The Role and Purpose of Upper Cervical Care

Throughout the body, nerve fibers travel from the brain down the spinal cord to every tissue, organ and cell of the body. It is these nerve fibers that carry mental impulse from the brain which nourish the body and allow for proper communication from the brain to the body and then back to the brain again. Misalignments throughout the spine can interfere with these messages causing decreased signaling throughout the body depending on which nerve root is compressed and which part of it is interfered with as it exits the spine. Where there is a subluxation in the upper cervical spine then there is interference with the expression of life in the body. Addressing this issue is the goal of Upper Cervical Care.

A nerve, although impinged, will still fire to the extent it can into the body and the end organ it innervates. This is true everywhere in the spine, except for the upper cervical area. The first two bones in the cervical spine (C1 and C2) just below the skull protect the brainstem as it exits the foramen magnum. The nerve fibers that flow through the brainstem do not fire partially like the rest of the nerve roots in the spine. They follow what is called, “the all or none principle,” meaning that fibers in the brainstem either give you everything or they give you nothing.

Impingement_NervousSystemIf there is pressure on the brainstem shutting down the fibers to the body, then whatever those fibers innervate, the connected part of the body, loses life. For example, if the fibers to the heart are compressed long enough over time a heart palpation can develop or high blood pressure ensues as tissues start breaking down faster than they can repair. This is in essence, a “loss of life” or a “paralysis” as energy is no longer flowing at 100% to the body structure.

Since there are no pain receptors in the brain, brainstem, or spinal cord there is usually no direct symptomatic response to spinal subluxations (vertebral misalignment that interferes with the nerve function). Disease and breakdown occur overtime as life-giving energy is slowly wasted. Degenerative diseases, which take years to develop, are often the result in this breakdown of communication; the top three conditions being, osteoarthritis, cancer, and heart disease. All are due to a bodybuilding itself unhealthy instead of according to its original healthy design.

Damage to the brain does occur with trauma and in many cases it can still function somewhat normally. This is evident in President Ronald Reagan’s secretary who was shot through the brain and lived. The same holds true of the spinal cord. However, this does not hold true of the brainstem which is called the old animal brain and is responsible for all essential bodily functions such as heart, digestive, lung, hormone, eye, ear, and sinus function as well as balance and equilibrium. If the brainstem is so much as bruised, death results. The brainstem acts as a huge processing center that controls and coordinates all the functions of the body provided it has no interference.

Once interference is removed from the brainstem by correcting the upper cervical subluxation the body will resume functioning at its highest capacity possible. The body heals, not because of upper cervical care, but in response to it. Increased neurological supply of life to the body generates and restores the healing response innate to the individual.

Below the level of subluxation is paralysis, as previously mentioned. Above the level of subluxation, congestion in the brain occurs. This congestion can be likened to a dam constructed by beavers where the water downstream is restricted and the water upstream is slowed into a pool.

This phenomenon has been noted in multiple sclerosis patients with cerebral spinal fluid and venous drainage stagnation seen with 3D CAT scan imaging. Congestion in the brain leads to conditions such as: mental fogginess, improper decision making, increased emotional turmoil and tension, emotional outburst, lack of mental clarity, as well as anxiety and depression. The reason for these phenomena is that in part of the brain stem lies the amygdala, which is the center of emotions and is part of the old animal brain located in the center of the cerebral hemispheres.

Decisions are usually thought to be made in the prefrontal cortex, however, if this area of the brain is destroyed, (such as the case of Phineas Gage); decisions are then rendered based on emotions alone with no rational thought intervening. Rational thinking often goes by the wayside when a person has a neurological deficit such as subluxation. The overwhelmed brainstem becomes the center of decision-making as higher rational thought is turned off. Fight or flight responses require innate survival, which is quick. Rational thought is too slow: historically a person would be eaten by an attacking predator if they were consciously ponder what actions to take.

