Darald E. Bolin, DC
J. Richard Burns, DC
Richard Cranwell, MS, DC
Richard A. Gohl, DC
Phyllis H. Markham-Richelieu, DC
Steven M. Rindal, DC
Peter Thibodeau, DC
J. Larry Troxell, DC
G. Douglas Valentine, DC, Ph.C.
Darald E. Bolin, DC
Darald Edison Bolin, one of the shining stars in the firmament of Oregon’s chiropractic community, was born in 1930 and grew up on the banks of Little Hills Creek, five miles east of Jasper, Oregon. He attended Jasper Elementary School yet received the lion’s share of his early education and inspiration from his father, Leonard, a mill sawyer whose bookshelves were always filled with books on physics and mechanics. Darald loved playing in the woods and fishing for trout. On his 12th birthday, he learned how to take an automobile engine apart and correctly put it back together again.
Sometime later during Darald’s 12th year, his family moved to Springfield, and it was at that time that he was obliged to have his first visit to a chiropractor’s office. Apparently, there was a very minor difference of opinion with one of the other boys over a particular girlfriend, and as fists were swinging in the baseball bleachers, Darald fell eight feet to the ground, flat on his back, on a twig which fractured his second lumbar. The lady chiropractor initially relieved the pain, but it was Darald’s next chiropractic encounter nine years later which was to irreversibly alter the course of his life.
After graduating from Springfield High School in 1949, Darald worked for nearly two years at the Hills Creek Lumber Company, his job being to disentangle log jams along a water trough which transported cut timber from the forest to the mill. During this time, he met his wife-to-be, Dona Lee Bennett, and the happy couple were married in January of 1951. But, a mere two weeks later, Darald was drafted and shipped off to Fort Rucker, Alabama. Forty days into boot camp training, while practicing a four-man ‘camel fight,’ he fell to the ground with another soldier landing on Darald’s head and neck. This resulted in his being hospitalized for seven months with excruciating headaches, periodic loss of consciousness, temporal paralysis, kidney failure, bloating, extreme weight loss, and spontaneous arrest of the heart. His condition was diagnosed as a brain tumor and he was given six months to live. (Years later, however, it was theorized that an atlas subluxation causing pressure on his spinal cord was mimicking brain tumor symptoms.
Upon Darald’s return home, his mother Emma once again brought her son to a chiropractor’s office, this time to see a gentleman named Leonard Rutherford. Treatment had scarcely begun, however, when some weeks later Darald’s condition took a turn for the worse. In anticipation of Darald’s soon-upcoming passage from the world, a sizable group of his loving family members gifted him and Dona with a fully-furnished home within which to enjoy his last days, and arranged a surprise party to present it to him. The excitement of this event caused Darald’s heart to stop beating, and when the doctor arrived, he pulled the sheet up over Darald’s head and left the room to fill out the death certificate.
Moments after the doctor’s departure from the house, Dona Lee’s mother Nellie suddenly noticed that Darald’s foot moved, and she began administering chest compressions in an attempt to revive him. Seconds later, Darald’s chiropractor, Dr. Rutherford, walked in the front door. He was a Palmer upper cervical practitioner whose specialty was ‘toggling the atlas.’ After being briefed on the situation and inspecting the patient, he proceeded to adjust Darald’s atlas. Within the first fifteen minutes, Darald was moving several parts of his body, and after one hour, he was speaking again. Family members were awestruck, and Dr. Rutherford concluded his visit with a beaming smile, saying, “The wonders of chiropractic! Be sure to get Darald in tomorrow for an adjustment.” When Dona Lee called the M.D. who filled out Darald’s death certificate to inform him of the wonderful news, he refused to accept her news as true, expressed anger towards her, and hung up on her.
After one year under Dr. Rutherford’s care, Darald was ‘feeling great again,’ and this provided the powerful impetus for Darald’s singularly-focused dedication to becoming a chiropractor himself. Under Dr. Rutherford’s mentorship, Darald enrolled in the science program at the University of Oregon, and thereafter, entered Palmer College in the autumn of 1957. B.J. Palmer’s lectures and writings were an ongoing surge of indescribable inspiration for Darald, who soon received his license and began his professional career as an associate for Clayton Cullen, D.C. in Salem, Oregon. Eighteen months later, Dr. Darald Bolin felt inspired to set out on his own. After finding just the right location and designing his own floor plans, his Roseland Chiropractic clinic opened its doors in December of 1962.
By 1976, chiropractors in the forefront of Oregonian politics had acquired their fair share of enemies, one of which was Oregon’s Attorney General Robert Thornton. Thornton was attempting to dramatically limit chiropractic’s scope of practice by targeting its phlebotomy privilege, which he hoped to succeed in after winning a second term in office. The OACP, however, had a friend in attorney James Redden (now a Federal Judge), who was running against Thornton in the election race. With November 5th coming up, Dona Lee Bolin, now a trained and licensed airplane pilot, volunteered her time and skills to flying Jim Redden wherever he needed to go for campaigning engagements. Between this and chiropractors making financial contributions, sending out mailers, instituting patients’ letter-writing, and canvassing neighborhoods, Jim Redden became the new Attorney General, a grand victory for overjoyed chiropractors everywhere.
Since that time, Dr. Bolin has completed over 1000 hours postgraduate Gonstead chiropractic training, and went on to become a Gonstead Diplomate in 1982, a Gonstead Ambassador in 1987, and a Gonstead Fellow in 1989. He served as a board member of the International Gonstead Society for ten years, ending with terms as vice president and president, and in 1996 he was selected as Gonstead Clinical Studies Society International’s Teacher Of The Year. Dr. Bolin’s book, Philosophy of Chiropractic, was published by Dorrance & Company in 1974. He had served as an advisor on the Textbook of Clinical Chiropractic, published by Williams & Williams. He has also completed 300 hours of advanced orthopedic training at Western States Chiropractic College and has served as its visiting technique instructor for the last 24 years.
Dr. Bolin served as President of the OACP in 1975, and in 1979 was awarded OACP’s Chiropractor of the Year award. Less than one year later, though, Dr. Bolin opposed a lawsuit which the OACP leadership began the process of filing against the SAIF Corporation. He felt that such an action would not be in the best interests of the chiropractic profession at that time and resigned from OACP in protest of their decision. This was viewed as an act of disloyalty on his part and led to the OACP’s suing him in what came to be known as ‘The Ten Million Dollar Lawsuit,’ though the actual amount was for $750,000. The case was thrown out of court, and within a short time, Dr. Bolin became actively involved in the process of forming a second state organization which was named the Chiropractic Society of Oregon. The CSO lasted for nine years and eventually merged with the broken OACP (now OCPA) in 1990.
