Atlasprofilax: A potentially dangerous procedure.

Imitation as a form a flattery.

Two weekends ago, I had a booth at a health and wellness expo and I had a chance to observe a practitioner of a new form of atlas work called Atlasprofilax. Initially I was curious about what he was doing, I’m always open to learning new things.  But now have decided that this is a potentially dangerous procedure and do not recommend people receive it. Here are my reasons:

  •  His literature states that the atlas moves out of alignment the same way in every person. This is not true!  In the thousands of x-rays that I have taken, I can demonstrate that each misalignment is unique and individual to each person.  This is backed up by decades of research by NUCCA and other upper cervical chiropractic procedures. To make this worse:
  • They use an thrusting instrument on the upper neck, delivering multiple hard thrusts. If they are trying to move a person’s atlas in a certain direction, only a percentage of their clients will have their atlases misaligned in the direction they they think it is. They could be moving the atlas in the wrong direction.
  • Then they label any adverse reaction as a healing crisis. A healing crisis can
    occur when someone retraces an old injury and may feel pain and
    discomfort. A health crisis is when you have pain and problems from a
    new injury or an aggravation of an old one. It takes a qualified health
    practitioner to be able to listen, do an accurate and objective analysis
    (that includes a follow up visit) to determine if a person is having a
    health or healing crisis. Unfortunately, these lay people are using range of motion and palpation to fool themselves into thinking that they are realigning everyone.
  • They don’t realign everyone. I was only able to asses three people that had received this procedure. All three were showing an atlas misalignment with stress on their nervous systems. I regularly screen individuals that do not have an atlas misalignment. These three were not one of them.
  • They only see people one time. This practitioner and others travel to different towns, manipulate people’s atlases and then leave. The one that was here was from Los Angeles and seems to be making a circuit around the country.

Before I get a bunch of email, let me clarify. I know that they are helping some people (they are dealing with the atlas of course!), but I am giving my professional opinion on why this procedure could be dangerous. If you want to get your atlas realigned, go to one of the many excellent upper cervical chiropractic doctors around the country.

In my office, I take upper cervical x-rays before the first adjustment, as well as after to make sure that the correction is good. I also to regular follow up visits to make sure that people are doing well. Unfortunately, I don’t always get it right the first time, but I as I improve this happens less. Some of my patients that have had the most amazing results were are ones that I didn’t get right the first time. I followed up, listed, made the appropriate “adjustments”, and they did well. That is why we call this practice.

~Dr. Michael

Update 3-2-2014

I’ve received emails and comments from people all over the world about Atlasprofilax, Atlantotec and Atlas Evolution since I first published this article. Many people have told me the benefits that they’ve received from these procedures. However, I’ve had numerous people contact me both on this site and privately about being injured by it. It wasn’t just by one rogue practitioner, it was by several different practitioners. I stand by my comments that there can be a serious downside with the force that they use and directing it into the upper cervical area. There are some upper cervical chiropractic procedures that use lots of force, but they at least take x-rays that minimize the chance of problems. Personally, I don’t even like that amount of force and use significantly less in my practice.

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About Dr. Michael Polsinelli, DC

I really enjoy my work. It is a combination of listening, analyzing, and the skill of performing my craft. I love the expression on my patients faces when I puzzle out a long standing problem of theirs, or when their pain leaves after gently adjusting them. Read more about me

68 comments:

  1. You will happy to know that the AtlasPROfilax practitioner you are refering to has had his certification revoked and is no longer practicing AtlasPROfilax but an offshout he calls atlasreveloution.
    Some of your statments regarding atlasprofilax are not acurate,not your fault.
    First of all no one has ever been hurt or gotten worse from the treatment.
    AtlasPROfilax is NOT an adjustment or realignment. It is a procedure that releases the muscles and other tissues around the atlas which frees it, and contact with the atlas does not occure.You are correct that some of the terminology is incorrect and is in need of revision, as some of the truth is lost in translation.

  2. I will confirm that the Ranan Shahar had his certification revoked. However, when I went to the international website, the information stated that they were resetting the atlas dislocation. I think because of legal issues they are remaking their English website with different wording. Other languages still have the information. Previous versions of their website can be found using the wayback machine at http://web.archive.org/.

    I stand by my comments that the force of the instrument used is dangerous, and that anyone interested in getting their atlas corrected should go to an upper cervical chiropractor who will take proper x-rays and use a much gentler procedure (especially with the Grostic/NUCCA/Atlas Orthogonal/Orthospinology techniques).

  3. BEWARE OF ATLASPROFILAX IT RUINED MY LIFE

    Before my atlas was manipulated in January 2004 the problems I had were ulnar nerve pain in my right arm over 10 years and the odd headache. Apart from that I was healthy.
    2008: List of symptoms over the last 4 years since my atlas (C1 vertebrae in neck) was treated by a supposed “recognized” Atlasprofilax person in Switzerland

    The symptoms didn’t start manifesting until nearly one month after the atlas correction. Because the first symptoms were stomach related, (cramps, nausea) I did not find out for a year!!!! I thought that I was dying at one point as no doctor could figure out why I was so ill. By chance I found out that it could be because of the atlas being manipulated.

