From my first Technique class to my last, and even well into practice, I have always felt something was missing within the process of corrective structural biomechanics. This is the dynamic aspect, or “how to fix”, aspect of corrective spinal care. The process had seemed quite subjective and when something wouldn’t work as expected, there was no real path to continue objectively. I knew human biomechanics was complicated, and we were not just changing tires here, but our goal to correct posture three dimensionally should have been further along.
My vision is to elevate that process and to empower others to do the same. To improve the process, I realized we had to first measure the correct information points and then be able to integrate them into an informational process. This new starting point with correct static information, or the diagnostic triage, would benefit the teachability aspect. Then from there, we could transform the data and integrate it to navigate us through a systematic, biomechanically clean, corrective process. No one in upper cervical chiropractic had done this previously until now.
QSM3 evaluates specific “primary” posture points and integrates them into a protocol. This has opened a fascinating doorway to a new process of protocol with different options available as to how to proceed. The four sections of the human frame, and their measurability as it breaks down, is the foundation information used to reverse spinal misalignment. QSM3 is a system that evaluates the sectional components in the three planes of motion. These are the pelvis to the VP, the C7-C2, C1, and the skull. Known as the BOX, the Pelvis to the VP is the BJ Palmer primary. It has given rise to an equation:
C0 + C1 + (C2 + C7) = THE BOX
The BOX is the primary mass that breaks downward under misalignment conditions. C0 to C7, or the other side of the equation, is the continual dynamic balance modulator. As the BOX breaks down over time, the C0 to C7 anatomy and physiology will maintain the balance via the righting reflex and the double cup and ball of C0-C2 on the long lever of the cervical spine. It is the BOX that is the primary misalignment and its measurability is critical in the corrective process.
Using a digital posture device, we measure the weight differential, the rotational component of the pelvis, and the vertebral prominence position. (Our new device will measure these, and additional points, more accurately as well.) The compression and head tilt are visualized on a grid and the leg discrepancy is recorded in the supine position. This information is integrated to accurately measure the breakdown in 3D from the pelvis upward. The three UC pre and post films are used to measure the distortion and its percent correction. The integration of these data points from the digital device has become invaluable. It has given rise to a process of “real time” measurements from which to proceed. This is a dynamic approach to corrective care. Measure, access the pathway, remove it, and re-measure to access and remove the next pathway, and so on.
The time of using the x-ray to indicate what we should do is probably behind us. It has been inconsistent and random in explaining out of pattern misalignments. This is apparent in the historical upper cervical groups’ inability to create one proceduralalgorithm, a consistent teachable model, and consistent process among the certified doctors. Before QSM3, when a patient’s symptoms returned (and the usual x-ray vector approach was repeatedly unsuccessful), we would be handcuffed by the x-ray and its lack of new information. The problem wasn’t the x-ray; it was our full faith approach to care based on a one-time static picture.
There has never been a measuring system in our work that has effectively and dynamically recorded and referenced data as the patient broke down over time. Misalignments shift, they partially breakdown at times, and they even completely change. To address this dynamic breakdown, a process has emerged in QSM3 that is called “playing through”. It is based on the coordination of real time data and its use in a sequential process to unwind or reverse the breakdown. Measure, integrate, set up, remove, and then recheck. This is the process of “playing though”. Misalignments shift over time. Knowing where you are right there and then, coupled with the understanding of the path of reversal, have become the two key components of increased success.
In its misaligned state, the human body collapses under gravity and, over time, continues to break down further toward the ground. Breakdown is dynamic. Why are corrective systems not monitoring and changing at each office visit to compensate for these dynamic postural shifts? The corrective process is not an event. It took years for the patient to degenerate and express symptoms and it will take time to decompress, correct, and stabilize. This involves a process to assess changes within an orderly system.
The most sophisticated organic system on the planet (the human body) does not break down in a random fashion, but in an orderly, predictive one. It is not a “bone out of place” when it breaks down, but a 3D body spiraling downward, under the effects of gravity and its compressive effects on the weakened, misaligned spine and thus the entire body. As the pelvis leads the downward spiral from gravity, it rotates to diminish the compressive stress from the collapse. It is measurable and a direct indictor of compression. Corrections cannot occur until compression is removed.
The reverse path towards upright is dictated by the measurability of this breakdown and its unscrewing from the atlas subluxation complex.
The pelvis is the driving force of this misaligned collapse. It is the biggest lever in the human body and produces its greatest outward and inward effects. The QSM3 practitioner monitors pelvic rotation on each office visit as an indicator of compression or collapse. To make a measurable change in pre- vs. post-position, a physical structure will move more completely and faster when in a non-compressed state. Take the bag of concrete off someone’s head and release the natural tensegral posture pattern! This is one of the initial steps in the corrective process in QSM3.
In the most structurally compromised patient with multiple pathways (sectional breakdowns), it is this “playing through” that allows us to peel away the multiple pathways or layers. As one is removed, another can be measured and removed, and so forth, until the corrective process is completed. The measurability of primary postural indicators and their differentials from visit to visit is an option in today’s chiropractic.
