Atlas Orthogonal: Non-Surgical Neuro-Structural Rehabilitation  
The Atlas Orthogonal Procedure:

Why Do Patients Call THIS Safe and Painless, Math-Based, Procedure Their "Neck Secret?"

     By Dr. Donald Liebell

     It's one of the best-kept secret in our health care system.  It has been found to be helping for a wide variety of conditions, by relieving nerve compression in the neck.  The Atlas Orthogonal  procedure is performed in order to move the Atlas Vertebra (top bone of the neck) into better position, relative to the skull above and spine below.  The goal is to re-position the weight of your head over the center of your neck as close as possible. This is done to reduce structural/mechanical imbalance, which is causing nerve compression, body imbalance and wear and tear.  This repositioning is intended to reactivate blocked or altered transmission of nerve impulses (healing messages) from the brain to the body so your body’s natural healing process can begin. 

   The calculations from digital mathematical x-ray analysis provide knowledge  of the exact position of the atlas vertebra (to a fraction of a degree), relative to the skull above and the rest of the neck below.   The analysis reveals how much your atlas has shifted, tilted or rotated away from its normal balanced position. This formula calculated enables the doctor to make a pinpoint atlas corrections.  This instrument, properly calibrated for each individual, applies a precisely directed, split-second sound vibration on a tiny spot on the side of your neck (just below the ear).
        This remarkable technology enables us to gently move the misaligned bones into better position—to re-position the head over the center of the neck.  The science of Chiropractic was discovered in 1895, in Davenport, Iowa by Daniel Palmer. The first procedures of "adjusting" the Atlas vertebra were developed and clinically researched by his son, Dr. B.J. Palmer (1881-1961).  Dr. John Grostic made further progress, followed by the remarkable innovations of Dr. Roy Sweat (1927-present) of Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Sweat brought the procedures into the realm of “high tech” science by inventing the Atlas Percussion “sound wave” adjusting instrument in 1970.


   Inside the instrument’s chamber is a mechanical device called a SOLENOID.  The solenoid creates a magnetically activated impact on the end of the stylus. The vibration
transfers to the end in contact with the skin surface. The force generated is as little as 3 pounds.  The re-alignment of the atlas bone has been verified by computerized mathematical x-ray analysis, before and after treatment.  This re-alignment motion has also been confirmed by computerized x-ray studies, as well as live motion video x-ray. 

     Forget about the concept of “no pain, no gain because the Atlas Orthogonal procedure is 100% painless!.  You feel the stylus pressed up against your ear... you hear the "click" of the solenoid... and that's it! This skillful, precise re-positioning of the atlas is the basis for much of the relief experienced by people who have conditions that ordinarily do not respond to traditional methods
    The HEAD SUPPORT is designed to enable the doctor to position your head and neck to reverse the misalignment correctly, without spinal "manipulation." This means that the Atlas is re-positioned within your body’s normal range of motion.  Traditional type chiropractic adjustments, that some people call, “cracking the neck or back,” by definition requi
res taking a joint beyond its normal range of motion.  This type of procedure can be effective, but it is not part of Atlas Orthogonal techniques.  In my practice I also effectively use manual structural correction techniques on lower areas of the spine.  

  With AO, you lie down on the bed with your head on the support, while the Atlas adjustment is performed. The Atlas Orthogonal instrument has many movable parts, which are custom set to fit your body for the most accurate and reproducible treatment.  The AO procedure reduces nerve irritation, which reactivates normal transmission of nerve messages sent from the brain to affected parts of the body.   It’s kind of like “turning on a light switch” to the entire body. This is why we see so many different health conditions (which seem to be totally unrelated to one another) responding to this same natural neck treatment.