    The symptoms come and go but some, like nausea, became less severe once the atlas was manipulated a second time 3 years ago by a second atlasprofilax practionner. We’d complained to the person who runs the website: they said the first person had done it incorrectly! Sometimes it will be two years that I have not had a particular symptom then it will come back all of a sudden. Every day I have had one or another of the symptoms listed below:

    Severe weight loss (55 kilos to 49 in two weeks) but only in first year, as soon as atlas was adjusted for second time the nausea lessened and I put the weight back on. I am 58 kilos now and I am 1.77m ( 5 foot 10) tall
    Ulnar and median nerve pain in arm (numbness and pain)
    Shoulder pain
    Sciatica
    Involuntary neck spasms (after this happens feel like I have been hit on the back of neck, feel ill for about an hour)
    Vertigo
    Headaches
    Had MRI of neck – results fine (slight arthritis but not unusual)
    Lower-, middle- and upper-back pain
    Rib cage pressure
    Nausea
    Abdomen cramps (more in back) Had ultra sound, blood tests, internal organs all fine
    Acid (but PH test shows acid is normal) Had two endoscopies – no signs of ulcer, etc. Had tests for Heliobacter Pylori, gluten and lactose allergy – all fine. Also had Thyroid checked – fine.
    Burning tongue
    Pressure in throat
    Saliva tasting strange
    Tonsil stones produced like crazy for about a year then stopped.
    Irregular periods (always were regular before)
    Neuralgia
    Jaw pain
    Knee pain
    Ankle problems
    Tibia went out of place for no reason and had to have it corrected by osteopath
    Hip and groin pain, sciatica
    Recently after gentle osteo treatment had hot flushes for the first time – I’m 39 years of age

    I react severely to any kind of treatment be it massage (gives me indigestion and nausea) or gentle osteopathy which makes a lot of the symptoms explode.
    I had very gentle osteopathy in Jan 2008 after not having any kind of treatment for over two years for fear of making things worse. After that, I had abdominal cramps, diarrhea, neuralgia, jaw pain, hot flushes, uncontrollable crying, nausea, back pain, weight loss, and generally felt awful and had to stay in bed.
    Had cranio-sacral osteopathy (just sacrum treated for 10 mins) and even that made me react but not as severely as gentle osteopathy.
    Today (Beginning 2008) symptoms are much less severe but they tend to have 2 or 3 month cycles: Two months of arm pain then my body will have some kind of crisis ( severe pain in back or neck etc) then the arm pain will stop and I will have problems with my throat ( pressure, ball in throat, burny tongue etc) and so on and so on It seems to bounce between the ulnar/ median nerve, the vagus nerve and the glossopharngyal nerve.I also have had a lot of clicking and snapping in my neck over the last year.

    SEPTEMBER 2009:
    Treated by NUCCA specialist in July 2008 in Michigan USA, 95% of my symptoms disappeared within 1-4 weeks of treatment. I still have lingering weaknesses in my shoulder and arm but all the other strange symptoms brought on by going to Atlasprofilax have completely disappeared and I am back to my normal self. I lose my adjustment from time to time but the quality of my life is amazing compared to when I was ill for 4 years after having atlasprofilax.
    My advice is to stay well away from these people.

  4. Hello I’m an AO practicing doctor,

    The first time I heard about AtlasProFilax I was surprised.
    Later, when I researched about it I got scared.

    First of all: anyone in the world can become an AtlasProf (if you pay the money of course). No studies required, no exams, no knowledge of the human body, no state exams, no university, no school degrees required…

    Second: they say they discovered the Atlas therapy. We all know Dr. BJ Palmer and Dr. Wernsing were the first ones in the history of medicine and manual therapy to talk about atlas misalignment, detection and correction. The just copied and pasted the principles and created a freaky thing called “atlasprofilax”.

    Third: they use crazy statements like “the atlas subluxation causes all diseases” or “we can reposition the atlas in 1 visit” or “the styloid process hold the atlas in place”, etc. Statements like those prove they don’t know anything about anatomy, physiology, clinical practice and make me thing about the old “charlatans” of the last century.

    Fourth: how are they going to replace the atlas if they don’t use any procedure to see the actual position of the atlas? They don’t use any diagnosis to know the exact position of the atlas. In that case…how can they replace it ???

    Fifth: I have many patients that come to my office after the Prof people had ruined their lifes and created a bunch of health problems the patients didn’t have before. But to avoid legal problems the Prof people make sign an authorization to their patients that in case something wrong happens…the Prof people is not responsible for it !! Sounds crazy to me!!!! What about you?

    Can the PROF people PROVE their procedure?

    And the problem doesn’t stop here…many other atlas “techniques” are starting to proliferate…check on AtlantoTech…
    Watch out people! The atlas is not something to play with!
    Let’s be a bit serious and honest about people’s health.

  5. I would like to comment on the atlasprofilax procedure.

    First, I would like to say chiropractors have been a staple in my life for some time. I have had many x-rays and adjustments. My x-rays did confirm my atlas being way out of wack. I have tried over 5 different chiropractors through the years. Many dollars and treatments involving 2-3 times a week adjustments. With no stability in my neck. Much pain and tension. Trouble sleeping and various left eye issues(vision and dryness) that changed from needing glasses to not needing glasses to back to needing glasses. Recently, I was in one of my worst times with my vision poblems and neck pain. I had chiro treatments during all of this time with no help. I had the atlaspofilax done and instantly my vision improved as I walked out the door. I had it done two months ago..with continued improvement in vision and neck stability and reduced pain and discomfort. I have regular chiro appointments and my current chiropractor commented how I finally have my head on straight and aligned and how it is stabalizing. I did not mention why this is so to him. I took the confirmation and continue to enjoy my new vision and neck. I give thanks and only wish to share my good experience. The adjustment was less trauma then a chiro visit. The tool was gentle and instantly I my range of motion increased. I am sad to hear the bad stories for it has helped me so very much. I wish only great health and comfort to all.

    JON

  6. Jon,

    Perhaps you can tell us who your atlasprofilax practitioner was since that person may be competent. That other person’s horrible experience for 4 years is of concern to me.

