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Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care in Downtown Toronto

Upper Cervical Adjustment is a little-known spinal procedure that precisely corrects the position of the top vertebra of the spine, the atlas. By correcting the tilt, shift or rotation of this vertebra, the body is able to overcome the effects of or completely eliminate many different conditions.The Atlas is a single, 2oz. doughnut-shaped vertebra at the top of the spine. Trillions of nerve fibres from the brainstem travel through the small opening in the atlas and flow down into the spinal column. Because of the small size of the opening and because of the atlas’ close proximity to the brain stem, if the atlas has moved out of position, even a fraction of a degree, two very serious things can result.

Body Imbalance

When the atlas is out of its proper position, the head moves off centre of the body. This creates body imbalance from head to toe. More weight shifts to one side of the body than another. If the atlas is also rotated out of position it can twist the entire spinal structure, including the pelvis, so that one leg appears shorter than another (see illustration). Not having your atlas corrected to restore body balance is like continuing to drive a car that is misaligned. Over time everything is going to break down. If you keep replacing the tires, and never have the car aligned, you’ll just be wasting your money. The same thing is true for headaches, fibromyalgia, ADD or hundreds of other conditions that have been known to respond well to the Atlas Adjustment health care. If the atlas bone is out of its normal position and causing the problem, taking medication to cover up the symptoms, will never correct the problem. The root cause must be addressed to get a permanent result. There is no substitute for a precise correction of the atlas to its normal position.

Stack of books

By correcting the primary problem in the upper neck, many secondary problems resolve on their own.

Restriction or Distortion of Brain Messagesto Different Parts of the Body

The second serious result of an atlas being out of position is the restriction or distortion of critical messages from the brain to all parts of the body. Every cell, organ or tissue that is not receiving adequate nerve energy and communication from the brain will suffer and degenerate.

Example: Ball your hand into a fist. This represents your head. Extend your index finger as if you are pointing at someone. Your index finger represents your body. Take a rubber band and wrap it tightly around your index finger at the base of the finger where it is attached to your hand. The rubber band represents your atlas, which is wrapped around the spinal cord near the brain stem and has moved out of its proper position. Wait a few minutes.Your entire finger begins to turn white and blue due to the circulation being cut off from your finger. You can massage your finger to restore circulation.You can inject a syringe with pain medication to stop the pain. In severe cases you can cut off the finger to erase the pain. However, only the symptoms of the problem have been addressed, not the cause. The rubber band is the cause.

The same thing is true for an atlas that has moved out of its proper position. It can constrict or distort proper nerve flow from the brain to organs and limbs throughout the body. Your feet may hurt or you may be having kidney problems, but the cause of the those problems may not be in those areas at all, but in your spine where a misaligned atlas is restricting or distorting proper nerve flow to areas throughout the body. If your atlas remains out of position for years, degeneration of organ, muscle and cell tissue results. Over time that could be serious since in many conditions, pain is the last symptom to occur to indicate that a problem exists.

Now, Here’s the Good News…

Repositioning the top vertebra of the spine brings healing.

Here’s how…The repositioning of the atlas vertebra is done by hand using extreme precision, and a mathematical formula. With our specific Upper Cervical Adjustment the  procedure feels like the doctor’s hand is resting just below the ear as the atlas is moved precisely back to its correct position. It is completely “underwhelming” as it is extremely gentle. There is no twisting of the neck. Patients are often surprised how gentle it is, until over a period of time, they feel their body healing. The procedure cures nothing. It simply restores body balance and brain to body communication so that organs, limbs and tissues can resume functioning. The body can now self-heal, as it was designed to. This is why we see many different conditions responding to the same procedure.

However, too many of us wait too long to get our atlas corrected. This is mainly due to ignorance of the vital role the atlas plays in the health of the entire body throughout life. It is becoming increasingly clear that parents should have their children’s atlas examined as soon after birth as possible and have periodic atlas check-ups throughout their lives. Countless problems can be helped and avoided entirely. A correctly positioned atlas is so fundamental to good health that everyone from children to grandparents need to have their atlas examined now.


As a result of restoring body balance and proper communication between different parts of the body and the brainstem.  Upper Cervical Adjustment has often been effective in eliminating or improving to some degree all kinds of health problems. A few of them are:

Arm Pain
Athletic Injuries
Back Pain
Bed Wetting
Bell’s Palsy
Child Development Problems
Chronic Infections
Chronic Fatigue
Chronic Pain
Digestive Problems
Disc Problems
Ear Infections
Epileptic Seizures
Female Disorders
Frequent Colds
Hay Fever
Headaches (all types)
Heart Conditions
Herniated Disc
Hip Pain
High Blood Pressure
Immune System Deficiency
Knee Pain
Learning Disability
Leg Pain
Loss of Sleep
Low Back Pain
Migraine Headaches
Multiple Sclerosis
Muscle Spasms
Neck Pain
Numbness & Tingling
Organ Dysfunction
Post-Polio Syndrome
Ringing in the Ears
Shoulder Pain
Sinus Problems
Sleeping Disorders
Slipped Disc
Sports Injuries
Tight Muscles
TMJ Syndrome
Trigeminal Neuralgia

and countless more…

When the specific Upper Cervical Spinal Correction is made, Body Balance is restored. Stress, tension and pressure from the area below the brain stem are removed. This reactivates the flow of healing messages from the brain to the affected part of the body and immediately, the self-healing process begins. Even if your particular condition is not listed here, it is imperative that you have your atlas examined. Its role in overall health is so crucial; you need to at least rule out the possibility that a misaligned atlas is involved in your condition.

Dr. John Rios is one of only a handful of doctors in Ontario that practices this specific technique.  In his clinic he has performed thousands of Upper Cervical  adjustments on patients from all parts of Canada, the United States and beyond. There is no charge for a consultation and spinal exam.