dr. windman atlas orthogonist
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The Nature of Atlas Orthogonal Procedure
Before outlining the exact nature of the Atlas Orthogonal Procedure (AOP) it is helpful to explain what it is and what is not involved in order to eliminate any confusion. The Atlas Orthogonal Procedure involves NO:

• manual or other manipulation
• traditional chiropractic adjustments of any nature
• popping, snapping or related sounds or sensations

Atlas Orthogonal Alignment has been called “a major scientific breakthrough in (the) treatment of pain.”  However, as glowing an accolade as this is, it is actually a vast understatement.  That’s because AOP has been shown time and again to alleviate and eliminate a wide array of conditions and ailments not normally associated with pain.

Dr. Windman has seen patients who were referred to her office with the following conditions who responded well to Atlas Orthogonal and Upper Cervical Care.

- Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue
- Dizziness
- Headaches
- Migraines
- TMJ Dysfunction
- Vertigo
- Nervousness
- Stress
- Meniere's
- Insomnia
- Herniated Discs
- Hip Pain
- Neck Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Hip Pain
- Tinnitus
- NUCCA Blood Pressure Study....and many more

The simple proposition is that the body’s structure must be in alignment to function properly and efficiently.

The body’s overall alignment is directly controlled by the area of the neck.  Specifically, it is controlled by the Atlas vertebra which is a free moving vertebra at the top of the spine.  (all other vertebra are fixed, held in place by discs.)

When the Atlas vertebra is in correct alignment it is said to be in the orthogonal-perpendicular-position.  When it is out of alignment - twisted - an entire range of bodily functions are affected resulting in pain, illness and a wide variety of medical conditions.

If you recall how incapacitating your last twisted knee, ankle or back were (or, if you are mechanically inclined, the damage to your tires the last time your auto’s wheels were out of alignment), you have some idea of how destructive misalignments can be.

This is especially so regarding the Atlas vertebra.  An Atlas, which is tilted, rotated or shifted - in any way misaligned - even a small degree out of its orthogonal position may cause you to experience spinal cord compression syndrome or pressure or irritation in the neck area.  This compression syndrome may cause: 

• headaches and migraines
• sinus problems
• asthma
• tinnitus
• loss of sleep
• allergies
• neck pain
• balance problems

But that is only part of the story. While neck compression and irritation is the most obvious concern, it is by no means the only one. A twisted Atlas also forces the entire spine and pelvis to realign in a sympathetic movement to conform to the new position of the Atlas. The resulting twisting and distorting of the entire skeletal structure of the body leads to body imbalance, muscle and nerve irritation. Also, since the Atlas is at the base of the brain, this misalignment may reduce, delay or distort messages sent from the brain to the body and vice versa - thereby affecting a wide diversity of bodily functions. Thus, it is not surprising that other conditions which are commonly caused by a misaligned Atlas vertebra include:

• nervous tension
• fatigue
• knee pain
• trigeminal neuralgia
• cervical & lumbar pain problems
• arm pain
• hip pain
• lower back pain
• sciatica
• numbness
• fibromyalgia

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Causes of Atlas Misalignment

There are many causes of a misaligned Atlas vertebra. Considering that the Atlas weighs only about 2 ounces and is called upon to support the weight of a 10 to 14 pound head, about the weight of a bowling ball, this is not surprising. (Indeed, this vertebra is called the Atlas in honor of the hero of Greek mythology who had to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.)

The problem of a misaligned Atlas is so prevalent, as we have said because unlike other vertebra, it has no associated disc to hold it firm or cushion it from the weight of the head. Hence the Atlas vertebra is the most easily moved - and most vulnerable - bone in the spine.

Without question, the most obvious causes of a misaligned Atlas are back or neck injuries or trauma. Yet once again, that is only a small part of the story. Far more often the Atlas moves or becomes misaligned gradually, unnoticed, over time due to subtle spinal stresses.

These include:

• Poor posture
• Poor sleeping position
• Repeated physical activity
• Cradling phones between neck and shoulder
• Improper lifting and carrying

Oddly enough, a gradual misalignment can be far more detrimental than one due to accident or trauma. Why? First, we tend to ignore or become accustomed to the conditions caused by gradual misalignment even as those conditions increase in severity. We adapt. Second, and more important, we are not even aware that the cause of a particular ailment may be due to a misaligned Atlas - something seemingly so unrelated to whatever ails us.