  7. I just wanted to add a quick note on my experience with this procedure. I had this procedure done because of some serious issues in my body. I have had L5-S1 degenerative, bad knees, one leg shorter, hips to the point of pain anytime I’m on my feet, etc… I was in really bad shape. After this procedure, the benefits just popped up everywhere in my body. After 17 years of suffering, I’m almost completely healed from my prior misalignment. I have been doing doctors, chiro, acupuncture, massage, everything under the sun for 17 years, and it is all over now thanks to this alignment from atlas profilax.

    I understand skepticism, but I’m telling you right now that this treatment not only changed my life, but improved it so drastically that I literally have a new lease on life. It is the most amazing feeling to feel free of pain and light on my feet! Better vision, added mental clarity, physical issues all solved in one quick swoop… It is literally the best thing that’s ever happened to me!

    Sincerely,
    Brandon

  8. I am interested to read this as I had this treatment 4 years ago by a Atlas Profilax practitioner, but, that practitioner had no previous experience of working with clients in the health area. It was following the treatment that I got a back injury suddenly one day, without doing anything much – essentially my sacrum got jammed downwards and it has never recovered despite ££ K with therapists. The practitioner really didn’t want to know and also had no experience of dealing with my problem, though she did offer me some Scenar treatment in the short term. I intuitively feel that the AP treatment somehow damaged my alignment and I should never have been offered the AP in the first place without her collaborating with my osteopath (who has now left the UK unfortunately). I was not to know this but she should have done. I had tricky alignment in the first place.

    I’ve reached a dead-end with this now unless you can suggest something. Thanks for listening.

  9. Brandon, I’m glad you are doing well. Addressing an atlas misalignment can have a profound affect on our health. I believe that for most people an upper cervical chiropractor is going to be consistently better at addressing the problem without the side affects.

  10. I’m living in Australia and had the Atlas Profilax treatment about 2 years ago. I suffer from various conditions but in summary my main problems are vertigo and fibromyalgia. Both of which can be caused from a misaligned atlas bone. I’ve had head forward type posture all of my life. After having the treatment, which seemed fairly non invasive and gentle enough. I didn’t notice a huge change but there did seem to be some improvement in my ability to turn my neck around. The most noticable thing was when I was driving and I could turn my neck to look backwards in both directions without any pain. It was interesting how it swiveled more easily than usual. My father then also had the treatment about 2 weeks after I had mine. He also reported a similar effect of being able to move his neck better. Both of us were a little sceptical and wondered if it wasn’t just another scam treatment but to this day we couldn’t really say for sure because we both seemed to have some improvment. Not a huge change though that some people seem to report. I still have vertigo and fibromyalgia. I still have neck pain but I have to say that it seems that very gradually I’m straightening up a bit.
    Just my two cents worth.
    Cheers

  11. I’m glad you haven’t had a bad experience as others have. You may want to try upper cervical chiropractic which I believe would be much safer. Also, you may want to try the Epley maneuver for the dizziness.

  12. My Wife had this procedure done. She had a whiplash injury from 17 years back. She had not been able to work because of the pain and had basically been in pain almost every day since her injury. After the Atlasprofilax procedure she was pain free basically the very same day. Can’t say its for everyone but if you have an old Whiplash injury I would check this out.

  13. The excellent healer I have used for 40 years, had the AtlasProfilax treatment done, and it created many severe disturbances in her body. After 6 years she still suffered some of the worst symptoms–neck and back related.
    Seems like it works sometimes for some people, but with such a radical adjustment as Atlas Profilax, to have it done is like playing Russian roulette.

  14. I had the Atlas Profilax treatment about 3 years ago in Blackpool. The lady who administered the treatment was off-hand and gave the impression that I was ‘taking up her time’ for want of a better description. The treatment at that time was £160.00 with a follow-up the next day. When we turned up the next day we were met at the door with this look of puzzlement and ‘what did we want’. The follow-up was done very begrudgingly. This cost over £300 with travel and accommodation and did not a scrap of good. I would certainly not recommend it.

  15. My name is Tatiana. I’ve taken this procedure in Moscow, Russia. And this is my opinion: those, who practises AtlasProfilax – are deceivers and charlatans. Some impressionable People , who tests weakness under peredsilny persons and suggestions are probably inclined to think that in this theory there is a clever sense. If they will be helped by self-deception – I’ll be very glad. But I am sure that already told – “experts” AtlasProfilax – deceivers and charlatans.

  16. Just to add to some of the other comments on here, I had mine done here in Australia in May 2011. I was out of alignment generally in my body, however within a day or 2 of having the procedure done I started getting some really uncomfortable sensations in my neck (I had never had a day of neck pain in my life!). When I went back for my follow up appointment the practitioner said that it was nothing to worry about and it was just part of the process and it would be fine very soon. About a year later I contacted and went and saw another Atlasprofilax practitioner and he couldn’t explain why I was having this pain and said that it wasn’t normal.

    3 years later I still have daily pain in my neck (the muscles feel very restricted and tight), and if I move my head side to side I have pinching feeling happening and I start to get a dull uncomfortable pain in my neck by the end of the day.

    I have seen 2 different Osteopaths and a chiropractor during that time and have had no relief.

    In my opinion avoid this procedure at all costs as when I was discussing what happened with my Chiro he was shocked that they complete the procedure without even looking at any X-rays or other type of scan to determine whether it’s in fact out of alignment and how they should best treat it.

