Q & A – ATLAS SPECIFIC CORRECTION
Q. What is an ”Atlas Misalignment”?
A. There is a vertebra in the upper part of your neck, the top most vertebra in the spinal column, called the atlas. When this vertebra is not in its proper position just below the skull, it is called a misalignment.
Q. How does an atlas misalignment affect a person’s health?
A. When the atlas is misaligned it causes a low grade pressure and irritation to the brain stem, something akin to a short circuit in a computer. This short circuit can manifest itself as any number of symptoms. Most commonly, headache, neck pain, back pain arm and shoulder pain.
Q. Which way does it move when it is misaligned?
A. It can move right or left, rotate right or left, or a combination of lateral and rotary movement. Before it can be adjusted back into place, we must know which direction it has moved out of place. That is the reason for the x-rays which are taken on your first visit.
Q. What causes it to go out of place?
A. As near as we can tell, it has something to do with physical trauma. Things like falls, bumps on the head, neck injuries, vehicle accidents and the like are sure to drive the atlas from its proper place. We also know from personal experience that the birthing process can cause a misalignment. We’ve adjusted children as young as two weeks old, and their parents said that there had never been any trauma or accident involved.
Q. What kind of symptoms would you expect a baby to have from an atlas misalignment?
A. This particular patient had been crying incessantly for the past ten days, and was having a problem with constipation. His pediatrician diagnosed the problem as colic. However, just about any symptom can be caused by the atlas misalignment. We see a lot of children and find they respond well from tonsillitis, ear infections, sinus infections, even behavioral problems and bed wetting.
Q. Once you have made the adjustment, what makes it slip out again?
A. Unlike the rest of the vertebrae in the spine, the atlas doesn’t have any interlocking projections to hold it place. Take a look at one of our models here in the office, you can easily see how well the bones in the low back are locked into place. They don’t slip out because they can’t. The atlas design gives us tremendous range of motion in our neck that we don’t have anywhere else in the spine. It’s like a universal joint in a car. But like a “u” joint, it is the weakest link in our spine. There is nothing but the ligamentous system to hold it in place. And ligaments stretch. When you lost proper alignment, probably as a child, the ligaments were stretched and torn a little, and they healed up with the atlas out of place. When we adjust it back into place, there is a certain amount of slack that takes some time to heal up so that the bone will stay put longer, but remember, no adjustment will last forever.
Q. I know that you examine the spine for the presence of the misalignment by using what you call the “leg check.” I understand that you are looking for a short leg, but I don’t understand what that has to do with it. I thought everybody had a short leg?
A. Your spine is surrounded with muscles we call extensors. They are very powerful muscles that we use when we straighten up from a stooped position. They are also the ones we use when we want to twist or bend our spines. For some reason, we don’t quite know why, when the computer shorts out, the extensor muscles begin to pull unevenly and “out of sync.” Some are pulling one way, and others are pulling another. Imagine a tower held in place by guy wires. If the wires are not pulling evenly, the tower will not be straight. When the spine distorts in this manner, one hip will appear higher than the other. That causes the leg to appear shorter. Very few people have a leg that is actually shorter, about one in a hundred.
Q. Why do you not adjust on each visit?
A. When the body is in perfect alignment, the computer is directing the healing process as it sees fit, and not only does the body not need any outside help at that time, it doesn’t want any help. We must let the body do what it needs to do and not interfere.
Q. When I get adjusted, sometimes I feel better right away and at other times it takes a day or two. Why is this?
A. The computer is always hard at work repairing things and trying to keep things in proper order. Sometimes it takes a little longer to feel the improvement after the adjustment, because you were out of adjustment longer than you thought and/or there was more work to do than it could carry out in such a short time.
Q. Last winter during the flu season, my whole department at work got sick with the flu, I was the only one who didn’t. Could this have been because I was in proper adjustment? Why? William O’Neil, Dublin, Ca.
A. Absolutely! Your body fights off invading bacteria and viruses by sending in the “troops” to fight off the invasion so that the “bad guys” can’t get a foothold. The body’s resistance level is the most important factor in determining whether you catch whatever bug is going around. Your resistance is at its highest when you are in adjustment and the computer is in full control.
