The problem with our technique is…


…proving a metaphysical outcome-enabling the innate intelligence and its forces to be better expressed,when we do not use symptoms. Does that make legitmate research impossible?

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  1. Richie Barone 06/19/2013, 5:27 pm:

    Most research I’ve seen is symptom oriented……you could even say blood and body chemistry changes are symptom oriented as well a postural & radiographic changes….???

    • Claude Lessard 06/19/2013, 5:37 pm:


      Since we do not even know whether symptoms or blood and body chemistry are desirable or undesirable at any given moment, they are not a good criteria for the evaluation of body functions. WHAT we know for sure, is that people are better off without subluxations and that’s WHO we can choose to BE… focus on LACVS for a full expression of the innate forces of the innate intelligence of the body. PERIOD! Then, it is we WHO choose to let it go at that. In other words, it is we WHO choose to get out of the car and get in the house. 😉

      • Steve 06/19/2013, 8:05 pm:

        Hey Claude,
        Is there any way you know of to decide which house is most desirable. If we cannot measure outcomes (staying detached ) how would we pick a “best” technique.

        • Claude 06/19/2013, 9:05 pm:


          It seems that when NEW chiropractors start out in practice, they will use the techniques that were taught at their college. Then as they get “seasoned” they may pick up a few more. Then, after a while, experience does kick in and they can pretty much discern which technique is best suited for the practice members visit by visit according to the “need” of the moment. A technique that focuses on LACVS is in an of itself addressing the VS… and we know that the EUF of our adjustic thrust may or may not be adapted by the innate intelligence of the body to produce the vertebral adjustment. Nevertheless, it is we WHO choose the “best” technique for the analysis obtained from our pre-check of the practice member’s spine… then after the adjustic thrust is completed, it is we WHO choose to let go until the next visit and move on to the next practice member.

          • Steve 06/19/2013, 9:47 pm:

            Hey Claude,
            This has been my experience as well. Most do a blend of several techniques. It is good to have more than one tool in the box. You said, “then after the adjustic thrust is completed, it is we WHO choose to let go until the next visit and move on”…., no post checks?

    • JoeStrauss 06/20/2013, 12:02 pm:

      Richie, I tend to agree with you. Does that negate any value to “chiropractic research”?

      • Richie Barone 06/24/2013, 4:35 pm:

        Joe: I thot your question was about research not necessarily chiropractic techniques. The scientific-medical lobby always sez there is no research to back up our claims… when we play on that field signs, symptoms and diseases come into play. I don’t need the research personally because I know what happened in my life (anecdotal evidence) but based largely signs and symptoms. I don’t think it negates any value to “chiropractic research” .

  2. Claude 06/19/2013, 10:50 pm:


    I’m sorry, I thought you understood that a pre-check implies a post-check. Thanks for checking my slippings. 😉 –

    – A post-check verifies at least one or more criteria of the analysis have changed. If there are no change, it is i WHO choose to let go at that time and I will see the practice member at the next schedule visit. –

    — I’m also sorry I jumped thread on you.

    • Diane Schroeder 06/21/2013, 3:09 am:


      Thank you for reminding me about the part of… (after post check..) letting the body do the work. I got hung up recently as to why I wasn’t getting a “cleared signal” from my post leg checks even though I felt I had the right analysis. Isn’t that crazy??? sheeesh… I’ve been confused for a whole week over that point. DUH!

    • Straight DC 06/21/2013, 2:23 pm:

      If there is “science” enough to have criteria to determine when a person is subluxated, and using the change in criteria to tell if the person is unsubluxated, then there is reason enough to do research.

      It just seems strange to me, if we NTOSC’ors, keep saying that how do we know at any time what is right for the body & yet are saying that certain findings indicate the person is “clear”, how can we even know that if we take that principle to it’s limit????

      • Claude 06/21/2013, 2:58 pm:


        Good point! The truth is: We don’t know that we don’t know WHEN a person is “clear”. A little while ago, we did inquire on the blog and we concluded, together without condemnation, that a subluxation is constantly in motion and not static. HOW do you measure “constant motion”?

