Atlas Treatment Brisbane

Posted in Chiropractic on Jun 28, 2021

If you are like most people who learn about the “Atlas Treatment,” you’ve been dealing with some type of challenging health condition for a long time. You’ve been to every type of medical specialist and healthcare practitioner you know, have had tons of tests that all say that things are essentially “normal,” but nothing seems to help.

So then you go onto the internet forums and someone (usually in the USA) says something about having an “Atlas Treatment” or seeing something called a NUCCA, Atlas Orthogonal, or Blair upper cervical chiropractor.

And now, here you are!

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So if you’re looking for information about the Atlas Treatment in Brisbane, you are in the right place.

Why is the Atlas Treatment Brisbane so important?

The atlas is another name for the C1 or top vertebra in the neck. This bone supports the weight of your skill and protects your brainstem, which is the master control centre for every function in your body. It is also the gateway that influences blood flow to, from, and within your brain. 

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The atlas provides the most amount of movement of any vertebra in your spine. It is what accounts for nearly 50% of your total head movement. The trade-off is that it is also the “weak link in the chain” when it comes to your spinal health. 

So if there is ever a problem with the atlas, it can contribute to a number of health issues:


  • Brain fog
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Pressure in the back of the skull
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Tingling in the hands or legs (including symptoms that mimic carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica)
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Neuralgia (including Trigeminal Neuralgia and Suboccipital Neuralgia)
  • Fibromyalgia 


Typically, the people who search for Atlas Treatment in Brisbane experience at least one of these symptoms but have not experienced significant relief elsewhere. It is because when it comes to correcting issues with the atlas, a different approach is often needed.

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What causes an Atlas problem?

Physical injuries.

Accidents fall, slips, and so forth. Injuries happen in different levels of severity. On one end, there are injuries that break bones and cause dislocations. On the other end, there are injuries that only cause a little bit of bruising or soreness.

When it comes to the atlas, we are talking about a type of injury that happens in between these levels that happens on the inside. It’s the type of injury where you do take a substantial “whack,” but where you also seem to be able to shake it off:


  • A car accident but where you’re able to walk away and told that “you’re fine” even though the car is a write-off
  • A sports injury where you may or may not have suffered a concussion but thought that everything was okay afterward
  • A hard fall or trip where you felt sore afterward, but then completely forgot about it

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Sometimes, these types of injuries can actually occur years or even decades before the onset of symptoms. Why? It is because of compound interest.

Your body is designed to compensate for layers of physical stress and injury. However, it can only compensate for so long until old injuries come back to bite us. When this happens, symptoms can seem to come out of the blue, and because everyone focuses on new events, they don’t realise that the true nature of the injury is from something long ago.

The price of compound interest doesn’t usually add up for a long time. But when it does, it is often quite a big deal. And that’s how and why so many of these problems that are associated with the atlas and often respond well with Atlas Treatment happen.

What is the Atlas Treatment?

Okay, when people are looking for “Atlas Treatment Brisbane,” there may be a few things that come up. The reason is that there more than one type of “atlas treatment,” and they all get lumped into one category even though they are remarkably different.

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So I want to make sure that you get the right type of information so that you know what you’re getting if you’re looking for the Atlas Treatment in Brisbane. 

There are many different specialists and healthcare practitioners who focus on the atlas. I will include unregistered therapists, massage therapists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors in this list.

First, there are a series of people branded as “atlas therapists” who perform different treatments for the upper neck, making statements such as “one treatment can change your life” and even implying that all you may ever need is a single treatment to fix everything.

In my 15 years of experience, I can tell you that this is an admirable target BUT frequently not a realistic one because many people have complex issues! The dynamics involved with the atlas are way more involved than that, and I personally would not feel comfortable with that.

Massage therapists and physiotherapists often focus on the muscles of the atlas and upper neck, which often provides a lot of relief for people. Included here is an approach known as the “Watson Technique” which is actually a form of atlas treatment developed in Brisbane.

The idea of Watson's Therapy is to facilitate the release of the muscles that support the atlas, restore its normal movement and thus alleviate pressure it would be placed on the nerves in the upper neck. 

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Again, massage, physiotherapy, and the Watson Technique work exceptionally well for many people in releasing the muscle tension through the upper neck. For other people, not as well, and that may frequently be because there is some other underlying issue causing the muscles that Combinations of gentle mobilisation or manipulation are common, either manually or using instruments. These methods work well for some, but also not for others. Here, we often find that the underlying issue has to do with the direction of the procedure. In other words, right area but the wrong direction.

That ultimately is what brings us to the Atlas Treatment approach employed by an Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractor, which combines the best of all worlds.

Upper Cervical Chiropractor Brisbane

An upper cervical specific practitioner is a chiropractic doctor, who has completed advanced certification beyond their standard university degree. They are well versed in the biomechanics, muscles, and neurology of this area to know how all of the moving pieces affect each other.

In other words, an upper cervical chiropractor is someone who truly understands and focuses 100% on this vital area of the body.

There are actually many different approaches within upper cervical chiropractic, the most common being Atlas Orthogonal, NUCCA, and the Blair techniques.

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  • Atlas Orthogonal is an approach that uses a stylus instrument to make a light “tap” and vibration on the side of the atlas. 
  • NUCCA (stands for National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) is an approach that is very similar but is performed by hand without vibration.
  • Blair (named for its founder, Dr. William Blair) is an approach that uses a light” tap” using the hand and vibration produced with a specialised table.

Globally, there are estimated to be only 2-4% of chiropractors who use these precise approaches with atlas treatment.

In Australia, that number is less than 1%. Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, the principal of Atlas Health Australia located in North Lakes Brisbane is an upper cervical chiropractic doctor who has studied all three of these atlas treatment methods (and more) so that he is able to offer a wide variety of options for people who need care.

His primary approach is the Blair technique, which he has found is the most accurate in terms of getting the right diagnosis, because getting the right diagnosis means getting better results faster and with less treatment.

Atlas Treatment in Brisbane Procedure

The Atlas Treatment procedure that we use with the Blair technique first involves taking your health history and performing a few precise physical and neurological exams that help us to identify areas of stress in your body. 

If we find these issues are related to a problem with your upper neck, we have specialised 3D diagnostic imaging equipment on site that allows us to see the exact location, direction, and degree of any problems with the alignment of not only your atlas but also the C2, C3, C4 vertebrae in your neck, which we find are commonly also involved with neck health issues.

So not only do we pay particular attention to the atlas, but we consider your neck as a whole and how it impacts the health of your brain and entire body so that we can get the best possible health outcomes for you.

With this information, we make an individualised care recommendation to help you reach your goals. No two people are exactly the same, and so we want to be sure that everything that we do with your atlas treatment protocols reflects that.

We hope that you have found this article valuable. If you would like more information, we are happy to offer a 15-minute complementary phone consultation with Dr. Hannah so that you can ask your questions and decide if atlas treatment may be right for you in Brisbane.

Call us at 07 3188 9329, or click the Contact Us link on this page, and we will reply to your email as soon as possible.

It is our privilege to assist you, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Atlas Health Australia - Precision Atlas Treatment Care for Brisbane

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