Are your physical problems being caused by Body Imbalance?
"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.
"Does it have to be corrected often?"
That depends on your own body. Some people can hold their correction for several months, even a year at a time. Others have to be corrected once or twice a week in the beginning, then one or twice a month. Everyone is different. The Upper Cervical doctor's objective is to make as precise an Upper Cervical correction as possible. Then he/she must help you maintain the correction with as few corrections as possible so that you may live pain free and enjoy a better quality of life. Periodic Upper Cervical checkups, just like dental checkups and physicals, should be part of your personal preventive health care program. If you are maintaining your correction and body balance then your Upper Cervical chiropractor will not adjust you.
"I am concerned about radiation from the x-rays. Are they completely necessary?"
Yes. They are the cornerstone of the Upper Cervical doctor's practice and are very specialized. Most radiology equipment today along with lead aprons keeps radiation to a minimum. Plus, any minimal danger from radiation, in our opinion, cannot be compared to the destruction that is going on in your body every minute your atlas obstructs brain to body communication. Any shift the atlas makes can cause multiple health problems. But sometimes that shift in position is no greater than the thickness of a fingernail. The Upper Cervical doctor has to rely on x-rays to determine the exact position your atlas/axis vertebrae have misaligned. The specific analysis of the x-rays will allow the doctor how to reposition your atlas to within a fraction of an inch back to the correct position it should be.
The UC doctor will make the correction only after an intensive analysis of how far out of position your atlas is. After correcting the atlas, either a second series of x-rays are taken or a post heat reading is utilized to determine if the adjustment was done correctly. These are referred to as pre and post x-rays and pre and post heat readings. The doctor will show you these "before and after" x-rays and/or heat readings so that you can see the difference the correction has made.
How soon should I get my children under this care?
As soon after birth as possible, and then have them checked periodically as they grow up. You could not possibly give your child a better gift than to make certain that the one organ of the body that controls all the other organs and body functions, the brainstem, is doing its job without interference from the tiny bone just below it.
How much does it cost?
A fraction of what you have probably already spent in your quest to get well. There will be some expense at the beginning for the x-rays that are so necessary to properly determine the exact position of the upper cervical vertebra. If your insurance covers chiropractic, it should cover Upper Cervical as well. Unfortunately, some HMO's and PPO's only have certain chiropractors on their list of providers and you have to go to them. Though equally well trained in other chiropractic procedures, most of these chiropractors may not be trained in precision Upper Cervical chiropractic. The actual treatment for Upper Cervical chiropractic care costs no more than other forms of chiropractic care.
If the Upper Cervical procedure is so good, why haven't I heard about it before?
You may not have never heard about this before for one of two probable reasons. The first reason could be that some laws forbid any chiropractor of any procedure to imply that his method is superior or more advanced than other chiropractic methods. If a chiropractor does this, he could be severely chastised by his state board of chiropractic examiners by being heavily fined and/or threatened with the loss of his license. This law was probably passed to protect the public from chiropractors making unrealistic claims about their procedure. The unfortunate result of this law, however, is that chiropractors who practice almost exclusively a specific type of chiropractic care simply remain silent about the benefits of their procedure. A law meant to protect the public has actually created a moratorium on vital information that could be of tremendous benefit and cost savings to the public.
The second reason could be that some prejudice remains directed against chiropractic care by establishment medical professionals. In medical school, these physicians are taught that pain, illness, and disease are usually best treated with drugs and/or surgery. Since a physician is often expected to diagnose and treat conditions in this manner, the quickest route to eliminate symptoms is typically their first choice. However, many physicians now regard chiropractic care as a beneficial therapy and foundation to whole-body wellness and often refer their patients to chiropractic doctors.
Information provided by National Awareness Campaign for Upper Cervical Care, with additional information from Dr. Daniel O. Clark, D.C.