    Remember that the slightest degree of misalignment of the little Atlas bone that supports the weight of your head, can cause body imbalance and nerve interference – which results in health problems and pain in the body.  In order for nerve messages to flow freely through the nerves, like “electricity through wires” the atlas must be restored to balanced position. When the atlas is out of position, other vertebrae in the spine below will become misaligned.  These cases need specific atlas correction. Chiropractic adjustments done only to the lower part of the spine are ineffective. This is why many patients, who had not responded to traditional chiropractic care, are helped using AO as the primary treatment.  The atlas balance determines balance for your entire body.  Correcting the Atlas enables restricted and misaligned vertebrae of the entire spine to achieve better alignment. This includes the pelvis and hips.  “What Changes Can I Expect From Atlas Orthogonal?”
     If you’re like most patients, you’ve had your problem a long time. However as soon as the Atlas correction is done, nerve function and body balance can begin to improve. This means muscles relax, and blood and oxygen circulation is increased. And recent medical research has shown that it even may reduce high blood pressure.  Most importantly, you can feel that the pain from nerve pressure is reduced when your neck is re-examined, seconds after the AO adjustment is performed. This means that healing messages can be better transmitted from the brain to the body, enabling the self-healing process to begin.  You might even notice various changes the day of your first atlas correction. These chang
es are due to your body responding to the re-balancing of the spine.  In order to heal, your body must go through different cycles of repair. Restoring blocked nerve impulses may immediately reduce pain and other symptoms. You may also have a tired or relaxed feeling.

    Some people experience some muscle stiffness in a different area of their body, while others may feel light-headed or occasionally a headache at first. You might even notice a shift in the side of pain from one side to another.  Many people notice something different within the first 24 hours – This is a great sign that the self-healing has begun, because our whole goal is to break the cycle of pain and malfunction.  Many chronic pain patients may take several weeks before any changes are noticed. You may be receiving treatment for a very complex, neck-related condition like Fibromyalgia which has taken many years or decades to develop.  Many chronic pain patients may take several weeks before any changes are noticed. You may be receiving treatment for a very complex, neck-related condition like which has taken many years or decades to develop.  We always are checking to see if the atlas is “holding” good position or not. Holding means that your ATLAS has stayed in better position and should not yet be adjusted again. If it’s “out,” that means that your atlas pulled back to a misaligned position.  It’s important to understand that this is totally normal. If you have an aggressive degenerative condition, or other complicating factors, your atlas might only stay in better position for only a couple of days at a time at first.

   Here’s why:

   Ligaments are soft tissue structu
res which hold the atlas and the axis (second bone of the neck) together with the skull and the neck below.  Unlike all other vertebrae, there is NO bone-to-bone interlocking of the top two bones of the neck.  Muscles of course, provide movement of the bones.  Nerves carry the brain signals back and forth from the muscles – thus telling them when to contract and relax. Many chronic aches and pains are the result of improperly healed spinal injuries.  Ligaments and muscles get overstretched, overstressed, injured, used and abused. While they do naturally heal under many circumstances, they may heal out of balance. One side of the neck may have shortened, tight muscles or maybe an injury from years back may have left certain ligaments with rigid scar tissue formed.

    Any way you slice it
, these tissues are often in very bad shape because they never healed properly in the first place.  Muscles are very elastic and flexible. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about ligaments. Ligaments are relatively inelastic and less flexible. That’s because their job is to hold bones in place (remember that muscles’ job is to move bones!). So, when ligaments get damaged it’s kind of like taking a spring and pulling it apart too far…you know what happens, right?…It doesn’t “spring” back to its original shape and function.

    Well guess what…the ligaments which have been holding your skull, atlas and the rest of your neck together have gotten used to holding in the wrong position!!  What this means is that when your atlas is first set back towards a balanced position, the ligament
s are not very capable of holding in the good position for very long – their just not conditioned to do it at the beginning… but don’t worry, they’ll get stronger and better as care progresses.  It’s just like tuning a musical instrument (like a piano, violin or guitar) – the strings need conditioning to become used to the normal length and tone (that’s what “muscle tone” is all about!). So basically, the Atlas Orthogonal procedure is geared towards training the neck to stay in better alignment to the head and the rest of your body by adjusting the atlas whenever it goes out of balanced position.

