Upper Cervical has since its inception looked at the atlas and its tip, slip and laterality. Nothing has much changed since the 50’s and the great insights (for the time) of Grostic and Gregory have long stalled out. The atlas, because of its structural design as a double cup (coupling) and its large transverse processes, make the perfect entry point. The dense neurology has always been the main attraction point for us doctors but it has also kept us tied to a bone out of place, mechanistic dogma.

The tensgrity model that the body is an open isotonic system has opened a new path for our work. [Note: isotonic means the tension in the tensegral array of the body is distributed evenly throughout the system]. We are moving from a bone out place to a full comprehensive 3-D postural evaluation. This model has jettisoned our understanding of the misalignment, including how it breaks down, and significantly alters the protocol that can restore the orthogonal tensegral position which optimizes life. There is no doubt that this is the future sustaining direction of our work and ignoring it will only continue to limit us.

The optimal tensegral posture is only possible when the body is orthogonal. Gravity, when we are fully tensegral, allows for a neutral pressure system that facilitates blood flow to all cells. Once misaligned, the effects of gravity are compressive and set a course for joint asymmetry, muscle spasm, organ compression, and dis-ease. This is all manifested because of the decrease of blood, oxygen and nutrition to the compressed, misaligned body. This paints a picture that not only affects the upper cervical neurology but everything from head to toe.

The symptoms of our patients are only the expression of the wisdom within that we are compressed and suffocating over time.

Our goal is to restore that up and open free flowing liquid system because when we are off-center we compress. The long-term effects of this are apparent in the elderly. Their bodies have collapsed from the misalignment and from the loss of tensegrity which compresses their bodies and diminishes their life force. In our young, the medical model calls this scoliosis. Go look at your Nasiums and see the bowing of the lower cervical spine. Now look at the laterals and see the reverse curves on most. This is just the sagittal collapse and compression of tensegrity. It’s there in all of our patients. We just can’t take our eyes off the little atlas plane line. Open your eyes, open your mind, and open up to what makes sense.

Just visualize this for a moment. Take a plastic ruler and push down on it (compressed). Now lean it off vertical. Medicine calls this scoliosis…we call this an atlas misalignment.

Neither is a complete picture. The medical model only names the effect and the Upper Cervical Doctor thinks the smallest vertebra in the spine dictates the misalignment. This is a compression that affects everything and must be evaluated as a complete unit!

This compressed ruler is from head to toe and it depicts the loss of tensegrity and the effects of gravity on all of us! Visualize the bends, the spirals and the twists. All of these are the body trying to maintain equilibrium and to relieve pressure throughout as it collapses.

Now is the moment of truth! In this collapsed and bowed state, try to push it back to center. You can’t without compressing it more or without using significant force. Do you feel the stress in the ruler? This is what we do when we drive down plane lines and set someone in a compressed state on vertical.

This is why the first step in a better correction must begin with the decompression of the body and the restoration of a linear body.

I have figured out how to accomplish this through patient placement and a protocol that will set the body on its vertical axis. I am now consistently clearing one case after the other with a method that is repeatable and biomechanically consistent. No one else in UC has ever been able to make that statement. I can do it repeatably without ever manipulating (no arbitrary fudge-factors) the vector. I can prove this and will document it with our upcoming research project.

I encourage you to step away from the jargon you hear and just look at the only progressive, growing work in UC chiropractic. The worst that could happen is, you go home with a couple of small helpful hints. The best that could happen is you are opened to an UC procedure dedicated to technical growth based on a standardized protocol.

This will be the future of our profession.

Just remember there have never, since the inception of UC chiropractic, seen detailed reliability and validity studies that prove our work to the wider healthcare profession. It’s all talk right now. The future of upper cervical chiropractic depends on just such validational studies. QSM3 is working from the beginning to make research, including validity and reliability, the core of our process. We will put our results on the line and show what we can do in the peer-reviewed literature. Our first two studies are underway.

This is the best marketing plan… one that corrects the patients and they tell others!

You know driving the old ‘55 Chevy is fun but I’ll take the much more reliable Bimmer any day. How about you?

Russell Friedman D.C.

October 2011