Today, after 48 years of active practice, Dr Bolin is still going strong at the age of 79. Dr. Bolin is working 3 days a week at his Salem, Oregon practice and will celebrate 60 years of marriage in January 2010. He and DonaLee are still playing tennis and golf and take their motor-home throughout the continent. Darald continues to volunteer his time to teach young men/women Gonstead chiropractic methods, which would better develop their abilities to take care of patients.
J. Richard Burns, D.C, F.I.C.A. (Hon.), DPhCS
Professor of Technique
Dr. Burns was born in Champaign, Illinois, and was raised in the small town of Tuscola, Illinois. He has been married since 1974 and is the father of boy/girl twins born in 1979.
He graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1973 and became a member of the faculty of the college the same year. In 1977, he became chairman of the Department of Technique and served in that position for twenty-two years. In 1985; he received his full professorship. Dr. Burns is the course director for Technique Principles and Practice, which is an enhancement of the entire Technique curriculum. In addition to his teaching responsibilities on campus, Dr. Burns has been a member of Palmer College’s post-graduate faculty since 1975. Topics he has presented internationally include Extremity Adjusting, Spinal Adjusting, Adjusting Mechanics, Spinography, Pediatric Adjusting, and Upper Cervical Specific.
Dr. Burns has received numerous awards, the most coveted of which are Faculty of the Year, presented by the Student Council, and the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Illinois Prairie State Chiropractic Association. He has also received Chiropractor of the Year twice from the Illinois Prairie State Chiropractic Association. Dr. Burns has been named a Fellow of the International Chiropractors Association and the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society. He has also been named to Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care, Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals, Who’s Who in the World, International Man of the Year, Who’s Who in American Chiropractic, Outstanding Young Man of America, and Who’s Who in Chiropractic International.
He is also an author, having written Extremities: Adjusting and Evaluation. He has been a member of the Illinois Prairie State Chiropractic Association since 1976 and has served on the board of directors since 1987. He has also served on the board of directors of the International Chiropractors Association since 1999.
Dr. Burns has a passion for philosophy and received his Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers (L.C.P.) in 2003 and Diplomate of Philosophical Chiropractic Standards (DPhCS) in 2005. In addition to his teaching Dr Burns maintains a very busy chiropractic practice in East Moline, Illinois.
Richard Cranwell, MS, DC, DABCN
Logan Chiropractic College
Interview by Jeanne Taylor, DC
Dr. Cranwell is a native of South St. Louis, Missouri. He attained his B.S. from St. Louis University in biochemistry and attended Logan Chiropractic College, thereafter, graduating in January 1976. Dr. Cranwell stated that when he graduated from Logan, he had no knowledge of Dr. Clarence Gonstead. A colleague suggested he get up to Mt. Horeb to help instill self-confidence and learn “real chiropractic.” In March of 1976, he attended his first Gonstead seminar, where he sat in on Dr. Stoenner’s beginning class. After attending that seminar, his comment was, “Where have you been?” That seminar, may have been the turning point in Dr. Cranwell’s chiropractic career.
Dr. Tom Field of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, was just completing his internship at the Gonstead Clinic at the time. Dr. Field, like all previous interns, was a graduate of Palmer-Davenport. Being very interested in learning from Dr. Gonstead, Dr. Cranwell applied for the internship position, was interviewed, and in April 1976, became the first non-Palmer graduate to serve as a Gonstead intern. On his first day at the Clinic, Drs. Doug and Alex Cox showed him around. Dr. Sandy Chilsom was in charge of the x-ray department and was the interns’ immediate supervisor. When not in the x-ray department, Dr. Cranwell was allowed to follow Dr. Gonstead into the adjusting rooms with patients.
When asked, “About how long did Dr. Gonstead spend with each patient?” Dr. Cranwell replied, “As long as it took. If he didn’t feel he’d gotten an adequate adjustment, he’d tell the patient to wait, go to another adjusting room, and then come back to re-check the first patient.” Dr. Cranwell stated that Dr. G was always running late—sometimes a couple of hours behind—and worked out of three adjusting rooms. Whereas, he felt he could keep up with Dr. G’s pace while walking through the Clinic, following Dr. Doug Cox around was another story! “Dr. Doug tried to keep on schedule and seemed to fly from one patient to the other, and I found it difficult to keep up with him!
Around 10:00 – 10:30 each morning, Dr. Gonstead and some of the other staff doctors would meet in the x-ray room for cheese and crackers. One day, Dr. Gonstead asked Dr. Cranwell, “Would you mind trying a very good beer?” And from that day forward, Dr. Cranwell has only drunk Heineken beer! He also attested to the fact that Dr. G rarely went to bed on the same day he woke up, and he heard stories from patients that Dr. G had been making house calls at 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning and had not yet been home from the night before.
During his internship, Dr. Cranwell attended every Gonstead Seminar given at the Clinic. He diligently took notes and typed them up after each seminar. Today, these are known as “The Notes” but bear another person’s name. In addition to the excitement of his internship, Dr. Crandall became engaged to his “girl back home in St. Louis” and was married on October 7, 1976. For the remainder of his internship, they lived out of one of the small rooms in the basement of the Clinic. Dr. Cranwell and his wife became very close to Dr. G and “Vi” (Elvira) – so much so, that the Gonstead’s offered their West Palm Beach, Florida (Singer Island) condo for their two week honeymoon as a wedding present!
Dr. Cranwell has many pleasant memories from his years at the Gonstead Clinic and remains in contact with many friends he made while there. He left Mt. Horeb and opened his practice in his home town of St. Louis, Missouri in 1979. “Over the years, he has hosted more than 30 Logan students as preceptors in his office and has employed many of them, both before and after graduation.” He joined Logan College as an instructor and has taught the Gonstead Technique for 30 years. From its inception in October 1980 until October 1984, Dr. Cranwell was the coordinator of the Gonstead Teaching Chair, the first of its kind at any chiropractic college. The endowed chair has brought both equipment and funding to the college. He was a charter member of the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society and retains his Fellow Status (formerly called Ambassador).
