In one study using CT scans, 98% of the subjects had a malrotated atlas. Therefore, we assume that the atlas, the first cervical vertebra, is more or less malrotated in the vast majority of human beings since birth. AtlasPROfilax® provides a neuromuscular massage technique to realign the atlas with usually a single application by means of a massage device using vibro-pressure.
How much time does it take?
The first appointment consists of the documentation of the health history of the client, a clarifying conversation and presentation about the method and its possible impacts. It also comprises several manual and functional tests to determine local, regional and distant signs and/or restricitions, a malrotation of the atlas can trigger in the body - i.e. muscles and fascia chains, jaw movement, neck movement restrictions, etc. Last but not least, the application itself as well as tests of coordination skills, muscle compensation efforts and posture (before and after the treatment). The session requires about 60 minutes.
The second appointment is usually scheduled within 2 to 4 weeks after the treatment. It comprises a follow-up massage of the upper back and the neck area. Additional documentation and repeated tests complete this appr. 30-minute appointment.
The clarifying conversation, of course the application itself and the follow-up are equally important.
You can find an overview and an international pricing table here.
The AtlasPROfilax® method works without any manipulation or direct contact to the vertebra. The application only works with the short muscles of the neck in order to allow the atlas to slide into its natural and stable position. Therefore, it is safe, non-invasive and sustainable.
You can find an Atlasprof in your area in our official web directory, where you have a world map and different search options to find a certified practitioner nearby.
Only Atlasprofs who are listed in the official directory of www.atlasprofilax.ch (as well as in the directory of connected and official national, regional or continental websites) are working according to the ethics, rules and prerequisites set by the authorized training providers and the International Association of Qualified Atlasprof®s (IAQA). Each Atlasprof® has to undergo an annual Quality Control and has committed himself/herself to work according to the regulations of the above mentioned institutions as well as to according contractual obligations.
Every significant vertebral derangement in the spine leads to functional and soft tissue alterations like pain, movement restrictions, shortenings of fascial chains, muscular contractures, asymmetry in muscle tonus and muscle functions.
We perform up to 13 manual and functional tests to tell from them the corresponding disfunction of the muscles that uphold the atlas. Through these indirect, safe and none-invasive functional tests or functional diagnostics we can determine which side is more affected by the atlas misalignment in order to determine the appropriate treatment protocol.
Extra imaging studies have been performed on hundreds of patients to confirm that the tests and functional diagnosis we use correspond to C0-C1-C2 malposition and make the protocols safe and accurate. This way, we also avoid unnecessary radiation exposure for clients. The oustanding characteristics of the method are its safety and the effectiveness of its application - no matter how exactly the atlas is rotated or tilted. This happens for anatomic reasons and the involvement of the short neck muscles as target for the treatment as well as muscle and fascia chains throughout the whole body.
Several muscles are directly connected to the atlas bone and therefore have a great effect both for the realignment of the vertebra and also the sustainability of this condition. The same applies for fascia which is connective tissue, e.g. wrapped around the muscles and changing its condition (viscosity) during the treatment and changing back shortly after. Imagine a muscle lock that's opened up and then locked again to support a sustainable condition.
For your additional understanding: The first cervical vertebra (atlas) is part of the atlanto-occipital joint (C0-C1). This is probably the best protected joint in the whole body, burried deep under four layers of muscles. So the muscles serve as protection for the joint, nerves, arteries, medula oblongata etc. In case there's an issue, they are also an "obstacle" in order to address this issue properly. That's why a lasting solution for the alignment of the atlas is only possible by including and working on these muscles.
Two major fields apply here, either alternatively or cumulatively: the birth process and the bent twig effect. For example: dystocia, some instrumentation in the vaginal birth, slowing or acceleration in the phase of introduction of the fetus in normal labor, excessive pressure on pubic region in the phase of expulsion of the fetus in normal labor, prolonged descent in the rotation phase in the normal delivery or incidents and accidents adding up to the already existing malrotation of the atlas can worsen the symptoms and ailments.
An atlas malposition could even develop before birth during pregnancy. Embryological factors, a bad accommodation of the baby in the womb and the mother among others, can discomfort the correct position of the atlas.
Difficult deliveries with manipulations and difficulties during the expulsion of the baby, such as head struggles, can contribute to discomfort or worsen the position of the atlas.
Various falls and blows, in children or adults, to the head or back or sacrum, can be a cause of aggravation of the incorrect position of the atlas.
Road traffic accidents with whiplash are very damaging at neck level. If the impact on the spine is very violent, the atlas can be positioned in a very rotated position which will cause many health problems in the future.
What is fascia and what role does it play for the realignment of the atlas?
The muscles and fascia are connected through chains throughout the whole body. Fascia is connective tissue that wraps the muscles. During the treatment and by applying vibro-pressure, the consistency of the fascia changes. The method uses this natural mechanism as well as the limits of muscular performance capacity in order to unlock the atlas from its misaligned position while allowing the muscles to play their part in moving the atlas back into its optimum position and locking up again.