   “How Long Will It Take For Me To Feel Better?”

    Some patients respond immediately. Others take several weeks or months. This is the simple honest answer to the most common question I’m asked. First of all, we must consider that even though two patients may have a similar condition, they will not necessarily progress in the same manner. Every patient is an individual who must be studied and analyzed as such.  Keep in mind that in my practice, I treat people with severe, chronic conditions; problems that in many cases ha
ve plagued their victims for 10-30 years and sometimes longer.  These are people who have not improved despite the attempts at many types of treatment.  Also, Atlas Orthogonal may not be the only treatment approach needed.

    The 90-Day Law

    My treatment philosophy adheres to what I call the 90-day Law. If your treatment is correct it should at least be creating some progression of improvement inside of 90 days.   Of course, this doesn't mean that in 90 days everyone's going to become as "good as they can get."  What this means is that even the most awful, long-standing chronic pain conditions can be expected to show signs of improvement in 90 days or less! That’s right – you could have a painful condition for decades and notice significant improvement in under 3 months... with the right treatment.

   How Could This Be True?

   It’s simple. If the conditions are right, your body is capable of healing. That’s the whole “ball of wax.” This means if my treatment is to be helpful, you’ll be experiencing improvement inside of 90 days.  It is natural and expected for problems related to bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves to show improvement inside of 90 days.  I cringe when I see people who've gone through therapies in other facilities for 6 months or a year... with no improvement!  That is unacceptable, as far as I'm concerned.  If you broke a bone, sprained your ankle or injured a nerve, it would take about 90 days to heal… that is, if you take care of it properly and give it the right conditions to heal normally.  If your atlas gets into better position, your body will have a new set of better conditions under which to operate and function.   

    Research on nerve regeneration, and Atlas Orthogonal conducted by Dr. C.H. Suh, PhD. has revealed that it takes approximately 90-100 days for injured nerves to regenerate.  Dr. Suh served as chairman of the Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of
Colorado, Boulder.

   Does that mean that your condition will be “all better” or as good as you can get in 90 days?

   In some cases yes…and some cases no – it depends a lot on how bad your spine is and what kind of condition you have. Some problems get fixed up and stay fixed up for a long time. Many chronic pain conditions for which there is no real “cure” may require some level of ongoing care (provided that there is improvement shown within the initial 90-day period).  Remember what I discussed about ligaments and muscles before—if there is damage or scar tissue, your ligaments may not be able to heal perfectly. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t improve significantly. We just may have to work harder and longer, and maintain progress with occasional follow-up treatment.

   Let’s put it this way…when my patients are having tremendous, life-changing improvements under my care, they insist that I keep the process going as long as possible. But I don’t continue treatment past the 90-day point, if a patient is not getting better by then.  We’re always evaluating your condition to determine your future needs. Yes—you may a condition that has no “cure” but can be greatly improved, without having to rely on lots of drugs or surgery to function. Most patients in fact, are able to reduce or stop taking many drugs.  Your body may not be physically capable of permanent relief because of several factors. You may have anything from ligament, tendon or muscle damage, severe arthritic degeneration, permanent spinal curvatures, etc., which prevent you from 100% recovery.  

   Realize that the ligaments which hold the atlas vertebra are extremely prone to injury because they’re so small and delicate. Remember that the atlas is a 2-ounce bone which is carrying the weight of a bowling ball (your head) around all day – it’s a big job, and you know what…we ALL put it to the test nearly every day. But don’t worry—my patients can tell you that none of this really matters to them because...

    They Feel Better & They Feel Healthier Since They Learned About Atlas Orthogonal

      My patients can also tell you that if I can accept your case, it will be critical that you stick to the recommended visit schedule. I must regularly monitor your case, even if your symptoms are much improved at an early stage. Remember that I am not just helping your symptoms—I am treating the CAUSES.  Most chronic pain sufferers have “built” their condition over years to decades. But with the proper treatment, great strides can be made in under 90 days. This is the natural healing time, under ideal conditions, for many problems with nerves, bones, ligaments and muscles.