Compounding this issue is the subject of trauma. As with most traumatic experiences whether emotional, mental, or physical, the sympathetic nervous system is the predominant overriding force attributed to dysfunction. When added to the already compromised function of the brainstem, a sympathetic dominant state is like driving a car with a stuck accelerator. No matter what you try to do, you will keep running the same course, until you can release the accelerator. Until the state of the nervous system is restored to a parasympathetic state, you’d be stuck in sympathetic overdrive, which is long term fight or flight mode that almost always results in adrenal burnout, physical exhaustion, and emotional fatigue or what some would call a good ole’ fashion breakdown.

When looking at how upper cervical misalignments can occur and impact the nervous system, particularly the brainstem, it is reassuring to know that there is a solution. Upper Cervical Care utilizes state of the art technology such Specific Upper Cervical X-rays and Computed Infrared Thermography to determine when to make a correction and if brainstem pressure is present or not. When the source of the problem is corrected, the body can then begin to heal emotionally, mentally, and physically. As we remove the blockage to life flow from the brain to the body the likened damn is released allowing water to flow smoothly and effortlessly. This is the innate intelligence that  animates life. If we could live a life free from subluxation, we could live a life with the ability to adapt to our stresses, overcome our traumas, and move through our trapped emotions much more effectively and efficiently.

Unleash your power within!


Different Expectations

Different Expectations
A New and Revolutionary Kind of Care

Consider a general family physician that takes care of family checkups. They handle broad healthcare needs, then direct their patients to specialists when specific procedures and care are required. A similar relationship applies when comparing chiropractic and upper cervical care. Traditional chiropractic focuses on adjusting the entire spine for greater vitality and health; whereas, Upper Cervical Specific is a post-doctoral certification and specialization in chiropractic that focuses on the top two bones in the neck right where the brainstem sits.

Upper Cervical Spine
Meet Atlas (C1) and Axis (C2).

These top two bones can misalign in 274 different combinations due to the natural, unique
formation of the bones. When these two bones misalign they put pressure on the brainstem, which paralyzes various nerve fibers and cripples your body’s natural state of balance and optimal health. To address these misalignments one needs precise work.

For permanent correction, the top two cervical bones, referred to as Atlas and Axis, have to be corrected specifically by a specialist so that no pressure remains on the brainstem. These two, topmost bones allow for much of the movement of your neck, plus they slip, slide, and move all over the place. Therefore, it’s not realistic to simply palpate or just “feel” which of the 274 different possibilities of misalignment are occurring in the upper cervical spine. Even if that were feasible, how would one know when they were in place?

Upper cervical care utilizes a 3-view x-ray so that the doctor can see all the planes of misalignment. Digital paraspinal infrared thermography calibrated within .2 degrees is another device used to help the doctor determine whether brainstem pressure is present or not. Knowing when NOT to adjust is just as important as knowing when to adjust!

In upper cervical care, patients do not experience their spine being cracked up one side and down the other indiscriminately. One correction to the neck is administered specifically to realign a torqued misalignment. Much like playing a game of billiards, the doctor must first line up the patient correctly and then line up his body and hands to deliver a precise adjustment to unlock a 3-dimensional torqued misalignment that is exclusively unique to the Atlas.

Just as when everything is not aligned perfect in billiards, one does not make the ball in the pocket. The same is true of upper cervical care. If everything is not precise, then alleviating the pressure from the brainstem will not result. Practitioners double-check the corrections by thermography so the doctor and patient immediately know if brain stem pressure has been eliminated.

Upper cervical doctors pride themselves in their work. Often they work with people who have often found no help elsewhere in the healthcare field. By administering a specific correction to the top bone in the neck, pressure is relieved from the brainstem and life, which resides in the brain, begins to flow freely to the entire body from the top down.
Upper Cervical Doctors get results where more generalized techniques may fail. The developer of chiropractic Dr. B.J. Palmer stated, “Chiropractic is specific or it is nothing at all.”

Considering there are 274 variations the Atlas can be misaligned, why not get yourself checked by an upper cervical specialist today?