  17. I am scheduled to have this treatment performed by a Dr. Vladamir Tomljenovic, California. I have been told that the treatment is electrical stimulation of the neck muscles so that they relax and allow the atlas to properly realign itself. Please elt me know if this doctor performed the procedure for you, if you experienced any adverse reactions and if you were required to sign a statement that absolves him of all liability prior to treatment. I have never had my neck x-rayed and therefore have to take his word on my atlas being misaligned.

  18. Under his linked in page, he states that his education is at The Ackermann College in Sweden. He states that he has a doctorate and implies that it is in Chiropractic from the Ackermann College. According to Ackermann’s website, the highest “diploma” is a Master of Chiropractic (non-academic) and “Certificate of Honour”. When I go to the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners, I cannot find his name or license. While some have done well with atlasprofilax, some people have been seriously injured. I would stick to an upper cervical chiropractor with a license in good standing in your area. If he does not have a license, then he does not have any insurance that most chiropractors carry.

  19. In responese to Dr Michaels post. If a practioner performs the Atlas adjustment using hard thrusts, then they are not doing it properly.
    I had my Atlas adjusted about a month ago & I am going back for a check up next month. I had it done in Edmonton Alberta & a gentleman from BC came to our city, as no one practises it here.
    I have to tell you that I am a firm believer of massages & chiropractors. I go to both of them monthly. However, I have had a pulling tension on the right side of my neck and the top of my right shoulder, for years, & my monthly visits by neither one of these professionals/treatments, have cured this problem. I still continue to go to them, but, this Atlas treatment has done the trick. And, yes, I was skeptical before I had it done, but, I am now tension free in my neck and shoulder.
    I have also had problems sleeping, in regards to a different problem. I sleep on my right side, but, I have not been able to do that for the last 2 years, as my arm hurt to lay on it. And again, monthly massages & chiropractor visits have not helped, but, with my Atlas adjustment, my arm pain has disappeared & I am back sleeping on my right side. Yippee!!!!

  20. john david, did you have the treatment by vladimir tomjlevenic? i am considering having it done after 30 yrs of chiro, acupuncture and injections etc. nothing has worked. it is most definitely my atlas causing the problem. i am most interested in your experience. thanks

  21. I had a number of rear end accidents and a bad car accident in 1990 that pushed in my collar bone and caused me intense headaches and neck pain, back pain, etc.

    I saw chiropractor for first few years and although he helped, the pain would come back in a day or two so I had to go few times a week for years.

    I stopped that and tried massage which I found had more lasting effects and was less aggressive which I liked.

    I’ve now been going to an osteopath weekly for half a year and I’ve had more dramatic results than anything I’ve ever had in my entire life.

    The treatments are the most gentle I’ve ever had and yet I am virtually pain free with small episodes. I used a special neck support pillow on advice of the chiro) and it measured 5-6 inches high.

    Since seeing the osteo I use one that is less than 1 inch and I slightly bunch it for support under my neck.

    My collar bone and my spine are aligned, I think for the first time in my life. My collar bone was pushed down by a few inches on one side and now it lines up!

    After over a dozen years needing ear plugs to sleep, I can sleep without them and fall back asleep even after being startled awake by loud sounds; and as a life long insomniac, I am now experiencing deeper, more regular sleep than I ever have before.

    I have felt bliss after appointments that will last for hours – feelings of being thankful to be alive for the first time in my entire life! I have so much more energy now that I am not drained by constant pain.

    I highly recommend trying an osteopath for neck and back issues, but also for ANY issues as it has helped me recover from extreme childhood trauma releasing painful memories during treatments, my breathing is better, my digestion is better, all of my body functions feel better and are improving constantly.

    In half a year of treatments I’ve only had a handful of times wherein I had pain after treatment and generally, it is only retracing going on – which is when the body revisits the trauma as it releases it – and it last normally for 3 days maximum.

    I’ve also had it bring up a lot of old patterns of being (emotionally, etc) but again, it is temporary and once released, it is gone for good so the work is well worth it. Unlike other treatments I tried for trauma, and other health issues where I had to take medication, etc… the osteopath treatments feel permanent and there is constant progress.

    I am such a believer that were I rich, I would run out and buy all of my loved ones a treatment – as that is what a huge gift and life changing experience it has been for me.

    The best part is how gentle these treatments are. How deeply relaxing. How I don’t feel dependant. I feel stronger and better and that I have a good solid foundation now from which I can continue healing. Please seriously consider trying an osteopath.

  22. I had the this procedure done about a yr ago with Vladamir in CA and I’ve taken several of my friends and family to have it done since then. Everyone has reported positive results. My 63yr old grandmother had it done as well and I still notice improvements in her daily movements. I personally suffered from back pain from an old injury and that annoying pain was gone within 42 hrs after the procedure. I still recommend this procedure to colleagues. It’s tough to know what went wrong with the other procedures but mine was very successful!

  23. Hi! I have spent the day researching on treatment/ cures for bent back, buldging disc and tilted hip and came across atlastech which sounds like the same mentioned above.
    There is something I would like to share with you to help with your health issues that I noticed hasn’t been mentioned at all and that is that the atlas realignment will cause an array of health problems if the jaw is not aldo aligned. This would mean a visit to a dentist who specializes in the alignment of jaw and I affect the atlas. I would love to hear back from anyone who has had or will get their jaws aligned and would be greatly interested to hear about the results. The website claims no risk (alarm bells ringing) and claim to discuss the level of success with the patient if it’s found that the patient needs to align their jaw, they also state a spinal ct scan is necessary to determine the position of the atlas. Hopefully this helps

  24. Hi Dianna,

    I don’t see where they say that they use a CT scan to determine the position of the atlas. On the English site, they are not using CT or X-rays to determine position of the Atlas. The pictures look very similar to Atlasprofilax. I think that atlantotec it is an offshoot of it.

