Adjusting Well

By: Gini Kaufmann


Dr. David Nygaard is not your typical chiropractor. Though others make the claim, Dr. Nygaard has followed a truly unique path.  Originally from Janesville, Wisconsin, he arrived in Asheville via the world. At age 17, Dr. Nygaard and a friend backpacked  through Europe for two months. Citing a favorite quote from J.R.R Tolkien, he laughs, “All who wander are not lost.”  An avid outdoorsman, he backpacked in Asia for nine months after graduate school.  “You really learn more about the United States than about the countries you visit,” he said. “We take so much for granted here. You can spend an entire day in India looking for a button! Traveling is one of the best educations you can ever get.” To date, Dr. Nygaard has visited 34 countries.


In the ninth grade, David told a school counselor that, like a cousin he admired, he intended to become a doctor specializing in chiropractic.  At age  23, after completing his prerequisites to achieve his goal,  he switched educational directions.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and then a Master’s degree in Guidance Counseling.  (He worked as co-manager of a group home for developmentally disabled adults.) After earning his MBA in Human Resources, Dr. Nygaard finally realized that chiropractic was his true calling and attended the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.


Dr. Nygaard heard about Atlas Orthogonal, a new and cutting-edge therapy that was developed by chiropractor Dr. Roy Sweat and taught at the Sweat Institute in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Orthogonal means 90°.)


The human head weighs approximately 11-14 pounds and sits atop the Atlas bone. Ideally, the center of the head is balanced over the center of the cervical spine at a 90-degree angle.   An improperly placed Atlas bone contributes to imbalance and changes throughout the spinal system. Atlas doctors study digital X-rays (exposure minimal) and then adjust the Atlas bone with a state-of-the-art percussion instrument.  The process is gentle and non-invasive.


“It’s rewarding,” said Dr Nygaard, “but what I love about chiropractic also frustrates me. Generally speaking, 80% of our patients get better, leaving 20% who don’t.” Before accepting a new patient, Dr Nygaard seriously considers whether the candidate will receive the maximum benefit from his care. “When I say that I can help, I speak from my heart,” he said. “Ever hear the quote a doctor’s role is to relieve often, comfort always, and cure sometimes?


Dr. Nicholas Gonzales, M.D., Immunologist, Cancer Specialist concurs:  “I am saddened by the thousands, probably millions, of patients who could be helped by Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic care, but don’t know that it exists. We want every single patient under our care to have their spine examined by an Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractor. If their alignment is wrong, their nervous system is dysfunctional.  No matter how healthy their nutrition, they cannot assimilate it sufficiently. The majority of cancer cases we see have overt cervical spinal problems, even those with no history of spinal trauma.”


Dr. Nygaard is also aware that the fuel we put into our bodies is essential to overall well-being. “We are introducing Isagenics into our practice to ensure that the nutritional component to good health care is available and can be easily managed in combination with staying adjusted.”  Isagenics is a proprietary formula that has helped millions of people worldwide.  A shake system, Isagenics combines an organic whey protein with a green tea cleansing product that cleanses on a cellular level. “The combination of products is crucial. Basically, if you cleanse without adding good, clean nutrients, then you deplete your system. All systems must be nourished and cleansed for healthy functioning.  Isagenics enables people to hold their adjustments longer and alkalize their bodies to prevent and fight disease,” he said. The proper intake balances sugar, maintains lower acidity (decreasing inflammation), lowers blood pressure, and promotes healthy sleep. A significant side effect: many people achieve their healthy weight in a much shorter time. “This program naturally compliments Atlas adjustments by maintaining an anti-inflammatory state.”


After completing his internship with Dr. Sweat, Dr. Nygaard moved to Asheville with Levi, his trusted golden retriever.  Patients often arrive with treats for Levi; whenever you see Dr. Nygaard, Levi is usually at his side.  Dr. Nygaard knows from experience that loyal companionship, whether four legged or two, is a major contribution to a person’s overall health.


Beyond Wellness Chiropractic, his original office, was located in the Westgate Shopping Center.  In 2003, Dr. Nygaard renamed his practice Atlas Family Chiropractic to reflect his passion for the technique and to inform people that the process is gently effective with people of all ages. In 2008, Atlas Family Chiropractic relocated to the Pioneer Building, Suite 205,190 Broadway Street, Asheville, upstairs from Dripolater Coffee and behind Greenlife.  Dr. Nygaard wanted to be centrally located so more people could experience his state-of-the-art technique. One of only 250 Atlas Doctors worldwide, Dr. Nygaard is the only Atlas Orthogonal Doctor in Western North Carolina.  His patients travel from as far away as Virginia and Tennessee.   “We are definitely not your grandfather’s chiropractic office,” he laughs.




For more information on Dr. David Nygaard, Atlas Family Chiropractic, Levi, or Isagenics please call 828-253-0700; or visit  See his ad on page 17.




Gini Kaufmann lives happily ever after in Weaverville with her wonderful chef husband Daniel; Bridget, her beautiful daughter;  Luna, their psycho kitty.

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker