If you’ve made it to this post than you most likely noticed Keystone Specific is a chiropractic practice, and are probably thinking, “I’ve heard of chiropractic.”  But what we do is a little different.  Let’s explore.

At Keystone Specific Chiropractic Center we practice a healing art know as Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic.  The majority of people we meet have never heard of this art.  After receiving care in our office it’s very common for us to hear:


“Why have I never heard of Upper Cervical Chiropractic?”

“Why don’t all chiropractors practice this way?”


On a daily basis all around the world Upper Cervical Chiropractors hear these two questions.  The answers aren’t easy, but let’s explore the inner workings of upper cervical specific chiropractic and why you need know about upper cervical chiropractic.


“Upper Cervical Chiropractic must be new, right?”


Actually, Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic is one of the oldest forms of chiropractic.  Its roots date back to the early 1930’s and was invented by Dr. BJ Palmer from Davenport Iowa.  Dr. BJ Palmer theorized that the upper neck or upper cervical region to be the “hole in one adjustment.”  Otherwise known as the one area that would affect everything!  Through research, trial and error, the early practitioners of chiropractic noticed if they took care for the upper neck in a very detailed way they could make a big impact on their clients and more efficiently get results and to assist in clients healing.  From 1935-1961 the Palmer Research clinic existed, and from 1934-1951 Upper Cervical chiropractic research was done, recorded and published in the text Clinical Controlled Research by Dr. BJ Palmer detailing some of the most extreme chiropractic cases cared for, ranging from epilepsy, to chronic digestive problems, and how upper cervical care was used to help restore health.

“How prevalent is upper cervical chiropractic?”

Less than 5% of chiropractors in the world practice upper cervical chiropractic and there are statistics that say there are as little as 1.7% of the total chiropractic population that practice this healing art.


In general, not many chiropractic schools teach the work.  Sherman College of Chiropractic is one of the few schools that still makes classes on upper cervical chiropractic mandatory.  There are only a few organizations outside of the formal education system that teach upper cervical chiropractic work.  One of which is Upper Cervical Ascension program, founded and taught by Dr. Bill Moss.


What makes Upper Cervical Chiropractic so special?

Since Upper Cervical Chiropractic’s inception there are 4 major components that make this healing art so special.

  1. The Location:  The Upper Cervical Spine
  2. The Nervous System.
  3. Technology:  Digital X-ray & Thermography
  4. Post Adjustment Resting:  Holding is healing

The Location:  The Upper Cervical Spine

The area upper cervical chiropractors work on is the upper cervical spine which consists of the top 2 bones of the spine known as C1 (Atlas) and C2 Axis.  This two vertebrae are very unique in their structure and are much different than the other joints of the spine.  The upper Cervical spine is very important for many reasons.

  1. The Atlas Axis locking mechanisms are very different than other joints of the spine, in fact the upper neck allows for the greatest range of rotational motion than any other area of the spine.  The upper cervical spine is what allows you to turn your head to check oncoming traffic.  Because the Upper Cervical spine is highly movable, it can misalign more easily than other areas of the spine.
  2. The Atlas/Axis vertebrae also surround a very important area of the spine known as the brainstem.  The brainstem is an incredibly important.  It is a delicate structure that is the connecting point between the brain and spinal cord.  Upper Cervical Chiropractors are very concerned with how well the brain, spinal cord, and nerves are performing and their role in health.



The Nervous System

The central nervous system is made up of your brain, spinal cord, and exiting or peripheral nerves.  This system controls and coordinates every function, cell, and system of the entire human body.  It is the conductor of they symphony known as YOU!  The central nervous system is really now known as your Neuro-endocrino-immune system because it controls and coordinates your endocrine system (hormones and body chemistry), you immune system (body’s defense system to invaders), nerves (pain, sensation, temperature), and everything in between.  Because Upper cervical chiropractors address the top 2 bones of the spine, and the Atlas and Axis vertebrae surround the brainstem, upper cervical chiropractors directly influence the function of the nerve system by making a adjustments or corrections to the upper cervical spine.  Upper Cervical chiropractors have always used the approach of correcting cause as opposed to simply patching symptoms.



The Technology


All upper cervical chiropractic techniques utilize x-ray to assess the clients unique anatomy, structure, and position of the area they will work on and address.  Many upper cervical techniques evaluate based on the principle of misalignment.  In our office we actually utilize motion films to assess what’s moving or more importantly what is not moving to allow us to make a very detailed correction that allows individuals to heal more efficiently and hold adjustments for extended periods of time.  Each client is very unique and it doesn’t take an abundance of films to recognize out different everyone is.  Upper Cervical chiropractors take in to consideration how different each individual is and x-ray allows us to see it!

Digital Infrared Thermography:

At Keystone Specific Chiropractic Center we use a technology known as digital infrared thermography.  Most people think the use of thermography or scanning technology in our office is an incredibly new concept.  Thermography, like upper cervical chiropractic, is actually an old method.  Paraspinal skin temperatures were used as measuring tools by chiropractors dating back to the 1920s.  Though the technology is much more advanced, today upper cervical chiropractors continue to use thermographic technology to determine the health and function of the nerve system.  Digital infrared technology is a sensitive and specific test used to measure the para-spinal skin temperature to determine nervous system adaptability and function.  This technology is used during our clients initial visit, and additionally on each and every visit thereafter to determine when a client needs an adjustment and when their nerve system is performing optimally.   Digital Infrared thermography is the hallmark of upper cervical work and literally allows us to guide you through care, make decisions about care plans, and help guide our clients toward resolution.  Digital infrared thermography is also used in medical practices, and is regarded as an accurate and reliable measure of nerve system function.  In addition to upper cervical chiropractic offices it is currently being used in early detection and prevention of cancerous tumors related to the the breast.

Post Adjustment Resting:  Holding is Healing!

One of the unique features in our office and most upper cervical chiropractic offices is the use of a resting suite post adjustment.  Early upper cervical chiropractors always rested their clients.  This additional procedure allows clients to hold adjustments for longer periods of time.  It also provides clients some much needed rest and recuperation.  Rarely do we take the appropriate time to relax, rest and repair.  It is one of the most important components of healing and of of the most neglected.  We incorporate a 15 minute rest in our amazing zero gravity chairs to help clients hold their adjustments longer, and help them repair more efficiently!


Upper Cervical Chiropractors work with a variety of clients, with various conditions.  Here are a few conditions we’ve seen amazing results with:

and just incase you never heard Dr. Bill Moss’s personal chiropractic story, I highly recommend you watch and learn how Dr. Bill overcame Asthma, Allergies, pain, and debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. 

If you are someone that has been to multiple doctors and chiropractors, is taking more medications than you would like to, and are still suffering needlessly month after month, then we should talk.  Heck, instead of just waiting for poor health, disease, or breakdown to occur, take a moment to build a stronger defense now!   Get Scheduled online today!