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DR. ZIMMERMAN'S "SPECIFIC ADJUSTMENT MACHINE" (SAM)
When you were conceived, you were given a brain and spinal cord first. So important,
so basic, were these that both were protected, encased in bone. The bone
around the spinal cord was jointed (the vertebrae) to allow movement, flexibility.
However, movement was limited except in the two top vertebrae, the axis and
atlas. These two vertebrae are freely moveable to nod, shake and turn your
head. Out from the spinal cord, between vertebrae, go nerves to every organ
and part of your body. Embryology tells you that these nerves are so vital
to normal development and healthful life that such a nerve must precede the
formation of each organ, each part of your body. You will not have an organ
or a part of the body, there will be defects in the construction of your
organs, even of your heart, if a nerve has not reached the organ or part
before it is formed. This explains defective heart valves, defective partitions
in the heart, missing fingers or toes, hair lip and cleft palate. Now you
can easily realize the importance of such nerves to the proper, and healthy
functioning of every organ and part of your body. Please keep in mind the
free movement provided in the axis and atlas vertebrae as you think of the
passage of the fetus out through the birth canal -- especially when man in
his eagerness to help and speed up the normal process of birth, clamps on
instruments to pull and even turn the fetus which is about to become a newborn
Next come the falls of active children
-- falls from walls, from ladders, hits from fights, by bats
in ballgames, hits by swings -- all too numerous to mention.
In adult life, think of the automobile crashes, the accidents
in industry, falls on slippery streets -- again too common
Is it any wonder that at sometime in your
life, the freely movable atlas-axis vertebrae get misplaced.
When this occurs, nerves become caught and compressed, nerves
that must function well, from birth (even from fetus) to
death if your organs and body parts are to have life, strength,
and health to meet the demands of everyday living.
This is the very heart and core of the
work to which Arden D. Zimmerman is devoted. To the end that
he has regained health and that all those who come to him
seeking restoration to health may be served.
December 15, 1968
Stella Ford Walker
[For over ten years Mrs. Walker was
engaged in strictly supervised medical research for the
top surgeons and medical clinics of the world. She was
formerly director of the library and department of literary
research of the American College of Surgeons; chief statistician
and medical librarian of the Cook County Institutions in
ECONOMICS AN ADJUSTING MACHINE TO CORRECT SUBLUXATION BY
ARDEN D. ZIMMERMAN, D.C.
For more than twenty-five years Chiropractic
leaders have been saying that if Chiropractic is to survive,
it must be recognized by the various jurisdictions of our
This writer submits that if Chiropractic
is to survive it must offer the sick a standardized service
of proven value, at the lowest cost possible. This report
is offered as evidence that there is no competition for a
scientific chiropractic service which removes nerve pressure
and stops there.
It concerns a carefully planned procedure
which the writer has used exclusively since 1948. He has
machine adjusted more than 48,000 individuals at this time
-- December 1986. Most patients are adjusted on the atlas
vertebra; about half are adjusted on the right and half on
the left transverse of the atlas vertebra. Very few are adjusted
on the spinous of the axis vertebra.
Perhaps the most interesting and fascinating
part of this story is the way in which the idea of mechanical
adjusting catches on with the public. People who have been
cared for in this way will travel thousands of miles when
they need another adjustment because they have found by experience
that it cannot be duplicated by hand.
Day after day patients who have been to
many chiropractors without getting permanent results come
to consult with Dr. Zimmerman. He discusses the problems
involved and carefully points out the possibility of spinal
cord pressure existing at the base of the skull. Regardless
of what else has been done, if a nerve pressure still exists
at this point, the patient's condition will remain unchanged.
Patients question why all chiropractors don't do this same
kind of work -- especially those who have graduated from
the same school, and more especially when the patients have
had to travel several hundred miles to get a correction made
by machine in the upper cervical region. Unfortunately this
procedure is not taught in any school.