      • Michael Duncan 06/21/2013, 3:05 pm:


        The application of “science” behind some techniques is questionable. Not necessarily that the measurements are flawed, as they may be accurately and thoroughly measure what they claim. It is the application and the conclusions that application infers that comes into question. For example, using sEMG and “abnormal” readings used to indicate nerve interference and of course, VS. Well, we would first need to know “normal” and “abnormal”, which is claimed to be known. Actually, it is probably more accurately defined as “average” and “non-average”. But let’s say it IS normal. We now apply it to findings in an individual. How do we know whether those “normals” are an accurate comparison to use in that individual and whether THEIR variation from “normal” is good, bad or indifferent? And what if you apply your te,hnique and all “indicators” point to “clear” of VS, yet we have know way of knowing what, if anything, measured by the sEMG will or won’t chamge and even if it does (increases or decreases), how do we know whether that change was good, bad or indifferent. I contend we can’t. Therefore, because there are too many variables, both known and unknown, it is very difficult to apply “science” in meeting our objective. As such, we are ok with knowing that a person is better off without nerve pressure and VS. While might be curious as humans how far reaching a clear nerve system and fully functioning II could stretch, don’t need to know or measure those effects in order to function or practice. Those are “results”, and while potentially interesting, impossible to fully measure, predict or guarantee. Therefore, results and the need for “science” is not part of the objective. I am not against science by any means. I am very analytical by nature and love science. But I also recognize the inherent limitations in fulfilling its role in the NTOSC objective, at least at this point in time.

  3. Don 06/20/2013, 9:11 pm:

    proving a metaphysical outcome-enabling the innate intelligence and its forces to be better expressed,when we do not use symptoms. Does that make legitimate research impossible?

    The use of the words legitimate and research can have different meanings.
    If the question were re-worded to ask “Is the current method of research that looks to symptoms of use for the chiropractic profession?”
    IMO, I would say currently, NO, or at very least I don’t know how.

    Here is my reasoning, current research is geared at measuring the physiological changes in the body with respect to a norm or range of average. This problem is two fold:
    1. Normal vs. average and the applicability to the human organism 2.
    2. Metaphysical outcomes are not known to be measured through physiology. They are deduced.

    Even if we could measure the innate forces of the body with an instrument that was sensitive enough, how would we know what it should be at any instant of time?

    The case studies seen in chiropractic journals that reference improvements in health conditions such as ear infections or colic. Are these evidence of the metaphysical outcome-enabling the innate intelligence and its forces to be better expressed? How?

    I often wonder about that…?

  4. Don 06/20/2013, 9:22 pm:


    As long as research is done along the lines of what we are hoping to achieve, let research be done. If it is not, then it the objective should be questioned.

    Can the inductive model approach to research accurately measure adaptation through physiology at this time?

    • Claude Lessard 06/21/2013, 11:07 am:


      Great question! Michael Duncan, below answers the question rather well. It seems to me that one of the greatest pleasures of human beings is UNDERSTANDING and it’s probably the main reason WHY people are involved in research. It gives pleasure to discover WHAT is ALREADY in place. Nothing wrong with that. –

      – We could inquire, together without condemnation, into the nature of research. We might even UNDERSTAND something NEW about research. Anyone interested?

  5. Michael Duncan 06/21/2013, 2:09 am:

    Mustn’t we first not define “legitiment research”? I mean, technology is getting better all the time and available to measure more and more things to a fner and finer degree. No can or should deny that.

    However, the problem i think is that while we can measure stuff, it is the interpretation and application of the “results” that fall short. The inductive reasoning and inference in that arena is faulty, or at least at this point, unprovably inaccurate.

    And without being able to fully understand, measure and interpret the purpose and “function” of II, measuring and applying “scientific measurement” and the scientific method itself to the NTOSC (OC for Claude) practice is merely an exercise in futility.

  6. Don 06/21/2013, 5:02 pm:

    Dr. Duncan (and everyone else reading this 🙂 ),
    I can see how applying the “scientific measurement” and interpretation of the purpose and “function” of II has its pitfalls. Does this also apply to the “science” of chiropractic analysis?

    What I mean is, many methods of analysis have a pre and post check (e.g. leg lengths for reactive short leg, thermal scans, Heart rate variance, dual balance scales, and various others). What is the significance of the change? What is it measuring? Is the post check necessary?

    Is the change indicative of a metaphysical outcome-enabling the innate intelligence and its forces to be better expressed?

    Note: I do have my biases since I am partial to the muscle palpation system I use. IMO it is the most consistent with the philosophy as I understand it. Feel free to question me on my bias. 😉 .

