Atlas Orthogonal Seminar Programs in Australia

Joe Ierano, Doctor of Chiropractic

I landed in Davenport Iowa, USA, in May 1994, from Sydney Australia. As fate would have it, circumstances well within my control drove me away from local degree courses in chiropractic after gaining my B. Sc. in Anatomy from University of New South Wales, Australia. Australia will always be my home, but in the USA I found deep meanings of diversity, service, industry and friendship. The Americans were always eager to embrace me as a friend and I will never forget that.

Davenport was legendary among chiropractors as the birthplace of the profession in 1895 and the oldest college, established in 1897. Here was a student body of over 2000 all engaged in the art, science and philosophy of chiropractic, exclusively – no distractions (except The Java Hut where I rediscovered coffee). Academically, it has one of the most successful programs in terms of performance in national boards, philosophically, at the time, it still contained living legends in the teaching of chiropractic such as Drs. Virgil Strang and Galen Price, whom have since passed on. Artistically, the technique programs on campus were, if not representative of all of chiropractic, in good company of visiting entrepreneurs and clinical researchers who would complete it, almost weekly. It was, as they say, the place to be.

I had never intended to specialise in Upper Cervical Specific Technique, as it always seemed so limited. But for circumstances outside of my control, my first wife, Lyn, fell and sustained a head injury (luckily, on the day our travel insurance ran out!) which led us, soon after a visit to the hospital CT scanner, to my master teacher, Dr. Vern Hagen. He was a clinician, teacher, mentor with open heart, mind and hands. Basically, he and his learned son, Dr Troy, adjusted Lyn to orthogonal (head on straight!) using a curious device called a precision percussion adjusting instrument. The instrument delivered a mechanically induced vibration pressure wave down a metal stylus interfaced with the patient. So what? Well, I tried it also and all I can tell you is that it felt like I had been adjusted manually (as I had been for a decade to date) without so much as a finger being laid on me.

Now anyone who has been under long term chiropractic care will tell you they know roughly when they need an adjustment and the results thereof, shortly after. I felt this was a miraculous invention when it delivered this relief in seconds. Then I met the inventor, Dr Roy Sweat. He conducted programs on campus and we also visited him in his office in Atlanta, travelling down like on a pilgrimage, with my fellow students in search of information. This is where I got to know my friend Dr Kay Nickelson who now practices AO in Germany. Dr Roy is a mentor like no other. No pretensions. No frills, never personally criticising anybody, always wishing people well. Always the gentleman in every sense of the phrase.

He based his invention on the programs of Dr John Grostic in Michigan and adapted the instrument to deliver the adjustive thrust. I completed the Board Certification Program (the first in Australia to receive it) via case reports, x rays certification, instrument acquisition, neurology dissection class at Life University and minimum 100 hours of classes. This included a few beers with Dr Matthew Sweat, Roy’s son, and his ever hard working wife, Tecla (who always added just enough glamour to the occasion).

Currently, and since graduation in February 1997 (exactly 100 years after the inception of the Palmer School of Chiropractic), I have been engaged in the proliferation of AO upper cervical through Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic Australia, Pty Ltd. AO Aust. is the main body authorised by Dr Sweat to teach the technique and sell equipment.
He has run a clinic in South West Sydney since 1997. In 2011, with his old school friend Ellie Miller, started a new clinic in Crows Nest.

You may wish to do my seminars, based upon the work initiated by:

  • Dr BJ Palmer, HIO Palmer Upper Cervical
  • adapted by Dr J Grostic, Grostic Programs in Michigan
  • furthered by Dr Roy Sweat, building on the above, and adhering to his detailed manual of instruction at all times.

Please consider learning AO.
Australians are demanding it. I receive no less than a weekly enquiry for patients seeking this form of care, from my sites you will see that with this program, the most delicate neck can be treated, the most difficult cases given a little bit of hope, but also the most basic musculoskeletal problems such as neck pain can be helped without any manual manipulation whatsoever.

Further information is obtainable at the Sweat Institute which is the official USA site.
After regaining his livelihood, my patient, Greg Buchanan, started his own web site for the cause, at which I think is the most extensive recent contributions to a health cause by a single person’s efforts that I have ever seen. After all, the greatest asset the chiropractor has is YOU – the patient.
Respectfully yours,
J Ierano BSc DC BCAO