Q. My neighbor keeps asking me how a neck adjustment could possibly help a low back pain. I tried to tell him but I don’t think I did a very good job. How would you have answered this?
A. Low back pain is usually the result of muscles in the low back area that have gone into spasm. Muscles only do what the computer tells them to do. If the low back muscles (or any muscles) are in spasm, a short circuit in the computer is the most probable cause. (Incidentally, we offer a preliminary exam and consultation at no charge which usually answers that question.)
Q. I’ve heard you say that you have treated many cases where there was a bulging disc. I don’t understand how a neck adjustment can help. Please explain.
A. Bulging discs are internally caused problems unless there was great physical trauma such as a serious accident. Before a disc can bulge from its natural containment, there must be uneven pressure on it. When the misalignment exists, there are muscles along the spinal column from top to bottom that will spasm unevenly, distorting the spine into a mild scoliosis. This causes more pressure on one side of the disc. Eventually the disc will be squeezed on one side and bulge out on the other. After we make the proper adjustment, the spinal distortion will correct itself by orders from the computer. As the spine straightens, the uneven pressure on the disc will be relieved. Only then will the body bring the bulging disc back to its normal shape. This process is carried out by the computer’s automatic system without the need for surgery. And the pain is usually relieved within a comparatively short time. You can ask any of the several hundred cases of bulging disc syndrome that we have cured. By the way, new evidence shows that many healthy people have bulging discs but are not having any pain.
Q. When my 3 year old came down with asthma, you adjusted her and the asthma was gone that afternoon. How could that happen so fast without medicine?
A. Here again, asthma is another internal disorder that occurs when the tiny tubes in the lungs go into spasm (another muscle spasm) and the oxygen is unable to enter the blood stream. Unlikely as it sounds, because of the short circuit, the computer isn’t aware there’s any problem. The proper adjustment puts the computer on the right track that allows it to correct the problem itself without the need for any invasive drugs.
Q. Does that mean I shouldn’t give her the medicine the doctor gave her?
A. Our position on drugs for conditions that respond to our care is that such prescriptions should be used mainly for emergencies. Then get yourself checked as soon as you possibly can.
Q. My wife works at a computer screen all day and lately she has had a lot of trouble with pain and numbness in her wrist and hand. The company doctor suspects Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Could Atlas Specific Correction help her? She doesn’t want surgery because her doctor says the recovery time is at least six months.
A. Here at Livermore Chiropractic & Wellness Center we have taken care of scores of cases of CTS. The problem is not the need for surgery. The problem is the need for the computer to take control and heal the affected area. When the computer shorts out by the misalignment, symptoms of CTS can occur just as any other symptom can. Authorities have demonstrated that there is a direct connection between arm and wrist pain and the nerves that emit from the neck. The proper atlas adjustment will usually bring fairly fast relief and if treatment is applied under controlled conditions, the problem can be completely eliminated.
Q. I’ve had a problem with heartburn for many years and I take a lot of antacids. My wife wants me to do something about it. Do you think Atlas Specific Correction could be of any benefit?
A. Glad you asked! An excess of stomach acid can be quite painful. If left untreated it can even cause ulcers. HCL, which is swimming pool acid, is the acid used by the body to break down the proteins in the stomach. If the stomach pours in too much acid during digestion, the excess causes a painful burning sensation in the esophagus. Antacids will neutralize this acid quite easily, but does nothing for the cause, which is the computer making too much acid in the first place. When the computer shorts out from the misalignment the amount of acid entering the stomach may suddenly increase to a point of being far more than is required. The only real solution to the problem is to correct the computer malfunction and let the body take care of the situation itself. Therein lies the beauty of Atlas Specific Correction. Once the adjustment has been made, the body heals itself. We take care of hundreds of cases with chronic heartburn as one of their symptoms.
Q. The last time I got checked I was still in adjustment but I was having my old symptom. A day or so later I felt great. What happened? Did it adjust itself?
A. No. Of all the wonderful things our bodies can do, it is completely helpless in restoring proper neck alignment by itself. Your body was apparently going through an essential process of healing which brought on symptoms for a short time. When it was finished with its work, you returned to normal. Getting adjusted merely for the sake of pain relief is not a scientific method of getting you well. Correct the cause, and then leave it alone. If it’s not broken, don’t break it!