    • Michael Duncan 06/21/2013, 5:40 pm:


      I would simply say apply those questions to ALL of the above methods of analysis that you mentioned, and more. I agree with you, which is why I no longer use any of them. I used to and often didn’t question it as I do now.

      Now, I use AMP, which is a modern-day extension of Reggie’s “Vertebraille” system to analyze pre & post for VS. It is based on our current level of understanding of anatomy and physiology or “science”, which is undisputable at this point. It is careful not to infer more than it can and it makes no attempts to predict or measure outcomes.

      Because of this, to me, and I would be willing to bet MOST ntosc’ors, it is the most specific and most accurate analysis, because it is driven specifically and directly by the II of the body. And because it allows for pre-check and immediate post-check for determination for one being “clear”. There is no need to sit around and wait for EMG’s, HRV’s, blood pressure, leg lengths, symptoms, ROM’s, IR/Thermal readings or any other physiological measurements to change.

      The ONLY “outcome” we need to ask, seek or wait for, if you will, is “Is the II of the body satisfied with the applied force (albeit as specific, gentle and educated universal force as possible) enough that it used it, converted it to an Innate Force, made the correction to the VS and no longer is needing to actively use the intrinsic, reflexive, segmental spinal muscles to create a force and attempt to correct the position of the vertebra and therefore the VS?” If that answer is yes, then they are clear. If not, then we either apply another force or we wait until another time.

      Not only does it make the most logical and rational sense in light of “science”, but also as you pointed out philosophically. It meshes perfectly with the NTOSC objective. There may be others out there, but I have yet to find something that fits as completely and thoroughly into the philosophy as AMP.

      • Steve 06/21/2013, 10:19 pm:

        Hey Michael,
        Please understand I mean no disrespect, but how is muscle testing/palpation any more Innate directed than any other subjective observation. Muscle tension, heat imbalance, HRV, sEMG are all states of matter. All are “results” of Innate Intelligence activity. I would also question your statement,” It is based on our current level of understanding of anatomy and physiology or “science”, which is undisputable at this point.” Nothing that has to be interpreted is indisputable. “Science” changes all the time. Now don’t get me wrong, we all look for change, but who’s to say which method is superior. Indeed if we knew which analytic method was most accurate every time on every one, we could then also prove technique superiority.
        Might I suggest, since we are attempting to qualify a principle, we use another principle . We know that II as well as the body is dynamic. Quite possibly the best way to secure “research data” is to verify …dynamisity (?). We have all heard the only thing that stays the same is change, so let’s research the attribute of change vs stuckedness (?) . BJ was not only measuring heat differentials but he was more importantly, looking for patterns. Repeating patterns indicated a lack of change or a loss of dynamic activity. Subluxations were determined to be present when the body was stuck or not changing.
        As it is now we think that when we change matter, things such as bone position or muscle tension or any other superficial physical state, the subluxation has cleared. The question is, is Innate more capable of expressing itself or not? Does what we have done make the entire unit more dynamic?

        • Don 06/21/2013, 11:03 pm:

          I agree muscle palpation is not above being question. What I believe is that Dr. Duncan and I find it to be the method that resonates with our understanding the best. It does make some assumptions just as most techniques do. For instance, that the intrinsic muscles of the spine are palated with sufficient accuracy and that the ii of the body corrects the vs through the activation of these muscles. IMO , these are the biggest assumptions. Dr. Duncan can probably explain this better than I as I think he may have been formally trained by Dr. Spano.

          As for the use of pattern analysis and thermography, I too thought repeating patterns indicated a lack of change and the presence of vs but is this truly the case? If the mental impulse is immeasurable, isn’t this still an inference? I think I have an excellent article by Dr. James Healey that really made me reflect on my approach to the determination of vs.
          If you would like it, let me know.

          • Michael Duncan 06/21/2013, 11:56 pm:


            I think the article that you are referring to is “Analytical Certainty” by Jim Healey. And it is very good.


            Thanks for the questions. I am running short on time here and we have some plans tonight, but I will answer your question(s) the best I can tomorrow. Until then.

        • Michael Duncan 06/22/2013, 6:37 pm:


          I would encourage you to read Jim Healey’s article that was referenced as it does a far greater job of expressing what I understand and think.

          But I will clarify my comment on the “undisputable” comment. Perhaps that might be a stretch as you pointed out that science is changing all the time and that nothing is beyond dispute. In the purest sense, I would agree with you, but what I was referring to was the specific anatomy and physiology of the neural and muscular systems at the intrinisic vertebral level. As far as I know, there really isn’t much dispute as to what is happening at that level and hasn’t been for decades and at this point, seems to be at an irreducible minimum, therefore my “undisputable” comment.

