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A Startling Discovery - The Birth of Quick Release Technique

In July of 2022 I discovered something astounding that changed how I thought about the subluxation and how I adjust.  I know it will add years to my practice beyond the 35 I have already tucked under the belt.  I want to share it with you, in a courses approved by your Board of Chiropractic Examiners, wherever you are.  Look for the live course Quick Release Methods for the Chiropractor: Reboot and restore the subluxation complex to normal using scientific physiological principles to benefit your technique in your state’s listings of approved chiropractic courses.  For California, go to this link. For an online introductory course in all other states, go to and look for: Course: Mobilization 203 Subtitle: Releasing Subluxations through Comfort and Ease.

How did I find this new innovative technique?  I injured my elbow side posturing over about 20 years, starting in my first few years of practice when I did not have full understanding of the importance of proper ergonomics in adjusting (an aspect I teach in this course).  I had to find other ways to adjust and I finally opened a book that had been on my shelf for many years: Strain-Counterstrain, by Lawrence Jones, DO.  He described how, if you understand the theory of Irvin Korr, PhD regarding the cause of somatic dysfunction – that the muscle spindle gets caught in a shortened, hyperactive state – you can backtrack it to normal length and tone by slackening the dysfunctional muscle.  Via taking away the alarm signal via slack it will, within a couple of minutes, reset itself to normal. His book got me started, and I took all the courses I could on the technique.  It worked, but it took time.  90 seconds to 2 minutes is a long hold when a patient has a lot of subluxations or the doctor has a waiting room of people.  But for 10 years I studied it, practiced it and even taught it. Part of that study took me back to Korr’s physiological theories on how osteopaths and chiropractors corrected spinal dysfunction.  He hypothesized that spinal manipulation (the actually high velocity thrust) works by rapidly stretching the Golgi tendon organs of the hypertonic, hyper-shortened muscle in the subluxation complex.  He noted that this rapid action sends sensory signals from the GTO’s to the spinal cord and muscle spindle, which then causes interneurons within the cord to decrease the amount of motor contractile signal to  muscle spindle, which then can break the cycle of hyperactivity and spasm and reset itself to normal. 

I thought to myself, “Why do you have to bring the already spasmed and alarmed muscle to even further stretch and tension, which we do when we bring a subluxation to the point of motion restriction and resistance, alarming even it more, to stimulate the GTO’s?  Wouldn’t this be counterproductive? Wouldn’t it cause an excitatory effect and amp up restrictive resistance on an already overstimulated muscle? The GTO’s are not where the muscle spindles are (in the muscle belly) but in the tendon.  What happens if you slacken the muscle belly first, and then, in that relaxed state lightly tug on the muscle’s tendons to get the GTO’s to signal while the muscle spindle is quiet?” In other words, what happens when one first quiets the alarm, and then whispers the release signal into the spinal cord?  I tried it: put the next subluxation I found into muscular slack, tugged on the tendons of the involved muscle, and lo and behold it let go immediately, just as well as if I had thrust into the joint or had waited out the 90 seconds to 2 minutes Dr. Jones had said was necessary.  In the subsequent 6 months I have tried this on every dysfunctional muscle I have found in the spine and extremities and it works wonderfully where other techniques work less effectively.  To find out why, please read the pages on The Science Behind KinEase Release Methods

Improve Your Existing Technique with Quick Release Technique.

Why would others technique work less effectively if they do not incorporate Quick Release Technique?  Let’s go through a few basic ones and I will discuss it from my own experience.  I am not suggesting some chiropractic techniques do not work, and I am certainly not suggesting you switch techniques!  I am just saying: you can work smarter, not harder.  I still do Diversified, Activator, Drop, Torque Release, vibration percussors and some SOT, and of course Counterstrain, where this all started.  What I am suggesting is that you incorporate the principle of “slack before you tap or crack” into your protocols.  Why? Let’s look at 3 protocols: osseous, spring loaded adjusting tools, and drop table dynamics

1) Osseous:

As I explained in the page A Startling Discovery – The Birth of Quick Release Technique: osseous protocols all put the somatic dysfunctional muscle that is holding the subluxation in restriction right at the edge of resistive tension.  This is going to excite the muscle spindles, making the release a battle between the signals of grip within the muscle spindle and the signals of release within the GTO’s.  Who wants a battle when you can have a peaceful accord.  It is more comfortable for the patient, and for the doctor, every subluxation release, where every action has an equal and opposite reaction, ie: back into your body, you get to work a lot less hard to get those hard to move adjustments to release.  If you can release the muscle that is causing the subluxation, the joint is going to move through a normal range of motion in most instances. If it doesn’t, it simply means that the joint is dry, and now just needs a little push to easily cavitate,  or some mobilization, or maybe have the patient walk or do some spinal twists to lubricate the joint. It also may mean that you have not found the correct muscle in somatic dysfunction, and that is where taking a course becomes essential. After all, even a simple mid-cervical fixation can be held in place by a multifidus, a rotator, a longus coli fiber, or a scalene, and it is important to quickly and efficiently find the source.  Just as BJ and others said, “Adjust the cause of dis-ease” we want to adjust the cause of the subluxation, and it is not the facet joint.  A facet joint does not have the capacity to hold itself out of place.  Something contractile is jamming that facet and limiting ROM.  Find out where that is and you deliver the definition of a specific adjustment!