The results of a careful survey of patient's
reports will show that regardless of what else was done to
the patient by any therapy, manipulation, treatment, etc.
unless something was done to the cervical region, the patient
had only temporary relief. This, then, indicates beyond argument
that unless a standardized program is set up for removal
of nerve pressure in the cervical region, the patient will
get no permanent results.
Arden D. Zimmerman graduated with honors
from the Engineering School of Stanford University in June,
1931. He won a two-year scholarship for graduate work in
Electrical Engineering. His health had been a constant problem
since the age of nine years when he was hit in the back of
the head with a swing. A bronze-like skin color developed
along with severe prostration, progressive anemia, extremely
low blood pressure, hypothermia, loss of weight, diarrhea,
digestive disturbance and complete loss of appetite. The
medical diagnosis was Addison's Disease; it is usually fatal.
By 1932, he had become permanently and
totally disabled and was bedridden for about five years.
In 1935, his mother directed his attention away from the
hopeless medical prognosis to osteopaths, first, and then
After the services of many chiropractors
failed to produce lasting results, Mrs. Zimmerman took her
son to the B. J. Palmer Clinic in Davenport, Iowa. He arrived
there on a stretcher on February 11, 1937.
The frequent adjustments made by Dr. B.J.
Palmer on the atlas vertebra temporarily removed nerve pressure
enabling the patient to become a student there in September
of 1937. His recovery was marked by severe ups and downs
but by March, 1939, he graduated from the Palmer School of
Chiropractic and left the Palmer Clinic as a patient in May,
1939. The problem of permanently removing nerve pressure
was never solved for him at the Palmer Clinic.
He received his license to practice in
California in August, 1939. His first interest was directed
to the task of finding a positive method of obtaining X-Ray
information about the occipito-atlanto-axial region because
a basic study of the full spine reveals that the atlas and
axis are the only freely moveable vertebrae.
An examination of the occipito-atlanto-axial
region will reveal that the atlas and axis vertebrae are
in a class by themselves.
See GRAY'S ANATOMY, 23rd Edition:
Page 279 Articulations of the Vertebral
of Vertebral Bodies (intercentral ligaments). The articulations
between the bodies of the vertebrae are amphiarthrodial joints,
and the individual vertebrae move only slightly on each other."
Page 287 Articulation of the Atlas
with the Epistropheus or Axis "This joint
allows the rotation of the atlas (and, with it, the skull) upon the axis, the
extent of the rotation being limited by the alar ligaments."
Page 288 Articulations of the Vertebral
Column with the Cranium "The movements
permitted in this joint are (a) flexion and extension which give rise to the
ordinary forward and backward nodding of the head, and (b) slight lateral motion
to one or other side."
The atlas can side-slip under the condyles
of the occiput. This is the most common displacement. The
axis can rotate under the atlas. All the rest of the vertebrae
from the third cervical down are provided with locking processes
above and below which prevent motion sufficient to put pressure
on the spinal cord unless there is a fracture or dislocation.
The undeniable proof of this fact is to see so-called ruptured
disc cases (even those who have undergone the surgical treatment)
attain freedom from pain following one, single, precise adjustment
of the atlas (or axis) vertebra.
Seldom does a patient come who has not
been to chiropractors, osteopaths and M.D.'s who have "treated" the
area where the pain is located. These people come with severe
doubts that they are doing the right thing, but the results
that follow the removal of nerve pressure erase all doubts.
They refer their suffering friends and relatives from great
distances and, in fact, provide them with transportation
and money to get this service.
The business of taking care of sick people
is very highly competitive. Chiropractors, osteopaths, M.D.'s
and hosts of others treat the patient's symptoms for a fee.
The program outlined in this article gets sick people well.
The fact that there is a steady flow of referrals based solely
on results speaks for itself. Only those patients who understand
what is being done and give it a chance get results. If a
person who has suffered from headaches over a period of time
has cord pressure removed, it is not reasonable to expect
the headaches will disappear at once. This does happen occasionally
but the average case outgrows the symptoms gradually as one
would expect in any growth process. The headaches usually
become less frequent and less intense as time passes. Instead
of gradually growing worse, the process is reversed and the
patient gradually grows better. The removal of cord pressure
permits recovery to take place. This is no panacea, this
is no cure-all; it is a simple straightforward program for
locating and removing the cause of disease. The average,
ordinary health services make no attempt to detect and record
nerve pressure. Consequently thousands of people are suffering
the results of nerve interference and don't even know it.
