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What is the Blair Technique?


Dr. Topping uses the the Blair chiropractic technique, which is a specific system of analyzing and adjusting the upper cervical vertebrae of the spinal column. These vertebrae can misalign in such a way as to interfere with the brain stem and spinal cord as they exit through the floor of the skull and into the neural canal. Special attention is given to the first two cervical (neck) vertebrae, the Atlas and Axis, as they are the most freely moveable vertebrae in the spinal column and the ones most commonly misaligned.

After many years of research and study of all the techniques that were being developed at the time, Dr. B.J. Palmer, the developer of chiropractic realized that the only place a person could truly have interference to the nervous system was at the level of the base of the skull, the Atlas and Axis vertebrae. Most movement of the head and neck occurs at this level. The joint surfaces in this area move more on a horizontal plane rather than a vertical plane as in the rest of the spine. This area is only held together by tendons, ligaments, and muscles; unlike the rest of the spine which also has intervertebral locking joints. As a result of these characteristics of the cervical spine, it becomes the weakest link in the chain when exposed to the forces of trauma such as the birth process, falls, auto accidents, stress, etc.

Dr. Palmer conducted studies in Germany on cadavers and found that the brain stem extended into the neural canal down to the level of the second cervical vertebrae (Axis), at which point it becomes the spinal cord extending downward. The brain stem has been referred to as the "Fusebox." This is the area that has the nerve cell centers that control many of the major functions of the body such as heart beat, respiration, digestion, elimination, our heating and cooling mechanism, constriction and dilation of the veins and arteries, muscle coordination, etc. Most of the automatic functions of the body that we don't have to consciously think about are controlled at the brain stem level.

The brain stem consists of approximately ten billion nerve fibers routing messages to all parts of the body. These nerve fibers are arranged in small bundles called nerve tracts. Gray's Anatomy states: "the nervous system is the master system of the body controlling and coordinating all the functions of the body and relating the individual to his environment."

The Atlas and Axis are the only vertebrae surrounding the brain stem. When they misalign to the extent that they put pressure on the brain stem and/or spinal cord, they interfere with the vital messages being sent to and from the brain to all parts of the body. If for example the Atlas presses against the part of the cord that sends messages to the left hand, that individual may experience a numbness, burning or tingling sensation in that hand. If the nerve tracts at the brain stem level going to the heart are being pressed upon, the individual may experience high blood pressure, palpitations, or an irregular heartbeat. Any part of the body can be affected when there is pressure on the brain stem or spinal cord, because all of the nerves have to pass through this area before reaching the part of the body they supply.

When a vertebrae misaligns to the extent that it interferes with nerve transmission, it is termed a subluxation. A subluxation may be present for months or years before producing any outward signs such as pain or symptoms, putting the body to break down to a state of dis-ease.

The Blair technique utilizes neurological tests, heat sensitive instrumentation, and other means for detecting when a vertebral subluxation is present. The adjustment is administered only when nerve pressure is present. The Blair technique utilizes precise x-rays of the cervical spine to determine in what manner the vertebrae has misaligned so that a precise and specific adjustment is tailor-made and administered to that individual.

The purpose of the Blair Chiropractic technique is not to diagnose or treat diseases or conditions, but to analyze and correct vertebral subluxations in an accurate, precise, and specific manner to allow the body's natural intelligence to mend, repair, and maintain health from within.