Posts Tagged ‘Primary Subluxation’


Monday, February 21st, 2011

Are you open-minded enough to expand your concept of what a Subluxation is?

Our pioneers stated that there were two kinds of Subluxation - But most of us only learned about one type at Chiropractic school.

And if we are ever going to expand our scope of practice beyond bones and biomechanics to neurology and wellness then we must be willing to go back to school to learn more about how the nervous system really works, and how a subluxation might compromise its function.

Watch this video to find out more…

To find out more about Torque Release Technique Training go to this link:


Monday, February 14th, 2011

Do You Adjust Every Subluxation? Or do you know how to differentially diagnose the primary Subluxation?

What if some Subluxations are more significant than others? What if there was a way to determine which segment/subluxation most needs to be adjusted at any given moment in time? Let’s find out more about this concept in this short video…

To find out more about Torque Release Technique Training and how to learn the secret to differentially diagnosing the primary subluxation go to this link:


Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

There have been some fascinating analogous breakthroughs occurring in seemingly unrelated technology fields which help to elucidate chiropractic principles that have been with us for decades, have been neglected and ignored due to a perceived lack of reinforcing and validating evidence, and because as a profession we have suffered from low self-esteem and have displayed an increasing tendency to adopt other health care models when we believe that our models are somehow unacceptable compared to an invisible “best practice”.

One concept that is an absolute must-study for chiropractors is that of Tensegrity:

The word tensegrity (a contraction of tension and structural integrity) was coined by Buckminster Fuller (an American architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist, born 1895, died 1983) in 1948 to describe a class of structures first invented by the artist Kenneth Snelson (a contemporary sculptor and photographer, born 1927). Snelson’s sculptures, which are often delicate in appearance, depend on the tension between rigid pipes and flexible cables. This is achieved through “a win-win combination of push and pull”.

Fuller’s most famous outcome of this model is the geodesic dome.

Where tensegrity provides a better framework for chiropractic than traditional biomechanics is by explaining why all living forms are structurally stable yet flexibly adaptive, yielding but with a great resistance to damage.

In other words human bodies at both macroscopic and microscopic levels don’t follow normal engineering, mechanical and architectural principles – they follow tensegrity principles.

According to Snelson, weaving is the mother of tensegrity: “Weaving and tensegrity share the same grounding principle of alternating helical directions; of left to right; of bypasses clockwise and counterclockwise.” Similarly living tissues whether talking muscle or connective tissue, or the microscopic structures that form cells, are woven together and not just cemented together at their ends and corners. It is this very principle that makes living tissue flexible while enormously resistant to compression and strain.

In a tensegrity sculpture, individual tension lines (strings, wires or rope) are attached to the ends of struts so that each assembly comprises a closed system of tension and compression parts. Each tension line connects individually to the ends of two separate struts and the lines are made taut so that they bind the struts, connecting them as a continuous tension network. The forces introduced by the tightening are permanently stored in the structure, a state known as prestressing. The solid components resist compression while the elastic components resist tension. Now visualise any joint in the human body and you can start to see that the bony struts don’t actually completely meet at their articulations but are prestressed by the surrounding ligamentous and connective tissues creating a naturally formed tensegrity sculpture.

Because all tension lines (string, wire, cable, ligament, tendon, muscle) have some degree of elastic stretch, tensegrity structures themselves are elastic and springy depending on the tightness of the prestressing and the characteristics of the tension material and the structure’s geometrical form. If you apply a compressive or distractive load the structure will yield and adapt – distort. But as soon as the external forces are removed the structure will spring back to its original state.

Now if we shrink our viewpoint to the microscopic cellular level then we similarly find that “living cells stabilize their internal cytoskeleton, and control their shape and mechanics, using a tensegrity architectural system.” (See Tensegrity in a Cell: Click Here… )

Ingber and colleagues have even approached questions relating to how mechanical distortion of the cell and cytoskeleton influence intracellular biochemistry and pattern formation, by combining the use of techniques from various fields, including molecular cell biology, mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, and computer science. They have shown that contractile microfilaments in the cell’s molecular skeleton, or cytoskeleton, act like stretched rubber bands as they compress hollow cytoskeletal fibers called microtubules and pull on molecular pegs that anchor the cell to an underlying scaffold – the extracellular matrix. Moreover, they have found that physical distortion of the cell and cytoskeleton can alter cellular biochemistry and even gene expression.

