Insights: You began your chiropractic career after leaving the
Navy and serving your country in World War II. What was it
that led you to chiropractic and then to Palmer?
My sister, Etheleen, had migraine headaches and
was taking phenobarbital and it was not helping. She decided
to go to a Chiropractor, Dr. Wenton Hall in Waycross, Ga. Dr.
Wenton was a Palmer graduate, and he adjusted her atlas. She
took me to meet him on one of her visits, and he showed me
the spinal nerve chart. He also encouraged me to go to Palmer
College of Chiropractic.
You are known for the Atlas Orthogonal (AO) technique
and really as its pioneer. Tell me how your interest in the upper
cervical complex led you to the work that you've done, the
organizing of the Society of Chiropractic Orthospinology, and,
of course, the Sweat Institute.
I started Palmer College in January of 1947 and studied
under B.J. Palmer for four years. I was in B.J.'s Hole-In-One
Program (or the Toggle-Recoil technique, in which the atlas and
axis are adjusted very precisely and gently). I went into private
practice in April 1950 with Dr. Vic Brooks in Decatur, Ga. In
1952, I decided to study with Dr. John F. Grostic (Palmer School
of Chiropractic '33) and learn about the upper cervical spine. In
1957, Dr. Grostic asked me to assist him and teach the classes with
him. He died in 1964, and we moved the seminars to Atlanta in
1965. They were called the Grostic Presentation seminars. Then
I decided I wanted to design an instrument that would do the
same thing as the hand adjustment. We went down to Georgia
Tech and hired engineers to design our first Atlas Orthogonal
adjusting instrument in 1980. (The engineers based the Atlas
Orthogonal Percussion Adjusting Instrument on the way
Dr. Sweat used his hands to perform the adjustment.)
It sounds like you are very involved in your
community as well as in chiropractic associations. You have also
been an instructor and have presented around the world. What
are some of the highlights of what you've been involved in?
I'm a lifetime member of the Georgia Chiropractic
Association and have also served as president. I am a member
of the International Chiropractors Association. I've been
Kiwanis Club president and have been a member of Embry
Hills Methodist and Mt. Carmel Methodist churches.
What are you favorite memories of Palmer College?
Dr. Sweat: It was a pleasure seeing and hearing B.J. Palmer
at Lyceums every year that he presented.
What would you like see in the future of the
I think Chiropractors must improve all their
adjusting programs. And we must have a leg check and
scanning palpation instrument.
Do you have any advice for chiropractors just starting
out or for those future chiropractors just starting their journey?
My advice is to work as an associate in a private
clinic with an Atlas Orthogonal doctor! God bless Atlas
Orthogonal Chiropractic, and God bless Chiropractors!