Q. So what you are saying is that once the adjustment ”slips” or goes out, it can’t go back by itself. Then why did I feel so bad one day, and then felt good the next?
A. You probably had a temporary increase in symptoms simply because the computer was at work trying to fix something that needed fixing. Or maybe you got a little bit more active than your body is used to. We can’t explain everything the computer does because it (the brain) is far more complicated than we can ever imagine. But one thing is sure; it knows what it is doing (when you are in proper alignment) and we know better than to interfere when it is not warranted. But if your body were able to adjust itself, there would be little need for doctors of any kind and all of us would be a lot healthier!
Q. What role does stress have in all this?
A. For years we thought you had to do something physically or experience some trauma to lose your adjustment. But as we did more research we found that the people we had to adjust most frequently were those who had to deal with the most stress. More adjustments are lost to stress than all the other reasons combined.
Q. O.K. Just what can I do about it when I’m stressed out?
A. The best de-stressor is a good brisk walk. Did you ever notice how a wild animal paces back and forth in his cage?, nature’s way of dealing with stress.
Q. A friend at work hurt his back over a year ago and finally had surgery and he still isn’t back to work yet. Could your methods help him?
A. It is too presumptuous to say without seeing him first, but we have many success stories in our files dealing with failed back surgery syndrome and Atlas Specific Correction.
Q. I’ve been feeling very good lately and as a result I feel like I’m still in adjustment. I don’t need to get checked for a while then, do I?
A. Wrong! Do you want to wait until you get sick again before you do something about it? It makes much more sense to prevent the problem from occurring. Just feeling better is only part of what we do here. Putting you in proper adjustment is what gets you well. Staying in good alignment is what keeps you that way. You will not always have symptoms right away when you lose your correction. Getting checked regularly allows us to get you adjusted before you start to have trouble. Also keep in mind that the sooner you get adjusted, the longer that adjustment will last.
Q. O.K. But I don’t have time to go get checked all the time. What’s wrong with just coming in when I have symptoms?
A. If that’s what you want to do, we certainly will accommodate you. But keep in mind that you will be missing a very important benefit of Atlas Specific Correction that goes beyond simple pain relief, Prevention. That’s feeling good all the time, not just out of pain for a while. Also, being in good adjustment all the time keeps your health profile high making you stronger and less likely to have a health problem. Waiting for symptoms to re-appear before getting adjusted is like running out of gas before putting more in.
Q. I have a friend who has just been diagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis and her rheumatologist is recommending something called “remittive therapy.” What is your opinion?
A. We have a number of R.A. cases successfully treated in this office. One in particular was a young lady who was a court reporter and suddenly developed rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Without her ability to operate her steno machine, she couldn’t support herself. Her doctor was giving her steroids and gold salt injections with only a little help. When she came in, her worries were more painful than her hands. We started treatment immediately with significant improvement in just a few days. She is now pain free and off all medication, and is still working.
Another case we had with similar results saw his medical doctor before he started treatment with us. He saw him again after he had recovered from his R.A. His M. D. was so impressed he wrote me a nice letter. That letter is on file and is available to anyone who wishes to see it.
Q. My neighbor’s 6 year old has asthma very badly and I’ve been trying to get her to bring him in because I know you can help him. His mother is very stubborn and doesn’t understand how you can help him, any suggestions?
A. Yes! Why don’t you ask her if it would be all right if I called her and asked her a few questions? Usually I can at least get the person to listen long enough to invite them in for a preliminary exam and consultation at no charge. If the child has a neck misalignment, (most do) we can certainly help him. Asthma responds very well to our methods.
Q. What percentage of the population goes through life without getting out of alignment? Sterling Fox, Tracy, CA
A. There are about five billion people on this planet, and that is a lot of leg checks. We haven’t had enough time to check them all, but from what we have observed, every person over the age of eight or nine shows signs of a misalignment, with or without symptoms.