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Expected Results

There is, of course no way to predict the results in any given case of returning the Atlas vertebra to its natural, orthogonal position.  No two cases are alike.  Nevertheless, the Atlas Orthogonal Procedure has provided dramatic results time and again in reversing and eliminating, not only the above conditions, but a variety of others as well, most often quite readily.

Side Effects

There are no side effects.  None.  Ever.  Returning the atlas vertebra to its original, natural position is an act of high precision.

The key to the host of problems involving the Atlas vertebra (why it is out of alignment in so many people) is that it is so easily moved. The perfect irony here is that this very same trait - ease of movement - is also the key to the solution.

There are four stages to the Atlas Orthogonal realignment:

• examination and x-rays
• realignment
• post-realignment x-ray
• maintenance

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Examination and X-Ray

The initial visit to an atlas orthogonist includes a complete history and thorough structural examination. In particular, the Orthogonist will examine your neck and legs. Commonly, any unequal length of your legs is a sign that your spine is skewed and that the problem is due to an Atlas vertebra that is out of position. Other reliable indicators of a misplaced Atlas include restricted neck movement and uneven shoulders or hips.

You will have a specialized series of x-rays of the neck area. This will reveal the exact position of the misaligned Atlas and will serve as a precision blueprint for returning the Atlas to its natural orthogonal position.

Realignment Procedure

Your Atlas vertebra is returned to its natural position via a procedure using a device called the Atlas Orthogonal Precision Instrument. The Instrument, as developed and perfected by Dr. Roy Sweat, uses the properties of percussion force consisting of a wave of compressional energy to reposition the Atlas.

During the procedure the percussive part of the instrument is placed behind the patient’s earlobe in accordance with the precise protocol indicated by the x-ray. The instrument then discharges a short burst of energy, a compression wave - limited but precisely directed toward the Atlas. This procedure quite literally takes a mere instant, is as gentle as a breathe of air and immediately returns the Atlas vertebra to its orthogonal or natural (perpendicular) position.


Post-Realignment X-Ray

The post-realignment x-ray is a vital and indispensable component of the realignment process.  The reason is obvious.  Without objective confirmation that the Atlas has been properly realigned there is no assurance of success.


In most cases, the now-repositioned Atlas had been misaligned for extended periods of time, causing muscles and nerves to learn new habits. While dramatic relief is almost always achieved immediately upon realignment, old habits die hard. That means that for a time, there will be a tendency for the body to be highly susceptible to returning to pre-repositioning postures. For this reason it is essential in the weeks after the procedure for you to be reexamined and monitored to ensure complete long term success of the repositioning procedure. Affording the body time to relearn how to function properly and heal permanently is especially vital even though you may feel “cured” at once. During this maintenance period you and your Orthogonist will also discuss the things you can do to reduce the chances of a recurrence.

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Doctor Leslie Windman’s practice specializes in disorders attributable to the misalignment of the Atlas vertebra.

Leslie Windman is a Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist with postgraduate training in problems and procedures pertaining to the upper spine. She continues to study directly with Dr. Roy Sweat as she has for the past decade.

Prior to becoming an Atlas Orthogonist she received her first professional degree after a 5-year curriculum at the prestigious Palmer College of Chiropractic, the acknowledged leading educational institution in the field and the first such college to achieve university status.

Dr. Windman has authored numerous articles for professional and lay journals and periodicals and has lectured widely on the relationship between a wide variety of illnesses and a misaligned Atlas vertebra.

Dr. Windman also appears regularly on radio and television. She is an acknowledged leader in the field of Atlas Orthogonal repositioning.


© 2005-2012 Dr. Windman, Atlas Orthogonal Upper Cervical Chiropractor. All Rights Reserved.

Rather than a cure for any specific condition, upper cervical around the source of affliction. Dr. Windman works in collaboration with the patient, integrating her care with each individual’s established medical treatment.

The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.

All illustrations on this web site are used with permission from Daniel O. Clark D.C.
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