  25. About 5 years ago, Ranan Shahar worked on myself and quite a few of my friends. Sometimes the results were miraculous. Sometimes only so-so. For myself, my hearing improved immediately. It is has been improving ever since. For my daughter, her eyesight improved immediately. (We didn’t expect this.) For my husband, he said that if anything, he thought his neck was a little worse. Ranan got rid of a friend’s sciatica pain. No more need for a cane or trips to the hospital. Ranan got rid of the dizziness of another friend. Ranan’s treatment greatly improved the movement in my sister’s neck such that she could stop going to the chiropractor every week. A friend threw her neck out and had this big lump at the back of her neck near the atlas. She was in a lot of pain for months before she told me. Ranan’s treatment fixed that. A friend with fibromyalgia said it didn’t help the fibromyalgia, but at least she could move her neck better. A friend with back pain said that it didn’t help his back pain, but at least he could move his neck better. An acquaintance had a lot of trouble with his neck. He was very grateful after Ranan worked on him. Everyone only had one treatment.

  26. I had AtlasPROfilax and Atlantotec done last year because I have symptoms of fibromyalgia and cfs. First 2-3 days were like a miracle , my posture improved , my digestion improved and every muscle in my body were relaxed , but all this lasted just one week, then i got a lot worse, then desperately I tried Atlantotec too, after that I was bedridden at 20 yo, my body began to function a lot worse than before AtlasPROfilax and Atlantotec.
    Fortunately I am learning Alexander Technique and my symptoms got better and I am still improving week by week.
    I don´t recommend AtlasPROfilax or Atlantotec as you might put your life in serious risk and danger.

  27. There are so many people that I’ve heard about that have done poorly. People that have needed to fly in from Europe to get their atlas properly adjusted. Again, since Atlasprofilax is working in the upper neck region, lot’s of good can come of it, but so can lots of harm. I will continue to recommend upper cervical chiropractors.

  28. This procedure is fantastic – Just make sure you see someone from atlas profilax. I had it done in London and have been amazing since.

  29. Dear Dr Michaels,

    I’ve just came across your site while trying to find some information about Atlasprofilax. I have neck and lower back issues since years and the phisiotherapy does not seem to be much helpful in the long run.
    I live in Switzerland, Europe. Could you recommend a good chiropractor there perhaps?

    Thank you in advance!

  30. I love chiro and body work. I have been going to Chiros since I was like 3. The idiot doctor that delivered me did a lot of damage to me and others in my family. I have had about 10 upper cervical adjustments by a NUCCA Chiro. Afterwards I feel amazing but, like regular adjustments within a few days it all comes back and body twist up again. It does not hold. So what would Dr. Michael say about that and how does one get permanent results without having to go 2 times a week for (conventional) adjustments and the muscles are still tight? I have scoliosis and TMJ and cannot exercise. Even my face hurts!! When I was able to lift weights my body built up on one side but NOT the other. Looked and felt weird. I will get the money and try NCR!

  31. Thanks Dr.M and everyone for the feedback. I have had a number of health issues which I associated with my age, I am almost 70. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and some spondelytis of the spine. I have been getting headaches when I bend over or cough for 3 or 4 years, no one has been able to diagnose the cause. I had a free no obligation assessment here in Australia this week and was advised that my Atlas was out of alignment. I’m told that there are only 3 AtlasPROfilax practitioners in Australia, mine is fortunately just down the road. The practitioner spent a good hour assessing and explaining my body alignment. He did ask me to bring in scans or x-rays he could look at. The treatment here is $300 which I consider is reasonable given that it involves 3 visits. It is however not subsidized by our healthcare system as most things are. He seemed professional and I made an appointment for the treatment. However after reading the mixed results in this blog I’ve decided to get a second opinion first, which will be substantially covered by healthcare. I’ll visit my GP and have her refer me to a specialist with my CT scans to see if my Atlas is indeed out of alignment before proceeding with the treatment and keep you posted. Cheers Van

  32. I have problems with patient with TMJ. I personally will address this in my practice. It seems that the tmj, when it is off, will pull on the neck and keep patients from stabilizing. Something that I recommend to my patients is this $10 tmj program by Ryan Nagy. It helps not just with jaw problems, but also to help stabilize the neck. Good luck.

  33. I’ve never received a Blair adjustment, but there are good doctors doing great work within Blair. There has been some cross influence with ideas from the orthogonal procedures and Blair. While I prefer the orthogonal procedures (NUCCA, Orthospinology, Atlas Orthogonality), I wouldn’t hesitate to see a Blair doctor if that was the only upper cervical doctor around. These days I practice and receive QSM3.

  34. Hi doctor,
    Appreciate if you could recommend an Atlas specialist in Australia. X’ray shows c1 subluxation that affected my left jaw. Feels uncomfortable. Thank you.

  35. Thanks Dr. Mike for hosting this discussion.
    Has anyone tried the Atlasprofilax practitioner in Plaverville, CA?
    Sondra Lauren Champion RN,BSN

  36. Thanks for the info on your web. Are “Upper cervical” and “Atlas orthogonal” adjustment the same ? Do both get the same training?
    Do you know anyone in Los Angeles, CA that I can trust?

    Roy

  37. I’m in Australia and just had the Atlas procedure done Last Friday. I was really concerned after the quick half hour treatment. I’m wondering how a person can tell by just looking at you that your atlas is out? How they can then tell they have put your atlas back in place, medically can anyone explain this? After reading everything that has gone wrong for others, I’m even more scared. I’m so confused about the whole procedure, anything I read about it doesn’t go in to depth about how it scientifically works and if any research has been done on the effects of it good or bad? My main question is once you made the mistake like myself to go in and have this done not really thinking in depth about the damage it could cause to you long term, what can I NOW do to if I experience life changing problems, what’s my options for cure? or is there nothing I can do? Can you tell I’m petrified that I’ve damaged my body for life.

