The basis of NUCCA & QSM3
With the NUCCA correction method, the spinal column remains straight and balanced where the weight of the head is centered over the neck. NUCCA recognizes that imbalances can cause stress, tension and pressure on the entire nervous system, most importantly the brain stem (base of the brain). Since our bodies shuttle millions of electrical and chemical impulses back and forth from the brain to every cell each day, any restriction or distortion of those messages can affect every body function from breathing to digestion to circulation, and have long-term effects if left untreated. The NUCCA chiropractor understands this and works to address alignment issues with the NUCCA technique.
The atlas bone and its significance
The atlas is the top-most vertebra in the spine with a ring-like shape which surrounds the area below the brain stem. The Atlas, along with the Axis, forms the joint connecting the skull and spine and are specialized to allow a greater range of motion than normal vertebrae—the nodding and rotation movements of the head.
When the Atlas bone is misaligned, referred to as the Atlas Subluxation Complex Syndrome (ASC), pressure is placed on the brain stem causing far-reaching neurological effects. The position of the Atlas is critical to the proper function of the nervous system.
What is the nervous system?
The nervous system is the control system that regulates and orchestrates every function within the body. It is made up of the brain, brainstem, spinal cord and nerves that go to all tissues, muscles, and organs throughout the body.
It’s four primary functions are:
- The control and regulation all vital body functions (ie. circulation, breathing, digestions, etc.)
- Activation of the muscles allowing us to move
- Allows us to sense, perceive and feel
- Relates us to the world outside (how we learn, experience and behave, etc.)
The Atlas and the nervous system
Because there are no strong inter-vertebral discs discs above or below the Atlas, it is the weakest link—it is more likely to become misaligned than other vertebrae in the body. Think of the Atlas as the top link in a chain. When it becomes mis-aligned, the rest of the chains (or spine) follow suit.
What does this mean for me?
When a person has an Atlas bone misalignment, several things may happen.
Their head may tilt or rotate, sometimes subtly or obviously. When the brain stem is under pressure, the muscles on one side will contract causing the shoulder to lift on one side, and in further efforts to maintain balance, the opposite hip will drop, and one leg will appear to be short.
The following is a list of noticeable physical effects:
- Shorter range of motion
- Uneven wear and tear on muscles and joints (ie, hips and knees) and greater likelihood of stress and injury over time
- Decreased energy utilization
- Loss of complete coordination
- Many other effects go unseen.
How does the Atlas become misaligned?
Accidents and injuries throughout one’s life can create or contribute to a misalignment. The injury can occur as early as the birthing process, during one’s early developmental stages, from a sports injury, car accident, or something as simple as sleeping in an awkward position. Even a minor spinal trauma will affect the nervous system and interfere with normal growth and healthy function. Accumulative repetitive stress injuries occur throughout one’s life, and left uncorrected, these small traumas can have far-reaching effects.
The recent study quoted above shows that adjusting the subluxated spine changes brain function, such as improvements in sensorimotor function relevant to falls-prevention; better joint-position sense in both the upper limb and the lower limb; improved muscle strength in lower limb muscles; better pelvic floor control; and better ability to carry out mental rotation of objects.
Why is body balance so important?
Extensive research and clinical studies show that improved body balance effectively reduces tension throughout the body, helping to relieve pain and stress, and enhance physical performance. Better balance is critical for performance and optimum health. Without body balance, normal body motion becomes abnormal, and places uneven wear and tear on bones and joints, making them more likely to be injured.
What are the lasting effects of NUCCA care?
Because of the relationship between the Atlas, the whole spine, and the function of the nervous system, NUCCA chiropractic has been known to help people with many different kinds health complaints.
While NUCCA isn’t a treatment for any one condition, new body balance will help with proper nerve function, and in turn, many conditions are known to improve in association with NUCCA care.