     It is not a “quick fix” but rather a serious, calculated process of physical rehabilitation. Throughout your recommended care, I will re-evaluate your condition and determine what is necessary at that point.  A realistic expectation, based on averages, would be some signs of improvement within 2-4 weeks. Then, improvement usually continues gradually for several months.  My initial desire is to make you feel better, however my major goal is to make you healthier through corrective and rehabilitative care. The objective is not only to relieve pain, but also to restore body balance, thus improving the function of your nervous system.

    My purpose with this program is to correct the underlying causes of your condition as much as physically possible and prevent its return.  AO is NOT directly a “pain treatment” to mask symptoms.  It’s a corrective and rehabilitative treatment. This means that you may not automa
tically come in for a visit in pain… and leave without pain. Each treatment is part of the process of making your body able to heal on its own – from the inside out… naturally, without drugs or surgery.

    Getting better from chronic pain is a process that takes time – but if I can accept your case, you’ll likely feel your body making progress, usually within 90 days or less.

   (Interested in the History of Atlas Orthogonal Procedures?  Click HERE)

         Ask Me Questions

Although I receive lots of questions daily, I do respond to all of them (in the order received), usually within 48 hours.  Please understand that my answers are for general information only.  I cannot provide specific medical advice via email; that can only be provided through proper evaluation in my office.  For appointments, please call my office.  

   Your email address or other information is confidential; I wll never share it with anyone, nor will it be used for any form of solicitation.   I look forward to your questions! 

                                                     - Dr. Donald Liebell

Dr. Donald Liebell
D.C., B.C.A.O, B.A.

477 Viking Drive Suite 170
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(757) 631-9799(757) 631-9799

  "Unbelievable physiological improvement
with Atlas Orthogonal... 

This is the type of work that is going on out there that the medical profession does not know is going on, and they have to be made aware of it."

- Dr. Coulter Rule, M.D., Internal Medicine, Psychiatrist &
New York State Medical Board Examiner, Ret.

Dr. Liebell Explains the
Atlas Orthogonal Procedure

Watch the Atlas Orthogonal Procedure
 Featured on "The Doctors"

Watch How Montel Williams Was
Helped by Atlas Orthogonal

"It's The Most Amazing Thing
That Has Ever Happened
to Me"
"I suffer from MS, I have extreme neuralgic pain in the lower extremities, I'm in pain 24 hours a day seven days a week 365 days a year, and then I go to see this doctor... I've had pain in my feet, I've struggled with my balance... I  am walking differently, my pain is less, I have already regained strength in my left leg... it's the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me…”

- Montel Williams 2008


"I've gone through the last three seasons feeling the best I've ever felt"

"I've been coming to atlas orthogonal for the last three years since 1998...  Before I came to atlas orthogonal -- a lot of headaches... If I can come in and continue to have these treatments, and they can continue to help me the way they've helped me, maybe I can continue to last for another eight years."

-  Michael Strahan,  New York Giants 2001
Co-Host, "Live with Kelly and Michael ABC-TV


"It was magic... a Miracle"

"I had an accident where I was hit in the head with something and I was having a lot of neck and shoulder pain. A friend of mine told me about atlas orthogonal.... It was magic. A miracle. Truly, I'd been living with a certain amount of pain every day for about ten years and suddenly I walked out of the office with not a speck of pain. Big difference going ... The pain was completely gone immediately."

- Eva LaRue - Emmy Award Nominated Actress, "CSI-Miami"


Atlas Orthogonal

"You have literally saved my life!"

"I was at a point where, after 18 years of pain and suffering, there was no point in continuing to try to live with unbearable pain, which only got worse as I got older. I had run the whole gamut of doctors who would not listen to my symptoms and offered no help except drugs, that made me even sicker... Without Dr. Liebell I would never have found so much help…my neck and back, thanks to his treatments are nearly 100 percent better.

