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Blair Upper Cervical Society Past President Explains the Procedure

What is Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care?

Dr. Andy Gibson is an upper cervical chiropractor, who uses the upper cervical approach first pioneered by Dr. Bill Blair. Dr. Gibson was named Blair Chiropractor of the Year in 2013.

Never heard of upper cervical chiropractic before? You’re not alone

This may be the first time you’re reading about upper cervical chiropractic care. That’s perfectly alright. Unfortunately, upper cervical is not as well known as it could be. There aren’t very many upper cervical chiropractors in some areas, including in the state of Pennsylvania.

Many people are surprised that the foundations of this technique aren’t really new. Real chiropractic research into the upper cervical spine began in the early 1930s! And it continues through today.

What is upper cervical chiropractic care?

Chiropractic care focuses on the health of the spine and how it affects the overall health of the body.

Chiropractors use many different ways to address spinal misalignment (called vertebral subluxation). Vertebral subluxation causes joints to become fixed, inflamed, and painful. It can also affect the human nervous system.

Upper cervical chiropractors take extra time, training, and care in addressing one specific area of the spine, found at the the top of the neck. Upper cervical is another way of saying “the top of the neck.”

Upper cervical chiropractic care is a powerful way to remove barriers to natural body healing, improve spinal balance, reduce pain, and improve function.


Why Treat the Upper Cervical Spine Differently?

The top of the neck is put together differently than every other area of the spine, which means it should be treated differently:

  • This area of the spine forms a “couple” with the base of the skull (the head)
  • There are no vertebral discs between the base of the skull down to the second neck bone (cervical vertebra)
  • It is a unique joint in the body which allows human beings incredible motion of the the head
  • The area is full of unique nervous system tissue that isn’t found anywhere else in the body
  • In emergency situations, injuries to this area of the spine are the most damaging
  • For these reasons, upper cervical chiropractors take special care in evaluating and adjusting this sensitive area of the spine.

As a doctor of the upper cervical spine Dr. Andy Gibson uses the Blair approach to evaluate, adjust, and correct imbalances at the top of the spine. He is one of only three Blair upper cervical chiropractors located in Pennsylvania.

What Does the Upper Cervical Spine Do?

This area of the spine has an important job:

  • It supports and balances the heavy head while giving us amazing range of motion in our neck
  • Protects important and very important vital areas of our nervous system, called the lower brain stem and the spinal cord
  • Many functions of the body that are controlled or influenced by the lower brain stem include heart rate and rhythm, breathing, hormone balance, sleeping quality, blood flow in and out of the brain, and many others.

One important it has: help control our total body balance.

What Happens After Upper Cervical Misalignment?

  • Body tension and imbalance that you can actually see, if you know what to look for.
    In response to the head being off-center of the body,
  • Head to toe, muscles of the body become unbalanced, leading to unequal pulling on spinal vertebrae and painful “fixations” in the spine
  • There is a twist in the pelvis and hips, creating the appearance of a “short leg” and the spine loses its stable base
  • Unequal weight is carried on each half of the body, leading to joint aches and pains as the body breaks down faster on one side than the other
  • Finally the quality of the blood flow (nutrition) to important nervous system issue in the spinal cord/brain stem is affected, negatively impacting internal organ systems, creating multiple and often confusing symptoms
  • Upper cervical chiropractic is a system of spinal care that balances the spine and nerve system by correcting misalignments at the top of the neck. Chiropractors call those misalignments subluxations.

What makes the Blair Upper Cervical approach so special?

Dr. Bill Blair’s health was saved by an upper cervical correction. He was so appreciative to the science behind balancing the top of the spine that he dedicated the rest of his life to its study after his healing.

And one of Dr. Blair’s top insights was that each half of the body was rarely identically to the other half. Right eye to left eye, right ear to left ear, right foot to left foot, there are slight variations in each.

Examining the human skull and neck Dr. Blair realized these same variations happened at the joints of the neck, especially where the head and neck come together.

After years of research Dr. Blair began to refine a system of measuring and using x-rays to adjust and correct the top of the neck, with a small amount of force, using the unique angle measurements found on the x-ray.

It’s like creating a custom-made correction for your body.


Got something you want to discuss?

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