Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Frequently Asked Questions About Upper Cervical Care: Part I
“Just what is Body Imbalance and how do I know if it has happened to me?”
Body Imbalance occurs when the C1 or Atlas, and/or the C2 or Axis, the top two vertebra in the neck, are misaligned and out of their proper position. This can occur as a result of an accident, emotional trauma, or chemical toxicity in the body. Childbirth itself can move the atlas out of position because of the massive amounts of pressure on the head and neck of the baby as it passes down the birth canal. Or childhood accidents like falling from a tree, bike or skates can misalign it. In adulthood, the atlas can be shoved out of position during minor or major accidents such as sporting accidents, automobile accidents or slips and falls. Some of the worst cases of atlas misalignment and resulting pain have been caused by minor car accidents such as being rear-ended. One indication of body imbalance is having one leg slightly shorter than the other. You may also notice that when you stand in front of a mirror one shoulder is slightly higher than another, and one hip is higher than the other. Another indication your atlas may be out of position is by having different symptoms in your body that your medical doctor cannot explain or find the cause for on any tests.
“How can Body Imbalance cause me to have physical problems?”
The C1 or Atlas is a donut-shaped bone that your skull rests on. Your spinal cord coming out of your brain and brain stem passes through the center of the donut shape. Your spinal cord at that point consists of trillions of nerve fibers (the nervous system) that “bottle-neck” through the small opening in the atlas. These fibers eventually branch off carrying information to every part of your body. If the C1 is out of its proper position it can irritate, constrict or disrupt vital nerve signals to any portion of your body. This can cause muscle or joint pain, organ dysfunction, lowered immune system and countless other conditions that you would not ordinarily relate to a problem originating in your neck.
“Why do you call it Body Imbalance rather than a neck imbalance?”
Because it effects the entire spine and body. Wherever your atlas moves, your head moves with it. If this top bone in your neck has shifted out of position ever so slightly, no more than the thickness of a fingernail, it can move your head off center of your body. In an effort to keep the head over the center of the neck, the entire spine and pelvis will twist, pulling one hip up and one leg with it. You are now walking around on one leg that is shorter than the other. This places more weight on one side of your body than another. The wear and tear on your entire body is exactly like driving a car that is out of alignment. The result can be muscle and joint pain anywhere in the body. Without correcting the problem, which originated with a single bone (Atlas) at the top of your neck moving out of position, your entire body is now imbalanced.
When this continues over time, something else starts to happen. Because nerve flow is disrupted or distorted, degeneration of cells in organs can occur, causing internal physical problems that may not show up for years.
“Is it painful to correct?”
Fortunately, no. The Upper Cervical Correction can be described as a slight pre-determined direction of pressure applied to the first bone (Atlas) or second bone (Axis) in the neck. Depending on the technique, it can feel like a brisk thrust, a light tap, or a massage on the side of the neck just below the earlobe. That’s where the atlas is. Sometimes this is accompanied by a loud pop or series of tiny ticks as the bone moves back into place. There is NO twisting of the neck. This correction is engineered to reposition the weight of the head (10 to 14 pounds) over the center of the body in order to restore body balance and restore brain to body communication. When the correction is made, muscles begin to relax, blood and oxygen circulation is increased, the brain is able to communicate with the affected area, and the body’s natural healing process begins. The healing process continues as long as body balance is maintained and the brain can communicate with all parts of the body.