This article on the upper cervical technique of Orthospinology is based on an interview with Dr. Julie Mayer Hunt. It is part of a collection of articles on different techniques in the Art of Chiropractic. Please find additional articles on the Art of Chiropractic on our website at lifewest.edu/magazine under the category “Vitalism” in the coming weeks.
Julie Mayer Hunt, DC, DICCP, FCCJP
- President, Society of Chiropractic Orthospinology
Orthospinology is based on the Grostic procedure, which originated in the 1950s and was developed by Dr. John F. Grostic. After he passed in the mid-1960s, Orthospinology was founded by Dr. T.O. Humber, Dr. Roy Sweat, Dr. J.K. Humber and several other Grostic practitioners in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. Orthospinology corrections are taught today using hand adjustment, a handheld instrument or using a specific standing adjusting unit.
What’s happening now?
In 2008, upper cervical chiropractors began to put together a specialized board certification program concerning diagnosis, management and adjustment of the craniocervical junction (CCJ) through the International Chiropractors Association (ICA). Dr. Mayer Hunt said all of the participating upper cervical doctors were working to get on same page regarding CCJ diagnosis and care, whether they practiced NUCCA, Orthospinology, Atlas Orthogonal (AO), Blair or Knee Chest.
“Part of what I really find joy in is everybody working together again instead of splintering off into different groups,” she added.
New abilities to discern what is appropriate for care via MRI findings and other imaging studies have made a huge difference in how the upper cervical procedures can move forward. “We can see brain health at a quantum level with respect to how to keep the brain as functional as possible,” Dr. Mayer Hunt said. “We get details that help us become much better adjusters.”
“My practice has expanded to complex cases neurologically that I wasn’t seeing 10 years ago,” she added.
Orthospinology is funding new research on immune function, Dr. Mayer Hunt said. Six offices are involved in the study, all of which practice different upper cervical procedures. The research looks at changes in immune function with upper cervical chiropractic care.
“I knew I was seeing things in our clinic that were relevant for the health of anybody,” Dr. Mayer Hunt said. Her hope is that the study will validate what she’s seeing in her office and be useful for anyone looking to improve their immune function.
“I’m looking to get upper cervical care to the world,” she added. “I don’t want it to be about orthospinology, although that’s an exceptional procedure, but we’re all focusing on how we can create the best brain-body connection possible.”
Dr. Mayer Hunt has worked closely with Dr. Scott Rosa, the pioneer in utilizing MRI studies and CSF fluid flow imaging before and after Atlas Orthogonal adjustments.
“We’re looking at these parameters to understand fluid flow to the brain,” she said. “Keeping head-neck relationships vital will discern brain health and quality of life for anybody.”