Since several muscles are attached directly to the atlas, their part in connection with fascia is vital. Being linked via chains throughout the whole body, their involvement in the realignment process also leads to effects in atlas-distant areas like e.g. pelvis, knee, feet etc. Moreover, fascia changes its viscosity during the application and supports the locking up process by returning to the previous but at the same time improven state within minutes after the treatment.
The meaning and impact of muscles on the sustainability of the realignment effect is essential. Therefore, we recommend to address muscles in general and especially the breast muscles with focussed and regular exercises (see also 12.).
There can be a healing crisis in about 1 of 1.000 clients. In other words, rarely, it has to get worse before it gets better. This is due to personal health history and health issues. The whole system of your body can be affected, for example by positively changing the blood supply to the brain (which can often influence symptoms like migraine and headache).
As a neuromuscular massage technique, the method is safe, sustainable, non-invasive and does not manipulate the vertebra.
We also apply a worldwide Professional Liability Insurance which is especially designed for AtlasPROfilax® activities.
Muscles play a key role in the application of the AtlasPROfilax® method as such and especially also after the treatment (see 9.). Since muscles can shorten and the atlas is attached to several muscles, the impact on the lasting effects of the atlas realignment is of major importance.
In this interdependence, the trapezius muscle has a special meaning since it connects shoulder and upper spine area, allows rotation and stretching of the upper cervical spine and thereby strongly influences shoulder ailments and constant tension of the neck muscles on the basis of the position and alignment of the atlas.
In order to avoid restrictions in the rotation of the upper cervical spine and to avoid returning muscle tension in the neck and shoulder area, it is essential to stretch the breast muscles and interacting muscles like the trapezius regularly with appropriate excercises. Regular movement of the body (outdoors), balanced nutrition as well as sports and a healthy life style support the processes in the body that were initiated by returning the atlas into its natural position.
It is important to stay in touch with the practitioner for referring to the documented status before and after the treatment, determining additional or supplementary treatments or therapies and to have optional support during the time of resetting the body's system in terms of muscle decompensation, improved posture and changing body statics.
In case of a so-called healing crisis, the practitioner can address required and helpful measures, extend the follow-up and support with his/her experience. Such crisis does occur very seldom, but if so, collaboration with the therapist and recommended additional support is very helpful.
Generally, the application of the AtlasPROfilax® method can offer instant relief and usually has positive effects on the center of gravity and posture. However, actual effects and outcome depend mostly on individual factors and aspects of personal health history. Therefore, we can neither foresee or even guarantee a desired outcome.
We usually also experience ongoing medium- and long-term effects. The body often needs time to adapt to the reset of muscle compensation patterns and incorporated changes on processes in other parts of the body, e.g. improved blood supply to the brain.
The AtlasPROfilax® method usually starts a self-healing process which should be accompanied by health professionals for the reasons described as well as for discovering potentials for further optimization of body functions.
We have rarely seen no positive effects on the clients body posture and body statics. This is due to changing the center of gravity by the application and thereby also releasing (constant) muscle tension which was caused by (muscle) compensation of the malrotation of the atlas and bad posture.
Is it possible to happen nonetheless?
The atlas bone functions in combination with two other structures: occiput and the second vertebra, called axis. There is a large number of ligaments, tendons, muscles (specially the 8 suboccipital muscles) and fascial tissue involved in this area. The atlanto-occipital joint and the muscles that hold it cannot be activated voluntarily, they are more propioceptive -informative- muscles rather than motor ones, so that they go or move secondarily with the voluntarily activation of other motor muscles which allow head movements like trapezius or SCM.
If a primary somatic disfunction -by birth or trauma- has occurred to the suboccipital muscles, they will not only hold the atlas in an incorrect position away from its optimal orthogonality, but a plastic deformation is settled down in all of the soft tissue, especially, muscle and fascia, attaining also the cytoskeleton. This creates a so called Reactive Syndrom of Suboccipital Muscles that turns into a vicious circle (soft structures of the area with bony or joint structures) perpetuating the Minor Intervertebral Derangement (MID, or also called atlas subluxation, in a medical sense, not in a chiropractic sense, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertebral_subluxation).
The reason why the technique is performed in a single session is based on the biochemical composition of the short muscles of the neck. By applying a specific massage, implementing mechanical vibro-pressure on this muscle group, you get a stretch of the muscles and their respective neuromuscular spindles.
In response to this stretch, the reflex and myotatic arches (cerebellum and cerebral cortex) will tend to shorten the fibers, which results in the increase of temporal muscle tension that manifests itself in the increased strength of these muscles. This mechanism is also transferred to the ligaments involved, through the piezoresistive effect, which favors the rupture of the vicious circle of the MID of the atlas.