By 1943, Dr. Zimmerman had developed and
perfected a system for taking stereo (third dimension) X-Rays
down through the foramen magnum. This procedure reveals the
location of the atlas and axis and their mechanical relation
to the neural canal. Two views taken down through the hole-in-the-head
plus a side view and a front to back view constitute an X-Ray
set. Analysis of these X-Rays provides the information needed
to make the proper adjustment.
From the very beginning of his practice,
Dr. Zimmerman was dedicated to the problem of removing nerve
pressure as permanently as possible. This meant a constant
study to improve methods of contacting and adjusting the
atlas (or axis) vertebra more accurately. By 1943, he had
developed a table with the single purpose of cradling the
head while the patient's atlas (or axis) is being adjusted.
Dr. Zimmerman's practice grew rapidly
and there were two engineers, former Stanford classmates,
among his patients. As early as 1941, Zimmerman discussed
with them the possibility of developing a machine to adjust
the upper cervical vertebrae. These men encouraged him to
pursue the idea. They proposed two machine designs for duplicating
the motion of the hands in making an adjustment.
In 1947, the number of patients in Dr.
Zimmerman's practice had increased to slightly over 5,000.
Also there had been a gradual increase in the time between
adjustments for patients; but the problem in his own neck
had not yet been solved. In the summer of 1947, Dr. Zimmerman
discussed with an engineer the idea of making a time-motion
study of hand adjustments. After much planning, high-speed
pictures were taken by Three Crown Productions under the
direction of two engineers. 'Analysis of "Specific Adjustments"'
was the resulting twenty- seven page report to determine
exactly what Dr. Zimmerman was doing, by hand, in making
adjustments on the atlas (or axis) vertebra.
This study was an exhaustive investigation
into what happened when an adjustment was made by hand. High-speed
motion pictures were made of patients being adjusted by hand.
In the first high-speed film sequence, Dr. Zimmerman's hands,
the patient's neck, a stop watch and depth gauge were in
view. This facilitated exact measurements of time, speed
and motion of the hand adjustments on a patient's neck. Six
such sequences were run on different patients. Some with
thin necks, some with thick necks, some male, some female.
In another sequence of high-speed films, Dr. Zimmerman's
hands, a series of calibrated coil springs, the stop watch
and depth gauge were shown. These were run on eight coil
springs offering different resistances to thrust. Analysis
of these pictures and comparison of graphs made it possible
to show exactly what a hand adjustment does. The time or
speed, the thrust, the depth and force applied during the
adjustment became real values for the first time. The machine
was designed to operate within the factors determined from
the hand adjustments. These criteria were that the time elapsed
during an adjustment is one-sixteenth second, a maximum stroke
of three-fourths of an inch, and a maximum force of one hundred
and five pounds. By changing the air pressure, the force
used can be varied at will. By raising or lowering the collar
on the drive pin, the depth of the thrust can be varied from
one inch to zero. The adjusting head is mounted on a ball
and socket joint permitting changes in the angle of drive
over a wide range of positions.
In May, 1948, the machine was completed,
preliminary tests were made and all functions were found
to be satisfactory. The base of the adjusting machine was
made purposely so that the side-posture adjusting table would
fit into it and become an integral part of it. The machine
was installed in the office on June 6, 1948. On June 10,
1948, a woman who was a long established patient was asked
if she would like to be the first patient to be adjusted
by machine. She agreed and the same adjustment was made by
machine on the atlas vertebra as had been made previously
by hand. The patient's reaction was very enthusiastic. She
said that she had experienced less discomfort than by hand.
The patient was adjusted with a thrust
setting of 60 pounds and a depth setting of one-half inch
and the angle according to the previous records of hand adjustments
made on the patient. The thrust used is judged on the basis
of experience and the size of the patient being adjusted.