Kent Edlund, DC
Dr. Kent Edlund, originally from Oregon, is Professor of Technique at the Anglo-European Chiropractic College in Bournemouth, UK. He spearheaded teaching the Gonstead technique at AECC in the 1990’s . Dr. Edlund’s dedication has resulted in a strong Gonstead technique presence among European chiropractic students and has had a great impact on keeping the movement growing in that area of the world.
Dr. Edlund talks about how it all began and where he is today: My first experience with chiropractic was when I was about 15 years old. I was very fortunate in that my local D.C. was Dr Darald Bolin in Salem, Oregon. Even at that very young age, I was impressed with the professionalism of Dr. Bolin and decided that chiropractic was for me.
After high school, I completed my pre-chiropractic education at Eastern Oregon State College in La Grande and began my training at Western States in the spring of 1975. Within a year, a classmate, Pat Eleam, and I were pretty fed up with the direction, actually, the lack of direction—of our technique classes. We heard that there was a Gonstead Seminar in Las Vegas and decided a road trip was in order.
At the seminar, we were both excited by the enthusiasm of the doctors and the support offered by so many doctors. We were taken under the arm of Richard Heun, from Napa, California, and treated like family. The seminar was a real eye opener for us. We heard about chiropractic treating all sorts of diseases and conditions that no one at school ever dreamed of talking about, by nothing but good, clean, specific Chiropractic Adjustments. We were hooked and promised each other that we would attend as many Gonstead seminars as we could during our school years. We also heard about the idea of Gonstead study club from a student at Palmer College and thought that we should start something like that at WSCC. After a couple more seminars, we put our study club plan into action.
By the time we finished WSCC, we had attended 12 Seminars along the West Coast and organized several workshops at WSCC. We even organized Dr. Gonstead’s only visit to the WSCC campus.
After graduation in 1978, I moved to Laramie, Wyoming, to start my practice. While in practice, I completed my BSc in psychology. An opportunity to teach Gonstead at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth England came along, so in 1991, my wife and I were off for a great adventure.
Teaching at the AECC has provided a great chance to promote Gonstead Technique and specific spinal adjusting. These are sometimes hard to find at colleges these days. The great thing is that there are always so many enthusiastic students. About 15 years ago, some students thought that they could benefit by beginning a study club; so the AECC Gonstead Study Club was started with six members. We now regularly have 40 or 50 students working together on Monday nights during term time.
One of the most exciting developments that have occurred is the relationship that we have had with the Gonstead Clinical Study Society over the last six years. We have held over 20 seminars on the AECC campus with the GCSS, including a series of 10 seminars over a year that covered a wide variety of aspects of Gonstead Chiropractic. A big ‘thank you’ to Dr. Greg Plaugher is in order for introducing us to the GCSS and helping us get the ball rolling.
There are other things in my life besides Gonstead. My wife Debbie and I enjoy our life in England. We spend our time in many ways, including golf, gardening and exploring the beautiful English countryside in HER MG.”
I reckon that by helping the next generation of chiropractors, I am now in payback mode for the help and inspiration from Dr. Bolin and others in my early days.
Richard A. Gohl, DC
It’s been his passion for 55 years, and at 81 years old, Dr. Richard Gohl has no plans to retire from it. What is it? His love for chiropractic; the patients it touches and to see that the chiropractic profession thrives with integrity as an independent profession.
Following this passion has led Dr. Gohl beyond his successful practice into the realm of chiropractic education: mentoring students, teaching seminars, writing books, and creating educational DVD’s.
Dr. Gohl is a frequent speaker and mentor to chiropractic students in Gonstead clubs across the country by putting on seminars at no charge. Of all his teaching venues, he is probably best known by the hundreds of students that have come through his office for his 10-week course of hands-on instruction.
Introduced to chiropractic in the early 40’s by a family friend, Dr. Gohl was inspired by the remarkable ability of chiropractic care to impact people’s health and well-being. This field of helping people — through chiropractic care — has become his life’s work.
He enrolled in the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1947, following his two years of service in Okinawa with the Navy Seabees. After graduation, he worked as an intern in the Davenport Palmer Chiropractic Clinic. From there, he moved to Glendale, California, where he began his practice. The doors to his practice have been open ever since the 50’s. His full-time practice still thrives today.
The greatest influence on Dr. Gohl’s philosophy and application of chiropractic came in the 1960’s from Dr. Gonstead. Pursuing a fluency in Dr. Gonstead’s work, he attended over 60 seminars with Dr. Gonstead himself.
As a Gonstead advocate, he has taught Gonstead principles at Cleveland College East & West, LACC, Sherman College, and the Palmer Extravaganzas. He has also enjoyed sponsoring preceptors in his office. Dr. Gohl is a charter member of the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society and had received the Clarence Gonstead Lifetime Achievement Award from the GCSS in 1991. He now serves as a Gonstead Fellow.
Dr. Gohl, along with his colleague, Dr. Eugene Alison, has contributed a unique method of taking postural AP and lateral full spine x-rays. Used in conjunction with a special marking system, they developed a systematic evaluation approach that creates a quantifiable measurement system of comparative x-rays. This means that comparative x-rays can be analyzed scientifically to demonstrate that structures do change as a result of giving adjustments.
The pillars which have supported Dr. Gohl’s work have been his consistent use of pre-and post-x-rays, the Delta-T Instrument to locate nerve pressure, and hands-only adjustments. He began these practices as early as the late 40s while still an apprentice. When Dr. Gonstead stated that he used the Nervo-Scope to check each patient before and after the adjustment and found the instrument readings went to zero after the adjustment, it confirmed Dr. Gohl’s findings as well.
Over 50 years of applying these practices has enabled Dr. Gohl to develop a systematic and scientific approach to quantify the outstanding results that chiropractic produces in patient care. He has documented this information in two new DVDs, “Inside the Adjustment,” which demonstrates in detail Gonstead principles and teachings, and the “Marking System Demonstration”, which give detailed instruction on marking x-rays. Both of these DVD’s will be released this month. He has previously published the book, “The Magic of the Spinograph.” More details about these projects are available at Dr. Gohl’s website: gohlchiropractic.com.
Dr. Gohl’s heart for service extends beyond his dedication to chiropractic. He has also kept active in service to his community. In addition to being an active member of the Lions Club for over 37 years, Dr. Gohl has been involved with the Twenty-Thirty Club, Young Life, Boy Scouts and Indian Guides. Annually, Dr. Gohl supports the Glendale Association For The Retarded by donating his office proceeds from an annual “Patient Appreciation Day.”
