Introduction to Weekly Well-Being

“I’ve been severely affected with allergies for the past 5 years…Since seeing (an Upper Cervical Chiropractor) for only one month during prime allergy season, my allergies have disappeared.  I haven’t taken any allergy medication since my (Upper cervical) treatment began.”  - Melinda, age 29


“I gained weight, was uncomfortable, frustrated, and depressed.  I was bloated on a daily basis.  I was distended and uncomfortable…I was afraid to eat anything.  I was constipated and was prescribed laxatives.  I drained everything out of my body but within days my symptoms returned.  I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome…became incredibly dehydrated.  I was in pain…I had nothing to lose, so I set an appointment (with an Upper Cervical chiropractor).  Within one month I felt better!  My symptoms subsided, my energy level increased, and my attitude changed.”  - Stacy, age 27


I was in your shoes not too long ago, reading testimonials and hearing stories, all the while wondering to myself, “How?”  “What is Upper Cervical?”  In the next several paragraphs, I’ll answer both questions and, in the process, present a model of healthcare that you’ve likely never heard of.  I emphasize the world health because we aren’t conditioned, as a society, to even know what that means.  We are told, in a round about way, that health is the absence of symptoms, but that is just not the case.  We are given drugs to “cure our ills,” but that is not what drugs do at all.  Health and not being “sick” are different.  The United States consumes 80% of the drugs produced in the entire world, yet we are ranked below countries that you may have never heard of in health statistics.  So, open your minds for a few minutes; let me into your head space and I’ll show a different perspective that could change your life…


WHAT is Upper Cervical care?  It is a way to unlock the body’s natural ability to achieve health without the use of anything external (drugs, surgery, etc.) by assessing the function of the nervous system and the anatomy surrounding it that could be placing pressure on its master control, the brainstem.  Then, if necessary, making a specific correction to remove that pressure. 


Every 6-8 minutes, your body regenerates your stomach lining; every 4-6 weeks, your body regenerates your liver; every 4 months, you have all new blood in your body.  How?  Well, put as simply as can be: that’s just what the body was designed to do.  The brain is like a giant super computer with all the information you’ll ever need to know innately programmed into it and it sends an electrical impulse through the nervous system to the body…that’s life.  That’s how you pick up a pen, how you digest your food, how you eat a steak, how you know that you’re in love, how your heart pumps blood, how you pet your dog, how your lungs take in air, etc.  As complicated as all the little details can be, it really is this simple: Brain à Nerve à Gland/Organ à Cell (simplest form of life).  Breaking that down…the brain tells the nerve, which tells the gland or organ, which makes cells.  Every body and thought process fits within that flow chart in some way.


“The panic would overwhelm me…repeated waves of nervousness…I lived without a good night’s rest for several years…daily life was becoming intolerable…within a month after my first (Upper Cervical) treatment, I was sleeping uninterrupted...within 9 months, my anxiety was gone!” – Jenn Z.


The human body was designed to be well, so as long as the brain can send a normal, healthy message to the body…you will be well.  The brain was not designed to send high blood pressure messages, multiple sclerosis messages, thyroid cancer messages, sarcoma messages, heart attack messages, seizure messages, flu messages, etc. 


So, why do we get sick?  First, let’s quickly touch on what we’re all conditioned to think.  “I caught a cold, I was diagnosed with cancer, I have high blood pressure, I have irritable bowel syndrome, I have back pain, I have headaches; OR my mom had diabetes so I’m probably going to get it, my dad had a heart attack so I’m probably going to, my grandpa had Alzheimer’s so it runs in my family.”  We’re conditioned to think of sickness and conditions as things that we “catch” or “get.”  This line of thinking is FLAWED!!  Not to discount certain genetic risk factors, but here’s the reality of conditions: THE BODY DOES NOT “CATCH” OR “GET” SICK; IT STOPS FUNCTIONING PROPERLY AND DEVELOPS, BREAKS DOWN INTO CONDITIONS AND SYMPTOMS. 


Cancer develops when the gland/organ ceases to make normal cells.  Collections of abnormal cells = cancer.  It takes upwards of 17 years for a cancerous tumor to grow the size of a pea.  You paying attention, yet?  High blood pressure develops when one or more of the four nerves to the heart are over firing, meaning that the heart is pumping too much blood. 


You may be thinking what I was thinking when I first heard all of this…“If the body wasn’t designed to have cancer or have high blood pressure or any other condition, why do we develop into them?”  Well, symptoms and conditions such as those arise when the body’s internal environment can no longer overcome the external stressors.  More simply put: it takes a negative force, typically an accident or fall (physical disturbance), a chemical overload (alcoholism, drug addiction, binge eating), or a traumatic emotional event or consistent stress to cause the body’s internal environment to reach the point that it stops functioning as it should - when the simple formula of Brain à Nerve à Organ à Cell is interfered with.  So, which part of the formula is at fault for our developing into things? 


