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Prospective patients often ask some very good questions about Atlas Specific Correction (ASC); mostly relating to how it works and why? For nearly 50 years, ASC has been effectively resolving many different conditions, from headache to low back pain and nearly everything in between, and always using the same, simple procedure. Obviously, any method with such an excellent reputation for its effectiveness in such a very wide variety of symptoms would, and should give rise to some scrutiny. Consequently, we have taken the most frequent inquiries and addressed them here.


Within each of us, in our central nervous system, resides the innate ability to get well and stay healthy. The brain is our body’s computer; controlling not only that natural healing ability, but also controlling all our organs and coordinating our bodily functions. It is the source of power that keeps us alive and healthy (fig. 1a). However, if that power should somehow be diminished or otherwise interfered with, a system malfunction will occur leading to an unhealthy state known as disease, or more aptly, dis-ease(fig. 1b).

To illustrate, if a space craft’s computer were to malfunction just a tiny bit, it is easy to imagine the disaster that would occur. Likewise, if our computer should malfunction a tiny bit, we become unhealthy and sick. Obviously, to get well again requires that the computer regain proper control. That’s where ASC comes in.


Our computer-brain is encased inside the cranial vault (the skull) for protection. At the base of the skull is an opening through which passes the spinal cord. At this level it is called the “brain stem”, containing nearly 60 million nerves bundled together and passing through an opening not much larger than the inside diameter of a garden hose. It then passes through the center of the first cervical vertebra called the Atlas (named after the Greek god Atlas, who held up the world.)

The design of the atlas vertebra is unique because it is the only vertebra in the spine without an interlocking mechanism to hold it in place. This promotes a high degree flexibility, this free range of motion in our neck that allows us to scan our environment simply by turning our head. Unfortunately, this flexible design may allow the atlas to become misaligned through some trauma such as an auto accident, a fall, or even being born. If the atlas is not centered exactly under the skull, the result is a low grade pressure and irritation to the brain stem. This is something akin to a computer malfunction and will eventually bring about symptoms of some form or another. Actually, it may cause a great variety of symptoms.


If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in virtually any part of your body, or have a chronic malfunction such a sinusitis, hay fever, asthma or allergies, it’s quite likely that your atlas is not in its proper position. Most people have an atlas misalignment to some degree or other, even those rare individuals with no significant symptoms or conditions. But the fact is, symptoms are the last to appear. First, there is lost function, then symptoms develop to a point of pain or discomfort. The only way to be certain is by means of an examination that is distinctive to a point of almost being eccentric.
If the computer is malfunctioning, neurological reflex tests will show irregular or asymmetrical muscle contraction involving the muscles up and down your back. Any interference in the computer causes these spinal muscles to pull out of phase and out of synch with each other, resulting in one hip being pulled slightly upward, giving the appearance of a short leg. This shortness may be as little as 1/4 inch, or more than an inch in some cases. One shoulder may be low and the head may be tilted (fig.2a). However, this isn’t the actual cause of your symptoms, only an indication that the computer is malfunctioning. Treatment in the form of the proper atlas adjustment is then performed to correct the misalignment. The tests are performed again to verify that the legs are now even and the interference thus removed. The computer is now “on track” and the body now begins to heal itself (fig.2b).


A mechanical device known as a “True Vector Adjusting Instrument” is used to actually move the atlas back into proper position. Over the past 45 years doctors who practice ASC have been collecting data and observing patient progress using these highly specialized instruments. The instruments have evolved further as our technology has advanced. Currently, we are utilizing the 12th generation instrument; the newest and most advanced model built to the exacting specifications needed to perform and deliver a truly precision adjustment.


Adjusting by hand enjoys a place in chiropractic history. Our chiropractic pioneers built an admirable reputation using manual manipulation, in spite of the relentless persecution brought on by the medical community that was losing patients to local chiropractors. For most doctors and their patients, hand adjusting still works well enough. However, the concept of ASC with its nature of exactness and accuracy literally demands a precision instrument to make the correction and accurately repeat that exact adjustment, time after time. With ASC, making an adjustment by hand leaves too much to chance, while the excellent results enjoyed by ASC patients is testimony to its superior effectiveness.

If you would like to know more about this procedure that is dominating the field of natural health care, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We would be more than happy to aid you in your quest to get well and stay healthy.


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