An Upper Cervical adjustment or correction is significantly different from what most people expect for a routine chiropractic adjustment or "spinal manipulation." Foremost, there is no head rotation, and there is no neck or back cracking.
Atlas Care is Different
There are seven distinct forms of Upper Cervical Specific Care. We have formally studied and can competently practice five of them. However, our predominant and preferred approach is called the "Blair Technique." The adjustment is performed in a side-lying position.
Everything about the adjustment from the table height (very low) to the patient positioning to the specialized headpiece is designed to provide the most specific, quickest, lightest, comfortable, and effective adjustment possible. Here's how it works.
You lie on your side with your bottom arm wrapped around your ribs and with your top arm straight down your side. Your bottom shoulder rests on a soft pad beneath you, and your head would rest on a firm but comfortable headpiece. A Blair chiropractic adjustment is performed on a specialized side-posture table that allows the doctor to deliver the lightest and most effective correction possible.
Specific, Quick and Light is the Difference
In-and-of itself, this is different from most other forms of chiropractic. The idea is for you to be as relaxed as possible, like falling asleep when the adjustment is given. If you are tense or uncomfortable, or even if we say that we're going to adjust you in "3 ... 2 ...1," your muscles will contract, which will make the adjustment less effective.
The headpiece rises just before the adjustment and then releases when the adjustment is delivered. Although the headpiece makes a bit of noise when it releases, that is the only sound that people hear with the adjustment. Although the procedure may look dramatic from a distance, the force of the adjustment is exceptionally light also: 2.3Kg which is approximately the pressure is takes to depress a clicking pen.
In fact, the vast majority of people don't actually feel the adjustment at all and wonder if we've actually done anything.
However, they quickly discover that even the lightest of forces, specifically and purposefully applied, can make a massive difference to the health of their entire body. Upper Cervical chiropractors occasionally hold friendly competitions where chiropractors must successfully "adjust" an uncooked egg with just enough force that the headpiece releases but fast and light enough that the shell does not crack. This "Egg Trophy" symbolises how atlas-specific chiropractors train - specific, light and quick enough that we can "adjust" an egg without cracking the shell.