Doctor Gonstead was born in 1898.
He initially studied as and became a successful mechanical engineer. Gonstead first turned to chiropractic when he started to suffer from a crippling form of rheumatoid arthritis in his hands.
He saw a miraculous change in his rheumatoid arthritis and decided that chiropractic was to be his future.
He enrolled and attended and finally graduated from the worlds first Chiropractic college....Palmer Chiropractic College in 1923 and started in practice that year.
Dr Gonstead applied his knowledge of mechanical engineering to the human body. He saw the human body as a complex, intricate marvel and applied the same principals to the spine from his mechanical engineering knowledge.
As part of his lifelong fascination with the human spine he flew to Lincoln Chiropractic College in Indianapolis and spent many hours examining cadavers (bodies left to scientific research).
From his findings and studies Gonstead developed a completely new system of analysis and correction based around what he called the foundation principle. This Principle was that the human pelvis was akin to the foundations of a building.
He thought that if the foundations (pelvis or spinal vertebrae) where uneven or misaligned then all structures above it would be affected.
Dr Gonstead also wanted to be able to visualize what was happening with the spine instead of just attempting to palpate with his hands as so many other chiropractors were doing, and so was the first doctor to take full spine and pelvic x-rays of each individual patients. This gave Gonstead the ability to see exactly which way the pelvis and vertebrae were misaligned as well as the curves of the spine and any degeneration that may have occurred.
And so Dr Gonstead set up his first clinic in 1923 in the small farming town of Mt Horeb in the state of Wisconsin, United States.
Gonstead's first clinic in the small farming community of Mt Horeb, Wisconsin, USA
With a population of only 1200 people, Dr Gonstead's reputation started to spread throughout the state, country and the world as he was able to help so many people with many different conditions.
As Dr Gonstead's success and reputation grew so did his patient numbers and size of practice.
As the demand to see Dr Gonstead grew he had to change clinics twice with his final clinic being completed in 1964.
Gonstead's final clinic in Mt Horeb, at the front is the clinic with the 78 room motel situated behind. The clinic was to become the most famous chiropractic clinic in the world.
It was the most advanced clinic of its time and the largest chiropractic clinic ever built. The most amazing thing about the clinic was that patients came from a total of 22 different states and many different countries.
He would be able to see up to 800 patients in a typical week. In order to accommodate these patients Gonstead built a 78 room motel at his clinic, as the town of Mt Horeb only had a few small motels.
And so other chiropractors in the United States and other parts of the world wanted to know exactly what this man was doing to his patients. How could this man who lived in a town of 1200 people see 800 patients a week, why were there people who lived minutes away from a local chiropractor prepared to travel hours and days to see this man?
The result was the creation of the Seminar institute that Dr Gonstead built in order to teach his famous and unrivaled system to other Chiropractors.This seminar is the longest running seminar in chiropractic, and is still going strong today. Doctor Gonstead soon got the name 'The Miracle man', given to him by patients and by his fellow chiropractors.
Dr Gonstead stopped practicing in 1974 and handed his clinic, his teaching, technique and the Gonstead seminar of chiropractic to Doctors Alex and Doug Cox, his first two associates, who are still practicing in the clinic today and teaching the seminar.