Dr. Gohl’s wife of 52 years, Tommene, has been a constant support, both inside and outside of the office. In addition to being a homemaker and active member in the community, she is mom to their 4 grown children, Sharon, Gary, Carol and Diane. Dr. Gohl’s Christian faith has been the foundation for his service and commitment to helping others. His hobbies include tennis, swimming, writing poetry, and of course, chiropractic.
“Without measuring the transmission of the energy traveling over the nerve, before and after an adjustment, there is no way to know if you have given an adjustment or merely stimulated a nerve reaction.” — Dr. Richard A. Gohl, D.C.
Phyllis H. Markham-Richelieu, DC
(From the December 2005 The “G”Note)
A Remembrance of Phyllis H. Markham-Richelieu, D.C.
August 8, 1921 – November 7, 2005
by Matthew J. Amman, D.C.
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.
In her later years, Phyllis maintained her focus. 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.
Many of us fellow Gonstead practitioners walk in the shadow of the great Dr. Clarence Gonstead, but Phyllis is different. She is not one of us. She came to understand him as a patient, investigator, admirer, confidant and supporter. She had the rare privilege of working with Dr. Gonstead from the beginning with his little classes in the clinic basement … to the end when he finally died. Together they formed a cohesive bond that led to the Gonstead method. Without them, none of our work today would be possible.
Steven Tanaka, DC — Editor: The GCSS offers its condolences to the family of this most remarkable chiropractor. She was an important pioneer in the development and promotion of the teaching and advancement of the Gonstead technique. We will miss her.
Steven M. Rindal, DC
One of my favorite aspects of putting out this newsletter is learning about, and sharing with you, the stories of the many outstanding doctors in our membership. I am continuously impressed and awed by these doctors’ life accomplishments. Here’s the history of another that I am sure will inspire you.
— Michele Hohmann, GCSS Executive Secretary
Dr. Rindal: Like so many before and after me, I had a definite sense that I was called to be a chiropractor, that this is my life’s work. While in high school, I thought that maybe, I should become a M.D. While pondering this and the options available, I had this sense that I needed to be a neurologist or a neurosurgeon, at least somehow dealing with the nervous system.
While working my way through pre-med college one summer, I ruptured a disc in my low back. I had grown up on a small farm and had always been involved in sports, so I had ample opportunities to injure and weaken my spine. This time I was in very bad shape and really needed help. I had never been to a chiropractor before and did not know anything about them or what they did. My father had been to one in town some few years before, so a call was made to the office of Dr. Jim Caviezel a Palmer graduate. However, I was unable to be moved. Finally, two of my friends came out to my house and slowly got me to his clinic. By then, my condition had deteriorated to the point that it took 30 minutes to get me out of the car and into the building. After an x-ray, I was adjusted and on my way to recovery. Dr. Caviezel, upon hearing my plans to be a MD, encouraged me to be a chiropractor and gave me a paperback book on it that I scanned and put aside. One late night during the busy days at the University of Washington, I ran across the book in a box. It was Chiropractic — A Modern Way to Health by Julius Dintenfass that I read it cover to cover until 3:30 a.m. The farther I had traveled along my college courses, the more unsettled I was about the whole system of health care into which I was heading. The information in the little paperback made so much sense to me then, that the next day, I called home and announced that I was going to be a chiropractor. In a matter of weeks, I dropped out of the U of W, enrolled in Palmer and was in Davenport. My course counselor at the U of W told me that I would lose my deferment for the draft for pre-medical students, and there was none for chiropractic students. These were the later Viet Nam war days. I told him I didn’t care and that I was dead set on being a chiropractor no matter what. Three weeks after being in Iowa, I got my draft notice and went to the fort in Des Moines for two days of testing along with others—we filled three buses. Later, I learned that the county’s quota was nearly up by the time we all went, and they did not take many out of our group. I flunked because I could not see anything on the eye test machine out of my right eye; I mean nothing. I had one very bad eye all my life, which by the way, has improved 50% since Dr. Tracy Rindal, my daughter who practices with me, has been adjusting my neck. A big Thanks to her and the power of a good adjustment!
I loved Palmer College from the beginning, and it fit me perfectly. I had the good fortune to have been taught Chiropractic Philosophy by Dr. Galen Price during my first quarter and Dr. Virgil Strang later on. I really got the “Big Idea” from the beginning and credit all my Palmer College instructors and post graduate instructors, especially Drs. Clarence Gonstead, Reggie Gold, Sid Williams, B. J. Palmer, D. D. Palmer, James Sigafoose, Don Parkerson, Jim Gregg, Tom Morgan, William Kelly, Lloyd Latch and James Parker, to name some key players, in helping me think like a chiropractor. I was very fortunate to have Dr. Larry Troxell as one of my technique instructors. It was through his displayed convictions and encouragement, and to whom I owe my eternal gratitude, that I began my course along the Gonstead method. I attended my first Gonstead seminars in Mt. Horeb while a student. I could not get enough of it.
Dr. Gonstead said that the effects of an adjustment were immediate. How could I know that I actually gave an adjustment and did not just make a joint give an audible sound when I moved it? Dr. G called that being a “treat-a-practor.” I could see improved joint ROM and perhaps the patient felt better, but, was it a primary subluxation, a secondary subluxation, or perhaps only a compensation. How did this complex spine fit itself together? Dr. G and BJ talked a lot about paralysis. Since the human body is composed to a large degree of muscles, and their nerve supply was fairly well mapped out, I taught myself to test for paralysis. After I had graduated, I studied chiropractic and the anatomy and physiology texts I had for many years to try to figure out just what worked to fix things that were not working right. I studied neurology, x-rays, listings, lines-of-drive, set-ups, adjusting on the different tables for different problems, on different kinds of spines, for different ages, etc., etc. When I got stuck, I would ask Dr. Gonstead. He would tell me something that didn’t make sense to my reasoning, or more likely, to my inexperience, so I continued on what I was doing, which ultimately did not work. Finally, I gave up trying to figure it out and decided whatever he told me to do, I would just do it, even if I didn’t understand how his ideas could possible work. This was a huge turning point for me, because over time, the “doing” of it led to the “understanding” of it. I branched out into other kinds of tests to monitor the body when it was not working right, including the autonomic nerves. This path initially led me to check each patient for Nerveoscope readings, along with motor changes before and after adjustments, at least 250,000 times, and also, various organ and nerve tests, vascular tests with changes and dermatome temperature changes of UE’s and LE’s and the trunk.
