What is Axial Stability Method®?

Axial Stability Method® (ASM®) is a precise, gentle, low-force chiropractic technique that seeks to restore the structural stability of the “axial” core of the body. This exceptionally effective, proprietary technique was first developed by Dr. David A. Newton in Wellesley Massachusetts. His student, Dr. Lydia Knutson, has spent the last 10 years expanding this remarkable technique in the fertile, collaborative setting of the Lydian Center. A highly effective tool for the treatment of musculo-skeletal pain and dysfunction, our experience shows that it can also be a surprisingly effective intervention for learning disabilities, behavioral problems, developmental delays, clumsiness and poor coordination, and sensory processing disorders in children and adults alike.

An ASM treatment gently provides specific “information” input to the body, utilizing accepted low-force instrument-assisted adjusting procedures. The body uses the “information” it receives from the treatment to reset key relationships in the musculoskeletal system. Thus, the brain-body system itself makes the actual adjustments.

Who can benefit from Axial Stability Method?

People with many common conditions, both chronic and acute, can benefit from this method including:

  1. headaches, back & neck pain
  2. stiff joints, aching shoulders, arms and legs
  3. sciatica, numbness and tingling
  4. repetitive stress injury, poor posture
  5. low immune functioning, chronic illness
  6. poor balance, clumsiness
  7. gross and fine motor coordination
  8. learning disabilities
  9. sensory integration and processing disorders
  10. slow processing and loss of brain integration


How does Axial Stability Method work?

We view the neuro-musculoskeletal system as a dynamic neuro-biomechanical system: freedom of movement is balanced by stability and restriction of movement. When the biomechanical system is working well we are able to effortlessly interact with our environment. Injury to this biomechanical system can result in pain, clumsiness, poor coordination or balance, sensory integration problems, fatigue, short attention span, and many other symptoms.

ASM regards biomechanical injury as a problem of hypermobility, or too much motion, in parts of the skeletal system that should be stable. When there is too much mobility the body attempts to create stability often in painful and dysfunctional ways — such as muscle spasms and joint restrictions. Our treatment seeks to stabilize these hypermobile areas, enabling the body to permanently release the areas of spasm and restriction eliminating the need for repeated chiropractic treatment.

Stable sensory-motor function is at the basis of all higher neurological function and development. The upright human body must maintain stability against gravity. This is our number one job. At all times we are either defying or complying with this force and our ability to do so is the difference between injury and safety. Two important biomechanical reference areas help to maintain safety: the muscles that move the neck, and the body’s own center of gravity in the pelvis. Coherent and synchronized sensory data from these two key biomechanical areas leads to more elegant, safe and efficient movement.

Through a cumulative series of treatments, we seek to stabilize these two biomechanical areas in relation to each other, and then to recalibrate the rest of the musculoskeletal system (arms, legs, spine, etc.) accordingly. In our view, the extraordinary efficacy of ASM is a result of: 1) this understanding of the role that gravity plays in our sensory-motor system; 2) a methodical approach to these primary biomechanical reference points; and 3) the crucial final step of integrating the biomechanical changes within the cerebellum and the whole central nervous system. This combination of stabilization and recalibration can produce long-lasting results.

Axial Stability Method as long-term preventative care

Even the asymptomatic person can benefit from ASM. Proper functioning of the biomechanical system can delay and even prevent the onset of common degenerative diseases such as arthritis, and maintain quicker reaction time both physically and mentally. Everyone should be checked for possible biomechanical instability.

Wider benefits: childhood developmental issues

ASM can have significant benefits not only for pain relief, but also for many other conditions not usually associated with musculoskeletal dysfunction—in particular, childhood developmental issues. Our experience suggests that many child development issues—including behavioral problems, emotional irritability and frustration, sensory integration and processing problems, poor balance, poor immunity and digestion, neurological delays, learning disabilities and visual problems—are often exacerbated by underlying biomechanical instability. ASM can restore structural stability in the body, often unlocking the door to major developmental advances for struggling children.