Meeting of the Minds VI—October 10-11, 2009

By: Steven T. Tanaka, DC

Saturday morning, after a great and well attended Friday Masters-student workshop, we awoke to early snow. It was cold, but in spite of it, we enthusiastically converged onto the campus of Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minnesota. It is wonderful to assemble with some of the smartest and best Gonstead clinicians around. Dr. Jim Parker always talked about the mind-to-mind synergy. This was synergy in overdrive. This year, we focused on clinical findings and corrections by Gonstead adjustments and protocols.

Dr. Gary Pennebaker provided a thoughtful lecture on finding and correcting the major subluxation. As we all know, finding the correct subluxation is a difficult task, more difficult than learning to adjust. Sometimes, you have to begin at a secondary or minor subluxation before you can correct the major subluxation.

Drs. Pennebaker and Denny O’Hara talked about the current status of the Clinic — in a word, the physical facility is deteriorating due to major maintenance that had been put off for many years. With enough donations and good care, the dreams of its owners, the Gonstead Foundation, can be fulfilled. It would be wonderful to have it a fully functioning chiropractic clinic with a waiting list of interns and clinically focused    research programs. That would be a fitting way to honor Dr. Gonstead and perpetuate and advance the technique.

Dr. Joseph Sweere gave an interesting lecture on handling difficult cases with a variety of arthritic, degenerative, and unusual conditions. He provoked much discussion on the care of these conditions. It was a very thought-provoking session . He brought to our attention how a group of chiropractors have developed  definitions of chiropractic for the World Health Association that could have a negative impact if  unchallenged. Anyone who practices chiropractic based upon its philosophy and    principles would be concerned by this document that certainly doesn’t represent any Gonstead chiropractor that I know of.

Drs. Roger Coleman, researcher for GCSS, and Dr. Mark Lopes, GCSS Research Director, presented an update on the research that Dr. Coleman been doing for GCSS since we hired him. The quality of the research has attracted talented statisticians and chiropractic specialists who are interested in collaborating on good chiropractic      research, this despite our shoestring budget.  We encourage you to donate to Field of Dreams so that we can continue to do research that benefits the clinician.

An unique highlight of this year’s MoM was the “PIT” classes. Initially we had two doctors doing identical set-ups, both of which were filmed identically. We viewed the setups multiple times, and the audience offered comments and suggestions on each setup. It was a rare and possibly unique class.

The doctors actual adjustments were filmed with cameras front and behind. We replayed those multiple times. The adjusting doctors gave their insights on the adjustments. Watching these experienced Gonstead chiropractors adjust and the other doctors providing feedback was a valuable experience. It was a far more powerful tool than we anticipated. The bonus is to watch these   exceptional Gonstead chiropractors adjust. One can’t put a price on that.

Any time you can hear a lecture by Drs. Mary Tuchscherer and/or David Geary, it’s a not-to-miss class. We had both of them together. Dr. Tuchscherer makes complex neuroscience topics more understandable. The clinically practical knowledge of these doctors can have an impact on the profession.

The weekend closed with Dr. Paul Hopkins. He worked from 1970 to 1974 at the Gonstead Clinic and doggedly followed Dr. Gonstead around. He talked about those years, the transition years during which the Clinic, seminars, and Karakahl were sold to Drs. Alex and Doug Cox. His dynamic, showman style gave us an entertaining insight into working with Dr. Gonstead in his later years. Dr. Hopkins was greatly impressed with Dr. Gonstead’s interaction with patients and other doctors. He did a great job of imitating some of the mannerisms of Dr. Gonstead. Those of us who sat in Dr. Gonstead’s class would quickly recognize those mannerisms. Seeing these, one becomes nostalgic for the great man that we all miss.

Each year, Meeting of the Minds has exceeded our dreams for a meeting ground of some of the best Gonstead chiropractors. For those who don’t have 20 years in practice  but who qualify and take the Diplomate exam will be eligible for the 2010 Meeting of the Minds VII.