Don’t skip over the last statement because if you read slowly you literally see a parallel for the chiropractic model for how mechanical dysfunction can lead to physiological malfunction and how correction of this might direct towards expression of maximum human potential!

In other words, trying to re-establish a physical view of biology, Ingber has shown that cells, far from being formless blobs, use tension to stabilize their structure. And he has demonstrated, through two decades of experiments, that tensegrity not only gives cells their shape, but helps regulate their biochemistry.

Ingber says that cells have “tone,” just like muscles, because of the constant pull of the cytoskeletal filaments. Much like a stretched violin string produces different sounds when force is applied at different points along its length, the cell processes chemical signals differently depending on how much it is distorted.

One of the most ignored models of vertebral subluxation is the tonal model but if you take the time to investigate this alternative biomechanical and neurological idea you see that the spine resembles a tensegrity model (Artists have recreated spinal columns and pelvic girdles with their sculptures). And that the biomechanics of the spine cannot be isolated to intervertebral movement and its influence on the intervertebral foramen at an isolated intersegmental level; but the spine and all of its surrounding soft tissues, including the meningeal and nervous tissues form a linked closed system where change in tension and distortion influence the entire functional unit and change the degree of tension in the spinal cord, thereby modulating tonal frequency in the central nervous system.

What this literally means is that a subluxation at one level influences the entire system: And from this point of view a subluxation, especially with meningeal attachments to the spinal cord has a global impact on the physiology of the nervous system.

To paraphrase Ingber the spinal cord processes chemical signals differently depending on how much it is distorted.

Torque Release Technique offers a practical application of this model and trains participants in how to detect the site of initiation of mechanical and hence tonal distortion in the spinal column – this is known as the primary subluxation. Contemplate the primary subluxation as the source of distorting force on the spinal tensegrity model which leads to maladjustment of the tonal frequencies of the neurospinal system - abnormal sensory perception and motor output being the outcome. But because distortion at one point creates distortion of the entire system, an advanced methodolgy is required to differentially diagnose the “epicentre” of the problem: This methodology is known as the protocol of Torque Release Technique.

No other chiropractic technique has offered a live, non-linear and non-invasive method to determine exactly where and how the human body wants to be adjusted. Hope to see you at our next training program – check out upcoming dates at

Sources and Essential Reading:

The Architecture of Life. Donald Ingber. Scientific American. January 1998. Click Here…

The Mechanical Cell. Nancy Fliesler. Dream, The Magazine of Possibilities. Spring 2004. Click Here…

Tensegrity I. Cell structure and hierarchical systems biology. Donald Ingber. Journal of Cell Science. 2003. Click Here…

Tensegrity II. How structural networks influence cellular information processing networks. Donald Ingber. Journal of Cell Science. 2003.  Click Here…

The Geometry of Anatomy. The Bones of Tensegrity. Tom Flemons. Intension Designs. Click Here…

Weaving. Mother of Tensegrity. Kenneth Snelson. Click Here…


Saturday, February 6th, 2010

I’ve organised a lot of seminars over quite a few years now (my first was in 1996) and as a result I have had the privilege of meeting every “type” of Chiropractor – and I have found that there is one constant trait that exists across all philosophies, techniques, practice management styles and scopes of practice – and that is a strong desire to provide the best possible therapeutic benefit from each and every “treatment”. Ignoring the very small segment of the profession that is more interested in the bottom line, than the spinal column – I know that each one of us hopes for and even expects that when we adjust someone, something good is going to happen for that person.

And that encounter can look quite different between practitioners. For example, it’s Monday morning and the first patient for the day is waiting, eagerly anticipating that they will be feeling “better” after their adjustment: Here are some possible generic scenarios:

1) The Chiropractor goes through their standard procedure of adjusting both sides of the neck, thrusts on a few thoracics, then rolls the patient onto both sides to loosen up the low Back.