Dr. G. was right, the changes are there, and they are immediate, but, only if the disturbance of the nerve tissue is reduced or eliminated. The spine is one organ, and one part always affects another part of it. To see how it all fits together in sickness and in health, subluxated and with corrections made and watch the body awaken and rebuild itself with a hands on adjustment is such a marvelous thing to behold. I never get tired of seeing it unfold, and the challenge that each patient brings my way as they seek a better life with chiropractic, makes every day a great day for me.
- Palmer Chiropractic College, Davenport 1972
- Class President
- Class Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude
- President of Pi Tau Delta
- President Chiropractic Society of Iowa – Student Chapter
- Member Palmer Chiropractic College Student Council
- Palmer Certificate of Merit
- Charter Member of National Academy of Research Biochemists 1981-86
- Certified instructor for Gonstead Advanced Technic, Inc. as of 1978
- Instructor of advanced Gonstead methods through Rindal Seminars, Inc. since 1989
- Manufacturer of an improved Knee Chest table and the ComboBench® which allows seated, prone and side posture Gonstead adjustments on one piece of equipment through Rindal Seminars, Inc. since 1988.
- National Gonstead Research Society Charter Member 1978
- National Gonstead Research Society Humanitarian Award 1981
- Outstanding Accomplishment Award, Gonstead Advanced Technic, Inc. 1978, 1979
- Certified in Permanent Physical Impairment Ratings per the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment 1982
- Certified in Whiplash Masters Program of SRISD 1997
- Physicians Academy of Advanced Diagnostic and Clinical Procedures
- 1st year course graduate 1986
- 2nd year advanced course graduate 1988 with the following certifications of proficiency:
- Certified in Computerized Spirometry 1987
- Certified in Computerized Electromyography 1987
- Certified in Plethysmography 1987
- Certified in Doppler Ultrasound for Vascular Studies 1987
- Certified in Liquid Crystal Thermography 1987
- Certified in Computerized Nerve Conduction
- Velocity studies 1988
- Certified in Computerized Comparative Muscle Testing 1988
- Certified in Computerized sEMG 1988
- Certified in Applied Spinal Disability 1988
- Certified in Video Fluoroscopic Imaging 1988
- Board Eligible International Chiropractic Association Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics Diplomate Program 1998-2000
- Chiropractic Rehabilitation Diplomate Program of Los Angeles College of Chiropractic 1997-1999
Peter Thibodeau, DC
By: Jeanne Taylor, DC
No stranger to the chiropractic world this man! One evening of conversation with him and you’ll learn more about the history of chiropractic than in all your college classes combined.
Born and raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (doing the Carolina Shag), Dr. Pete was the eldest son of chiropractor parents, Drs. Billie and Harold Thibodeau. Interestingly, they met at Lincoln Chiropractic College in 1937. The school (not sure about this — where did you get this from?) had assigned them to be “dorm-mates” thinking “Billie” was a man! In those days, co-ed dormitories didn’t exist, let alone co-ed rooms and Dr. Billie was quickly transferred to the women’s dorm. Dr. Billie who practiced until the age of 75, was the daughter of Dr. A.D. Plowden who graduated from Palmer Chiropractic College in 1921. In their day, people weren’t seeing the chiropractor for back pain as much as they were “taking their adjustments” for ailments such as tuberculosis, influenza and pneumonia!
As a child, Dr. Thibodeau attended many Lyceums “under the tent” with B.J. Palmer the keynote speaker. He had many conversations with B.J. over the years but the one he finds most memorable was about the museum pieces. In a very serious voice, B.J. told young Peter, “Never touch the knives and spears hanging on the walls, because they have poison on them!” He apparently listened to the advice of that old man!
So, following in the footsteps of Grand-dad, mother, father, and older sister, Paige, Dr. Pete enrolled chiropractic college in 1961. He began at Cleveland College in Los Angeles then transferred to Logan College in St. Louis in 1962, where he was first introduced to full spine analysis. He graduated in September 1965. He traveled to California where his parents were then practicing and began working at Leisure World in El Toro, (a high end retirement center) in their ambulance department. It was here that he met his wife Judy.
As it turned out, Judy wasn’t the only one with her eye on Peter Thibodeau. The USA was knee deep in combat in Viet Nam and Uncle Sam was hot on this man’s trail. He was drafted into the US Army in June of 1966 and sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to Fort Dix, NJ to Fort Lee, VA to Fort Lewis, Washington where he completed Officer Candidate School. He and Judy married while Peter was in the military and when discharged, they moved back to California and eventually ended up in Santa Cruz County.
After 7 years in practice, Dr. Thibodeau learned from his brother-in-law (now a retired chiropractor) that “a bunch of guys” in the Monterey area got together monthly to learn more about and practice the Gonstead technique. The “bunch of guys” turned out to be what was to become the first regional “Gonstead Clinical Studies Society” now known as the “Monterey Bay GCSS” and included Richard Thornton, Charles Nelson, Steven Tanaka, and Charles Martin. After all these years, MBGCSS still meets monthly, they continue to work on their adjusting skills, and they also sponsor technique workshops for students and doctors. Proceeds from these workshops have been donated to Gonstead research.
Dr. Thibodeau offers an interesting prospective about “technique.” Throughout his early life he had been adjusted HIO and diversified. He attended a school (Logan) that taught full spine analysis, but not the Gonstead technique, although they encouraged Gonstead when the listings came out in 64. He claims he’s “really a novice and is still learning to master the technique.” Dr. Pete has great faith in the efficacy of the chiropractic adjustment, he has this to say about the Gonstead technique:
“I always liked the structure in the Gonstead system. A patient just left the office 5:41 pm 10/21/03 who was a Clarence Gonstead patient. She is a school teacher in the Pajaro district. And over the years a few other patients of Clarence have come through my office. One died though”
Dr. Thibodeau is a true lover of life, literature and laughter, but perhaps his strongest “L” is for learning. His ceaseless effort to educate himself includes studies not only the chiropractic scientific realm, but also in language, world events, cultural diversity, mechanical principles and business pursuits. Should you ever have the opportunity to sit with him at lunch or over a glass of wine, be sure to keep your ears open, as there will be pearls of wisdom dropped at your feet!
