La Barbera Family Chiropractic, LLC

"Where Precision Matters"

Complete Chiropractic Spinal, Extremity and Cranial Care

Celebrating 36 years -- 1986 to 2022

      2719 Genesee Street       Utica, NY   13501      

  Phone  315-724-0368       Fax   315-724-0374


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The Brain Stem 

The Brain Stem is the lower part of the brain that connects the brain to the spinal cord. It is by far the most important part of the nervous system because it controls the involuntary or “automatic” functions in the body.  Temperature control, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, immune function, digestion, elimination and hormone balance are just some of the many important things that this area of the brain effects.  Mild to moderate irritation of this area results in sickness and dis-ease, while the slightest trauma results in instant death.  

The upper 2 bones in the neck (C1 or Atlas and C2 or Axis) are held in place only by muscles and ligaments as there are no bony locks / joints on these segments.  A trauma or accident can cause either of these two bones to be moved out of its normal position, which can in turn cause irritation of the brain stem (medulla oblongata).  This area of the spine is very susceptible to injury for many reasons.  Since there are no locking joints, these two bones can be malpositioned easier than other bones of the spine.  They are small which also makes them more vulnerable.  The weight of the head (9 to 12 pounds in the average adult) sitting on the Atlas causes much stress in the upper neck.  There is a large range of motion between the base of the skull (occiput) and C1 and C2.  This great movement (which allows you to turn your head) also lends to making this area more unstable.  These are the reasons why everyone needs to have their upper cervical spine checked for subluxations and nerve interference.  

Irritation of the brain stem can exist for years without any evident health consequence.  Over time, more damage is done to the point that the individual begins to have dis-ease in their system.  Loss of vitality and energy occur along with frequent illness and other symptoms.  A downward spiral of sickness begins that, if not corrected in time, becomes a permanent part of their health status.  There comes a “point of no return” where your health becomes so poor that it can no longer heal properly and can not “bounce back” no matter what you do to change things.  This is like someone who eats poorly and smokes heavily all his or her life and then, after suffering a heart attack, decides to change.  The damage is done and all the good you do now will not undo the harm that was done.  This is why it is of such great importance to be checked for subluxations even if you do not have any symptoms and consider yourself healthy.  Remember that getting checked does not mean you will necessarily need care, just that you are being evaluated to see if anything needs to be done.  This is no different than a periodic dental check ups.  

It is estimated that approximately 17 trillion electrical messages are traveling through your spinal cord from your brain every minute.  Your brain stem is the connection between the two.  How well it is working will decide how effective and accurate those messages are sent and perceived by the body.  Removing nerve interference from this area will help assure optimal function not only in the brain stem, but also throughout your body.  For more info, go to and .

                        The top two vertebra in the spine -- the Atlas and Axis.


                        Animation showing poor              Animation showing good

                        alignment and interference          alignment and proper nerve

                        of nerve transmission from          transmission.  ~ 17 trillion

                        the brain stem.                          impulses per minute.



                        You can NEVER be 100% healthy if you do not have proper

                        nerve transmission.  


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Last modified: 06/25/13