Lois Haynes, Photographer,
Smithfield, VA

"I believe this integrated sytem will take its place among the greatest medical breakthroughs of our time"
“As a dentist specializing in TMJ, head, neck and facial pain, I have come to realize the importance of integrating the Atlas Orthogonal Technique in the treatment of patients with structural distortions…" 
- Dr. Gerald Smith,
Author, "Alternative Treatments for Conquering Chronic Pain
Founder, the Int
ernational Center for Nutritional Research

"Praise the Lord; I can actually go to sleep!"
"One of the worst problems was the pain in my neck. A surgeon told me to take hot showers, that I had arthritis and nothing could be done. That was 9 years ago... A sports doctor put me on Paxil and I was taking Voltarin for “arthritis.” He sent me to physical therapy, but it never took the pain away.  By the second week of treatment [with Atlas Orthogonal] I was flying high—I felt wonderful. I guess for the last 4 or 5 years, I didn’t know what it was like to sleep the whole night through."

- Joyce White.  Virginia Beach, 2000 

“I whole-heartedly endorse this diagnostic and treatment method"
"As a medical doctor with thirty-five years of clinical experience, I feel that most patients with acute and chronic neck pain or headaches should be considered for Atlas Orthogonal treatment."

 - Dr. Stanley H. Block, MD., Author -
"Come to Your Senses - D
emystifying the Mind Body Connection"


"I am astonished with the help
I have gotten with Atlas Orthogonal."
- Dr. Betty Gessel, M.D., Internist,
Vice President, New York Academy of Medicine

Now I can get up in the morning without neck pain, and I rarely get headaches!
  "For many years my neck bothered me almost every morning.  When I'd look up, tilting my head back, my hearing would mysteriously cut out.  I also had headaches every single day.  As a professional ballet instructor, I was unable to demonstrate properly because of the pain... Now, thanks to Dr. Liebell and Atlas correction, I'm finally out of pain.  My life is so much better.  I sleep better than ever.  Now I know how important your nervous system and spinal alignment is.  My hearing problem is gone too, as a result of atlas corrections!

- Michael Kaiser - Professional Ballet Instructor,
Governor's School - Norfolk Public Schools,  Old Dominion University

This Treatment is Wonderful!
    "When I began I could not raise my arm very far or even put it behind my back. It is very wonderful to have full mobility and strength in my arm, neck and shoulders. Dr. Liebell is a loving and delightful human being as are his two knowledgeable ladies who work with him. They each one take time to personalize the patients’ care and needs! You must call and make an appointment. Do not wait any longer."
- Mary Ann Hartsock, Virginia Beach
My life was changed in about 2/3 of a second
"It was the first time in twelve years that I was not in pain... ... But the best part is that I'm up and around seven days a week now and going back to the normal life that I enjoyed twelve years ago - something I haven't really seen in over a decade

- Jay Glazer, Senior Writer FOX Sports

You Gave Me My Life Back!

"My mind and body had been on such a roller coaster ride for three years... I started to have severe pain in my neck and at the base of my head.  I lived in silence for about a year until it became unbearable... I went to pain management and was given steroid injections...I was so discouraged and felt that my only option was to take pain pills... I truly could not do anything.  I could not even hold my new grandson... After the first treatment [Atlas Orthogonal] I walked out of the office and felt a big difference... I highly recommend Dr. Liebell and would like to thank him for giving me back my life.

- Barbara Captain, Virginia Beach

"We want every single patient we have under care to have their spine examined by an Atlas Orthogonist"
"I am saddened by the thousands, and probably millions, of patients that have problems that could be helped by Atlas Orthogonal, but don’t know that it exists. If the alignment is wrong, the nerve system is not going to work well no matter how good their nutrition is, they are not going to be able to assimilate that nutrition sufficiently. The majority of cancer cases we see have overt cervical spinal problems, even the ones who don’t have a history of spinal trauma."

- Dr. Nicholas Gonzales, MD,
Immunologist, Cancer Specialist

Watch Other News Media Coverage of the Atlas Orthogonal Procedure