J. Larry Troxell, DC
Dr. J. Larry Troxell, 66, of Clinton, IA died Monday, April 16, 2007, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City. He started the 5 Points Clinic in Davenport, Iowa; he also was an instructor at Palmer College for five years, as the head of the Technique Department, and later worked with his wife, Pamela LeRoux-Troxell at Clinton Back & Neck Care Center in Clinton. Dr. Troxell started the Troxell Intern Program to mentor young chiropractic students and doctors in the Gonstead Method.
The following are stories and tributes to Dr. Troxell.
“What a truly kind man he was. His passing will be a loss for all of humanity…God bless his soul.” — Stephen Rowe, DC
He Led By Example
By Denny O’Hara, DC
Dr. T was a chiropractic leader. He led by example, both as a practitioner, and as an educator. As a practitioner he worked long hours seeing patients, always having time for a patient that needed help. He took great pride in correcting difficult cases that other chiropractors had tried and not helped. Many patients sought him out for this reason. He was totally fearless, taking on any case no matter how severe. He taught us that when everyone else had given up on a patient, it was up to us to fix it.
As an educator, Dr. T would help a student with a beginning Gonstead question, then turn to the next question from a 25 year practitioner about a complex problem. He always had time to discuss Gonstead Technique with anyone who needed help.
A while back, I was telling T about a Gonstead student who was having some trouble in school. The usual chiropractic college blues. T said “No problem, send him up to my house. He can stay with me for a week or a month or whatever it takes to get him back on track.” Just like a difficult patient, every Gonstead student was worth his time and effort to save. Speaking for the thousands of Interns and Gonstead students whose chiropractic lives were touched by Dr. T, we will be forever grateful for the example he set as our chiropractic leader. Thanks for everything T.
By Doug Valentine D.C., PhC
How do you ever describe a great friend and colleague like Larry or “Dr. T” as he was affectionately called? I first met Larry at Palmer College as we were registering for our first quarter at Palmer. We immediately became friends and went all through Palmer as classmates. We were very fortunate to have many of the old masters teach us like Galen Price, “Mr. Philosopher,” himself, Virgil Strange on anatomy, old “Nip Quigley” on psychology, Jim Stoenner on bacteriology and many great teachers—all of whom were DC’s. David Palmer was at the helm of the college and it was all about Chiropractic. Then we had this great young professor by the name of Dr. Doug Cox, who introduced us to the Gonstead Clinic and seminars on Dr. G’s work. Well, we were excited beyond belief when we first went up the hill to learn and see the world famous Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic. We were actually the first student class to attend his seminar. Our beginner class lit the fire in us to learn this advanced technique and we continued on many seminars for the rest of our stay at Palmer, and the rest of our lives.
Larry couldn’t get enough of Dr. G and his work and eventually got very close to him, and to be honest, sometimes I think Larry may have been like a son that Dr. G never had. Even after graduation and all our years in practice, Larry and I remained as great friends. Dr. G instilled in Larry the need to carry on his work and, from the very beginning, Larry was helping students learn this great system of care which eventually led to one of the most successful intern programs ever. Larry was a natural teacher. He loved doing it and he devoted most of his practice years to it until the day he died. He burned the candle many years at both ends, seeing patients and putting in long hours until he started getting some real bad low back pain that he had a tendency to ignore. He got adjusted in Davenport. He would drive to Cedar Rapids to have me adjust him and, we all told him the same thing: “Larry you’ve got to slow down, and let it heal.”
Well, one day he collapsed and couldn’t walk. He was driven up the hill to the clinic and spent nearly 4 months incapacitated with a ruptured disc. But he was as stubborn as I would be and let chiropractic adjustments and innate intelligence heal him up instead of surgery. His philosophy and knowledge knew how to guide him and heal him 100%. In the same respect, I lifted a heavy trunk and felt my lumbar vertebrae pop with instantaneous pain and within one hour, I was covered with bad hives, from head to toe. My local Gonstead Dr. was gone, so I drove down, and had Larry check me. One good L-1 adjustment and the massive hives were gone overnight.
Besides his intern program, he also put on many Gonstead seminars, and eventually, built his beautiful clinic on the outskirts of Davenport to house his clinic and seminar programs. He followed in Dr. G’s footsteps in spite of many unforeseen problems that would develop over time. His main goal was to teach as many students, and other DC’s as possible.
Unfortunately, the problems eventually catch up with us (myself included) and the fairer sex gets us in trouble. Well, Larry did survive because of his great skill, knowledge and compassion, and he restarted in Clinton, Iowa. Then, he eventually met and married the women of his dreams, Pam. I remember clearly years ago when Larry came up to Dubuque, Iowa, with Pam and his newborn daughter, and they stayed in the “Liberator” boat I had sold him called the “Subluxator.” Larry loved his boats and cars especially the Corvettes with the big engines and great sound.
Larry and I took many snow ski trips together in our single days, boating, ski trips and just some great times kicking back, and of course, downing many a good brew. Memories that I will always remember like yesterday and cherish. My life was better having had this great friend in it, and he always accepted you for who you were and never passed judgment on you. We were both fortunate to end up with wonderful supportive women in our lives that made our lives complete and satisfying. I was also pleased to learn that Larry had committed his life to Christ in the latter years, so I am comforted to know he’s in a better place, and I will see him again someday.
Larry will be sorely missed but never forgotten, and I hope and pray his legacy will carry on. He had the highest respect, not only from the thousands of patients he helped, but from 100’s of fellow chiropractors and friends, demonstrated by the huge attendance at his funeral. I know he personally taught over 700 chiropractors that practice around the world, and he was one of the most giving person I ever knew. His loss has left a big void in Chiropractic, especially, specific, Gonstead Chiropractic. And I pray that many Gonstead Dr’s will step up and continue his great legacy and fill the void he left. And in conclusion, as one Gonstead Doctor remarked, we are sure that Larry is up there picking Dr. G’s mind for some more questions on chiropractic left unanswered.
Rest in peace my friend.
A True Mentor To Countless
By David J. Rowe, D.C.
I came to know Dr. Troxell only recently. As renowned and revered as he was, he was amazingly humble, accessible, helpful and open to new ideas. His passing is a great loss to chiropractic, the Gonstead community, and especially, the patients that he has cared for throughout his career.
As Gonstead doctors we have been blessed with some great teachers. I believe it is fair to say that Larry Troxell was a true mentor to countless, fledgling Gonstead doctors. For those of you that considered him your mentor, I send my condolences to you. And remember that serving your patients is the greatest way to honor your teacher.