2) Spring loaded devices and other percussive instruments:

Activator Methods and other spring loaded techniques such as Torque Release, Neuromechanical’s Impulse adjusting tools and others  are based on the precept that Force = Mass X Acceleration.  A large force can be applied over a very short movement arc when the speed of the moving piston is very great.  This, according to the theories of Korr, sends a shower of inhibitory signals to the spinal cord which shuts down the motor excitement signals to the gamma motor efferents of the hyperactive muscle spindles in the dysfunctional muscle.  So far these units are lock-step in my thinking: cause a whisper of a signal to release without further exciting the hyperactive, hypershortened muscle in the process.  So why can’t we just stop there?  Well, at least insofar as their spinal technique is concerned (correct me if I am wrong and I will alter this)  all of these techniques adjust the patient in prone spinal neutral position.  When a patient comes to you, they are already uncomfortable in spinal neutral.  For the muscle spindle, which is sending contractile signals to the muscle via the spinal cord, neutral is a stretched and “dangerous” place to be (See the article on The Science of KinEase Release Methods for further explanation of this phenomenon).  That means that there is already lots of “noise” saying “contract” going into the spinal cord and the tap of the adjusting instrument whispers a release that may be heard, but will be calculated by the spinal cord in the weight of the muscle spindle’s counter instruction to contract.  In my personal experience: when I find a motion restriction in the spine, and a corollary tender point, and I choose to use Activator Methods analysis to confirm the subluxation listing, and I tap it according to their protocol, the following finding occurs.   The leg length change will neutralize, but the tender point and restrictive ROM will still be apparent, in most cases, reduced by a percentage. If I lift the hip, or the shoulder, or turn the neck a bit to slacken the posterior muscle in somatic dysfunction (identified by the tender point finding), and tap not at the facet, but the tendons at the tranverse and spinous processes, the release is complete.  I notice no more restricted ROM, no remaining taut and tender findings and the leg length check reveals that I have released the joint according to Activator Methods leg length analysis.  What this means to you as an instrument adjuster is you can be surer of a complete adjustment, get better results on your patients, and have an amazing skill and unique factor to let the world know about. You will also learn how to use your percussion tools, or in delicate areas revert to a flick of the finger on the tendons of the dysfunctional muscles of not just the posterior, but the anterior spine and pelvis as well.  Yes, you need to check the anterior spine.  The spine has muscles that hold subluxations on both dorsal and ventral sides. See: Are You Missing the Lynch Pin that is Holding a Subluxation in Place?

Are You Missing the Lynch Pin that is Holding a Subluxation in Place?

We all learn to palpate for TART: Tenderness, Assymetry, Restricted Range of Motion, and Tissue Texture Changes (tightness, fibrosity, swelling, bogginess, rubefasciae, etc.) but when was the last time you applied this analysis to the front of the spine?

Most of chiropractic techniques analyze only the muscles found on the posterior spine.  In Quick Release Methods you will learn how to treat the other half of the spine: the anterior side.  Here is a short list of places you may be missing:

From top to bottom:

  • Rectus capitis anterior
  • Rectus capitis lateralis
  • Longus capitis
  • Longus colli
  • The intercostal muscles
  • Anterior scleratomal remote sternal points T1-T6
  • Anterior scleratomal remote rectus abdominis points
  • Anterior scleratomal remote lumbar points
  • The psoas
  • The iliacus
  • The adductors: pectineus, longus, magnus and gracilis
  • The pubic symphysis
  • The coccyx
  • The pelvic floor

Drop table techniques:

What happens when a chiropractor thrusts on a subluxated vertebrae?  A few things: 1) just like osseous and spring loaded techniques, the GTO’s receive a high speed tug. This is usually in a spinal neutral position (exceptions being Biophysics and Biomechanics techniques which will attempt to pre-stress the joint in the direction of greatest resistance like osseous techniques often do.  It is important to note that KinEase Release and Quick Release Techniques move into the line of least resistance, not greatest resistance to achieve the  There are two ways

The Future of Chiropractic

What does this new information mean for chiropractic? Well, it figuratively and literally turns chiropractic 180 degrees in the other direction: instead of taking the subluxation to tension you take it to slack. Instead of thrusting against the resistance, just tug the tendons of the hypertonic muscle while it is slackened to reset it..  It is fast, too: no waiting holding a heavy limb for 90 seconds while the subluxation slowly emerges from it’s shell, which was the case in traditional Jones’ Strain-Counterstrain. It is easy on the doctor and comfortable for the patient.

What would it be like for you to work smarter, not harder?  How would your patients respond if you could comfortably and gently untangle even very stuck regions? Imagine becoming a subluxation whisperer. If this intrigues you, please contact me using the form below, or sign up for classes, live or online. Let’s do this journey, together.

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