Elevating 'The Gravity' of Gravity

"The nervous system controls all other systems and relates the individual to his or her environment."
Gray's Anatomy, 29th American Edition, Page 4

For Pettibon practitioners, Dr. Henry Gray's fact is interpreted as:

  • Humans develop, act and react in time and need to their environment under the direction and control of the nervous system.

For Pettibon practitioners, humans' functional spinal environment is gravity. And gravity is an absolute environment to which the upright spine and posture must develop and relate to.

The role that gravity plays in how abnormal spinal form develops is fundamental to Pettibon chiropractic principles. As Dr. Pettibon explains, “The nervous system always wants us to hold our heads upright. And the nervous system will do this at the expense of displacing the lower spine."

Key Principles

  • Gravity is an absolute environment to which the upright spine and posture of humans must develop and relate.
  • Since gravity is an absolute, there has to be an absolute optimal position for the upright spine and posture.
  • The skull is a vertebra. It’s the only vertebra that knows its neurologically optimal position and has the ability to establish and maintain that posture.
  • The normal spine is composed of six opposing lever-arm units. The units' division is based upon muscle attachment and function.
  • The global spine’s position relative to gravity is more important than its units or its segments.
  • Individual spinal vertebrae, with the exception of the skull-atlas, do not move out of normal position independent of their unit and become displaced without soft tissue compromise.
  • Posture is controlled neurologically. Righting reflexes and the cerebellum regulate the skull's upright position—keeping the skull upright even at the expense of displacing the lower spine.
  • A less than optimum lateral and A-P spine and posture compromises spinal function.