          Also, and while I am not touting technique “superiority” from an egotistical standpoint, I am partial to AMP. And because of things that you mention such as “dynamisity (?)” (not sure if that is a word, but we’ll go with it. 🙂 that is the sheer beauty of the inherent features of AMP in that it not only allows for dynamic change within the individual, but also only compares that individual to that individual based on the II changes or attempt at those changes, with regard to correction of the VS.

          If a VS is corrected by II and therefore a better expression is allowed, then I would most certainly think that a more dynamic expression of the entire unit would result. No?

  7. Tom 06/22/2013, 1:48 am:

    This is taken from the ALL EXPERTS website of which Jim graciously answers questions about chiropractic in general and OSC specifically in a way very few can articulate.

    Excerpt from “Analytical Certainty.”
    Chiropractors use many methods in attempting to correct vertebral subluxations. Logically, with more than one method, one must be the best and the others something less. Like the preschool toy consisting of a box or board with various shaped holes and an array of shaped blocks, it’s sometimes possible to get the hexagonal block in the round hole, but the round peg fits the best, and square pegs don’t belong in round holes but can be made to go in with a big enough hammer. It is logical that for a given subluxations there is a perfect adjustic force, having the greatest potential for correction and the least potential for trauma. The key to great technique is to find that force. The key to finding that force, however, is in knowing the nature of the subluxation.
    A technique based on sound understanding of the subluxation will prove to be the best. When one uses a valid means of determining vertebral subluxations, it becomes a relatively simple matter to use pre- and post-checks to know whether the technique effected an adjustment. The introduction of an adjustic force may have many different forms and must be tailored to the individual subluxation. There will be no “best” technique, except the one that allowed the adjustment to take place at that moment in a particular person. The benefits can only be realized, though, when we think more critically about our methods and when analytical certainty becomes our expectation.
    Methods or techniques must be validated as to their appropriateness within chiropractic. A technique is not validated by whether it changes a select group of parameters or by the assertion that it is intended to find or correct subluxations. Neither is validity defined by consensus or popularity. One can talk about technical excellence at length, but if the method does not have sound philosophical roots it is like a cut flower stuck into the ground. It will impress at first, but soon it will wither and die. Alternately, claiming allegiance to philosophy without actually or practically achieving it is like gardening without seeds. Wanting to have flowers, even if you really want them, is impossible if you don’t take the steps necessary to grow them or if you do something else entirely unrelated such as build a birdhouse. So it is with chiropractic methods of analysis and adjusting. Philosophical pertinence and practical reality are essential.
    The pursuit of technical excellence without philosophical roots can seem quite productive but, as said earlier, it will ultimately result in failure of the system. It usually stems from confusing precision with validity. Precision is the degree to which the measurements or standards of the parameters can be known. As an example, it is possible to measure the length of a board with a grade school ruler, let’s say, to the nearest 1/8 inch, the smallest unit on the ruler and taking into account that we have to move the ruler to make multiple measurements if the board is more than a foot long. It would be more precise to use a quality carpenter’s tape measure with a greater span and divisions as small as 1/64 inch. A concern for technical excellence, in this case, would mean that one would choose the carpenter’s tape measure for the greater precision it offers over the ruler. There may even be other methods or other devices for measuring the length of the board which offers still higher precision. I imagine it’s possible now, using scanning beam microscopy, for instance, to actually count the number of atoms lined up along the edge of the board. It may not be necessary to be so precise, but if it is, then that requisite method should be used for technical excellence to be achieved.
    Validity is much different – and much more important. It is the philosophical precedent of precision, if you will, in that it determines why the particular method of measurement is used. To know if something is valid, the question has to be asked, Does it actually do what it’s supposed or purported to do and does it help me know what I need to know? In our example, the goal was to determine the length of a board. Length-measuring procedures and devices are valid ways of measuring length. If the goal was to determine the weight of the board, though, all the length-measuring devices in the world will not be as good as even one simple bathroom scale. The scale is a valid way to measure weight. Using a tape measure, no matter how precise, to measure weight lacks validity. It doesn’t matter if it was your intent to use it to measure weight; it simply lacks validity in that realm.
