Recently through a series of seemingly unrelated events, life has given me yet another key puzzle in my quest to attain perfect cranial symmetry.
Basically, out of a conversation I was having with someone discussing about this subject, the topic of getting a cervical xray came up to make sure my neck spine was in order, because this area could impede on my self-NCR and face pulling efforts. So I scheduled an X-ray with my home doctor, but I kept researching about the subject online.
What I came to find was yet another astounding discovery about a key bone in our body that affects our entire posture and body’s balance mechanism. This is the bone called the Atlas, located at the top of the spine, and at the base of the skull. It is where the skull sits on top of the spine. Atlas was a greek myth figure that would hold the entire world on his shoulders. Well similar to that, our Atlas bone holds our entire skull on top of it, but since it is a freely moving bone, in many cases it is knocked out of alignment from the ideal. This has a cascading effect on our entire spine because now the spine distorts to compensate for our Atlas that is off alignment.
This begins to make a lot of sense as one studies this sort of stuff. Anyways what seal the deal for me, as to the importance of this bone, is few months ago I was researching about Dr. Amir (the creator of face pulling) and found a forum thread about him. And I remember reading about a physical therapy that he was doing called AtlasBalance, at the time I didn’t give much thought to it because I was doing self-NCR and I thought I was gaining the same benefits that he was talking about with self-NCR alone.
Now after researching about this physical therapy technique that targets the Atlas, I may have missed a key piece of the puzzle few months ago. A distorted skull can affect the entire spine, but a distorted spine, specifically the Atlas, can distort the whole spine as well as the skull that sits on top of it.
I am starting to learn that both the skull and the spine affect each other. Not one way or the other. NCR alone can not resolve all of the asymmetry issues in the body like the NCR ppl like to claim it can.
I am beginning to see that traumas to the spine can eventually wreak it’s effects on the shape of the skull as well. If atlas is knocked off balance, it will not be able to hold up the head properly, if the head is not balanced, the entire body will try it’s best to at least level the eyes and the head as much as possible so one is able to still function. The body does this by contorting different muscles that are normally used for movement functions, and the body will contort the bone structure as well. Maybe it will cause one leg to be shorter, so it can balance the head. However what will happen over time is that the head will begin to contort its shape because it is not being held up symmetrically by the body. Everything is connected by the body’s connective tissues. A whole slew of problems will eventually begin to surface just from one single vertebrae in the spine.
And out of all of the bones we have in the spine, which one is the most important to target? The Atlas!
Similar to how the sphenoid is the most important out of the entire skull, to target when re-establishing cranial symmetry.
Here are some anecdotal, quotes taken from the forum posts of Dr. Amir’s himself!
“To understand this concept one has to accept that our bodies are as finely tuned as a finely made clock. If anything goes even slightly wrong with the mechanism of the clock it will not give the correct time. Another analogy I often quote is a motor car where the tyres, if not perfectly balanced, will eventually show wear on one edge needing replacement.
Our bodies are exactly the same. A slight asymmetry and eventually the damage starts causing pain somewhere in the body.”
“A visit to the Chiro or an osteopath will nearly always show that one leg is clinically shorter than the other. Correcting the Atlas immediately and permanently corrects the short leg. This would abate hip pains, sciatic nerve pains, numbness etc for a majority of the patients.”
“I want you to imagine a perfectly shaped head for example that belonging to one of the great athletes like Usain Bolt or Mark Spitzer (a swimming legend). If such a head was balanced on a spike it would have to sit on a certain place on the spike to balance. If we now go and extract just one small tooth out of the patients mouth that head is not going to balance anymore and will need to be repositioned on the spike.
In life it is not a spike but our neck vertebrae which support the head. These vertebrae will have to compensate to balance the head. They compensate by realigning as best as they can. In other words they rotate and distort. Since the damage to the mouth is permanent they have to remain distorted permanently often affecting the nerves that emanate from the spine.”
“The body is built to gain symmetry all the time. The brain and other reflex mechanisms built into our neurology do not like the vertebral misalignment and contract various muscles to straighten the vertebrae and the head. Since the damage is permanent the messages to the muscles to contract are permanent. Fatigue and pain sets in. Over a long period the discs bulge, spurs grow and a whole host of problems like chronic neck pain and a frozen shoulder etc. develop.
The Atlas vertebrae appears to be misaligned in a majority of patients and its asymmetry appears to also depend/cause the asymmetry of the teeth and jaws. In other words they are interdependent. Correcting the teeth helps correct the Atlas and correcting the Atlas improves the jaw. The required change in the jaw is often much greater and needs long term treatment while the Atlas is corrected in one short visit.” -Dr. Amir
It is amazing to read Dr. Amir’s insights. And it is also incredible to hear from him that the human body is built to gain symmetry all the time. It just needs the right kind of guidance, and the body seem to continue to move towards perfect symmetry. Like a flower that is always reaching towards the sun.
I have a consultation with Atlas balancing chiropractor next week. Where I will be getting different physical examinations and X-rays. It is going to be an interesting week.