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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

An Engineer’s Perspective on Human Anatomy

Dr. Chuel-Hong ParkChuel Hong Park, DC, is a board-certified atlas orthogonal chiropractor. Visit his office and you won’t see people being manipulated by twisting, bending, popping or cracking. Dr. Park thinks that those methods are outdated. His outlook is unique because he sees the mechanical skeletal elements of the body through the eyes of a trained engineer.

Park, born in South Korea, earned a degree in management information systems at the University of Oklahoma and took an engineering position in the industry. But his mother got cancer and required surgery. Returning to Asia to take care of her, Park noticed that alternative care seemed to work much better that many of the drugs that he perceived as poisonous due to their deleterious side effects. That was the beginning of his interest in medicine.

After working for five years at the online stock trading system consulting company, CNA, Park had a discussion with his long-time mentor, Dr. Donald Yu, technical director at global information company Unisys, asking for advice about his future, Lee recommended that Park either enroll in a special engineering MBA program at the University of Texas or follow in the footsteps of his own daughter and attend the Palmer School of Chiropractic, because she had indicated that it led to a very fulfilling job for her. Park applied for both and was accepted by Palmer in just two weeks, with a scholarship, as well.

At school, he discovered that students typically learn about spine manipulation, and that insurance companies also pay more toward physical therapy. Because Park had such a strong background in engineering and of analyzing things, “That’s why I found such an interest in this field,” he says. Then he met his next mentor, Dr. Roy Sweat, founder of the Sweat Institute, in Atlanta.

“Until I met Dr. Sweat, I had some uncertainty about this course,” says Park. The new graduate needed a sponsor to stay in the U.S., and Sweat was willing to offer Park an internship program. “That’s how I moved to Georgia,” he explains. “While I was working at Dr. Roy’s clinic as an intern doctor, I found very interesting cases over and over again that changed my perspective on chiropractic.”

Sweat also approached the human body with the eye of an engineer. “That’s how he discovered the Atlas System,” reports Park. The atlas, the top bone of the spinal column, affects all the others. The Atlas System focuses on and treats just that one bone, with a single, precise adjustment. Park details the logic behind the procedure: “The atlas is holding up the heaviest structure in the nervous system, which is your head. The human head will weigh from nine to 15 pounds. When you think about a bowling ball, you can realize how heavy that is. This bowling ball is located at the very top of your spine, like a tower, which is a mechanical structure.”

Conditions that benefit most from this technique include chronic severe headache, severe dizziness, chronic neck and upper shoulder pain, cervical disc herniation and related arm and hand pain or numbness, chronic lower back and upper hip pain, lumbar disc herniation and related leg and foot pain or numbness, whiplash injury and related syndrome suffering, Horner’s syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia, TMJ-related discomfort and pain, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

Park likes to help patients that have been disappointed with conventional treatment, saying, “I want them to go to those other places first, because the more they go through, the more that patient can appreciate what I can do.” He cites upper cervical patients that went to the hospital and the doctors said, “If you don’t have surgery right away, there’s nothing that can be done.”

He relates the story of patient, a fellow computer engineer with neck disc herniation, that was accompanied by his wife, a medical doctor. “After I made the explanation, his wife insisted on him having the treatment,” he notes.

Park is also a big believer in kaizen, or change for the better. “This requires the detailed analysis of procedures, the patient and many other variables that make an impact on that day’s adjustment. It includes the position of the muscles, the tension, the way the patients lie down, everything,” says Park. “If you try to enhance your adjustments every day, you can do it. It’s a way of being in the present moment with the patient. Many doctors, once they reach an evaluation, keep using the same adjustment over and over again. If you don’t want to stop there, you can enhance it. When I see a patient, I always double-check the X-ray over and over again, because I always find something new.” C1 Spine Lab Atlas Orthoganol Chiropractic Care is located at 2810 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Ste. E, in Duluth, GA. For appointments, call 770-545-8150. For more information, visit

Dr. Chuel-hong Park, Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic

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