    Similarly, a chiropractic analytical method is not validated simply by precision or intent. Multiple parameters of the human body can be measured, many with amazing precision, but not all of them reveal useful information about vertebral subluxation. It’s not enough to say that the parameter you’re using is related to subluxation. It must actually be so. It is necessary to use analytical data that are consistent with vitalism, with the physiological reality of the body and with a chiropractic understanding of life. It is certainly necessary that they be measurable and that the mensurations be repeatable, but that alone is not enough.
    Sometimes, however, it may be impossible to make a direct measurement. That doesn’t automatically mean the method is not valid. It will, more ostensibly, require that we have a sound deductive premise from which to work and employ sound reasoning. Much of what we still use as our model for the workings of the universe came from the thinking of Albert Einstein whose deductions allowed him to predict the results of measurements that wouldn’t be practically possible until years or decades later! His premise and his reasoning, though abstract, were sound and logical. Despite coming much later, the measurements that confirmed his calculations were real and the validity of his thinking was tested and established.
    Chiropractic analytical methods must be valid before precision is even to be considered. If the goal of analysis is to locate and characterize vertebral subluxations, then the analytical method must be pertinent to doing that. That means they must either measure the subluxations directly or measure reliable sequellae.
    Measuring vertebral subluxation directly presents certain challenges. The subluxation has four fundamental components or, for sake of this discussion, parameters; i.e., misalignment of a vertebra, occlusion of an opening, impingement of nerve tissue in such a way as to disturb its function, and interference to the transmission of mental impulses. Let’s look at these to determine how or if they may be measured in valid ways.
    Misalignment of a vertebra, the occlusion that occurs at the level of the intervertebral foramen or the neural canal, and the impingement of nerves are three virtually inseparable elements. Impingement occurs because the opening is occluded because the vertebra is misaligned. One unavoidably follows the other. The key consideration here is that the primary factor, the misalignment, cannot be measured. Now, I know some of you are thinking, “Whoa, wait a minute! I learned x-ray analysis in chiropractic college. I can measure misalignments down to a fraction of a millimeter.” To that, it needs to be asked, Misaligned with respect to what? Where should the vertebra be? There’s no doubt that x-rays may be taken in such a way as to reduce distortion, assure reasonably consistent subject placement, etc., but let’s not forget that, even measured with precision, it’s not possible to measure Innate Normal position. Innate Normal position is that position determined by the Innate Intelligence of the body to be optimal for the given circumstances. It’s not always geometric normal position. It’s not even a constant location! Well, then, if you can’t know where the bone should be in space, you can’t possibly know if it’s not in that position based on such a measurement. X-ray findings, or anything else that is designed to measure spinal or skeletal geometry (including motion studies, which are, in effect, no more than many individual positions considered sequentially), for this reason, have no philosophical and, therefore, no practical relevance to the finding of a vertebral subluxation.
    Would it be of value to measure mental impulses? Yes. In fact, it would probably be the most direct means of determining when and where a subluxation existed. The mental impulse is the only one of the four elements of a subluxation that has a uniquely vital quality. Bones, openings and nerves are present in a corpse; mental impulses are not. Mental impulses represent the interface between the immaterial nature of the principle of organization (i.e., Innate Intelligence) and the matter that is being organized to exhibit what we recognize as life. The mental impulse, then, is certainly the best or most direct indicator of the activity of the Innate Intelligence of the body in this context. If one could actually measure the mental impulse then it could also be determined when there was interference to its transmission.
    Is it possible, though, to measure a mental impulse or interference to the transmission of mental impulses? No, at least not at this time. Mental impulses are not the same as nerve impulses. Mental impulses embody information. They’re not simply electrochemical events. If we can allow ourselves to over-simplify the subject through analogy without trivializing it, there’s a huge difference between a telephone repair technician’s ability to measure some activity on a phone line and his ability to actually know that it’s a meaningful conversation and what’s being said. It may be that the activity on the line is nothing more than static. It may be that the line is actually being used in a conversation but that it’s in a language the technician doesn’t understand. It may even be nothing more than meaningless gibberish.
    To date, there is no way of deciphering or detecting a mental impulse. I doubt there ever will be. We don’t understand the body’s language. How would you know if there was interference to the message if the words – the individual building blocks of those messages unique to the individual – were foreign or unintelligible to begin with? Beyond that, we see technology advance exponentially and, still, it’s estimated that we know only a small percentage of what the body does or is capable of doing. Imagine trying to understand its language or just its vocabulary for all the things we don’t even know about.
