Consequences of a misaligned Atlas on the circulatory and neuro-vegetative systems (parasympathetic nervous system)
Misalignment of the Atlas:
- may cause a constriction of the passage between the vertebral canal and the opening at the base of the skull, leaving less space available to the spinal cord and limiting, altering or blocking the flow of electrochemical impulses;
- may cause pressure on the cervical artery and the blood vessels and nerves that exit the skull through the jugular foramen, such as the glossopharyngeal nerve, the vagus nerve, the accessory nerve, the jugular vein and the internal carotid artery;
- may slow the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid that flows around the spinal cord enclosed by the dura mater membrane. Cerebrospinal fluid, also known as CSF or liquor cerebrospinalis, nourishes, protects and cushions the spinal cord itself.
During normal movements of the head and body, the various vascular, nervous and lymphatic structures may be momentarily compressed or stretched. These compressions are only temporary and do not create problems of any kind: the body was created to move. The compressions generated by a misaligned Atlas, on the other hand, are PERMANENT!
||1) Spinal cord
2) Tooth of Axis
3) Vagus nerve
4) Internal jugular vein
5) Internal carotid artery
7) Vertebral artery
||Picture: cross-section of the neck at the level of the Atlas. The white arrows indicate how the left lateral apophysis of the Atlas exerts pressure on vessels 3, 4 and 5.
The importance of the vagus nerve
12 pairs of cranial nerves leave the brain and continue down the right and left sides of the body. The vagus nerve or cranial nerve X is the longest, most important and most branched cranial nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system, and helps to regulate the functioning of almost all the internal organs: it controls certain muscles, the larynx, the pharynx, part of the external organ of hearing, the heart, the lungs, the stomach and the intestines.
One task of the vagus nerve is to stimulate the production of gastric acid and regulate the action of the bowels. The vagus nerve is also responsible for regulating heart rate and perspiration, and is involved in some movements of the mouth, controlling certain muscles used for speech and breathing. The vagus nerve has a diameter of 2-3 mm at neck level and, together with the carotid artery and the internal jugular vein, passes in front of the Atlas.
When the functionality of the vagus nerve is compromised (which may also arise from cervical arthrosis), this may produce a whole series of symptoms, including nausea, stomach acidity, dizziness, hot flushes, tachycardia, pain and stiffness in the neck, and headaches.
Consequences of compression of the vagus nerve
Depending on the kind of compression and how far the Atlas is shifted from its optimal position, pressure marks may be created, thus irritating the vagus nerve and/or other cranial nerves. This can give rise to various complaints, such as headache, Ménière's syndrome, difficulty in swallowing or the sensation of a lump in the throat, excessive perspiration, neck pain, sleep disturbances, generally cold hands or feet, irregular or accelerated heart rate, or chronic constipation or diarrhea with no apparent cause.
The correction of a misaligned Atlas may also have positive effects on epilepsy. The approach of conventional medicine to treating severe epilepsy is to cut the left vagus nerve surgically in the upper cervical area or to implant an electrical impulse generator in order to stimulate this nerve. The left vagus nerve is normally compressed by the Atlas. Could this be a coincidence? The question merits further attention and a more thorough investigation.