The general idea is to use more thrust with thicker, more
muscular necks and likewise more depth. Less thrust is a
general consideration for lighter, less muscular necks. For
example, the 20-inch neck of a wrestler requires the maximum
thrust of 105 pounds and three-quarters of an inch depth.
By comparison, a very small child needs only 20 pounds thrust
and one-fourth inch depth. The angularity of the drive is
determined from the X-Rays of the individual. The shape of
the neck and position of the vertebra with respect to the
occiput are determining factors.
The machine has been used in its original
design except for changes in the size and shape of the adjusting
tip. The original tip was about the size of a twenty-five
cent piece, which was thought to be the size of a pisiform
bone. Now the tip used for adjusting the atlas vertebra is
about the size of a dime. This makes it possible to contact
the transverse process in even the most difficult cases.
Failure to properly contact the transverse of the atlas accounts
for most failures in adjusting the atlas vertebra.
Dr. Zimmerman never stops seeking more
accurate means of adjusting vertebra to remove nerve pressure.
In 1974, he began developing a still smaller tip for contacting
some vertebra that are very hard to reach. Now, in 1977,
the use of the three-eighths inch tip is a reality and the
results follow removal of spinal nerve pressure in cases
where it was impossible before.
The ordinary case requires only ONE adjustment
to be freed of pressure on the spinal cord. This is where
miraculous results are obtained. The whole spine realigns
without further attention after the nerve pressure has been
To completely understand precision adjustment
by machine, it is necessary to trace a patient through Dr.
Zimmerman's office procedure. Whether a new or an established
patient, everyone is checked with the Differential Temperature
Recorder to determine if there is a nerve pressure.
The checking is done very carefully and
sufficient pressure must be held on the detector tips to
get an accurate reading. This requires considerable skill
with attention paid to holding an even pressure at the base
of the skull just as the detectors glide over the occiput.
Established patients coming in for a check-up
are readjusted only when the original graph pattern recurs.
Also in 1974, Dr. Zimmerman began to design
a new handle and case for the Differential Temperature pickup.
After several months of working with a master craftsman,
a new shape of pickup evolved which is much simpler and less
cumbersome to apply to the patient's neck. Therefore, accurate
readings are more easily obtained. If the patient is new,
and the Differential Temperature Recorder pattern shows a "break" of
two points or more, a set of X-Rays is taken in the manner
The great majority of the people who present
themselves for checking the first time will show a nerve
pressure pattern; however, many children do not.
There may be 5% who apply for services
who are not accepted because they don't have a nerve pressure
The X-Rays are taken for the purpose of
learning the mechanical relationship between the occiput,
the atlas and the axis vertebrae. A study of these X-Rays
reveals the position of these structures and the point of
contact where the tip of the adjusting machine should be
placed. This program of analysis has been so carefully worked
out that the same adjustment can be repeated when necessary.
After the X-Rays are studied and the correct
analysis has been determined, the patient is adjusted.
About 99% of the cases need to be adjusted
on the transverse of the atlas vertebra. A Differential Temperature
Recording is made just prior to the adjustment and immediately
following it. These records are marked to show the exact
point of contact, the thrust and the depth used in making
the adjustment. The record is also date stamped with an electric
time clock. (See a typical Differential Temperature Recording
in cut No. 1. Note the location of the "break" pattern
directly at the base of the skull prior to the adjustment.
The "break" is straightened out by the adjustment.)
[Left image: "cut No. 1", Right
The reader's attention is directed to the fact that the record comes out of
the recording device with the bottom of the cut first. Therefore it is marked
with a stamp showing "pre" (before) the adjustment. This is a very
rough, irregular, crooked line. Looking upward on the cut the word "post" (after)
will be seen. Here the Differential Temperature chart is a smoothed-out line.
The specific area of interest is the top one-and-one-half inches of each chart.
After the adjustment, every patient is
required to rest for two hours before leaving the office.
This allows time for adaptive changes to take place.
