The Unwinding Process


Unwinding is the symptom changing process a body must go through during treatment in order to heal from mechanical injuries

Unwinding – Your Path to Recovery

There is an adage that says that anything worth achieving requires effort. An athlete who sets a goal to complete a marathon cannot expect to reach the finish line without proper training. As the athlete trains, there will be times that muscles are sore and an extra push must be made. Sometimes the athlete may feel like quitting. It is tough, and there is some pain, but there is also an understanding that the pain is necessary to accomplish the goal and reach the finish line.

If your body is misaligned because of mechanical injury, unwinding can help you heal in much the same way that an athlete trains. There will be hills to climb as your body improves and untwists, but you will continue to improve as your care continues.


What is Mechanical Injury?

A mechanical injury results when a bone misaligns in a way that the body cannot self-correct.

In the spine this occurs when a bone gets stuck forward. This is known as a primary biomechanical pathology – PBP. This happens because the body does not have a muscle pulling in the direction needed to correct the misalignment. If you do have a muscle that can self-correct a misalignment, there is no injury unless the bone breaks. This is a new discovery in healthcare that has not yet reached the mainstream but with Advanced BioStructural Correction – ABCTM we can correct any body problems that are not caused by cancer, infections, fractures and suchlike.

Because the body cannot self-correct the positions of those bones, it must compensate by twisting and turning (literally winding like a spring) and locking up. This takes the stress of the injured area and may lead you to believe that you have healed. You have not, and this injury + compensation pattern creates a complicated situation.

The problem is made worse by subsequent injuries that also compensate and lock up. This creates layers of injury + compensations (one on top of each other), which causes more twists, turns and lock ups until your body is wound up like a spring. The more layers you accumulate, the stiffer and less functional your body gets. Many of us have hundreds of these layers resulting in unique postures, symptoms, disorders, disabilities and syndromes. All due to the same underlying mechanical problem.

How to Unwind

Before you start care, you have symptoms and physical restrictions that result from mechanical injury; pain, loss of motion, stiffness, etc. You are usually stuck in a forward position i.e. leaning forwards, twisted and off balance.

With ABCTM, we start to correct your body’s mechanics by working on the current layer that shows up on testing by;

  • Correcting the positions of out of place bones, that your body cannot self-correct because, it has no muscles pulling in the direction(s) needed to reposition those bones.
  • Your body then corrects the things it can self-correct until it runs into the next set of bones it cannot self-correct because it has no muscles pulling in the right direction needed.
  • I then work on that layer by repeating the above, and so on and so on.

This means that your body structure will still be falling and twisting in various directions as you unwind. You won’t just straighten all the way up in one visit, your posture moves around a lot on the journey depending on the layers still left to correct.

Twice weekly visits will stabilise you at the fastest rate and your presenting symptoms will reduce and eventually cease.

There is a graph below to visualise the unwinding process.

Your body usually starts to improve by untwisting in a backward direction away from the major mechanical stress problem (upward blue line on the graph). Remember I told you that you were a left or a right? That is the side of your major mechanical stress problem.

To continue improving, the body partially untwists forwards towards the original forward stuck injury position (downward blue line on the graph). At this point, you may feel pain in an area of your body that was injured in your past. It hurts because, your body has stabilised and recovered from enough damage that it is starting to use that area again. However, that area may not have had any force going through it for years, so it is not used to stress because the body had been protecting it, so those structures will ache and hurt. This is a good sign that the body is continuing to unlock. You may need extra visits during this time to help you with your symptoms, but it will pass.

This process of going backwards and forwards is known as unwinding and is necessary for your mechanical injuries to heal.

You will probably encounter your first ‘forward unwind’ about a month or two into your recovery. However, they can be unpredictable so work with your practitioner to get through these times.

Unwinding 1
A typical client’s progress

When unwinding backward (upward slopes), pressure is relieved at the injured sites and the body function improves. In this phase of unwinding, the pain and stiffness decrease as you begin to heal.

When unwinding forward (downward slopes), pressure increases at the injury sites. During this part of unwinding, you may feel sore, painful, anxious, depressed, and fragile because the increased pressure leads you to think you are getting worse – but be assured that you are improving!

Once you pass through the forward unwind stage you will notice that you are functioning better again.


Remember – the process of unwinding backwards and forwards happens many times during the course of your journey. The more layers of injuries and compensations you have, the more unwinding you will need. This is why there are so many ups and downs on the graph. Typically, those over fifty years of age need almost twice as much time to complete their unwinding journey than those that are younger. Those with very significant or numerous injuries also will require more time to unwind. The minimum length of time required for an adult is two and a half years.

We do our best to inform you of the likely total length of time your unwinding may take, along with an indication of what your forward unwinding symptoms may be. However, it is very difficult to predict exactly what you will feel as you progress. This is an active process and depends on many factors, including your job, lifestyle, and how well you follow our selfcare advice.

Each injury you have received must be released this way or you never get completely better. That is why so many people have injuries that seem to hang around forever.

When you unwind through small injuries, the symptoms will be mild – you may not even notice them. When you unwind through the major injuries, symptoms will be much more noticeable and challenging.

As time passes, your body mechanics become healthy enough to unlock significant past injuries. After going through recovery, your body will work so well, you will have no pain and you will be able to do things you have not done in years.

Starting right from the beginning, many people report fuller and deeper breathing, elimination of chronic aches and pain, more energy and mental clarity, and improvement of chronic illnesses.

What if I don’t go through the unwinding process?

In the same way that having a fever may feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar, unwinding forward is a process that some people don’t want to go through. Please understand; it is a part of the healing process.

If your body never unwinds forwards (the down slope on the graph), it never unlocks the major injuries, so we cannot correct them. This leaves you constantly in poor mechanical shape. Though you may feel okay, you will never get any better than the point at which you stopped care because your body cannot self–correct the rest of your injuries. Of course, you can choose how far into recovery you wish to go.

If you wish to stop your care before full recovery, you must stop when feeling good, which happens during the backwards portion of the unwinding process. However, your body will slowly continue to unwind and eventually start unwinding forward, an uncomfortable portion of the process. New injuries can also force you into a forward position too. This issue could take weeks, months or years to develop, depending on your mechanical stability.

What happens to your body if you completely stop treatment

Your body starts to break down again. think keeping teeth clean / exercise / diet. Its a lifestyle change. This is why we recommend continuing a correction once a fortnight to maintain your condition and to correct any break down that builds up.

Further information

If you have any questions about this process, please ask your ABC chiropractor. You can also learn more here:

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