The Atlas and the autonomic nervous system

(parasympathetic nervous system)


Gastrointestinal disorders, heart arrhythmia, sensation of torpor, sensitivity disorders, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, malfunctioning of sense organs...

Would you have ever thought that a single bone can be responsible for all these disorders?

Normal movements of the head and body can temporarily compress or lengthen the various vascular, neural and lymphatic structures.

These compressions are temporary and do not entail any problems whatsoever: in fact, the body is made to move.

On the contrary, an Atlas out of alignment causes a constant pressure on the various structures!

Anatomy of the autonomic nervous system

The autonomic nervous system is made of various nerves that run around the Atlas vertebra. In total, there are 12 pairs of cranial nerves arising from the brain and present both on the right side and left side.

The vagus nerve, or tenth cranial nerve, is the longest and most important nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system (it belongs to the neurovegetative system) as it regulates the functions of almost all of the internal organs. The vagus nerve innervates the larynx, the pharynx, the upper part of the oesophagus, the part of the external hearing apparatus, the heart, the lungs, the stomach, the intestine and even several muscles.


The accessory nerve, known as the eleventh cranial nerve, is a motor nerve, that regulates the muscular activity. Among the various muscles controlled by the accessory nerve there is the trapezius muscle (musculus trapezius) and the sternocleidomastoid muscle (musculus sternocleidomastoideus) or SCM.

The glossopharyngeal nerve, known as the ninth cranial nerve, is the nerve that carries signals from the back of the tongue to the brain and innervates the muscles of the pharynx. It is important for swallowing and in activating the parotid gland.

The three cranial nerves described above come down from the cranium through the jugular foramen, which is right in front of the Atlas. It is exactly in this narrow passage that something basically unknown to traditional medicine occurs: that is, the malposition of the Atlas which can cause a pressure on the above mentioned nerves triggering pains that doctors fail to explain.

But there is good news: with one single treatment the malposition of the Atlas can be resolved.

Effects of the malposition of the Atlas on the nervous system

clessidra gialla

An Atlas out of alignment:

  1. can narrow the passage between the vertebral channel and the sinus at the base of the cranium, reducing the space available for the spinal marrow. This alters or blocks the flow of electrochemical impulses;
  2. can cause pressure on various nerves: glossopharyngeal nerve, vagus nerve, accessory nerve and occipital nerve;
  3. can disturb the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the vertebral channel. This fluid, known simply as liquor, has the function to nourish, protect and pad the marrow;
  4. can create a muscoloskeletal unbalance, which leads to the hardening of various muscles and thus to the compression of the nerves coming out of vertebras C5, C6 and C7. Since said nerves innervate the arms, their compression produces a feeling of torpor in the hands or fingers (paraesthesias).

Further effects on the nervous system

An Atlas out of alignment, besides producing consequences on the autonomic nervous system, can have negative effects also on the peripheral nervous system causing, for example, the peripheral nerve compression syndrome. When nerves are compressed by particularly hardened muscular chains other painful phenomena can occur, such as the sciatic nerve compression syndrome.

In this case, the contracted piriformis muscle pushes down on the sciatic nerve thus producing pain in the gluteal area and in the the back of the legs, known as sciatica.

Did you know that an Atlas out of alignment can actually cause gluteal neuralgia or numbness of the fingers?

yellow: vagus nerve (Nervus vagus)