaid volunteer until 1961, at which time, she began to receive a small salary. Her contribution to the Gonstead method is enormous. She evolved Gonstead spinography into a complete x-ray analysis and listing system that forms a basis for the recognizable system it is today.

Over the many years, Phyllis became a close confidant of Dr. Gonstead and acted as his right-hand woman while she worked at the Gonstead Clinic. When she finally left the clinic, she remained a zealous protector of the Gonstead work “ready and willing to fight for the preservation.” In the Gonstead Clinic biography of 1966, Phyllis was asked what her personal objective was. She responded, “To carry the torch of Gonstead Chiropractic to all the world.” Furthermore, it noted her strong purpose and passion for the work:

This doctor has actually dedicated her life to the furtherance of the health and well being of everyone that will seek such health through the medium of ethical chiropractic; as practiced and taught at the Gonstead Clinic.

Without selfish concern for self or family, Dr. Phyllis Markham seeks a better understanding for her profession and the proven work it can perform for the health of humanity.

Realizing the highly specialized nature of the Dr. Gonstead Method, this doctor is constantly striving for the acquisition of an ample number of trained doctors—trained in the Gonstead Concept—so that this great Truth may be perpetuated and never lost.

Ultimately, her passion cost her marriage to Ted and her quest for finding subluxations on x-rays led to an unbalanced perspective making her at odds with those that actually treated patients at the clinic. In an incident where a particular patient was not responding to care and the appropriate action was to refer to a medical doctor, Phyllis side-stepped the treating doctor's recommendation and sent the patient to Dr. Gonstead's house for a second opinion. She was fired by Alex Cox on November 1, 1969 for subordination.

In her later years, Phyllis maintained her focus and remarried. When the Gonstead Clinic was in trouble of being purchased by an outside group, she spearheaded the movement to purchase the clinic. In doing so, she moved back to Mount Horeb to be close to the place she loved. To the end, Phyllis maintained as much contact with the clinic as was possible.

- written by Matthew Amman

Profile - Larry Troxell

J. Larry Troxell, DC
Clinton, IA

Larry started attending Gonstead seminars when a student at Palmer College of Chiropractic. He claims to have attended every seminar while a student, which was about once a month.

In the fall of 1967 Larry graduated. He started the 5 Points Clinic in Davenport, Iowa (which he eventually lost through divorce). He also became an instructor at Palmer College for five years and was for a short-time head of the Technique Department. In January of 1968 he opened his practice in Davenport IA along with Dale Applegate and later his brother. Shortly thereafter Allen Kershew started an internship program through Dr. Troxell’s office.

In 1977 Dr. Gonstead started Gonstead Advanced Technique (GAT) with the assistance of Larry. Three seminars were held before Dr. Gonstead passed away in 1978. Dr. Gonstead left endorsements of his teachings to four doctors in writing. These four Doctors were Dr. J. Larry Troxell, Dr. John Thatcher, Dr. Dale Applegate, and Dr. Tim Obert.

In the early 1980s Gonstead Methedology Institute (GMI) was spawned from GAT. GMI organized and began holding four seminars a year to teach the Gonstead technique to interns and other interested students. GMI was set up as a non-profit organization so there would be no conflict of interest. The seminars were a way for Doctors to give back to better the profession. There have been approximately 150 seminars to date and still counting. Over the course of 33 years the intern program has been going strong. There are 650+ interns that have graduated from Palmer and went on to practice.

Larry died unexpectedly April 16, 2007, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City.

- Adapted from GMI's website, GSCC's website, Amman's notes

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Profile - Alex Cox

W. Alex Cox, DC
Mount Horeb, WI

Alex practiced for 41 years. He joined the Gonstead clinic in 1964 after a short stint in Lake Geneva, WI. He, along with his brother Doug, purchased the Gonstead Clinic in 1974.

His start in chiropractic was initiated by his two uncles that were chiropractors: Alexander Storrie and Byrce Storrie. Alexander graduated from Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1920 when the program was still full-spine. Byrce graduated later in 1937 when HIO was taught. Byrce switched to full-spine after attending a Gonstead class, as they were initially called, in the late 1950s. At his uncles request, Alex attended his first Gonstead seminar in 1961. At the time, Palmer school was still teaching HIO. Soon Alex met Gaylord Culp, a practicing chiropractor in Lake Geneva, WI, at a seminar who invited him to take over his practice while he (Gaylord) went to practice with Dr. Gonstead in Mt. Horeb.

Alex graduated from Palmer in 1964 and immediately started practice with his brother Doug Cox and Jerry McAndrews, later president of Palmer. In August he moved to take over Gaylord's practice.

Backing up, Alex's first career was in the automotive business. He graduated from the once famous General Motors Institute in Flint, MI and started work in his home state of New Mexico. Alex worked for a Chevrolet-Cadillac-Buick-Oldsmobile dealership but when the automotive business got hit with tough times he decided started to think about attending chiropractic school. He finally started at Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1961.

Profile - John Thatcher

John Thatcher, DC
1347 Larpenteur Ave W (Clinic Location)
St. Paul, MN

From what I know, he was a devoted seminar attendee as well as his brother Robert (Bob) Thatcher beginning in the 1960s. Together they practiced GCT in the Twin Cities until Bob decided sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s to practice Activator. Meanwhile, John was instrumental in getting Gary Pennbaker to be an assistant professor at Northwestern Chiropractic College and to offer the first Gonstead instruction at NWCC (a lunch time program that survived only one semester). Mainly because of his personality, John was left to his own devices to teach the work to others, including myself, in the basement of his clinic in St. Paul. Although he did participate in NWCC's doctor preceptorship program and intership program. His most ardent follower was Dr. Jason Wing Louie ( True Chiropractic, 2489 Rice Street, Suite 130) who, for the most part, assumed his practice following John's death.

John's had two notorious connections to Dr. Gonstead. First was as co-initiator of the GAT program in Dr. Gonstead's last year of life and after that the continuation of the program. John continued to be on GAT's board until it restructured to become the Gonstead Foundation which assumed the Gonstead Clinic in Mount Horeb. Second was when Dr. Gonstead provided four followers (Dr. J. Larry Troxell, Dr. John Thatcher, Dr. Dale Applegate, and Dr. Jim Obert) including John with a letter granting them the right to teach his chiropractic system. This agreement became a conflict of interest between the Gonstead Seminars and those that held the letters and led to future uprest.

John was a graduate of Logan Chiropractic College (late 1950s) and practiced for 47 years. He died in 2005 from cancer. He is survived by his brother Bob, his wife, and two daughters.

- Matt Amman