  38. Dr. Polsinelli,

    Thank you for all the information and helpful discussion.

    I found out about atlas adjustment and pros/cons, including your website, when I started my search regarding my pelvis being higher on one side than another. Some information I found said that it can be caused by an atlas misalignment.

    Do you concur that the pelvic issue can be due to the atlas? Also, can you pls recommend anyone in Los Angeles?

    Thank you,

    Harpreet

  39. Great site.

    I am in Greece and considering doing the Atlasproflax which led me to your site.

    1st: What x-rays or tests do you advise be done to determine if Atlas is out of place? Ive had MRI and they say I have pinched nerve in c6-c7, but I’ve never asked about atlas.

    What is the safest of the 3 to start with
    – upper cervical chiro
    – QSM3
    – Atlas Orthogonal

    After reading it seems there are better options than Atlasprofilax. Just trying to determine least threatening option first and work my way up till I find solution.

    I am currently in Greece but go to Russia and USA to include LA, Phoenix & Las Vegas

  40. I’m partial to QSM3, because it is what I do. The x-ray views that I do are the Lateral, Nasium, and Vertex. NUCCA, Ortho-Spinology, and Atlas Orthogonal all do these views. My mother sees an Atlas Orthogonal doctor.

  41. Dr Polsinelli,
    Thank you so much for keeping this thread alive. I just wish I had come across this earlier, for I curse myself having jumped the boat from Upper Cervical (OrthoSpinology) to AtlasProfilax last month, which has ruined my health by a great measure. I am planning to go back to Upper Cervical care and need your expert advice on the best path forward.

    Here’s my story in brief. A Sciatica sufferer since April’15 . Tried (regular) Chiropractic manipulations in 2016 Sept at Boise, ID. The practitioner used to manually adjust my neck (popping and cracking) along with back/hip adjustments. One such neck adjustment towards the left side went bad leading to a sharp pain right below the right side of skull, right ear tinnitus, dizziness, headache, reduced range of motion towards right and left neck and shoulder pain.

    Later consulted an Advanced Board Certified DC in Orthospinology, he did two adjustments, one on 26th Oct and the other on 7th Nov’16. This led to bilateral tinnitus, TMJ (just jaw popping) in left jaw, pain around right shoulder blade. All other symptoms either disappeared or reduced in intensity, with no change in the range of motion.

    On an ill-solicited advice by a colleague, I went for AtlasProfilax on 3rd Dec’16. Range of motion greatly improved on the right side immediately after the procedure. However, 2 weeks after that, started experiencing:
    a) Rib cage pressure (seem to affect randomly only at night after 3-4 hours of sleep)
    b) TMJ worsened by several notches – jaw popping moved to lower jaw, immense jaw pain, daily terrible migraine/headache near temples, back of left eye, either side of head
    c) Immense Neck pain and tension near the collar bone
    d) Upper back pain
    e) Since yesterday, right hand goes numb with sporadic tingling and pain
    f) Fatigue, mind fogginess, dizziness
    g) All muscles are pretty sore and spasm.

    My Upper Cervical doc evaluated me on 12/23 with all non-X ray Orthospinology tests and stated that I am holding the correction, also appreciated the improved range of motion. However, after learning that I underwent AtlasProfilax which has worsened my health, immediately terminated my care. I respect his decision, it was purely my own stupidity.

    My current predicament:
    1) Have about 3 months of stay left in US, after which my visa expires and need to go back to India for good.
    2) My TMJ symptoms seem to be worsening with each passing day. Unable to work or sleep.
    3) MRI looks pretty normal with few mild spondalytic changes at C2-C3, C4-C5 and C5-C6.
    4) My ENT has put me on NSAIDs and referred me to a TMJ specific Manual Physical Therapist.

    Dr Polsinelli, I need your expert advice on the following, could you please help me with the same:
    1) Should I get started with PT first to get TMJ under control (might take 4-6 weeks) and then proceed ahead with an Upper Cervical DC for a Atlas X ray evaluation/correction?
    2) Alternatively, should I first get Atlas evaluated with X rays, get the correction and then proceed onto Physical Therapy for TMJ? Would the Physical Therapy negate the Atlas correction, how long should I wait after the correction? I am unable to bear TMJ headaches at all. The pain meds, self massage/jaw exercises do not help me with the pain.
    3) I have only two choices of Upper Cervical doctors now: Dr Blom (KCUCS, Blair and Orthospinology) and Dr Stork (NUCCA). Which doc would you recommend?
    4) The Upper Cervical Atlas corrections seem to need a regular evaluation/correction every few months. If I lose the Atlas correction after going to India, would the nightmares of AtlasProfilax continue to linger, considering I had the AtlasProfilax just for a month now? I don’t have the feasibility of Upper Cervical continued care in India nor can I afford travelling abroad.
    5) Is it possible to have a quick telephonic conversation as I am racing against time?

    ATLASPROFILAX SHOULD BE BANNED BY THE LEGAL AUTHORITIES, atleast in US, as it’s not even a licensed practice here.

