Zen and the Art of Chiropractic Adjustment and Healing

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic

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Good, Bad, and the Ugly. Crack My Neck for Relieving Pain.

There are many situations where your spine will crack on its own or intentionally cracking them. The cracking of the spine in any different situations has an effect that can be good, bad, or ugly.


After a certain time period of a Chiropractic adjustment, the spine tends to realign the other vertebra on their own. Most likely the other vertebra was not in the right position are starting to go in the right position by themselves. When your body introduces any kind of force, such as when you are doing light stretching, turning, bending the spine realign. There is nothing to fear but to let your Chiropractor know what happened. Check out the former blog about this topic: https://zenchiropractic.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/what-happens-when-my-spine-goes-pop/


When your spine pops and pain follows immediately then the joint became unstable and causing inflammation and muscle spasm. Even if you didn’t put much stress or any motion on the spine something pops and then the muscles around are creating spasms and sharp pain. Often times these situations are the vertebra was already starting to fall out of place and it was a matter of time when it went out of position. In this case, put ice on the area and get to a Chiropractor that will use x-ray, neurological exams, and education on what has happened and properly adjust that vertebra.


The unprofessional person intentionally twisting of the neck or low back of themselves or to others may create the cracking noise but then they will cause tendon and ligament to tear and create more instability. Over twisting the neck without proper examinations and professional skill then people are at risk possibly damaging artery integrity that is already weakened and may cause cardiovascular problems in the brain. The mistake is to think that by over twisting the joint the crack is more intense and the better you feel.

26real_450That cracking noise is not what Chiropractic is defined by but that is a very big misunderstanding. Cracking in your joints creates an endorphin response that gives you a euphoria for a moment but does not solve the actual joint problem. Properly correcting your spine takes a long training from a graduate level school and getting a state license. A grand total of 4485 hours of clinic hours with health science education. Many people attempt cracking their neck and low back themselves or ask others that are not professionals to crack their spine.

There are many other professional and non-professionals that try to say that they do chiropractic. Professionals such as massage therapists, physical therapists, sports therapists, and even some medical doctors to copy chiropractic because they know how effective Chiropractic care is. Non-professionals such as your friends, families, people you meet at the bar or parties, or any individual that offer to crack your spine or neck on the street. This is why people have an incidence of having a very bad experience with cracking their neck or back because they think it is just cracking is what helps the person. People could get damage to their muscles and ligaments, and damage to the artery structure in the neck.

gonstead and spine

Dr. Gonstead’s Story:

Dr. Gonstead once had a farmer couple come to his office. The wife of this farmer was in a lot of back pain. Dr. Gonstead found the problem after careful analysis and adjusted the spine and told them to come back next week. The former couple did not come back. In fact, they didn’t come back for months. Then the farmer couple came back and the wife of the farmer was in a lot worse back pain. Dr. Gonstead analyzed again and it was much worse condition than before, so he asked the wife what happened. The farmer’s wife confessed that her husband tried to copy Dr. Gonstead after watching him adjust his wife after they went back home. They thought they could do the adjustment themselves not knowing how much science and careful skill that Chiropractic adjustment involved.


There are many occasions were your spine will crack on its own. Some are fine because it is the process of our body to correct and heal itself. Some are bad because the spine got very unstable and finally went out of place. The worse is just because you want to feel the euphoria and cracking your neck or low back and causing a major set back of unstable joints does not help yourselves or the person you are trying to help. You could even cause serious damage to yourself or to others. It is not about cracking your neck and it is not about being a crack dealer for people. If it is about helping people, you should become a Chiropractor or go seek one to help your friend. They will find the cause and stabilize the situation.


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Healing Within: Eastern and Western

Zen Chiropractic realizes that pain, whether mental or physical, has a negative impact on our lives and bodies. Our goal is to establish 100% function and communication of the Brain/Spinal Cord to the body so they can have full capacity for self-control, mental discipline, and help treat many mental/physical diseases. Dr. Zen utilizes Biomechanical Concepts of Science and Energy Efficiency of the body coming from the Healing Philosophy of Chi from the East and Chiropractic from the West for healing mentally/physically from within.