2) The Chiropractor checks their notes from the last progress exam to see which segments had been determined to be needing adjustment for the next course of corrections, and then follows that recipe.

3) The Chiropractor palpates down the spine to find tight and tender points then proceeds to manipulate those symptomatic areas to improve the mechanical function of the spinal joints.

4) The Chiropractor uses some form of orthopaedic or neurological examination which can lead them to adjust anywhere between 6 and 12 subluxations on any given visit.

But there are some inherent weaknesses in the above approaches which must be reconciled if our goal is truly to deliver adjustments with that something extra:

1) If we don’t have a method to prioritise where someone really needs to be adjusted then should we call ourselves practitioners or technicians? One root of burnout is boredom: When every spine starts to look the same and when we start to diminish the value of each adjustment, then our sense of importance and passion also diminishes.

2) If we believe that adjustments initiate change, then shouldn’t the adjustments need to change through time? If a person’s spine and nervous system is healing, adapting and even evolving under our care, then why would today’s adjustment be the same as last month’s adjustment? And if someone’s life circumstances have altered since they started care, wouldn’t the pattern of Subluxation change to reflect this, and last week’s adjustment would now be inappropriate?

3) Chiropractors have long made the claim to be treating the cause. But if we treat based on symptoms, whether pain or tenderness, then don’t we make a mockery of this claim? If we claim to be removing interference from the nervous system, then shouldn’t we have some means of determining where that interference is, and how best to reduce that interference?

4) Most chiropractic techniques have talked about concepts such as primary and secondary subluxations, compensations, referral, distant effects from local interference, reflex projection. In other words not all Subluxations are created equal, and not all Subluxations need to be adjusted on every visit, because adjusting the “primary” subluxation will influence and reduce the connected secondary and compensatory malfunction. If we don’t have a method to differentiate between these types of Subluxations then won’t we be wasting some of our precious time?

Now consider a fifth option: On any given day, at the very moment that you are examining a spine, depending on the most recent physical, chemical and emotional stresses to your practice member’s nervous system, and superimposed over the long term accumulation of tension in their spinal system – there is one predominating subluxation, which if adjusted will produce bigger neurological changes than adjusting any other segment in the spine at that time. You would want to know how to differentially diagnose that segment wouldn’t you?

Watch Short Video Explaining The Concept of Primary Subluxations…

(If you can’t view this video try this link: )

This model has been developed during the research method design for a ground breaking, randomised, placebo controlled, prospective scientific project run in conjunction between Holder Research Institute, Turning Point Addiction Recovery facility, and the University of Miami School of Medicine’s famous Biostatistician Bob Duncan. This technique is today called Torque Release Technique and has been published in major journals such as Molecular Psychiatry, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, and Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, as well as being featured on the Discovery Health Channel.

Thankfully modern chiropractic can stand on the shoulders of its technique pioneering giants: Palmer, Thompson, DeJarnette, Van Rumpt, Logan, Toftness and more contemporary ground breakers like Epstein; and the development of TRT saw the best of the best being integrated to produce an amazingly streamlined and efficient means of determining which segment of the spine needs to be adjusted, with precise correctional vectors, and to confirm the success of a single adjustment or plot the objective improvement in indicators of subluxation through time.

Another gift from the research project was the Integrator – the first chiropractic instrument to be specifically designed and patented for the correction of Subluxations. What makes the Integrator stand alone is its ability to deliver a three-dimensional correction which includes all of the defining features of a Toggle Recoil adjustment – high speed, recoil, and torque. Plus it offers a feature that takes reproducibility and reliability to new levels – a preloading trigger that means that every adjustment delivers just the right amount of force and frequency.

Because of these breakthroughs TRT developed the reputation for being the twenty first century technique for Chiropractors to shift their practice model away from a mechanical and orthopaedic paradigm, towards a neurological and tonal application of our wonderful vitalistic philosophy.

And the consistent feedback from the hundreds of Chiropractors who have now completed TRT training is that it provides that missing piece in the technique puzzle – how to provide an adjustment which responds to the current physiological needs of the practice members’ nervous system, and how to generate big changes in state of wellbeing on each and every adjustment – physical, chemical and emotional.

