Research in Axial Stability Method® Chiropractic, 2018-19.   Axial Stability Method (ASM®) is a revolutionary new chiropractic technique that has the potential to change the way we think about health and healing, bring down health care costs and improve the vitality and productivity of innumerable lives.  Beginning in 2018, Zebrin provided initial support for Lydian Chiropractic to partner with a chiropractic research team to design a research study of Axial Stability Method chiropractic treatment.  Together with Dr. Stephanie Sullivan, director of the Sid E. Williams Center for Chiropractic Research at Life University, and Dr. Martha Herbert, Lydian Chiropractic designed a study that was approved by the Life University Institutional Review Board.

That study has not yet been done, but it turned out to be an important foundation for another exciting research study that has been started and is still underway.  This new study is about a possible Axial Stability Method treatment for “Long COVID” – the chronic post-viral syndrome following COVID infection that is debilitating many thousands of people.  Dr. Lydia Knutson has developed a possible treatment for Long COVID, and designed a pilot study with Dr. Sullivan to investigate it.  The first round of that pilot study was completed in October, 2021, with exciting and promising preliminary results!  For more about these results click here.

The Long COVID study is being sponsored by Life University — not by Zebrin – but Zebrin is proud of the critical role it has played in initiating and nurturing Lydian Chiropractic’s early efforts to become capable of conducting practice-based research.  Those efforts go all the way back to 2013 with Zebrin’s Equipment Grant to Lydian Chiropractic (see below), and continued with the Data Gathering Initiative in 2015 and the work with Dr. Sullivan in 2018-19.

Practice-based research is an emerging new way to do clinical research.  It involves both opportunities and challenges that differ from traditional research in academic research hospitals.  Dr. Martha Herbert has spoken eloquently about the opportunities that practice-based research offers.  Zebrin is proud to be a pioneer in supporting practice-based research, and to see those efforts now bearing fruit in the partnership between Life University and Lydian Chiropractic.

Training Program in Axial Stability Method® Chiropractic.  In 2017-19, the Zebrin Foundation sponsored a two-part initiative to train chiropractors in ASM, led by Dr. Lydia Knutson.

  • ASM Modular Training Program. This program was designed to train practicing chiropractors to use ASM in their practices. It consisted of a series of 11 weekend seminars taught by Dr. Knutson over a 15 month period in 2017-19, combined with supplemental materials for distance learning and engagement.  In between seminars, participants practiced the techniques within their own chiropractic practices, with additional coaching from Dr. Knutson. Five chiropractors completed the first offering of this program in February, 2019. The program will be redesigned and taught a second time to refine the curriculum and make it more widely available to more chiropractors.
  • ASM Residency Program. The ASM Chiropractic Residency Program was designed for recent chiropractic school graduates to learn ASM. It was offered during an 18 month period in 2017-19, was directed by Dr. Knutson, and was based at Lydian Chiropractic in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Residents developed clinical skills in ASM treatment by treating patients at Lydian Chiropractic, and also learned about all aspects of running a practice, including office policies and procedures, regulatory compliance issues and practice building. Four recent chiropractic school graduates participated in the Residency Program, including two whose initial training in ASM came through the ASM Modular Training Program. In the future, we expect that a residency program will be a useful follow-up training experience for some graduates of the Modular program.


Practitioner Data Gathering Initiative.  Following our experience with Lydian Chiropractic’s Equipment Grant project, Zebrin organized a series of meetings in 2015 with a group of holistic practitioners to explore ways to encourage more practitioners to gather data on their clinical practices.  We discussed the logistical challenges facing practice-based data collection–particularly the lack of administrative staff support in many practitioners’ offices—and discussed possible ways that Zebrin could help to solve those challenges, including setting up an online tool to facilitate systematic survey collection, survey data tabulation and analysis, and arranging for Institutional Review Board approval.  Zebrin learned a great deal from these meetings about the challenges and opportunities for practice-based research.  For more about practitioner data gathering, click here.


Lydian Chiropractic Equipment Grant.  In 2013-14, Zebrin sponsored Lydia Knutson DC and Lydian Chiropractic to gather data within their chiropractic practice.  Lydian Chiropractic used a device called an Optogait to analyze their patients’ gait, as a way of measuring whether their chiropractic treatments can improve balance.  They also used patient surveys to assess improvements in back pain, neck pain and headaches.   Through this experience, we have learned a great deal about the possibilities and the challenges of collecting data within a clinical practice.

The Optogait data that was collected was presented as a poster titled “A retrospective review of patient Optogait results and comparison to side of patient pelvic compensation,” at the annual meeting of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges Research Agenda Conference (ACC-RAC) in March, 2021.

Click here to view “A retrospective review of patient Optogait results 
 and comparison to side of patient pelvic compensation