Atlas Therapy

An extremely gentle procedure in manual medicine to help with a lot of different indications - especially beneficial for babies & children.

A neurophysiological concept

The atlas is the first cervical vertebra - it carries the head and has upward contact with the base of the skull.

Together with this, the 2nd cervical vertebra (axis) as well as the surrounding musculature and the associated capsular ligamentous apparatus, it forms an independent organ system. The special feature of this region is the extraordinarily high density of sensing elements, the so-called sensors. Their task is to measure the position of the body in space, the position of the individual joints in relation to each other, as well as the state of tension of the entire muscular-tendon system.

The sensors of the upper cervical spine are directly connected to the organ of balance and certain centers in the brain that are responsible for gross and fine motor skills. Furthermore, there are connections to brain regions that serve the perception of pain from the movement system. Due to these interconnections, malpositions of the atlas can lead to various types of complaints.

This means that when the atlas is misaligned, the brain receives incorrect signals/information, causing the body to provide an incorrect response.

The consequences of such changes include headaches and neck pain, tinnitus, dizziness, and esp.  in children movement disorders, pelvic obliquity, developmental abnormalities, reading and spelling difficulties.
Atlas therapy now serves to correct this erroneous information and, ideally, to bring it back to normal.

Implementation of atlas therapy

Atlas therapy is an impulse therapy and not a manipulation in the sense of a chirotherapeutic intervention.

The therapist applies an ultra-short impulse to the lateral process of the 1st cervical vertebra with the tip of his middle finger in a specific direction with precisely measured force.
The therapeutic impulse direction is by no means arbitrary, it is determined beforehand by a 3 - sign test, in rare cases an X-ray may be necessary. 
This impulse leads to a change in the pattern of perception, so that the brain is again provided with correct information for processing.

Atlas therapy is an extremely gentle procedure in manual medicine and does not involve the treatment-typical risks of chirotherapy, but it must sometimes be combined with chirotherapeutic or osteopathic measures. This is necessary because the vast majority of complaints or symptoms or diseases are not solely due to disorders in the upper cervical spine. Atlas therapy is therefore a component of a holistic treatment concept and, in particular, of a pain concept.

Treatment indication

Children and infants:

  • KISS - Syndrome (upper cervical joint induced symmetry disorder / crookedness of the head)
  • Tonus asymmetry syndrome (impaired movement, one-sided posture of the infant, asymmetrical movement patterns, involuntary stereotypical movement patterns)
  • Infant scoliosis / oblique posture syndrome (curvature, twisting of the spine
  • torticollis
  • Cry babies


  • neck, back, low back pain
  • Headache, migraine
  • Jaw and face pain
  • Dizziness, balance disorders
  • Tinnitus, ringing in the ears
  • Vegetative disorders 

    Neurological clinical pictures:
  • Infantile cerebral palsy (for toning)
  • Parkinson's disease (no drug substitution!)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Postpoliosyndrome


Arlen's Atlas Therapy is used by licensed physicians who have obtained the Manual Medicine / Chiropractic qualification as a prerequisite. For the treatment of movement-disordered children and infants, further special training is required.
Both trainings are completed at the Medical Association for Atlas Therapy and Manual Pediatric Medicine (www. and conclude with a written and oral examination.

Do you resonate with this? Make an appointment with our partner Almut Kolb - MANUdoc.


March 2021 Almut Kolb -. specialist in surgery and manual therapy procedures.
This blog entry was created with the utmost care and makes no claim to accuracy, completeness or timeliness.
Image: Pixabay Joffi

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Updated: March 2021

Posted in in Medicine & Psychology, Babies & Toddlers