The Posture of Subluxations: Subluxations are state specific

Years ago, Dr. Lowell Ward of Long Beach, California, had a patient who felt fine standing, but had head, back and sciatic pain while seated. Standing X-rays showed a balanced, unsubluxated spine. He wondered, “What would I find if I X-rayed her in the seated posture?”

Her seated films revealed an unbalanced, subluxated spine. No wonder she hurt when she was sitting. Dr. Ward asked the question, “Am I missing other subluxations by limiting my analysis to one posture?”

Dr. Ward’s films of people, standing and sitting, consistently revealed that one posture would show severe subluxations while the other would not. For example, a person injured while seated (as in a car accident) would show subluxations and distortions only in the seated position and little, if any, subluxation damage standing. Similarly, a person injured while playing sports or falling down stairs would reveal subluxation damage in the standing spine and a relatively healthy seated spine.

Most interesting was that the X-ray could reveal the dynamics of the accident. For example, an accident victim thrown forward and to the left would reveal a spine with the head off-center left and forward (relative to the sacrum).

Dr. Ward described it as “sprung spine,” similar to a spring that was pulled a little too much and didn’t return to its normal position. 

The posture of the subluxation

When I discovered Koren Specific Technique (KST), I realized one of its advantages was that it permitted the practitioner to check (or analyze) a patient in any posture. I was no longer dependent on an adjusting table or any fixed position, as Dr. Ward was.

Make it hurt—positional adjusting

Patient: “Doctor, it hurts when I do that.”

Doctor: “Don’t do that.”

The above Henny Youngman joke notwithstanding, I always ask the patient to “do that.” I ask them to assume a posture of pain/dysfunction/subluxation.

“Make it hurt,” I tell them. “Bring out the subluxation.”

I then check and correct (adjust) them in the posture of subluxation.

The possibilities are endless

How does this work in the office? Simple. A person who only hurts or has trouble when turning a certain way is told to “freeze” and is then checked in that position and corrected (adjusted).

For example, a person who hurts when they hold a golf club in a certain position is checked for subluxations and adjusted while in that position (preferably holding a golf club). A guitarist who only hurts when he’s holding his guitar could be checked and adjusted in the position of holding his guitar or actually holding it.

A secretary who only hurts when holding the mouse at a certain angle should be checked and adjusted while in the position of holding the mouse at a certain angle. A person who was subluxated when they hit their head in a cramped, stooped position (perhaps becoming deaf!) would best reveal their subluxation when going into a cramped, stooped position, in other words, the posture of injury.

The possibilities are endless.

Emotional subluxations

It’s perhaps no accident that the word posture can refer to an emotional as well as a physical stance. Just as we can put a patient in a certain physical posture and check them for subluxations, we can put a person in a certain emotional posture and do the same.

“Think about the car accident, see the road, smell the car, be in the accident.

“Okay, now hold that thought or picture.”

Patients can be checked and corrected while reliving the accident, thinking about a lost loved one, a difficult relationship, a life crisis—the possibilities are endless. Usually the sphenoid subluxates when the patient is in an emotionally charged state.

Why does it work? My theory is that the adjustment in that emotional state unlocks or interrupts a mind/body reflex.

Scott Walker, D.C., discovered that a patient would re-subluxate when she thought of the accident she was in. He went on to develop NET or Neuro Emotional Technique. NET has a wonderful protocol to locate a specific emotional experience in a person’s life that may be “hot” and causing subluxations. If the practitioner has determined that the patient has emotional stress locked in the body/mind but the patient has no conscious recollection of the stress, Dr. Walker’s protocol may help locate the specific emotional experience, so the emotional charge (Neuro Emotional Complex) may be released.

Do patients like this care?

They love it! Old, chronic subluxations that were buried away and not amenable to correction before are finally able to be accessed and corrected or released. The practitioner gets to the cause of the patient’s problem faster, adjustments hold longer and, that means, patients are much happier with the results.

Perhaps most importantly, patient care is personalized to one’s specific needs and life experience. Patients appreciate personalized care as much as they dislike feeling as if they are treated the same way each visit. They feel that their doctor really understands them on a deeper, more personal level.

Doctors like this work because they get better results, often taking patients who have stopped improving to a new level of well-being. The doctor becomes a detective and practicing becomes a lot more fun.

Adjusting in the posture of  subluxation

So how do you adjust a person who is standing or sitting with the arm, head, neck, shoulders or other body part in a twisted position? You use an adjusting instrument, such as the ArthroStimTM.


Subluxations are posture and state specific. They may only reveal themselves when a person is physically or emotionally in a certain state or posture.

Koren Specific Technique, developed by Tedd Koren, DC, is a quick, easy way of locating and correcting subluxations anywhere in the body. Patients hold their adjustments longer and, because it is a gentle, low-force technique, it’s easy on the doctor too. An additional (and very important) bonus for KST practitioners is the ability to specifically analyze and adjust themselves. For seminar information, go to or call 1-800-537-3001. Write to Dr. Koren at [email protected].

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