Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is Your Head On Straight?

C1 is situated between the base of the occiput and the superior articular surfaces of C2, much the way a tea cup rests in a saucer on a table surface.

Let us look at the anatomy of a tea cup in a saucer, as this comparison is useful in demonstrating how the head sits on the neck.

The tea cup base is formed to be stably situated in the circular impression of the saucer below. If it is dislodged from this impression, it will be situated slightly askew on the saucer, and the cup’s rim will rest at an angle that is not co-planer with the base circular impression of the saucer, or the table surface.

If the cup is filled with tea, the liquid will seek equilibrium, and the liquid surface will be oriented to the surface of the table and the circular recess within the saucer, but not the rim of the saucer. This is not only an example of compensation, it is an unstable system. The fluid elements seek equilibrium within the rigid form structures. The system comes into balance and equilibrium when the tea cup is placed properly into the circular recess of the saucer, and brings the rigid forms and the fluid elements into balance, and one could say that the system has achieved a higher level of thermodynamic balance, i.e., a lower energy state. Objects at rest tend to remain so, hence, stability.

The analogy is useful if one considers that bringing the base of the cranium, i.e., the occiput back onto the superior articular facets of C1 is like restoring the tea cup to the circular formed impression on the saucer. The cranium is the tea cup, while the base of the tea cup is the occipital condyles. The liquid may be analogous to the dynamic compensatory functions organized and initiated by the pre-motor cortex in keeping the head in a state of dynamic balance. The saucer is related to the Atlas bone which maintains a “physical” relationship with the cranium above and the spine below. The superior surface of C2 may be analogous to the table top surface.

It's about "tea-time"... Is your tea cup straight?

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