The brain is never wrong.  It’s programmed with exactly what it takes to grow you from an egg and a sperm into a baby, into an adolescent, and into an adult.  Its job is to send messages that let the body know what it needs to do.  It does NOT send a cancer, tumor, hypertension, asthma, autism, liver cirrhosis, etc. message.  If not the brain’s fault, then maybe the organ?  Nope…it’s not the organ’s fault, because it’s job is simply to do what the brain told it to do.  Can’t be the cell, either.  It is directly affected by the organ and we already know it can’t be the organ’s fault.  By process of elimination, that leaves us with the nerves.


“I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism…My medications included synthetic thyroid hormone, 3 types of asthma inhalers used 4 times/day, plus nasal sprays for allergies…after 1 month of upper cervical care, my asthma and allergies were completely gone…I regained my thyroid function and don’t use any medications anymore.”  -33 year old woman


How does the body break down and how can upper cervical care help?  Every nerve in the body wraps around the brainstem.  What’s the brainstem?  Well, if the brain is the body’s super computer, then the brainstem would be what plugs the computer into the wall and gives it power.  Example: everyone owns a cell phone these days.  In order for your cell to make a call, it sends a signal thru a network to a cell tower, which then relays the signal onward thru the network to the recipient’s phone.  Our brainstem is like the cell tower.  The entire cell phone process is worth nothing without the tower and the body cannot function without the brainstem. 


The brainstem is responsible for taking the trillions of messages sent per SECOND from your brain and sending them out thru the nerves to the trillions of destinations that make for a functional human body.  Pretty amazing, huh?  Essentially, the brainstem is made up of trillions of nerves wrapped into a bundle.  That bundle is actually the very first thing created in your body when your mom’s sperm meets dad’s egg.  The brain forms above it, the spinal cord below it, the nerves project out from it, the spinal column and skull form around it, and so and so forth.    


That little bundle (the brainstem) exits an opening in the bottom of your skull and rests in the inner ring of the top bone in the spine (called the atlas).  Those two openings (holes) vary in size based on the size of each individual, but they are 99.9% of the time less than 1.5 inches wide.  To give you some perspective: if you were to try to recreate the brainstem using copper wires laid side by side, it would be 27 feet wide!  Imagine cramming all that into a space that’s an inch and a half wide!  Why so important?  Well, your heart automatically beats, your lungs automatically take in air, your food is automatically digested, your immune system automatically fights off unwanted intruders, you automatically produce energy to keep your body able to do what it needs to do.  If you were to perceive that a spider was dangling over your head, you’d automatically look up.  Then, automatically, light would be focused by a lens in your eye, sent thru a light proof chamber, placing an inverted image at the back of your eye.  It then self-adjusts, focuses, and the image is transmitted automatically thru the optic (eye) nerve to our innate “brain” film, which develops and prints the image into our perception…automatically.


“After working most of my days at a computer for 10 years, I was told I had carpal tunnel syndrome…I had pain, numbness and tingling, and muscle weakness in my right wrist and hand…I tried everything to relieve the symptoms…after one upper cervical correction, the muscle strength in my wrists and hands was 90% restored and the numbness and tingling were completely gone…After 1 month, I was symptom-free.”


The opening at the base of the skull and the ring of the first bone in the neck (cervical vertebra #1, aka the atlas) MUST line up perfectly.  If they do not, pressure is placed on the very thing that controls the automatic functions of your body, causing the brainstem to distort the messages sent from the brain to the body.  I’ll re-write that because it’s THAT important.  If the base of the skull and the first bone in the spine are not aligned properly, then the brainstem is no longer able to normally transmit the messages from the brain to the body.  We break down into conditions from there.  Whether it be as minor as the common cold or as major as multiple sclerosis or heart disease, the body failing to function the way it was meant to is the basis for all conditions…and that’s just talking about what’s going on inside the body.


For a minute, let’s change gears to the muscles, bones, and structure of the body.  When the top bone of the spine misaligns, it causes our head to tilt to one side.  PROBLEM.  The human body was designed a specific way.  Our eyes need to be as level as possible with the horizon because the fluid in our ears need to be equal BECAUSE that’s how we maintain balance and equilibrium.  So, top bone misaligns and tilts your head.  SOLUTION.  We have what is called an eye righting reflex.  What that means is that when our eyes aren’t level with the horizon, the rest of the body will shift to compensate.  One shoulder rises higher than the other, pulling on the muscles in the lower neck, mid-back, and chest.  The eyes are back on the horizon. 


Mission accomplished?  NOPE.  More compensation, as the hip on the side opposite of the high shoulder will hike up.  The hips compensate for whatever happens at the head.  Anyone ever been told they have a short leg?  Well, those come from one hip being higher than the other, pulling on the muscles in the low back, thighs, legs, and so forth causing one leg to PULL shorter than the other.  With a tilted head, high shoulder, hiked hip, and short leg, you are COMPLETELY OUT OF “Body Balance.”  Common problems resulting are back pain, hip pain, neck pain, knee pain, foot pain, ankle pain…shoulder pain and loss of usual shoulder and arm function…rib-related issues, including pain and disrupted breathing patterns. 


