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NUCCA Upper Cervical

It is a derivative of work by Ralph Gregory, D.C., who founded the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association and John Grostic Sr., D.C. They began working together on B.J. Palmer's Hole in One (H.I.O) technique, described elsewhere on this site.

The NUCCA analysis of upper cervical spine vertebral misalignments is an orthogonal based approach, which has its roots in the work done by John Grostic.

According to the NUCCA site “The Atlas Specific”, Dr. A.A. Wernsing stated, "C1 moves laterally as if on the rim of a circle. This understanding led to the condylar circle diameter measurement, enabling Grostic and Gregory to measure the amplitude of C1 excursion for the first time.

The axis superior articulations were added, and the condylar-axial concept became the starting point for what was to become the Grostic technique. From there they used pre and post X-rays to determine the reduction of the atlas subluxation complex. The toggle adjustment became the triceps pull as the vector direction became more important than force. Instruments were developed to measure the misalignment factors and to eliminate as many variables as possible.”

NUCCA incorporate 3D x-ray studies that determine the correct line of drive or vector of force.





The triceps contraction adjustment technique, as taught by NUCCA is a very light, very shallow, amount of force. In the graphic opposite you will see practitioners learning the NUCCA triceps pull technique.

This NUCCA adjustment involves a ‘gentle push’ to the neck area and I’m certain you’ll feel more when attending a remedial massage session. See figure opposite and on NUCCA site.

According to Dr. Devin J. Luzod, who can be contacted at

“The NUCCA adjustment (spinal correction) is not a manipulation. Instead it is a procedure learned by the NUCCA Practitioner to create a force or resistance at a calculated angle using a contact at the transverse process of C1. This procedure called the Triceps Pull is a contraction of the muscles of the lateral shoulder. Prior to the pull of the triceps, the doctor places his body in a balanced levered position to create potential energy.

By pulling the triceps in this predetermined position, the doctor transforms this potential energy into kinetic energy, which allows the structure of the head and neck to release a misaligned pattern and move into a more proper mechanical position. Rather than thrusting through the subluxation, the NUCCA spinal correction allows the occipital and cervical structures to move with controlled accuracy along a corrective pathway. The patient feels very little except a gentle touch on the side of the neck.”

The adjustment restores proper alignment of the occiput (skull) to atlas i.e. head and neck alignment; the body rebalances itself to align underneath the skull, posture is corrected by the brain through the nervous system’s control mechanisms, taught muscles relax and the natural healing processes begin. In effect, this makes the NUCCA upper cervical technique a full spine adjustment technique.




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nucca.pdf (136kb)

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