    A better approach is to determine what happens in the body when a subluxation is present – and even that is a difficult proposition. For any measurable parameter, it is impossible to know empirically what it should be (with respect to what Innate Normal is) and, therefore, equally impossible to know when it’s deviated from that point. Chiropractors readily acknowledge that one cannot know what the body temperature should be, what the blood pressure should be, what quantity of bile the liver should produce each day, etc., but, ironically, they measure leg lengths, muscle reflexes and strengths, breathing cadences, skin and core temperatures, etc., as if they know what they should be. The chiropractor can’t know – only the Innate Intelligence of the body can know – therefore, these are not valid ways of determining whether what is happening in the body is representative of improper function due to a subluxation.
    Pattern work is a system of using parameters in a different way. Rather than attempt to interpret the measurement compared to some absolute value of what it should be, the assumption of pattern work is that the parameters’ values should change. The idea is that living things exhibit adaptability and, therefore, should be constantly adapting. The conclusion is that the parameters will change (as a result of the adaptations) with the corollary that a stagnation, or fixed pattern, of those parameters indicates that subluxation is present, interfering with the body’s ability to effect their change. It is intended to be used as a method of determining when a subluxation is present.
    The idea that the body adapts (or, more accurately, attempts to adapt) to changes in its surroundings in incontrovertible. It is a sign of life. The assertion that one can knowingly measure this, however, does have some weaknesses. The expression of the Innate Intelligence may be so successful in how the whole body is used for adaptations that a single, particular parameter will not need to be changed (e.g., body temperature may remain constant even if the person goes from a warm house out into wintry weather). Indeed, the change may be so slight as to escape measurement (e.g., upon going outside, the body temperature may change a fraction of a degree but less than the instrument can reliably measure) or so quickly as to be missed (e.g., the body temperature may drop for a moment but be restored within a matter of seconds and the measurement done a few minutes later will not reveal the change). It is possible that the measurement is taken at a time when the parameter is the same as it was during prior measurements (e.g., body temperature may fluctuate during the day and as it moves up and down it will pass through the same values repeatedly), though it is reasonable that the likelihood of this coincidence would diminish with multiple measurements. It’s also possible that, even under varying circumstances, a given parameter should be kept stable at a specific value to maintain optimum expression of organization (let’s not forget, another quality of living is homeostasis). Lastly, it’s possible that the circumstances may be relatively stable or so subtle such that an adaptation will not be required. In each of these cases, the parameters will have been found to be clinically unchanging, interpreted as stagnant or (applicable to this method) in “pattern,” even though there is no subluxation. It is also possible that one’s adaptability may be compromised by something other than subluxation. In such a circumstance, the parameters will be unchanging and a “pattern” will be detected, despite that fact that no subluxation is present.
    Additionally, with pattern work, there is still the matter of determining where the subluxation exists. Patterning can conceivably be done in conjunction with many different analytical systems of determining the location and character of the subluxation. It is, therefore, only as strong as the chosen system. But if the system to locate and analyze the subluxation is sound, it begs the question, Why would one need to determine when the subluxation was present if the subluxation itself could be pinpointed? Quite logically, if a subluxation were found, it would be unnecessary to determine also when it was there.
    How does a subluxation affect the body? Only the Innate Intelligence of the body “knows.” Rather than measure things and try to guess if they’re right or wrong, it is infinitely better to rely on the ability of the Innate Intelligence to do it with certainty. Certainty is a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to chiropractic analysis.
    Let’s examine the issue of certainty. Imagine, for a moment, that you are given the task of determining the weight of an item, say, a drinking glass. You are given an array of measuring devices: a light meter, a tape measure, a graduated cylinder, an audiometer and a scale. You could try the light meter first, measuring how much light the glass transmits, reasoning that a light weight glass would probably transmit more light than a heavy weight glass. You measure and find that it transmits a great deal of light. You take this as an indicator that it’s probably of light weight. Next, you try the tape measure, measuring all dimensions of the glass. The reasoning here is that a small glass would probably be lighter than a large glass. You measure and find that it’s several centimeters in diameter and height, a small size for drinking glasses, and take that as an indicator that it’s probably a light-to-mid weight glass. You then try the graduated cylinder, submerging the glass to measure its volume by displacement. The reasoning here is that a glass with low displacement will probably be light and one with high displacement will probably be heavy. You find that the glass displaces several milliliters and take that as an indicator that it is probably a relatively light glass. On to the audiometer, to measure how much sound the glass makes when dropped from a few centimeters onto the table. The reasoning here is that a light glass will make less of a thud than a heavy one. You drop the glass and note that the sound is just a few decibels above the room noise and you take that as an indicator that it’s probably light. At this juncture, you have several indicators that the glass is probably light. Finally, you use the scale and measure the weight (mass) of the glass to be 103.6 grams. With this last bit of information now available, and based upon this one measurement alone, you are able to conclude – with certainty – the glass is, indeed, 103.6 grams,
