The Gonstead system uniquely emphasizes specificity, as it applies to which levels are being targeted for adjustments. Rather than a "shotgun" approach to care where any or all levels of involvement are adjusted on the same visit, Gonstead adjustments are directed at specifically selected levels of involvement for maximum restoration and balance of function.
Gonstead adjustments can best be described as a short lever, high velocity, and low amplitude, with long lever assist force application. The short lever is the specific contact on the vertebra near or on the vertebral midline. The high velocity is the quick application of force. The low amplitude is the force depth being controlled at a shallow level, just enough to affect the disc and joint sufficiently. The long lever assist applies to the stabilization of the region above and/or below the contact area being adjusted, usually employing the chiropractor's hand or thigh.