Remembering Dr. Roy Sweat-Upper Cervical Legend

By International Chiropractors Association

January 5, 2021 (Falls Church, VA) The world of chiropractic stands united in its sorrow in learning the news of the passing of Dr. Roy Warren Sweat, a legend of our upper cervical community. We also celebrate his life, his accomplishments, and the legacy for chiropractic and his family that will live on.

Dr. Roy Sweat was honored last year by the state of Georgia for having the longest active license as a doctor of chiropractic of any other doctor. Dr. Sweat passed away peacefully Sunday, January 2, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 94.

Roy was born in Albany, Georgia on June 25, 1927 to Warren V. and Fleda Sweat. He graduated from Albany High School in 1944. He volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1944 and served during WWII from 1944 to 1946. He attended Palmer Chiropractic College in 1947. While in Davenport, Iowa, he met his wife, Roylan (Coop) Sweat and they married in March 1949. He graduated from Chiropractic College in 1950. Both Roy and Roylan were anxious to leave the winters in Davenport behind them and after graduation moved to Decatur, Georgia. Roy was offered an associate position in 1950 with Dr. Vic Brooks.

In 1953, Dr. Sweat opened his own private practice. He was in private practice from 1953 until his death in 2022. Just before his passing, he was the oldest practicing chiropractor in the state and worked 6 days a week at his clinic on Chamblee Tucker Road in Atlanta.

Dr. Sweat loved his family. They were very important to him. He was a loving husband and father. He enjoyed playing golf with family and friends. He and Roylan were members of the Atlanta Athletic Club since 1950. Roy is preceded in death by his wife, Roylan who passed in May 2001. They were married for 52 years and had three children together. Roy is survived by his son Warren and (Carol) Sweat of Wallace, Kansas, his daughter Whitney and (Dave) Colvert of Marietta Georgia, and his son Matthew and (Tecla) Sweat of Oakwood, Georgia. Roy leaves behind three grandchildren and three great grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews.

Roy made many significant contributions to the chiropractic field and has been awarded numerous honors. Dr. Sweat was a past President of the Georgia Chiropractic Association. In 1970 he worked with PhDs and Engineers to develop and patent the Atlas Orthogonal Instrument. In 1980, he established Chiropractic Atlas Orthogonality, a specialized upper cervical program. This program is taught as an elective course at several chiropractic colleges and universities and is a Board Certified specialty. He has written a series of four books, and has written 30 articles on the Chiropractic Atlas Orthogonality program.

He was very active in the church and in the community serving as a past president of the Decatur Kiwanis Club and chairman of the Board of Stewards at Pattillo Memorial Methodist Church. He later was active at Decatur First Methodist before moving his family to Norcross, Georgia and later joining Embry Hills United Methodist Church where he was a member.

A memorial service will be held on January 15, 2022 at Embry Hills United Methodist Church in Tucker, GA from 11am to 12pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the R.W. Sweat Research Foundation online or by mail to 3288 Chamblee Tucker Road, Atlanta GA 30341.

Dr. Sweat’s Upper Cervical Synopsis

  • Dr. Sweat was a member of the International Chiropractic Association since graduating from college.
  • In 2018, Dr. Sweat received the ICA Council on Upper Cervical Care BJ Palmer Lifetime Achievement, “In honor of a lifetime of achievement in the philosophy, science, and art of upper cervical chiropractic.
  • In 1952, Dr. Sweat began a course of study specializing in the upper cervical occipital-atlanto-axial complex under Dr. John F. Grostic in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1960, Dr. Grostic chose Dr. Sweat to become an instructor at his seminars and help present the Grostic programs. Dr. Grostic died in 1964, at which time Dr. Sweat and four other doctors organized the Grostic Presentation Seminars and continued the specialized training seminars in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • In 1977, Dr. Sweat organized the Society of Chiropractic Orthospinology, which presented the same specialized programs.
  • In 1981, Dr. Sweat created the program of Chiropractic Atlas Orthogonality, which continued in the specialized educational seminars.
  • Dr. Sweat has written a series of four books on Chiropractic Atlas Orthogonality. Dr. Sweat has also written thirty articles published in various chiropractic magazines.
  • In 1970, Dr. Sweat designed a chiropractic adjusting instrument and has made a series of seven different models.
  • He has designed an Atlas Orthogonal x-ray frame, x-ray chair and attachments for the x-ray machine.
  • Dr. Sweat has designed an Atlas Orthogonal computerized radiographic analysis program.
  • Dr. Sweat has designed three radiographic analysis templates and a right-handed Cartesian orthogonal coordinate system vector booklet; this booklet is currently in its fourth edition.
  • The Atlas Orthogonal program is taught as an elective course at Palmer College of Chiropractic, Life College of Chiropractic and at Sherman College of Chiropractic.
  • Dr. Sweat has been on the Homecoming programs at Life College, Life West College, Palmer College, Palmer West College, Sherman College and Parker College.
  • He is an associate professor of Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, Georgia, and is associated with their research program.
  • He presented the Atlas Orthogonal program at the Parker seminars.
  • He is a member of the Presidents Club at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.
  • Dr. Sweat received the Daniel David Palmer Scientific Award on June 9th, 1995 from Palmer College of Chiropractic, the 1999 World Chiropractic Alliance Researcher of the Year Award, and the 2003 William M. Harris Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Dr. Sweat is Board Certified in the Atlas Orthogonal program.
  • Dr. Sweat completed the three-year orthopedic study program from National Chiropractic College.
  • He has a graduate certificate in the videofluoroscopy program from Life Chiropractic College.

A life well lived. Thank you Dr. Sweat for your service to our nation, to chiropractic, and with the ICA.


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