    The point of this is that if your analytical system lacks an item of certainty, it must rely on multiple items of probability (often called indicators and, because they are only probability indicators, the more the better) to arrive at an approximation of the circumstances. A system with just one item of certainty is enormously better than a system with a multitude of items of probability. It would be best, then, for our purposes of chiropractic analysis, to determine what, if anything, can be actually known with certainty about the body pertinent to vertebral subluxation. Admittedly, the list will not be very long. It doesn’t have to be. Recall that in our exercise of measuring the weight of a glass it was necessary to have only one particular measurement to know the weight with certainty. So, too, will our ability to determine subluxation with certainty be possible with only one particular parameter. The key is choosing the right one.
    How a vertebral subluxation affects the body – i.e., in what way and to what extent the function or anatomy of the body is other than what would be Innately determined – cannot be known on our educated level. As mentioned earlier, and consistent with our understanding of the vitalistic doctrine in the explanation of life, only the Innate Intelligence of the body is capable of evaluating whether something is right or wrong about the body. The Innate Intelligence of the body readily knows the four fundamental components of the vertebral subluxation. The parameters of misalignment of a vertebra, occlusion of an opening, impingement of nerve tissue in such a way as to disturb nerve function, and interference to the transmission of mental impulses can be measured Innately. There is immediate Innate awareness of when something is not Innate Normal. Naturally, there is also an immediate Innate response to attempt to restore it to Innate Normal.
    It is reasonable to deduce that the Innate Intelligence of the body recognizes vertebral subluxation as detrimental, as outside of Innate Normal. It follows that the Innate Intelligence will respond by attempting to correct the vertebral subluxation. If it were possible to observe the Innate efforts to correct the subluxation, then it would be possible to know, indirectly but with certainty, when and where a subluxation exists. Such observations would constitute an immensely reliable and valid analytical system. Based on an Innate awareness of both Innate Normal and the subluxation, this type of analysis would answer key questions about the vertebral subluxation.
    It would reveal when the subluxation is present. The mere presence of such analytical findings indicates that the subluxation currently exists. There would be no Innate effort to correct something that wasn’t there!
    It would reveal where the subluxation was present. The findings in this system represent the efforts of the Innate Intelligence of the body to attempt to correct the subluxation. Those efforts would be directly related to the subluxated vertebra(e).
    It would reveal the nature and character of the subluxation. By observing the Innate efforts to correct the subluxation, it can be known where the vertebra(e) shouldn’t be.
    It would also reveal the direction of the adjustic force the chiropractor should use in the process of effecting correction. The Innate efforts will be in the direction of correction, of course. It would only be necessary to match them, ideally (but because of the limitations of our matter and educated mind, it is more likely that a best approximation will be performed in the delivery of the force).
    Does such a system exist? Is it possible to observe Innate efforts to correct subluxations? Yes and yes. The premise behind muscle palpation analysis is consistent with vitalism. It is necessary only to accept that the Innate Intelligence of the body abhors subluxations and would attempt to correct them. The rest follows logically from that.
    Muscle palpation analysis is based upon the reasoning that, when there is an Innate awareness of a subluxation, the Innate Intelligence of the body will use the muscles, the Innate “tools” of movement, attaching to the subluxated vertebra in an attempt to move the it; i.e., restore it to Innate Normal position. The chiropractor’s ability to palpate the muscles being used – the “working” muscles – will reveal when and where the subluxation exists. Because the Innate Intelligence of the body has perfect awareness of the direction the vertebra should be moved to effect an adjustment and because the body is equipped with muscles which are fashioned in such a way as to allow movement in all anatomically possible planes, observation of the working muscles will reveal where the vertebra shouldn’t be and the direction in which the Innate Intelligence would have an adjustic force move it. This system will provide the chiropractor with a complete and useful valid method of analysis.