Q. What is the most unusual case or condition you have ever had?
A. We’ve had so many unusual cases over the years that nothing amazes me anymore, but I would have to say that the most dramatic and most unusual case was one that very few people would understand how we were able to help her. By the way, I don’t think there are many chiropractors in the world who would have taken this case with the confidence I had when she came in. Her name is Debbie, and she has been a patient here off and on for many years. One day she came in with her usual neck and back pains, and while we were talking I noticed her hands. They looked terrible! It was almost as though she had been soaking them in acid for the past month or so. They were raw, red, cracked, and very rough. She said that it began very suddenly with tiny little pustules just beneath the skin. Later these pustules worked their way to the surface and broke open. That’s when the bleeding and scabs started. Then the cycle would start all over again. It was a never ending nightmare. She said her feet were worse. Sometimes she could hardly walk. She had been seeing a dermatologist for the past three months at a cost of over $11,000! The dermatologist diagnosed her condition as pustular psoriasis. She said that the treatments by the dermatologist were only slightly effective, but that she was not getting any better. I got her under care with a very tight treatment plan. I saw her every other day for the first month. Then one day she came in with a big smile and said “look at my hands!” The skin was so tender and fragile it looked more like the skin on somebody’s lips than that of the hands. But her hands were clear. She said that the night before large pieces of dead skin began to peel off and the new skin was underneath. About a month later she was back to normal, the cost was only about $700 and she was well!
Q. That sounds unbelievable! How could a neck adjustment have cured something like pustular psoriasis? Debbie, Pleasanton, Ca.
A. Think about this: The skin takes its orders from the computer just as every other cell in the body does. The skin cells are produced in the basil layers of the skin. That’s the bottom layer down next to the blood supply. After the cells are formed they work their way to the surface when the old skin cells die and are rubbed off in daily living. Her cells were being manufactured already mutated at the basil layer, and kept being manufactured incorrectly because of the short circuit in the computer. As long as the cells were being formed incorrectly, the skin problem was being perpetuated. And even though they would eventually die and fall off, new ones would replace them but they were mutated too. The computer was shorted out from an atlas misalignment which caused the cells to receive the wrong orders. The cells were being reproduced with the wrong orders coming in from the computer, causing them to be rejects right from the start. The strange thing is that the computer didn’t know it was doing the wrong thing until the adjustment was made. This put the computer back on track and it started making new cells that were the right ones. When those new cells made it to the surface the problem was solved. You think Debbie is happy? You can ask her yourself. She still comes in for check-up visits to make sure the problem doesn’t return. And she promised to write her story for “Our Patients Speak Out”. Look for it in our reception room.
Q. Will I need Atlas Specific Correction for the rest of my life? Anita Warren, Pleasanton, Ca.
A. That only depends on how healthy and pain free you would like to be for the rest of your life. The decision is yours, but most people want the rest of their lives to be as healthy as possible.
Q. Why aren’t there more doctors doing this work? Why isn’t there a class or school where this is taught?
A. This is probably the most often asked question and the hardest one to answer. I opened my office here in Livermore in 1991. I was the tenth chiropractor in town. That was 8 years ago and there are now 16 chiropractors here. Obviously, the other chiropractors here in Livermore have heard of our methods and the amazing results; yet not one has ever called to ask about it or has expressed any interest. As strange as it sounds nobody has ever asked “Will you teach it to me?” I’ve even invited my classmates from Chiropractic College to come in to see it first hand and not one has ever been here. Why aren’t there more doctors doing this work? I honestly don’t know. I can only assume that they are not interested in a method that gets people well quicker at less cost. We do have Dr. Fleisher here with us now, and Dr. Armfield down in the Orange County area, but so far, that’s it.
Q. What’s the difference between Atlas Specific Correction and the other kind of chiropractic?
A. We’ve been asked this question many times over the years by people who have never seen a chiropractor before they came to us. Although most chiropractors have the same philosophy regarding the cause and effect of human illnesses, our viewpoint as to how chiropractic should be applied is quite different:
Traditional chiropractic as taught in today’s chiropractic colleges and schools holds that each of the 24 vertebrae in the spinal column is moveable and must be adjusted accordingly. While we do agree that manipulation of the different areas of the spinal column may bring relief from certain conditions, it is a discipline that in our opinion is not based on a scientific and accurate system dealing directly with what is actually causing the problem. Also, most chiropractors utilize different forms of physical therapy in their offices as adjuncts. Electronic devices such as ultra sound, diathermy (micro wave), electronic muscle stimulation, and transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS) are commonplace in their offices. Also, traction, braces and corsets are given to patients to try to make them feel better. All these devices can make you feel better for a while, but they do nothing for the cause, and they are expensive. Along with that, many chiropractors sell vitamins and supplements as part of their treatment plan. All these things have little or nothing to do with correcting the cause, and none of them can adjust an atlas vertebra back into place.
