Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ June 2014

Holistic Health

The Chiropractic Technique That Changed My Life

By Anna R. Pritchard

There is a relatively unknown, revolutionary, non-invasive, painless chiropractic treatment now being used that relieves or completely eliminates hundreds of different kinds of conditions via the correction of the position of the top vertebrae of the spinal column called the “atlas.”  This procedure is called “atlas orthogonal correction.”  Amazing results have been seen with hundreds of conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraines and other headaches, asthma, chronic pain or stress, athletic or auto accident injuries, neck and back pain, child development, ADD/ADHD, herniated discs, high blood pressure, scoliosis, seizures, certain forms of epilepsy and arthritis, leg and arm numbness, sinus problems, dizziness/vertigo, Bell’s Palsy, Trigeminal neuralgia, sciatica, insomnia, and many more.

The atlas bone, or C1, is a two-ounce, doughnut-shaped bone that is the very first vertebrae of your spine.  It is just under the back of your head and holds your head up, hence the name “Atlas,” who in Greek mythology held up the world on his shoulders.  The whole neck area is called the Cervical Spine and is composed of the first seven vertebrae below your head.

The atlas is called C1 and the next vertebra is called the “Axis” or C2.  Part of the brain called the “brain stem” goes down through the opening in the atlas and is completely encircled by it.  The brain stem becomes the spinal cord that continues down through openings in the vertebrae.

The spinal cord carries the nerve impulses to the body and back to the brain from the body.  Pairs of spinal nerves arise from the spinal cord from each vertebra (one on each side) and exit the vertebral column to serve all areas of the body.  These spinal nerves deliver the energy from the brain to the organs and tissues of the body to allow them to do their work.

“If the atlas is tilted, rotated, or shifted even a micro degree out of its proper position, it can cause cord compression in the brain stem, reducing vital nerve flow from the brain to different parts of the body,” says Dr. Leslie Windman (Greenbelt, Md.).  “When the atlas is misaligned, it forces the entire spine and pelvis to twist.”

This causes strain and tension on muscles from head to toe, and a shortened leg.  Because the brain stem is surrounded by the opening in the atlas, if the atlas is out of position, there can be compression of the brain stem which reduces, delays, or distorts nerve messages sent from the brain to the body and back again.  This “affects the entire central nervous system which governs the thousands of functions that keep the body operational,” says Windman.  The long-term results of this situation is degeneration of different areas of the body, mild to severe pain, lowered resistance to infection, organ dysfunction, loss of mobility in limbs, effects in brain function, etc.

For proper nerve flow, the atlas must be level and positioned exactly perpendicular to the spine.  Therefore, three-dimensional x-rays are taken to determine the exact way that the atlas is out of position for each person.  Correction can be done by hand or by a sophisticated instrument developed by Dr. Roy W. Sweat, D.C., which delivers a specific, precise sound wave to the side of the neck which “pushes” the atlas into the corrected position, allowing a free flow of nerve impulses to begin to flow down through the spinal cord.

Another reason why this procedure has dramatic improvement in many disorders is because, in addition to limiting nerve flow, the flow of both blood through the arteries and veins surrounding the atlas (which come from or go to the brain) along with cerebral spinal fluid can be impeded by the atlas being out of place.  This can cause decreased circulation to the brain leading to “brain fog,” difficulty learning, etc.  Precise adjustment of the atlas can restore free flow of these fluids.

Found Effective for MS

Recent research has found dramatic subsiding of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms following atlas position correction.  Multiple sclerosis is a devastating disease in which there is progressive dysfunction of the body due to damage to the myelin sheath, which is a covering around the nerves that allows nerve transmission.  As seen on an upright MRI, when the atlas is misaligned, there is a dysfunction of the cerebral spinal fluid flow — which looks like waves crashing in the brain — causing damage to brain tissue; it is thought that this may be the cause of multiple sclerosis.  This is a huge medical diagnostic and treatment breakthrough.

Talk show host Montell Williams, who tells openly that he has MS, recently had atlas orthogonal correction and had dramatic improvement in his MS symptoms.  He has made several videos showing his experience, one of which can be seen by going to or searching on  Additional videos of patients with various disabling conditions whose symptoms were relieved by AO can also be seen there.

You can locate a chiropractor who is a Board-Certified Atlas Orthogonist (BCAO) anywhere in the U.S. or in certain countries by going to and click on “Patients enter here,” then “Find a doctor,” and click on the state or country you want.

My chiropractor says that the atlas being out of alignment also puts a person at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and cancer.  Also, all babies should have their atlas checked as soon as possible after birth, especially if they were born breech, if forceps were used, or if they had a difficult birth.  Babies with their atlas out of alignment have a lot of symptoms such as crying, not sleeping, colic, etc.  My chiropractor tells of one of her patients, a little boy, who couldn’t do anything for himself.  His mother had to do everything for him.  After getting his atlas corrected, he became “normal” and is now excelling in school and athletic pursuits.

After the atlas is back in its proper position, many other problems further down the spine correct themselves.  If not, some gentle spinal adjusting will usually correct any remaining symptoms.  My own issues with fatigue, mental clarity and concentration, limb strength, and digestive function were cured by a local BCAO.

Prevent Atlas Misalignment

Some things that you can do to help prevent your atlas from becoming misaligned are, first, to sleep only on your back or side, not on your stomach.  Turning your head in such a severe angle when sleeping on your stomach can lead to the atlas becoming out of alignment.  Another thing is to avoid holding a telephone receiver between your ear and shoulder.  Hold the receiver with your hand or use a headset so that you can keep your neck and head straight.  Be very careful to avoid falls and protect your head from bumps or impacts.

[Pritchard is a licensed massage therapist, certified Montessori teacher, nutritional counselor, R.N., and earned a Doctorate Degree in Naturopathy.  She also is trained in reiki for animals.  She lives on Ladson Road and can be reached at (contact information redacted).]   ■

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