When a persons posture is compromised, it deviates off the vertical axis. Figure 1a. shows a normal balanced posture that is than exposed to a left to right trauma. We will talk single plane for explanatory purposes but a misalignment is always multi-planar. This right trauma initiates a gravitational energy imbalance on the right known as causative compression(R). The reflex response to this causative compression and weight imbalance is to first stabilize the imbalance. That is an initial response to ensure the body does not fall over. So, it activatesa 1st stabilizing tension line on the left (Figure 1).


Immediately, the body responds not just to stabilize it but also to rebalance itself to an optimal the vestibular position. So, It Bows back toward the vertical axis (Figure 2a). This process begins as sensory information from the proprioceptors, Vestibular apparatus, and the righting reflex as they sense the body imbalance. Thisactivates a 3D full body motor response to “center the skull over the pelvis”.  It is the upper that compensates over the lower applied through the myofascial envelope. This restores the (C0/C1/C2) and pelvic proprioceptors to the vertical axis (Figure 2a).The activation of this response is called the compensatory tension line. In Figure 2a, this left compensatory line (i.e. L SCM and L Splenius Capitus) spans from the skull down to the pelvis.

The left compensatory line than creates stabilizing line on the opposite side. The is spans from the right SCM and splenius capitus down to the shoulder and pelvis stabilizers and anchors (boney) down to the right TFL and foot and ankle stabilizers (Figure 2b). The flow pattern is always:

  1. Trauma
  2. Misalignment: causative compression and opposite stabilizer
  3. Rebalance/adaptation: Compensatory line and opposite stabilizer
  4. More Trauma: Out of Pattern or biomechanical complex
  5. Misalignment: causative compression and opposite stabilizer
  6. Rebalance/adaptation: Compensatory line and opposite stabilizer
  7. More Trauma: Out of Pattern or more biomechanical complex

The integration of all these tension lines is vast and complicated. To balance the spine from cause to stabilization and compensation to stabilization is mediated through the myofascial envelope.


This is nowa plausible flow pattern from cause to re-balance, as the human body is traumatized, misaligned, and recovers. More traumasequal more neuro-myofascial response, subsequent re-balance, and complexity but a measurable pattern will always exist.Every pattern has a 3D tension-compression visible at the inter-spinouses and the global spinal level. Not a bone out of place but an intelligent system restoring optimal life conditions.

Unfortunately, as we age and our energy state diminishes and the kinetic compression of gravity exceeds our energy potential. This causes our bodies to basically compresscaudal and loses Tensegrity. The downward collapse is a spiral.The spiral (Bowing & Rotation) facilitates energy release points to disperse the asymmetrical load. This tension- compression complex, thecollapse (bowing and spiral),can all be see on a full spine A to P x-ray (Figure 3.)


You can see in Figure 3:

  1. Eachvertebra misaligned to the one above and below at every level
  2. A flowing pattern system restoring the 3D vertical axis
  3. And a bowing (compressing) and rotating spinouses (spiraling).

This opens an interesting direction for orthogonal based chiropractors.Thisexpands our present articular model to a vitalistic one.

These tension lines were spoken about by Ralph Gregory, the founder of NUCCA as resistant pathways, and evolved by Thomas Myers the author of Anatomy Trains.

These tension lines are palpable at their Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) insertions at the primary attachments of the skull and discussed by the SOT founder Dejarnette. Releasing each line is the goal. The QSM3 method approaches this in an organized protocol. Because the body breaks down:

  1. Frontal and rotational
  2. Compensatory above the injury to right the head over the pelvis
  3. Compression-Collapse overtime by gravity
  4. Spiral downward

The multiple headpiece protocol is the reverse for each corrective release process. This facilitates a synergistic rewind towards orthogonal and Tensegrity. It releases the cause, it releases the compensation, and it releases the stabilizers in any pattern of misalignment. That is an algorithm. This is a productive step toward how things work.

Russell Friedman