Eulogy for Dr. J. Larry Troxell (Dr. ‘T’)
Presented by Dr. Peter T. DeLoe, April 21st, 2007
Hello, I am Dr. Peter DeLoe, Gonstead Chiropractor. Graduate of Northwestern College of Chiropractic. Sixteen years in practice and currently in Rochester New York.
This is how we introduced ourselves at the start of every Gonstead Methodology Institute Seminar. GMI for short, this not for profit teaching organization was, and is, Dr. Larry Troxell’s vehicle for teaching and producing the finest chiropractors in the world. Preparation began immediately and learning never ended when you were with Dr. Troxell. Of course, once you knew him, you just called him ‘T’.
In August of 1989, I had only heard about this great chiropractor and his dynamic seminar in Davenport, IA. I had never met him before and not knowing any better I decided to pay him a visit at his very large clinic west of Davenport. I anxiously waited outside one of his adjusting rooms and heard this infectious and boisterous laugh billowing from the room. Having befriended one of his many Interns and knowing that this Dr. had called before my arrival to ‘sing my praises’, I thought that Dr. T would be so excited that I had driven six hours to observe him. Many of the chiropractors and students in attendance today can probably finish this story. The door finally opens and the patient exited and gave me her sweet, mid-western nod and smile, with eye contact. Then, Dr. Troxell exited, barely looked at me, no nod of the head and he wasn’t smiling. He walked down the very long hall to the front desk, retrieved a file, and walked back toward me down the same hall that now seemed much longer. In fact, very quickly, the temperature of that clinic seemed to escalate and suddenly, I was not so comfortable in my very comfortable “DR.” clothes. To make matters worse, he walked right past me, never looked at me, never said a word, and went on adjusting patients. After several patients, which means he walked right past me several more times, he finally had a rare five-minute break. I can remember exactly what he said, “Dr. Vosel tells me you’re doing good things up there at Northwestern”. My vital signs began their long journey back towards normal. His method of preparation began before he said a word and my learning had just begun! He invited me to follow him and “observe”. All was going well until about the fifth patient. A very large and stout farmer who was not feeling any better and who was pretty vocal about it. The sweet friendly mid-western demeanor had left the building. In fact, I was wishing I had too. He wanted to know what Dr. T was going to do about it. Again…. many of you know the rest of the story! T said, “Well Earl, Dr. DeLoe is going to review your file and your x-rays with you and when I come back, if you have any questions, I’ll be glad to answer them”. At this point, Marine Boot Camp was looking like a much better idea. Somehow though, I was able to rise to the occasion. He saw to it that we all did. After attending many of his seminars, I was granted a coveted externship with him for my last semester of Chiropractic school. At the very last minute, I had heard that he was going through some ‘personal adjustments’ and would be leaving the big clinic. Here I go again on the vital sign roller coaster. Quick to the phone, and again I remember every word he said (there were never many on the phone), Hey T, Pete DeLoe calling. Uh…what’s the status of my externship? As you can imagine, I was not a priority on his long TO DO list. Many of you can guess though, what he said, Oh, yeah, no problem, I’ll be up in Clinton now, IT WILL BE BETTER THAN EVER!
So down to Clinton I go! An outsider, a non-Palmer, non-Intern student. But immediately, I’m one of the family. T refers to me with his and Pam’s kids as Brother Pete. Before long I’m driving Corvettes, watching and rooting for the Hawkeye’s and eating large quantities of ice cream. And that’s all in the first weekend I’m there.
After several weeks go by, T is scheduled to go to Detroit Michigan to teach a seminar to a “few” doctors. Everything is business as usual, we are late, T has little to nothing prepared and he is as cool as a cucumber. When we got to the long, thin seminar room, the ‘few’ doctors had evidently brought a ‘few’ of their friends. There were over 150 in attendance, it was standing room only, even out in the hallway. T was fabulous! His unique and confident presence riveted their attention. They had come to listen to HIM! Obviously I had not learned my lesson and, well, you guessed it, at the first break T asked me what I wanted to teach when the seminar resumed in the next few minutes. Vital Signs?? I had none! With my last breath I pushed out, “whatever you want me to T”. Mind you, I’m still a student at this time. So after stumbling through an unprepared presentation using a special instrument that T had from Japan, he piped up and finally saved me. I think that ended his initiation process. The unspoken message was clear though. He was very serious about what he did and if you were going to boast that you had been trained with him, for even one seminar, then you were going to know what you were doing. The learning curve could be harsh. Some of us thrived on it. Some of us hated it but pushed through it because we knew what his goal was.
I’ve come to learn that T not only saved me that day but he saved me on many more days and in many more ways. Perhaps he saved you in a similar way or perhaps he literally saved your life as a patient of his. The proof mounts daily that the lessons he instilled and the level of excellence that he encouraged, in all of us, will not only last our lifetime but for generations to come.
I’ve not had the honor of knowing, personally, anyone in my life who has had such a large impact on so many. There are millions who will never know that the chiropractor that they were helped by was proficient, skilled and had the perseverance to stay in practice because of the exorbitant influence T had, has and will always have on them and us. The same can be said about his patients whose large presence here today lends proof to this fact.
It has been said by many, and we know Dr. T would agree, that the greatest chiropractor to ever live and who had the most influence on Doctors, was T’s mentor, Dr. CS Gonstead. But in the same breath, no one person, has had a greater impact on students in our profession than our mentor Dr. T. His Intern Program and seminar series which taught students from all over the world, has had no equal in its forty year existence. There is no close second! Not only that, but the students who he trained, have become, without a doubt, the finest chiropractors in the world. If the Interns forgot that point, T has a sign above their door which reads “Through these doors pass the finest Chiropractors in the world”. The sign is right! Today, you are a witness to the largest gathering of this elite group, ever, and they are here to pay their respects to their mentor, Dr. T!