The breakdown is much like a crushed Coke can and must be released upward before any movement in the frontal plane can be considered. Dr. Paul Collett has a beautiful article on this at our www.QSM³.com website. The process to correct to orthogonal can also be thought of as a screw in a piece of wood which has been inserted on a slant. You cannot move it right or left, forward or backward until it is unscrewed. This is the same path a breakdown and correction must follow. One is the reverse of the other.
This decompression is an initial step in the QSM3 protocol with options. Options are available to remove and release systemic compressions. There is always another option or choice to access a pathway. There are times when you can access it on the right or the left by using different headpiece and skull positions. Only one is correct, but the option system allows for a continuation, or next step, so a doctor can proceed. For example, a right frontal plane breakdown can be accessed right side UP with an UP headpiece or left side UP with a DOWN head piece. The first is linear and the second is circular. Both do the same thing…send energy right to left but the pathways are completely different. The correct pathway when accessed will be successful. Now there is a process with options to complete the corrective process. This is ground breaking.
Different options are better than others, but not knowing how to proceed is never an option in QSM3. Options that don’t make changes are replaced with options that do. It is not random but systematic. Accessing the pathways and releasing them is the process of correctability. Pathways can be linear, circular, or torsional. When the body breaks down, these pathways collapse and lock. To release a linear pathway, it must be accessed and released via a linear pathway. To release a circular pathway, a circular pathway has to be accessed and released, and the same for the torsional pathway. The patient, skull, and doctor placement access the pathway and, if it is the incorrect pathway, the digital device always indicates another to continue and “play through”. These are the options available in the process of corrective QSM3 biomechanics. The fact is that only one option works to facilitate that real time dynamic corrective care we have been missing. But what if you only knew to access one of these pathways for a patient?
Chiropractic today works within a mechanistic model. The ilium is PI and the atlas is right anterior. Our philosophy and art are helpful, but lack a consistent corrective paradigm that delineates a three-dimensional process towards orthogonal zero using a vitalistic model and restoring tensegrity. Corrective vitalism is returning. Merely pushing on a PI ilium or a right atlas has done well to advance our cause. However, a valid systematic biomechanical process can demonstrate a protocol that is consistent, repeatable, and teachable. The days of only philosophy and art by themselves are gone. It is a new time with new procedures emerging.
The QSM3 system is one of the newest approaches to a vitalistic tensegrity within the orthogonal model. The model of tensegrity is gaining significant traction and may prove to be our platform for a more comprehensive validating model. Biomechanical MD and PhD research will prove our effectiveness as they are beginning to see that the human frame may in fact be tensegrally designed. This then pointsto the importance of the tensegral array with respect to gravity, and thus we will lead in the corrective arena as the surgical alternative. There is no pill or surgical procedure for restoring tensegrity.
All this begins with our ability to release the old and welcome the new, more comprehensive theories that expand what we help to restore. We must move beyond “a bone out place” and the belief that a 4” height and anterior 2” vector is sophisticated enough to correct a three-dimensional human frame collapsing under gravity. These models are important milestones in our history but have not proven to be energetic enough.
By opening our process to these options, we bring a new way of looking at our patients within an emerging model of tensegrity and a solid foundational core as Vitalists. We welcome you to this new corrective vitalistic tensegral process.
Note: Vitalism is certainly appropriate with respect to our history in chiropractic. Today this word has come to be associated with a dualism, ie. ‘Unlike’ affecting ‘unlike’. The material and the nonmaterial somehow affecting each other although this interaction remains undefinable since they have no commonality. To quote Rupert Sheldrake, in “Morphic Resonance- the nature of formative causation”, from the introduction:
“The simplest way in which the mechanisitic theory could be modified would be to suppose that the phenomena of life depend on a new type of causal factor, unknown to the physical sciences, which interacts with physic-chemical processes within living organisms. Several versions of this vitalist theory were proposed in the early twentieth century, but none succeeded in making predictions that could be tested, or suggested new kinds of experiments. If, to quote Sir Karl Popper, “the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability,” vitalism failed to qualify.
However, the organismic or holistic philosopghy of nature provides a context for a more radical revision of the mechanistic theory. This philosophy denies that everything in the universe can be explained from the bottom up, as it were, in terms of the properties of subatomic particles, or atoms or even molecules. Rather, it recognizes the existence of hierarchically organized systems that, at each level of complexity, possess properties that cannot be fully understood interms of the properties exhibited by their parts in isolation from each other; at each level the whole is more than the sum of its parts. These wholes can be thought of as organsims, using this term in a deliberately wide sense to include not only animals and plants, organs, tissues, and cells, but also crystals, molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles. In effect this philosophy proposes a change from the paradigm of the machine to the paradigm of the organism in the biological and in the physical sciences. In Alfred North Whitehead’s well-known phrase: “Biology is the study of the larger organisms, whereas physics is the study of the smaller organisms.
Various version of this organismic philosophy have been advocated by many writers, including biologists, since the 1920’s. But if organicism is to have more than a superficial influence on the natural sciences, it must be able to give rise to testable predictions”. (p.2)