Dr. Ben Eversage says: There are four things that distinguish NCR from other body work techniques. NCR is done in two phases – MRT (Meningeal Release Technique) and ERT (Endonasal Release Technique).
1. First, in NCR, we do not adjust anteriorities.
The big mistake that chiropractors make is adjusting, or pushing, vertebrae forward. This forward direction of a vertebrae is in the anterior direction; therefore, we call it an anteriority. When a chiropractor lays you facedown, prone, on a table and drives all of your vertebrae forward he is doing you great harm. Why? Because he is pushing your vertebrae in a direction that the body cannot self correct.
When a vertebrae goes out of alignment there are muscles in the body that can pull it up, down, sideways, forward, or in rotation. But, there are no muscles in the body that can pull a vertebrae backwards once it has gone forward. Think about it. There are no muscles in the back of your spine that have the leverage to pull a vertebrae backwards. Therefore, your chiropractor is creating problems that weren’t there before.
This is the way that chiropractors have been taught for the last 100 years and it is plain wrong! In the MRT phase of NCR we only adjust vertebrae backwards, or posterior. By doing so we are correcting the primary biomechanical pathology (PBP) and this allows the spine to start to unwind, heal old injuries, and reverse damage. No other technique does this.
2. Second, in NCR, we do not adjust compensations.
In NCR, we only adjust things that the body cannot self-correct. When we have an injury and it results in a PBP, Primary Biomechanical Pathology, the body will attempt to maintain homeostasis, or balance. Often, the body cannot fully correct this malposition of the vertebrae or body part by itself and needs outside help to do so. When the body cannot fully correct an injury by itself, it will create a compensation. A compensation is the body’s attempt to improve a defect by the excessive development or action or malposition of another structure or organ of the same structure. In other words, when a vertebrae goes out of alignment, the body will attempt to maintain balance by misaligning another vertebrae to counterbalance the original injury or defect.
Imagine you have a horse. Your horse throws a shoe or wears it out unevenly. You don’t notice it at first. But you do notice that the horse starts to limp on one side. You don’t do anything and the horse starts to drag that foot and eventually the horse is too lame to walk. The horse’s body compensated for the bad shoe by altering the foot, leg and back structure. You wouldn’t adjust the horse’s foot or leg or back, you’d correct the bad shoe. Then the horse’s body will take care of everything else and correct the compensations.
In NCR, we don’t address compensations, we only adjust the main problem, the PBP, and the body will take care of the compensations itself. When a chiropractor adjusts everything he finds, he takes out the body’s compensations and doesn’t adjust the primary biopathologies. Now, the body has to either create new compensations or put back the old ones that the chiropractor took out. The same is true for massage therapy or Atlasprofilax or any technique that doesn’t address the causal problem but only assuages the symptom or compensation. When you don’t go to cause but only deal on the level of the effect, then the body does not heal but remains stuck on the level of the problem. It cannot transcend the problem as long as you keep addressing only the effect.
Often I am asked, “Am I holding my adjustments?” This is a question that one would ask a regular chiropractor who is adjusting compensations. That chiropractor would want everything to “hold” or have the spine stay in place where he put it, because that is where he “thinks” it should be.
In NCR, we don’t think that way. We do not have a preconceived idea of where your spine should be or what it should look like. We don’t care if you “held” your adjustment or not. We want you to fully unwind. The cranium and spine are dynamic organs that take input from the NCR treatment and use that input to heal old injuries. When it has unwound as much as it can from a single treatment then it is ready for the next input.
The “hold your adjustment” chiropractor is trying to “cure” you, whereas we are trying to “heal” you. You can only heal if you work with the body and not against it. The body wants to unwind. It doesn’t want to just “stay in place”. Only the innate intelligence of the body knows where it should be; not some preconceived notion of an old paradigm thinking chiropractor. A better question to ask is “How is my unwinding going?”
3. Third, in NCR, we adjust the bones of the head to unlock the cranium.
When I went through chiropractic school, we were repeatedly told that chiropractors are the “nerve doctors” and that, in effect, we were functional neurologists. To me, that didn’t make complete sense because 80% of the nervous system is in the head, and only 20% of the nervous system is in the spine. Since chiropractors only adjust from C-1, or the atlas, down, then they are really only dealing with 20% of the nervous system. I always wondered “if we are the nerve doctors then why aren’t we adjusting the head?”.
Luckily, I found NCR and further improved on it. In the ERT phase of NCR, we use endonasal balloons inserted into the nasal conchae to indirectly adjust the sphenoid bone. The sphenoid bone is really the first atlas. It determines how the atlas beneath it will sit and move in space. All of the 22 bones of the cranium, except one, the mandible, touch and interface with the sphenoid. So, the sphenoid is the keystone to the arch of the head. As the sphenoid goes, so goes the rest of the cranial bones. That is why we focus on the sphenoid bone in the ERT phase of NCR. Over time, the endonasal balloons incrementally move the cranial bones and gradually correct a mis-happen head.
4. Fourth, in NCR, we do not believe that just adjusting the atlas will take care of everything.
Just adjusting the atlas and believing that everything below it and above it will self correct and align is ludicrous from an NCR point of view. The head is heavy. It is like a ten pound bowling ball sitting on top of a flexible cue stick. If the cranium is distorted, out of alignment, off balance and off center and generally locked up; how is the atlas, which it is sitting on, going to stay in place? Atlas doctors and those who do Atlasprofilax like to say that they are putting the atlas in the “correct” position. Well, if the occiput, which is sitting on top of the atlas, is not in the correct position and is generally distorted, then how is the atlas going to stay put? It is like having a foundation for a house not directly under the house. If the house is hanging off of the foundation then how is the foundation not going to be affected? As above, so below. When you get the cranium corrected through NCR then everything below it starts to unwind, heal and go into proper position. In this context, the atlas is in compensation to the cranium. The atlas is not the primary problem, it is a compensation.