ATLAS SPECIFIC CORRECTION
The concept of Atlas Specific Correction is a very simple one; the body heals itself by means of commands from our on-board computer, the brain. Pure and simple, further, if the computer is functioning as it should, you will have very few health problems, and little need for drugs, pain killer’s physical therapy or even surgery. Think of it! A life with very few health problems, sounds too good to be true, but it is possible. If the body’s computer never had any irritation and if it never had any malfunction, the above statement would be true. Unfortunately, the computer does incur irritations that do cause problems.
Jolts, jars, falls, auto accidents, and most of all, the stresses of daily living take their toll in our overall health by causing a slight shift in the position of the atlas vertebra. This causes the computer to “short out” and thus a health problem is begun.
The usual chiropractic approach is to manipulate or “crack” the spine in various areas to alleviate symptoms in those areas. Our approach is very different. We center our attention in the area of the topmost vertebra in the spinal column, and the only one that can be shown to be moveable, the atlas.
HISTORY of ATLAS SPECIFIC CORRECTION
Back in the 70’s Dr. Armfield began to research a different approach to adjusting the spine using a proven method coupled with new technology. In the 20’s Dr. B.J. Palmer of the Palmer Chiropractic College realized that with all his different adjusting and manipulation methods, one thing became very clear; the closer he got to the neck with his adjusting, the better were the results. Further, as he experimented by adjusting higher up in the neck he found the results to be even greater. But Dr. Palmer also found his method had one flaw; quality control. One patient may experience almost instant relief from a given symptom, while the very next case with the exact same symptom got no relief at all. Not even after long periods of treatment
Personally, I am a third generation chiropractor and one of 75 relatives whom themselves are chiropractors. Dr. Armfield has treated me since I was 3 years old(at least that’s as far back as I can remember) utilizing only this technique. So, when I entered Chiropractic College I knew exactly what I wanted to do. After I graduated and was licensed I immediately started to intern under his watchful eye. After completing the training I return to this area with an excitement unparalleled, knowing I had a tool to help end human suffering. We now enjoy the ability to do independent research and review results which in-turn aids us in improving this truly miraculous work.
THE ADJUSTING INSTRUMENT
By utilizing a mechanical instrument that Dr. Armfield had developed to make the correction instead of by hand, he was able to duplicate each adjustment exactly, time after time. This gave him a research tool and a constant that he could use for designing and developing new adjusting techniques. Over the years, as research was carried out, this procedure for adjusting changed until finally, we now have what I believe to be the best and most accurate and effective method for treating the cause of human ailments.
The adjusting instrument provides a means of making a very accurate and painless correction. But before the adjustment can be made, x-rays are taken on the first visit and analyzed to show exactly how the atlas vertebra has moved out of its proper position. Then the correction is done with no manipulation involved and is hardly even felt by the patient. Children love it because it makes them feel good and is not even unpleasant. And it is done with the patient fully clothed. Further, it is done only when clinical tests indicate the need for an adjustment, never based upon symptoms alone, and not just because the patient showed up for an appointment that day. Also, the expense of vitamin supplements, braces, and physical therapy modalities is eliminated. Should you take vitamins? Sure, but on your own terms, not because you have a backache or a headache. These things are almost always caused by an atlas misalignment.
STRESSES IN LIFE
In today’s world, with all the different problems of living and earning a living, the single most common cause of improper alignment in our spines is stress. That stress is what ails us most and translates into spinal misalignments and illness.
Of course, the physical things that happen to us are another source of an atlas misalignment, and they do occur quite often. Heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling of heavy objects will often cause some one to lose their adjustment .. But stress is by far the most common culprit.
WHAT TO DO?
You must do physical things from time to time. Some things are just too difficult to get out of, like helping a friend move, or helping a neighbor lift a heavy piece of furniture. When these things occur, there is one important thing you should do as soon as you can…get checked! Working with a qualified & experienced chiropractor in Livermore can help you alleviate your stress induced and chronic aches and pains, so you can get back to living.