“I have had Parkinson’s Disease for 20 years…I would take muscle relaxants and tranquilizers (for relief)…I had stopped driving…I disliked being dependent…Now, I drive myself and enjoy independence again…it’s much easier to live with.”  - Arlyce


Think of it this way…the Earth just so happens to be the exact distance away from the sun to sustain life on this planet.  Move it farther away and we all freeze.  Move it closer and we all bake.  Earth also happens to rotate at the exact speed necessary to sustain 24 hour days.  If we had 26 hour days or 22 hour days, then days would be too short or nights would be too long…how would we grow food?  Furthermore, Earth happens to be at the perfect tilt.  If it were tilted any more or less, then the current vapors in the air would change and the oceans would freeze or the oceans would rise and envelop the land.  Finally, Earth’s atmosphere was designed just right.  As it becomes depleted and abnormal, those little meteors that we see burning in the night as shooting stars could become a bigger (pun intended) problem. 


Similarly, the head just so happens to sit at just the right spot on the top bone of the spine to sustain normal function.  The top bone in the spine is held in place by eight muscles.  It has no locking joints to protect it like the other bones in the body because it is responsible for allowing you to turn and nod your head (every time you’ve motioned yes or no with your head, thank the atlas vertebra).  The atlas weighs just about an ounce, but it is responsible for upholding the weight of your 8-14 pound head.  All things considered, the atlas simply is not as stable as the other bones and is, subsequently, more susceptible to injury and/or misalignment. 


So, the next logical question is: “How do I know if my body is working the right way?”  “How do I know if my brain is communicating with my body without interference?”  These are vital questions; potentially life changing questions…and the answer is simple (and where I, and those like me, come into play in this model of healthcare).  If you’ll recall, I used an example of a cell phone linking to a cell tower.  It does so via a network, which we cannot see or feel.  The body is the same, as our brain links up to our cell tower, the brainstem, thru a network that we also cannot see or feel.  So, how can you tell if there’s interference to the cell network?  Ever had “static” over the phone?  Ever had someone “cut in and out”?  Ever had a dropped call?  That’s our gauge to know whether or not our cell network is working properly.  Don’t worry, we have a gauge to identify nerve interference, too. 


Upper Cervical doctors have a tried and true system to identify nerve interference and the specific misalignment causing it.  The first step is to find if there is nerve interference.  Since we can’t feel interference to the messages between the brain and body, we have a gauge, a scientific instrument to measure it.  When and if we find the interference, the second step is to take a series of x-rays to look at the way that the atlas aligns with the skull.  From there, it becomes a team effort.  The upper cervical doctor’s job is to correct the misalignment using a specific spinal adjustment that you will barely feel and that involves no twisting, pulling, or cracking.  It is then your job to do what is necessary to hold the adjustment.  And you should never want to be adjusted (a stark contrast between upper cervical doctors and general chiropractors, who adjust every time you see them). 


Once the proper head/neck alignment is restored and the brain can once again communicate properly with the body, muscles relax, the vital bodily systems (cardiac, digestive, immune, etc) can find stability, and health and healing ensues.  Ask this woman…


“My main problem was profound fatigue…my energy was so low that even my mind and my emotions were adversely affected.  I felt like I had the flu all the time.  After just a few adjustments, my energy and alertness improved.  I felt lighter and clearer and generally healthier.” – Carole, 55, a sufferer of Multiple Sclerosis


During the course of this introduction, a lot of scenarios have been presented about people developing out of their symptoms of major disorders and conditions, but bear in mind that this is NOT condition-based care.  Unfortunately, the majority of the people that we see have already developed into conditions, which brings us back to the mindset that our society has about health.  This is the current reality: if you get “sick” enough or are in enough pain, you go to the medical doctor who presents you with two options: take a pill or have surgery.  Most likely, you take the pill, which masks the symptom, but does not have the capability to heal.  Often times, though, the symptom goes away, only to return even stronger the next time.  You may eventually seek general chiropractic care, which is also largely symptom-based.  The symptoms often subside once again, but usually return stronger than ever.  Absence of symptoms does not equal the absence of problems.  Symptoms are the last thing to show up when your body is breaking down and the first thing to go away…they are the tip of the iceberg, but there’s a lot of ice below the surface. 


This is not to say that all drugs are bad, but I definitely am stressing that we are far too over dependent on them, as a society.  Drugs should be one of the last resorts, not the first option.  Every day, upper cervical doctors see the failed cases of “modern medicine” and “general chiropractic” and, every day, our inner purpose of educating people on how to naturally stay well so that you don’t develop into conditions is strengthened. 


If you take nothing else out of this, I want you to remember that a healthy, fully functioning body is one that stays well.  Just as I will always brush my teeth to make sure they are healthy so I can have the best, most gorgeous smile that I can possibly have, I’m always going to get checked to make sure that the very thing keeping me alive is working at its finest so that I can live a full, healthy life.  I want the same thing for you…I want you to be the best you that you can possibly be.