  42. 1. If there is any way you can do both, do so. For TMJ problems, I recommend you also get started with this program by Ryan Nagy. It re-trains your neck, shoulders, and jaw how to move and interact better. It helps patients hold their alignment and helps with discomfort between visits. Don’t do more than one lesson a day.
    2. If you can only do one, I would see an upper cervical doctor. The while the PT might negate an Atlas correction, the risks are low.
    3. I personally know and respect Dr. Stork. Tell him I said Hi.
    4. I would get it addressed now, so that you can heal as much as possible before returning to India. Also, if the TMJ program that I recommended helps, check out Bruce Holmes full body program or Ryan Nagy’s full body program (I think that Bruce Holmes is better). Either of these programs will help you maintain body awareness and movement even if you go out of alignment.
    5. Of course, you can call my office at 440-461-9774 and get scheduled for a phone consult.

    I am sorry that your Orthospinology doctor refused to see you. I am always honored when a patient returns after seeing another doctor.

  43. Dr Polsinelli,
    Thank you so much for the prompt response! I truly appreciate your generous and honest suggestions on this forum.
    1. I can definitely do both simultaneously. My previous Orthospinologist was clear against me doing any exercise (except walking 5 miles/day) during the “healing phase of 90 days” as it would interrupt the alignment process. But, as you suggest, if it’s rather going to help retain the alignment, I would be glad to do both. Btw, the PT is actually a Manual Physical Therapist (www.atlasptnampa.com), so he massages (neck/jaw) and manipulates the jaw along with exercises to reduce the discomfort. Thank you for the Ryan Nagy’s TMJ program, I just downloaded the same. I shall start doing a lesson per day from tomorrow.

    2. I was initially inclined to seeing Dr Stork (even before my older Orthospinologist) but I was kind of taken aback by following two observations:
    a. As per upcspine.org, it lists that Dr. Stork’s practice doesn’t have precision x-rays facility. So, I wasn’t sure whether the calculations based on such X-rays could be accurate. Compared to say, Dr Blom or Dr Fox (my older Orthospinologist)’s facilities which are equipped with precision X-rays. Also, I find Kelly Mix Stork (Stork’s wife) listed as certified on nucca.org but not Dr Stork himself?
    b. I gathered from many forums that NUCCA (practised by Dr Stork) makes several regular adjustments to Atlas, as many as 4-8 adjustments per month and that the adjustments don’t last even couple of weeks. I am a bit apprehensive of so many adjustments to a critical bone like Atlas. What I did like of my older Orthospinologist was that he did just 2 corrections (he prefers corrections to adjustments) and wanted me to see him only after 3 months. In a span of 2 months, I visited him about 6 times.

    Could you please throw light on the above two apprehensions of NUCCA over other techniques, such as Orthospinology?

    Thank you so much for introducing me to Feldenkrais concept, it gives me much needed hope and confidence of surviving without atlas correction care in India. I was pretty paranoid the last few weeks after the AtlasProfilax procedure.

    I left a voicemail on your office’s phone earlier in the day to seek your appointment for a phone consultation. I shall try calling again tomorrow, if I don’t hear back from the office.

    Btw, for the benefit of other readers on this forum, my AtlasProfilax procedure was carried out by Vladimir Tomljenovic from CA. I did get lured by so many positive reviews on Yelp but my own experience has been nothing but devastating so far. I would definitely update my review on Yelp, just trying to sort out my mess first. I do see couple of them benefited from AtlasProfilax (and Vladimir himself) on this page, but I believe it’s more of a hit and miss case, probably more misses than hits. If you are lucky, then all well. But if it didn’t go well, the effects are perilous, to say the least. So, I would strongly recommend you not trying AtlasProfilax, unless you have a very high risk appetite (and unlike me, access to Upper Cervical Chiro lifetime care to correct the ramifications in case it goes bad).

  44. OK, so this is going to be a complex answer, and may be better fleshed out with a call. I’m going to argue that your Orthospinology Dr. was under adjusting you. That you had irritation on your nervous system and he was waiting until things broke down completely before adjusting you. As for Dr. Stork, while I have patients that have difficulty holding for a couple of weeks, that is the exception rather than a rule and my philosophy is not to wait until the spine has completely broken down. It’s easy to get the legs even in a laying position, but once we do an analysis in a standing position, we can see the stress from gravity.
    That said, how Dr. Rob practices vs how Dr. Kelly practices, would be good questions for them. She might be a better match for you.

  45. Im sure there are greedy people out there doing a scam on people but i have gone to may chiropractors in my life with varying results and even to the point where some accomplished little and some made me worse. That is to be expected. I injured my neck at work once in the middle east and went to a chiropractor in Dubai UAE. It was truely enlightening. He had a little spring loaded machine that he laid my atlas on or axis. He would crank it up to load it and then release. Bam! as your head dropped down and tilted back it adjusted to a better position. I have been looking for someone using that machine for years. I am not afraid of such adjustment. it works.!

  46. hi kaushga how are you doing ? have you tried the new atlas doctors/techniques? how is ur case so far? I’m also intrigued about the atlas adjustment and I think I saw a yelp review that looked similar to yours but is not there anymore, did you get better with the profilax in the end? hope u feel better and let us know, I myself am considering atlas adjustment but still don’t know what to try since is such a delicate area to mess with but I too have spinal problems so I hope u get better and update soon thanks

  47. Hi Todd,
    Things have only worsened since AtlasProfilax. Currently it’s the neck, jaw, shoulder, arm pain (with tenderness/pain at the site of cubital tunnel), headaches, knee, ankle, upper, lower back pain, severe fatigue and muscle soreness.

    I haven’t been to any Chiropractors yet as I now have grown extremely paranoid of anyone touching my Atlas. My primary care physician got the X rays done of my neck (5-6 different views similar to what my previous Chiropractor did) but the X rays came out as normal. I saw an Orthopaedic surgeon, he too believes the X ray is normal, Atlas is in place. The neck MRI also didn’t state anything significant, the only concerning remark was the mild dextroscoliosis at cervico-thoracic region. My previous neck MRI from Aug’16 doesn’t show any signs of dextroscoliosis, so I believe this is a result of either the Chiropractic Atlas adjustment or the AtlasProfilax procedure.

