The Atlas is the first vertebrae of the spinal column. A common misconception is that our brain is completely housed in the skull. A majority of the brain is contained within the skull but there is a vital portion of the brain that actually enters into the top of our spinal column. This area is recognized as the brain stem. A specific area of this brain stem is referred to as the medulla oblongata and is the connection between brainstem and spinal cord. The medulla controls your heart rate, breathing, digestion motility, control of movement, arousal and sleep as well as autonomic nervous system function (blood pressure, body temperature, metabolism, etc). The medulla has a partial encasing and protection by the atlas. If you have misalignment (subluxation) of your atlas, there is pressure on your brain stem- literally direct pressure on your brain. The misalignment of this vertebra, even millimeters, puts pressure on the brain stem and will lead to decreased function out of this region which will affect the functions of the medulla oblongata region. These are vital functions of the body and very common markers that the medical profession tracts tirelessly to try and determine health. So yes, that is right, if you have misalignment your body can start to develop breakdowns of serious organ functions leading to decreased health. This is devastating to your body. Everyone should be checked to make sure this vertebrae is aligned correctly because if it is not then body function will suffer.