2010 sees TRT in its 8th year of training Australian Chiropractors with Dr Nick Hodgson offering training programs in varied locations each year. Nick has organised numerous TRT training programs, has been personally mentored by the developer of TRT, Dr Jay Holder, and is one of Australia’s most experienced practitioners.

Click Here To See Upcoming Dates and Locations…


Monday, September 15th, 2008

The brain is sexy! Let me put this another way – Talk about the brain and how to make it work better, and people sit up and listen.

Let me illustrate this with three examples: I contribute health related articles to a number of online magazines and forums, and I have to tell you that it is hard work finding topics and content that pulls readers. You probably already know this as a Chiropractor – especially if you have run regular “spinal health” workshops, covered your coffee table in health brochures (which gather dust), or grappled with how to get people to line up at your booth at a health expo or shopping centre? On one site that I contribute to my articles usually get just over 100 hits with about ten comments. This disappoints me as I believe the message I share is applicable to everyone searching the net – and when you can log onto YouTube and see some chick in knickers getting millions of hits. But to put this in context, most of the other contributors receive 60-80 hits to their offerings. Recently however I ran a piece on “how do you keep your brain healthy?” I posted this a few weeks ago now and it is still running with over 1,000 hits and 50 comments.

I regularly send in article submissions and short health tips to the local media, with the all too common cold shoulder response – “we had too many other news pieces to run this week”, “we didn’t think this would appeal to our readership”, “if you’d like to run a half page ad I’m sure we could get that article included”. Recently I promoted a “healthy brain workshop”, and received a number of “bites” and coverage from the local media with much larger than normal attendances to my workshops.

In May I was privileged to be invited to train a group of Chiropractors in Johannesburg in Torque Release Technique. The organiser had struck up a conversation with a PhD Psychologist who specialises in Brain EEG mapping, and when he had suggested to her that he believed that a chiropractic adjustment changed brain function, she had politely snubbed him based on her scientific experience. When he asked me what to do I suggested that he invite her to our program and ask if she would be wiling to do pre and post exams on the Chiropractors that were adjusted at the end of a long day of training. She happily accepted the challenge. We only had time to do a limited (“statistically insignificant”) number of trials, and afterward when we asked her what she had observed she commented that each participant had experienced a “shift” in their brain function. Most of us being EEG novices we pressed her further to explain this – apparently it usually takes approximately 6 months of neurobiofeedback to achieve this phenomenon – not bad response to the carefully selected delivery of 1-3 primary subluxation adjustments? Her response was to demand that I adjust her before she left – I think her scientific opinion had been shifted.

Some research supports this observation that chiropractic adjustments change brain function (1-3): Hang on a minute – don’t skim over that statement – CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS CHANGE BRAIN FUNCTION. Do you own that statement yourself? Do you comprehend the implications to the community IF that statement is correct and consistent?

Let me propose two shifts that may need to occur in our profession for this secret to get out to where it needs to be heard:

1) Our comprehension of the spine as being ligaments, muscle, discs, joints and biomechanics; needs to mature to neurones, neuropeptides, tensegrity, brain holography and quantum physics.

2) Our model of analysis, adjustment and communication needs to shift from a bone/back focus to a nerve/brain focus.

Are you ready to make this shift yourself? Torque Release Technique training provides you with comprehensive training in the Art, Science and Philosophy of adjusting from a more neurological, quantum physics and vitalistic model.

Check out the next training program at

1) New Technique Introduced - EEG Confirms Results: (Jay Holder. ICAC Journal, May 1996.)

2) The effect of the Chiropractic adjustment on the brain wave pattern as measured by QEEG. A Four Case Study. Summarizing an additional 100 (approximately) cases over a three year period. (Richard Barwell, D.C.; Annette Long, Ph.D; Alvah Byers, Ph.D; and Craig Schisler, B.A., M.A., D.C.)

3) New Science Behind Chiropractic Care sensorimotor integration with cervical spine manipulation. Haavik Taylor H and Murphy B. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Feb 2008.