According to imaging controls done over the years, we have seen that only some severe accidents like whiplash or neck trauma can lead again to a MID of the atlas. But those are exceptions, not the rule. Usually, the atlas should stay in place once the treatment is performed, remaining in its more optimal position prior to the therapy. The optimized, more orthogonal and centered position may vary according to age, wearing of sockets and articular surfaces and some other problems like collagenopathies among others.
X-ray images are basically not an appropriate measure in order to judge about the misalignment of the atlas, unless you perform open mouth x-rays with a protocoled and fixed setting. You better introduce modern imaging methods to do so, e.g. MRT/MRI (magnetic resonance tomography).
An Atlasprof® uses several manual tests to indicate whether the atlas is malrotated or not (see 8.). Often an atlas may not be malrotated laterally (neither to the right, nor to the left) but an occipitalization or a so-called static atlas (posterior arch of the atlas unnormally stuck towards the occiput) can be as dramatic as a malrotation.
Since muscles and fascia play the major part in realigning the atlas, it's logic that any therapy or method neglecting these impacts is not capable of either realigning the first cervical vertebra, nor doing so permanently.
AtlasPROfilax® is the original method to realign the atlas and correct its position in a sustainable way by means of a neuromuscular massage of the short neck muscles. No additional treatment of muscles before the treatment is required either.
The certified and authorized AtlasPROfilax® practioners are listed in our official web directory on this website and all authorized and official national, regional or continental websites. In case you don't find a person in our directory who claims to apply our method, you can assume that he or she is not authorized to do so. In doubt, we recommend to contact us for clarification.
See also the section Beware of copycats.
For example, I have a herniated disc at C6-C7…could this procedure cause further damage?
The therapy itself has no known risks because it is not invasive or aggressive and does not provide medications to take. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't notice anything or that you have healing discomforts that you didn't expect but that then go away on their own.
There are also no relevant contraindications. The therapy will not be performed on pregnant women, simply out of prudence, or in very rare cases that the doctor knows how to determine.
There are, however, healing reactions or healing discomforts. These are good and healthy and are part of the body's process of trying to heal very old pains and problems.
The "old and chronic pains" of old or latent illnesses or ailments are often reaffirmed and resolved by other "different pains" and transient ones. Sometimes these discomforts are very mild and take the form of muscle fatigue, muscle aches and pains, although in a few cases the person may feel more discomfort, which gradually disappears. This normal but sometimes annoying process back to health is known as "homeostasis" or "regressive vicariations". The same applies to other natural therapies such as chiromassage, osteopathy or homeopathy.
Basically, the method is absolutely safe. It only works on the short neck muscles, applying vibro-pressure at certain trigger points in that area. As always, we cannot predict the outcome, but we've experienced a lot of positive effects in cases of herniated discs and similar ailments. However, this strongly depends on individual medical history.
The AtlasPROfilax® method is no compensation for medical care or diagnostics. Any current treatments must neither be interrupted nor terminated, also future treatments must not be postponed. The AtlasPROfilax® method is neither a diagnostic method nor a medical therapy, no diseases, no symptoms of diseases, no medical conditions and no sufferings are medicated.
How do you screen applicants for the training?
We screen applicants exactly the way as described on our website - according to legal and personal qualification, an ethical code and personal attitude towards their profession and our method.
Depending on the legal prerequisites in each country, we only accept medical doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors or doctors of natural medicine as students for our training sessions.
The candidates have to hand in a short CV, documents that prove their professional qualifications, a certificate of good conduct etc. If they meet the basic requirements, we do an interview with them so that they can address their major questions and we get an impression of their skills and personality.
If you are a health professional and want to become an AtlasPROfilax® practitioner, you can apply on our website by non-binding filling in of an online form. You can find additional information about the training and the requirements to enter it here.
There are basically two ways of getting a Quality Control: a) the practitioner gets a single QC session or b) takes part in an update session which is often embedded in a regular training session.
Option a) means that the practitioner has to perform a whole treatment with a) real clients where all parts of the appointment (clarifying conversation, tests, explanatory skills, treatment itself etc.) are supervised and evaluated. Option b) means that the practitioner repeats the most relevant parts of the training, both in practice and theory. The latter also includes updates and recent findings/studies and exceeds of course option a) in terms of time.
How many people are treated annually with this AtlasPROfilax procedure?
We can't supply detailed statistics but only estimations. We can also not speak for all members since they have a different range and focus within their portfolio of treatments and therapies. Also the number of annual treatments worldwide has been growing since 2004, especially within the last five years.
Based on the figures we can access, we currently estimate 150.000 applications per year being carried out worldwide and between 2.000.000 and 3.000.000 overall since 1996.
Go to contact on our website. If you have already chosen a certain Atlasprof® to make an appointment with, you can of course clear your most important questions in advance by phone or e-mail.