    My primary care has referred me to a Neurologist, the referral is still under review. Hope to get an appointment scheduled by next week. I have been reading up on the web a lot regarding my symptoms and all point to the Atlanto-Axial Subluxation. I also gathered that the X rays are not definitive determination of Atlas Subluxation, dynamic CT scan is considered to be the gold standard. I hope my Neurologist refers me for a dynamic CT scan.

    Currently, my Physiotherapist is helping me with pain management. He’s a certified Craniofacial therapist and thus knows a bit or two about Atlas. He does believe I have an Atlas Subluxation. His analysis (from palpation of traverse ligaments, reading of my MRI and X rays, studies of my body stress points) aligns with my symptoms very well.

    My main worry is none of the Chiropractic techniques hold the Atlas correction. From what I gathered, Chiropractic techniques try to move the Atlas bone which is amidst really tight muscles, which pull it back to the misaligned state in a few weeks/months. And I get to stay in US for only a few more months, after which I need to return back to India for good, where there’s no access to any Chiropractic care.

    The conventional medicine has mainly two methods of Atlas correction – Halo traction (if the misalignment was introduced in less than 3 months) and (mostly always) surgery. If it comes to worse, I am open to either but I am at wits end to figure out some definitive diagnostic report which does show an Atlas Subluxation in the images.

    Yes, those two lengthy Yelp reviews of AtlasProfilax on Vladimir’s page were from me. Those were getting listed in the main “recommended reviews” section for the first two weeks. Yelp has this weird algorithm which determines whether a review is true or fake, recommended or not, based on certain factors. In my case, the review was moved to the “not recommended”section probably because my location was mentioned as Boise, ID and Vladimir’s business location being Venice Blvd, CA. Nevertheless, you can still view my reviews if you click on the tiny lettered hyperlink at the bottom of the page called “Not recommended reviews”. I have been exchanging emails with the Yelp team to move it to the recommended section to save other lives but in vain.

    Again, PLEASE AVOID ATLASPROFILAX BY ALL MEANS. IT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGES AND THERE’S NO EASY WAY TO DETERMINE/CORRECT THE SAME, unless you would like to be under life long Chiro care.

  48. hi, thanks for the reply I feel for your situation. I found very surprising that all 5 star reviews and so many. I hope you find a solution to your problem, I think you should go to a good Atlas Orthogonal or Nucca chiro just to get a good series of xrays. I strongly believe they have better training at analyzing xrays for the atlas in my opinion as they spend so much time studying that bone’s images and need to make calculations to a .25 of a degree. Their evaluations are the most mathematically sound imo. At least the xrays in all 3 planes cant hurt you. Also I heard about the mri too as being very accurate. Pay special attention to the “rotation” xray (the xray they take from the top of the skull). If all nucca /ao xrays show atlas in place, then it is in place most likely as even they don’t get it 100 percent but they are content with getting it “close” . In other words, as long as an atlas is set orthogonal to .25 of a degree then it is somewhat stable for weeks , months or even years. Ive seen this many times, but is only temporary. Then again , the mri should show as well.
    What I got at first glance from your review is that your serious issues seem to have started from the first cervical manipulation you had from the “normal chiro” the one that twist crack your neck. In this case it could be a nerve or muscle issue rather than the bone out of place. I wonder if something was wrongly bruised or irritated with the manipulation so abrupt. Ive known so many people feel wrong from this kind of adjustment such that ive always refused it when being offered by regular chiros. So I wonder if it all started there? Thanks again and as said I hope for you to heal.

  49. Hello Michael,

    I have had countless adjustments by atlas practitioners; none of them have held beyond 3 months.
    My questions are: After the initial xrays I have read that nucca therapists check leg length and pelvis height to see if you need a further adjustment, but this is what the Atlas therapists do. So how does one differ from the other?
    Secondly, would you recommend doing neck exercises after treament? I always get stiff for a few days after treatment and wondered if McKenzie exercises help or hinder?
    Thanks
    Adam

  50. Some NUCCA doctors use a postural device called an Anatometer. I am now doing an offshoot of NUCCA and sold mine to get a Posture IQ device. Three months isn’t too bad, but you may want to do some exercises. I wonder if there are any TMJ issues. You need to look at other stressors, like falling asleep in front of the TV, going to a dentist, sports. All of these can play a role in keeping our alignment. I wrote some articles about stressors that get us out of alignment here. They may help you think about what stress you are under and strategize a plan hold longer.

  51. Hi dr. Polsinelli

    I’ve also been injured by the atlasPROfilax treatment (although they deny it, which is frustrating). Do you know anyone in Holland who is specialised in the upper cervical area? I’ve seen regular chiropractors but they don’t seem to be able to identify the problem.

  52. Thanks for your respond. I can get to London but how many treatments in what period of time are commonly recommended with NUCCA? Because i can’t stay there for more then a week i think…
    My main concern is also that my neck wouldn’t hold the adjustment because my muscles are very tight and stiff on the right side.

  53. If you can be there for a week, I’d say 3 visits if possible. She may be able to do the first adjustment in the first visit. You are right that it probable won’t hold at first, but I’d hope you will get relief and that it won’t go back to where you started. You’ll also make more headway on a follow up trip. I’d recommend checking out this exercise program and start before your trip. It will help loosen things and help you hold after your adjustment. It’s for TMJ, but also works the neck and shoulders (they are all interconnected).

    Good Luck,

    Dr. Michael

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