Can our thoughts affect the position of our Atlas?

Yes, this is a good question. You are talking about an interesting human phenomenon. We seem to recreate our stories in our mind and thus we recreate everything around us—Including the physical distortions in our bodies. I can’t help but think of Shrek (my favorite Ogre) trying to explain his enigmatic behavior to his trusty companion The Donkey that “Ogre’s are like onions”. It seems that Shrek was working on deeper layers within.

It’s difficult to differentiate and determine the “core layer”, since disturbances and imbalances sort of get all tangled up with each other over time. The internal pattern of thought and belief weave the tapestry of our life creating and re-creating the patterns that we have come to expect over and over again, with very little visible variations. The distortions in our mind, i.e., our ‘thoughtword” can create a distortion outwardly in our manifested world, including our bodies. So I would have to say yes, they would create a structurally unstable set of “constants” that would throw C1 off over and over again, but it may not be a necessity, just a probability.

Hence, determining which layer is “core” verses secondary, etc., is, at best, ambiguous. What I have observed in clinical practice is: there is very often an underlying emotional or spiritual “snag” that creates a distinct pattern in thought, and those thought patterns create a pattern in behavior, and those behaviors give rise to our basic inclinations, interactions, repercussions, etc., shaping our lives—shaping our “conversations” (inside and outside our own minds) and our outward postures and dispositions. Our entire complexes of interactions become patterned. It is a viscous cycle—viscous because it is a self perpetuating and self-feeding cycle. I think this is why it hurts. This approach brings to mind the old question, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” We observe that they give rise to one another, but I think know no one really actually knows.

Interestingly, one can access the body through the mind, or, you can access the mind through the body. However, I have not yet witnessed C1 alignment achieved through suggestion or by emotional work, but I have seen emotional work and suggestion highly accentuated following the alignment of C1. It is however fairly common in practice after a true corrections of C1 triggers a series of complex emotional processes which seem to “power up” the body’s resources to heal. I have found that patients are very susceptible to emotional healing right after they have their C1 realigned because it effect structures above and below C1, alleviating their “constipation of the neck” bringing into balance the three main carriers which must maintain healthy flow dynamics through this tight anatomical corridor which exists between the head and neck.

  1. Electrochemical “flow” -Nerve conduction
  2. Fluid Flow: Blood (arterial and venous), Lymph and Cerebrospinal Fluid
  3. Qi (Chi) Energy flow

I suspect that one reason for the immense emotional healing that opens up to patients following a NUCCA Atlas Correction (not merely a chiro-adjustment) is because the Atlas misalignment may be so closely associated with the traumatic event in the first place. There is very often physical trauma associated with emotional trauma. Most forms of violence will dislodge the skull of the Atlas (C1) dislodging C1 from its’ proper perch atop the Axis (C2). This injury will restrict and congest the various flow dynamics of not only the 3 carriers mentioned above, but adds a new interesting “twist” to the injured structures: an avalanche of painful emotions.

Somehow, gently realigning the head and neck through the Atlas allows healing at all levels with very few exceptions. If you are that exception—don’t give up!  There is hope. I have good results with combining cognitive and emotional therapies with precise, structural work.  (Not pharmacology) Those interested will hopefully respond to this post.

Folks interested in processing emotional trauma are given a huge leg up in their healing process when their vital corridor between their crown and the corpus is balanced and flowing freely.

Dr. Chris Chapman, DC

NUCCA Spinal Centers

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