A frequently used terms in chiropractic care is “holding.” Every time a client comes into the office to get a checkup, before I begin the examination, I always ask them “are you holding?” Hopefully the answer is yes! The term “holding” means that the correction and adjustments that were made to the body are still holding in place. The longer the body is able to hold, the more of an opportunity your body will have to build itself well again. Once the spine and nerve system have been cleared of subluxation, the hope is for your body to be able to hold that correction as long as possible. The goal of your doctor should be to provide you with a specific and constructive adjustment to the spine and encourage a state of holding for as long as possible.

“The longer a body is able to hold its correction, the longer an individual has an opportunity to heal, and the less frequently they should require chiropractic adjustments.”

(Sub-lux-ation) – Misalignment of a vertebral bone that is reducing the normal anatomical space where a nerve, artery, or vein reside; thereby altering normal transmission and perfusion of neurological and blood supply to connecting organs and tissues.

Left: Subluxation in upper cervical spine that is causing brainstem dysfunction, microvascular tearing, cerebral spinal fluid obstruction, and muscle imbalances. Left sided brainstem dysfunction.

My Goal is to NOT Adjust Your Spine!

As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, our recommendations for care are always predicated on the length of holding rather than presence of symptomatology. As much as the doctor wants to get you out of pain, our focus is always addressing the cause. All too frequently, I have individuals come in for a neurological examination and they do not need a correction.

“Contrary to public belief, the more you need to be adjusted, the less your body is holding. Spinal subluxations should not appear frequently and if they do this should warrant a different approach or different analysis. “

In order to determine the length of time a body is able to hold its vertebral adjustment, I personally utilize Infrared Thermography and Neurological Pattern Analysis.  This form of objective technology allows a chiropractor to gauge the healing progress. It gives insight as to where subluxations may be in the spine and through pattern analysis, you and your doctor will be able to see the changes in your spinal health overtime!  Without such technology, you have absolutely no certainty of whether or not your neurology is stable before and after your visit. The first 6 months of care I will perform a follow-up set of digital x-ray films and again at the one year mark, and 1-5 years there-after.

Titronics Infrared Thermography Assessment

In cases of Chiropractic care that do not respond well in holding, one should entertain the idea that maybe there is an issue elsewhere in the spine. Pounding in one area of the spine over and over again will create muscle damage and soft tissue laxity which could create instability in a joint. If you are not getting the results as expected or promised from your doctor it may be time to address this or find another with a different perspective. Preliminary imaging, a comprehensive exam, neuro-diagnostic testing, and pattern analysis should always be performed during a chiropractic exam.

Is your body compensating for subluxation?

Assuming your doctor is applying the correct form of analysis and providing constructive adjustments at the right time and in the right place, there are several things you can do to help you hold longer.  This begins with recognizing the thoughts, traumas, and toxins that are currently causing subluxations and other health issues in the body. Please follow the links ahead to begin learning about the Three T’s of Holding Health: thoughts, traumas, and toxins.

Thanks for reading and remember…

“Holding is Healing.”

Chiropractically yours,

Dr. Josh



  1. Owens, Edward F., et al. “Paraspinal skin temperature patterns: an interexaminer and intraexaminer reliability study.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 27.3 (2004): 155-159.
  2. Fielding, J. WILLIAM, and R. J. Hawkins. “Atlanto-axial rotatory fixation.(Fixed rotatory subluxation of the atlanto-axial joint).” J Bone Joint Surg Am 59.1 (1977): 37-44.