Atlas Orthogonal History 1

The first adjusting technique taught at Palmer College of Chiropractic is called Toggle Recoil. It is a technique that specifically adjusts the top part of the neck, the atlas and axis bones. The technique was developed in the early 1900’s by Dr. B.J. Palmer, the son of the founder of chiropractic. He spent most of his career teaching and practicing the technique. Since then there have been several other techniques developed which specifically adjust the upper cervical (neck) spine.


Dr. Roy Sweat with his Atlas Orthogonal Instrument

After learning from B.J. Palmer, Dr. John F. Grostic developed and began teaching his own upper cervical technique in 1946. It was called Grostic Procedure. One of the students and eventual teachers of the Grostic Procedure was Dr. Roy Sweat. After practicing and teaching the procedure, Dr. Sweat eventually developed a technique of his own called Atlas Orthogonal Technique. Atlas Orthogonal being a term that refers to the proper alignment of the atlas bone being at ninety-degree-angles to the skull and neck. He first began teaching the technique in 1980.

Atlas Orthogonal was a radical departure from the earlier techniques because it made use of an instrument to perform the adjustment. Adjusting done by hand varied from each practitioner and took considerable physical ability. Dr. Sweat wanted to even the playing field, hoping that the instrument would allow for equal adjustments from each practitioner. Dr. Sweat has spent many years developing and refining the technique. Currently the R.W. Sweat Research Foundation is dedicated to research and continued development of the technique.

 -Written by chiropractor and board certified atlas orthogonist, Ryan Spurgeon.  Dr. Spurgeon served as intern with Dr. Sweat after graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic. 

Read more blog articles here from your Kansas City Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Practitioner

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One thought on “Atlas Orthogonal History

  • Bret

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