Energy Efficiency: Flow of Chi

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, energy force is running like a river of energy flowing down the back of your spine. (This energy is called Chi.) This river of energy can be body fluid, blood, electrical nerve conductance, body chemistry that flows down the spine and flows to many different organs. It is known by many Qigong Masters and Acupuncturists that the brain organizes and distributes the necessary energy to heal and function. The brain sends its energy through its nerves, arteriole, vein structures, lymph nodes, and other anatomical structures.governing vessel

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is a major flow of Chi along the spine called “Governing Vessel.” The Governing Vessel is the confluence of all the majority of channels, over which it is said to “govern.”  The Governing vessel is responsible for nourishing other organs. Because of their importance to health, the Governing vessel is considered one of the most important Qi channels to be regulated and maintained.

For Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors, they used spinal manipulations called Tui Na Manipulations. They have been doing musculoskeletal manipulations as an ancient practice to create the flow of Qi in the body. These manipulations are called traditional bone setting techniques that are more for creating audible noise.

Biomechanical Science: Gonstead Chiropractic

The restoration and revitalizing of the spine are often misunderstood with cracking of the spine by twisting it very quickly. We all know that cracking our knuckles will not cure arthritis in our hands but we think that it will with our spine. The cracking noise is due to the change of pressure of the fluid of any joint. If the change of pressure in your joint is greater then normal then the bubbles that formed in your joints will pop. That pop is the cracking noise that is well known to us. That cracking noise sends a simulation to our nerves in the joint for the brain to release Endorphins that are natural morphine. So many of you that like to “CRACK” your neck, then you are addicted to the “CRACK!” Many people think that this noise will cure everything but it does little to restore and revitalize spine and nervous system.

Dr_GonsteadDr. Gonstead, who was considered the “Miracle Man,” gave us the basis of a more efficient biomechanical concept of restoring and revitalizing the spine. After seeing 7 million people during his lifetime, he made a conclusion that bones in the spine will fall backward and tilt, then drag the disc into herniation. Then the disc herniation will compress or interfere with the integrity of the nerve structures and cause a decrease in communication with the brain and spinal cord. Then the nerve will slowly lose its structural integrity and degenerate up to 60%. Then the pain and other physical symptoms will appear and people will start to notice the problem in their body.


This problem of the disc herniation and misalignment of the bone in the spine causing interference of the nerves’ ability to communicate with the muscles/organs/senses is called Subluxation. It is like a dislocation but not completely ripped out of the joint but slightly out of the original location. Dr. Gonstead simply used a gentle technique to use the spine’s anatomical structure and life the tilted spinal bone to restore the disc and bone to its original location. By doing this the nerve and the rest of the spine will be able to communicate with the muscles/organs/senses to the whole body and restore and revitalize mentally/physically from within.

Chiropractic is Chi-Practice

Using Gonstead Chiropractic and understanding the concepts from Traditional Chinese Medicine made everything into a whole picture of how the body operates together. There is a physical and structural component of the spine that keeps the integrity of the nervous system. There is also the energy of Chi that flows and replenishes and nourishes the body. By keeping the spinal bones and disc restored and all the nerves communicating helps to get full efficiency for the flow of Chi.hand_pain

It is like having someone pinch your fingers. You can do nutrition/herbs/exercises to help your finger but you can only go so far because the finger is being pinched! The blood circulation is restricted so the nourishment from the nutrition and herbs will be limited. Exercises will help to increase blood pressure but the flow is still restricted by pinching the finger. Only when we remove the fingers pinching your finger will remove the restriction and allow the full optimal capacity of blood to flow. Nutrition/herbs/exercises can finally make a huge difference in seeing results.

Many people try to get a quick fix from simply twisting the spine and making a “CRACK” noise to induce the morphine response. But only goes so far because it only twists the spine and that does not lift the spinal bones that fell backward and drag the disc to herniate. With Dr. Gonstead’s method of chiropractic adjustment, the nerves and disc will be restored and allow the communication/flow of Chi to the rest of the body.