  8. Tom 06/22/2013, 1:58 am:

    If I may add, AMP/Vertebraille is an ART, and as such it takes quite a while to develop the sensitivity to differentiate between the different feels of muscle. In spinology, Reggie had us start out with opening a phone book, pulling a hair out of your head (before anyione comments, yes, I was the class donor! 😛 ) , place the hair in the phone book, turn over 1 page, spin tthe book around, locate and trace the path of the hair. Once you get up to a dozen or so pages you’re ready to feel muscles 5+ layers deep! 🙂

  9. Don 06/22/2013, 2:43 am:

    Darn, you guys beat me to it!! 🙂
    That is the one.

  10. Steve 06/23/2013, 9:52 pm:

    I dont mean to be contrary however I do not see how tight muscles differentiate between subluxation and misalignment. The misalignment possibly being a temporary compensation (innate adaptation) for a subluxation elsewhere. Or could the irregularity be purely adaptive as in the PM with a wedge vertebra lower in the spine. It can only be our assumption that the localized muscular inequality or imbalance is evidence of II’s goal to correct vs. the result of a subluxation therefore a loss of II control/expression. I applaude those of you that have found an analytical method that you are confident in and wish no discouragement but as Dr Healey states in essence, all measurable parameters are effects. We can never know for sure whether any finding is adaptive or abnormal, can we?
    Micheal, dynamisity was not a word as far as I know. However, now that 2 people have used it to convey a meaning I guess it is. ( my daughter the English teacher suggests spelling it with a c, dynamicity, as that would be more logical) 🙂
    { I appoligize for spelling errors as my favorite electronic invention, spellcheck, does not work for this blog on my home computer, could it be Linux, does anybody know?}
    PS Thanx Tom for reprinting the article, I enjoyed it very much.

    • Michael Duncan 06/24/2013, 10:49 pm:


      If you read Nick Spano’s manual on Advanced Muscle Palpation, you will get a much better understanding of the definition of a “working” muscle and the physiology behind it. In short, a “working muscle” and a “tight muscle” are not necessarily one in the same. Yes, a working muscle is tight, but just because a muscle is tight, doesn’t mean it is a “working muscle” as defined and used by AMP.

      Additionally, working muscles are involuntary, intersegmental, reflexive muscles that are responsible for changing or maintaining the position of any given vertebra at any given moment or activity in time.

      Due to the anatomical and neurophysiological function of these muscles, they are the only muscles capable of accomplishing such vertebral positioning, no matter now minute it may be. It is these muscles that II uses to accomplish vertebral positioning and re-positioning to suit its needs in normal function and therefore usually go about their job undetected. Yes, they are doing work as needed, but in the presence of a VS, the muscles that are normally functioning undetected now become what we term a “working muscle” and become present and palpable as II is struggling to create enough force with these muscles to make the correction. It is located using comparison intersegmentally and 3-dimensionally to the vertebral and intersegmental muscles above or below or both, just like the definition of a VS includes loss of juxtaposition. Since the II can only know the position at which the vertebrae SHOULD be in, it works to accomplish that, because it wouldn’t work to put where it SHOULDN’T belong. And by understanding the origin & insertion of which of these muscles are “working” and in which direction they are working, the chiropractor educatedly craft and apply an adjustic thrust to facilitate II in the correction process. A post-check determines the presence or absence of the previously working muscle or not. No more working muscle, no more VS and therefore determined “clear”.

      In your example of the wedged vertebra, or even in a scoliosis, globally, there will be all kinds of postural muscular involvement in order to “balance” or “counter-balance” the altered shape of the spine. The II can and does change vertebral position which may result in curves to adapt to a particular situation, and does so without creating VS and nerve interference. As such, within a spinal curve or scoliosis, a VS may or may not be present, which is still determined segmentally.

      You mention Jim Healey and having a measurable parameter as an effect. I would think that the working muscle is an effect of II’s attempt at correcting a VS. And if it is not “measurable” by quantity, it is at least observable. And a working muscle that is no longer “working” is a lack of measurable parameter (at least in the “working” sense and is back to Innate Normal resting tone.

      I am not sure what criteria is necessary to consider a word a word, but your English teacher daughter is has a point. It would seem a more logical derivative of the word “dynamic” and inherently more logical, at least in conveying a meaning, whether or not in pronunciation…:)

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