Statistical analysis of more than 48,000
patients' records show that the average patient needs readjustment
in nineteen month intervals. Many people have stayed in adjustment
for years after the first adjustment. They never had any
recurrence of trouble, in fact, until they were involved
in an accident. This is particularly true with children.
The search for a solution to Dr. Zimmerman's
personal adjustment problem was solved by the use of the
small adjusting tip. The transverse of his atlas vertebra
is so close behind his jaw that a larger contact by hand
or machine is impossible.
The whole idea of treating symptoms is
a medical procedure, and it is the ethical or socially acceptable
thing to do. Nothing that a medical doctor, the average chiropractor
or an osteopath does is done by intention to locate and remove
nerve pressure at the base of the skull. If they succeeded
in doing it accidentally, they do not know the means by which
it was accomplished.
A chiropractor who is skilled in the art
of adjusting by machine can free the spinal cord from pressure
and get the patient well. He is trained to place the tip
of the machine so accurately as to do that which has never
been done before. He must have a sense of touch so sensitive
as to properly locate the segment he is to adjust and yet
disturb nothing else in the patient's neck. He must be skilled
in the art of interpreting Differential Temperature Recordings.
He must be an expert X-Ray technician and be able to see
and interpret, to perfection, the X-Rays with which he is
working. He must be dedicated to the art of getting sick
The whole idea of making machine adjustments
on the human neck by mechanical means is completely revolutionary.
It is not to be considered lightly, and only after proper
preparation and care can this work be done with the miraculous
results described in this article. The machine is not a toy
and any person who wishes to investigate its possibilities
must bear this in mind for it really moves a vertebra. In
proper hands, it opens up a field for practice with absolutely
The machine requires a supply of air and
110V electricity for its operation. The air and electrical
conductors enter the machine through its base which is permanently
attached to the floor. Together the adjusting machine and
table weigh about 250 pounds.
Dr. Zimmerman's work demands a careful
explanation. The basic natural premise behind the idea is
the fact that life depends on a connection from the brain
to the body through the central nervous system. This connection
is in the form of nerve fibres leading down the spinal cord
from the brain to all parts of the body. These fibres (there
are about 10 billion of them) are like wires in a telephone
cable. They are subject to pressure at the base of the skull
when the atlas or axis vertebra is out of its normal alignment.
The usual patient presents himself with
a history of long recurring difficulties. He has consulted
with many kinds of doctors, usually with no results, over
a period of years.
No one has faced the problem of removing
the cause of the trouble or even suggested a solution.
Questioning the patient will reveal that
he has had many falls and bumps and most have been forgotten.
Many, many patients suffer the results of a difficult birth.
A long, protracted labor or breech birth is common history.
Foreceps delivery is a rule in many hospitals. Is it any
wonder that there are so many "birth defects"?
The important fact is that most patients
have had a spinal cord pressure for many years. They come
to be adjusted by the SAM and expect instantaneous results!
Now, nature doesn't work that way! When the nerve supply
has been blocked off for months or years, removing the interference
cannot restore normal function immediately.
Getting well from a long-standing illness
is like any other growth process. It requires an understanding
on the part of the patient and discipline to avoid doing
things that will interfere with the natural process.
Many patients cannot face this discipline!
They want to be doing something to get "relief".
These are the kind of patients Dr. Zimmerman does not want.
Please stay away!!
If you can't leave yourself alone
to let nature make repairs, please don't come!
When pressure is removed from the spinal
cord, the effect is the same as turning on the electric power
to a light bulb. Without the electricity the lamp does not
produce any light. When the patient's body is deprived of
energy by a nerve pressure, anything can go wrong and death
may occur. All it takes to restore the flow of energy to
the sick body is ONE accurate adjustment.
Restoration of life-force flow puts nature
back to work. The original effects following an adjustment
are different for each patient. It is impossible to predict
exactly what will happen. For example, the more seriously
ill patient would expect to have the greatest changes.
It is recommended that patients
be checked with the Differential Temperature Recorder at
6-month intervals as a preventive measure. This is to insure
that they stay in adjustment.
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