But, if you are like me, mentor hardly seems adequate. Friend, Brother, Father Figure seems more appropriate. We didn’t idolize him, he wouldn’t let us. He was much too personal for that level of admiration. Like all of us, he wasn’t perfect and sometimes we flat out disagreed with him. Sometimes he showed us how not to do something. Not only in practice but also in life. He laughed at adversity. It just didn’t seem to set him off course. Nothing and no one could keep him from what he had his mind set on. We saw his courage and we believed we could overcome whatever obstacle life throws our way because he did. Dr. T not only had a “can do” attitude; he had a “will do” attitude. He infected us with it, and with it, we will continue his mission. Second rate was not an option. He let us all know it too. I remember early in our relationship that I had commented on having one good hand and one bad hand with my adjusting skills. He let me know very clearly, that I had two good hands, and that way of thinking was to cease and desist, NOW! Beating around the bush was not his forte. Sometimes we needed an attitude adjustment. He was good at those also! It is interesting; I don’t ever remember T needing an attitude adjustment. He was always giving. He made large sacrifices for all of us! I often felt I was taking from him more than my fair share. I know I owe and perhaps many of us owe his family, his kids and his wife, an unpayable debt of gratitude for sharing him with us. I honestly don’t know how to thank you. It may be an odd request but I know of no better time, and for those of you who feel the same way as I and wish to express this deep sense of gratitude, I would like you to please stand and join me in a collective round of applause for T’s family. Thank You
Oh, did I mention, T was a pretty good Chiropractor? We would all line up to be adjusted by this Master. Doctors, students and patients! I’m sure we can all remember our first adjustment with him! WOW! And know, regretfully, we can all remember our last adjustment from him! Wow! Wow! What a Doctor! What a healer! What a chiropractor! And, what a friend! What a son! What a brother! What a Father! What a Man! WOW! What a life!!!!! Wow! Was I lucky! Wow! Weren’t we all lucky! Oh, sorry T, you’re right. It was not luck. It was love. It is love.
Because of you, T, the finest chiropractors in the world walked through these doors today. Oh, sorry again T. I forgot, you want us to take the credit for our own success. How is, thank you T, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Thank you T, things will be better than ever.
Thank you T, for our two good hands.
Thank you T, for our health.
Thank you T, for your life. Wow! What a life!
Farewell good friend, It’s been an honor
and a privilege my brother!
I am Dr. Peter DeLoe, Gonstead Chiropractor,
trained by Dr. J. Larry Troxell.
G. Douglas Valentine, DC, Ph.C.
by Michele Hohmann
I met Dr. Valentine during the first Meeting of the Minds in Iowa, October 2004. If you ever have the good fortune to meet Dr. Valentine, take time to talk with this amazing man. You’ll find a treasure trove full of personal experience with Dr. Gonstead, a man with genuine passion and (expertise) for his profession, a lover of life, and good times. Here’s a little window into his remarkable history.
Dr. Valentine graduated from Palmer College in October, 1967 suma cum laude as class co-salutatorian. He stayed at Palmer an additional year and did research on Dr. Gonstead’s work and also taught a few classes. Dr. Valentine’s research was on the “Correlation of Instrumentation with X-ray Interpretation and Analysis” per Gonstead’s work. “It was an interesting research project as Dr. Roy Hilderbrandt was the head of the x-ray department and hated not only Dr. Gonstead but full spine X-rays. And, of course, that is all we used on our patients for this research. A classmate and myself received a Ph.C. for the research at Palmer College. These were the only two Ph.C. degrees handed out for research done at Palmer College.”
“I got into chiropractic around my mid teen years due to a severe chronic low back pain stemming from a sports injury. Unfortunately though, my parents took me to three different medical specialists who drugged me with narcotic pain pills that not only caused serious side effects but did not work and basically ruined my high school sports. The last specialist wanted exploratory back surgery and I said no. A neighbor referred me to a D.C. that took full spine X-rays and he had me fixed in less than a month. I continued monthly care as it felt so great to feel good again. Then after a year, I realized I had not had one migraine that year. I had suffered with migraines since I was born breach and turned in my mothers womb. I never even told this D.C. I had migraines. He just found the subluxations and fixed them.
I chose the Gonstead technique at Palmer because Larry Troxell and I were classmates and heard about the Gonstead clinic. Dr. Doug Cox was also one of our instructors. Our class was the first student class to attend the Gonstead Seminars on a regular basis. Plus I became a patient of Dr. Gonstead’s as well. I feel very privileged to have known Dr. Gonstead so well and to have had him adjust me for twelve years. I still feel like he is here in spirit every time I adjust a patient. I really miss the master at times and the MOM (Meeting of the Minds) was a great journey back in time. I wanted to be a great D.C. so I figured why not study under the best.
Once in practice, I consulted many times with Dr. Gonstead on patient cases. After he was gone it made me appreciate what a master he really was as his focus to chiropractic and patient care was unparalleled. I got involved in personal injury cases the first year in practice and ended up getting my patients a very large settlement in court cases. And my total success in court work I give to Dr. Gonstead. The reason is, I never talked in court about anything but the Gonstead disc concept and his work. No lawyer could touch me in knowledge of his work. I did not do all the fancy neurological orthopedic tests that basically told me nothing anyway. I talked pure chiropractic philosophy and Gonstead technique. As a result of my court success I had many personal injury cases referred to me by many lawyers.
In 1977, I had a case that the jury gave my patient $50,000, a very large settlement back in those days. The case was appealed to the Iowa State Supreme Court on the grounds that a chiropractor could not testify against an orthopedic expert. (DC’s were not experts in Iowa). The orthopedic had contradicted himself from his Tuesday testimony on Thursday. I testified on Wednesday. The Supreme Court severely criticized the orthopod and praised my testimony. The settlement was upheld and that case set the precedence on why chiropractors are considered expert witnesses to this day.
I have also successfully testified on the behalf of many D.C.’s getting sued for malpractice. I have never lost a case for a Gonstead practitioner. That says a lot for the Gonstead technique. I feel this technique most closely fits the science, art and philosophy of chiropractic. It is “the” technique that will help chiropractic survive and if we do not keep our profession pure, we will lose it.
I have practiced in Cedar Rapids most of my life but did practice in Lake Tahoe for two years and was a chiropractic consultant for two years in Boca Raton, Florida. It was interesting when I was a consultant for D.C.’s across America and Canada in that I found I could teach them good office procedure but found many of them could not adjust or get results. Hence, failure was still an issue. I then, of course, told them all to attend Gonstead seminars to learn how to get sick people well. The one single success in my career came from the fact that I mastered the Gonstead technique. I love to watch students grow into true healers after they master the Gonstead technique.”
Dr. Valentine has “a wonderful wife of twenty-six years.” five children and five grandchildren. He is an avid deer and elk hunter, rides his Harley, loves to fly airplanes and run high performance boats.
And, Dr. Valentine has practiced for thirty-six years, is licensed in Iowa, Nevada, Texas, Missouri, Hawaii, Arizona and Florida. He is a member of state and national chiropractic organizations as well as Pi Tau Delta, International Chiropractic Honor Society, and many other personal and service organizations.