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A Battle Within With Terry Niemann

2 years ago

Brain injury is a deadly enemy that hides from plain sight. One may be suffering from such a severe illness, yet no one knows since they look okay on the outside. Dr. Kevin Pecca elaborates the path towards healing for people dealing with brain injuries by sitting down with Terry Niemann. One of Dr. Kevin’s inspirations in starting his podcast, Terry narrates how she suffered three concussions in just three years. She now shares her recuperation story of thanks to upper cervical care, chiropractic procedures, and essential oils. His husband Drew also joins the conversation as he talks about his support for his wife’s healing process and her podcast, A Battle Within.


Listen To The Episode Here

A Battle Within With Terry Niemann

We are now hiring a new chiropractor to join our Upper Cervical family. If you are eager to learn the upper cervical work, get a ton of hands-on experience and change lives through upper cervical care, please email me at [](Mailto: I look forward to hearing from you soon. You can also find me on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok @DrKevinPecca and Facebook at Montclair Upper Cervical. We have an incredible guest that is such an inspiration to me, Terry Niemann. Terry is a warrior who has been battling traumatic brain injury symptoms for several years. Her and her husband, Drew, started [A Battle Within]( to help the TBI community find answers and comfort in their own struggle. After this episode, I found out that Terry is now under upper cervical care and is starting to get her life back. Terry is one of the reasons why I started this show. She’s truly an inspiration to me. I loved having her on. It was a great episode. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did. Please welcome, Terry Niemann.

We have a special guest, Terry Niemann. Terry has an amazing life story. She's one of the reasons why I started this show. She's on an incredible healing journey. What I love most about Terry’s story is not only is she healing but she’s also helping others heal in the process of her recovery journey. Terry, thank you so much for taking the time and being on the show. It's an honor to have you on. I was a guest on Terry's podcast called A Battle Within. It’s entertaining and inspiring. If you want a good podcast, check out A Battle Within on podcast-playing platforms everywhere. Without further ado, Terry, how are you?

I’m good. It's an honor to be here. Thank you for having me.

Terry, I found out about you from Emily Carpenter. She is brain injury person and upper cervical has helped her. She had nothing but great things to say about you. I met you on your podcast. You have such an inspiring journey. Before we get into that, I would like to know where did it all start.

I’m originally from Long Island, New York.

You're in Pennsylvania now.

We're in Lancaster.

A little bit different from Long Island. How do you like Lancaster, Pennsylvania?

It was great. When I first moved here, the big deal to me was cows. They're everywhere.

A lot of open space. Terry, why don't we start with your concussion journey? When did that happen and how did it happen?

I suffered from three concussions within three years. The first concussion was back in 2013. I was a regular cyclist. Sometimes I mountain bike. Sometimes I road bike. We were reckless on our mountain bikes so people assumed if I was going to have an accident, it would be there. This particular day, we were acting like adults and we were on our road bike and we would go and get lattes, not even a far ride. It was not a big deal for me.

Were you strapped into the bike?

We were clipped in. For those of you that may not know that, my cycling shoes have a clip, you're attached to the pedal pretty good. It gets a little blurry because it was chaotic for me. I was descending downhill. Thankfully because I was a little reckless then, Kevin, I would pick up speed but thank the Lord it was veering sharply to the right. I braked heavily to bring that bike down to a manageable speed for that hard right. I wound up in a brick wall. I was T-boned into a brick wall.

You went from a blazing speed into a brick wall.

It wasn't blazing because I was slowing down from the turn. I would have been blazing. I think of that quite often because I think would I have even been here then. There was an angel on my shoulder hanging out with me that day, going “You're slowing down. Here's the sharp turn.” I was going 15 miles per hour maybe but I don't know. I only felt my shoulder, that's all I cared about. I know my head was swollen. I had a hard time with that. Paramedics, when they got there, they wanted to keep me still. All I cared about was I broke my shoulder. I knew it was dangling there and this extreme pain that I felt from that. Whereas everyone else was trying to manage getting me to be still, not move anything in case I broke anything, my neck, my spine, my head.

Did you have a helmet on?

I had a helmet on. I tried to salvage that helmet but that didn't work. It goes to show that I wasn't thinking straight.

Did you lose consciousness on the impact?

I don’t think so. This is where things get a little blurry. I remember screaming a lot, wanting them to pay attention to my arm and leave everything else alone, “Take care of this arm.” When the paramedics came, they knocked me out at that point like, “We need her to be still.” I wound up in the hospital. From there, they went through ruling out everything. There was no fracture in the head. There was no bleeding. They check the neck. Once they ruled all that out then they could go to the areas that I cared about, which was the arm. This is the weird part because I had a Frankenstein head, it was straight out.

Was it swollen?

In lovely black and blue. I was never told I had a concussion. I never even thought about it until about twelve weeks later. I was supposed to go to my orthopedic doctor to get cleared to go back to work. I'm a special educator. I was pretty excited about that part but that morning, I woke up and experienced a bad case of vertigo. I didn't even know what it was. I had no idea what vertigo was. My head was so heavy. I spun out of control and landed on my porcelain tub on the left side. I gave myself another nice bump.

That was the morning you were going to see a specialist.

That one I'm pretty sure I went out for because when I came to, I was like, “Why can't I get up? Why is my head so heavy?” This was twelve weeks later. I went over to my bed and was like, “I'll sleep this off because this feels really bad.” The whole day was a mess for me. Somehow, I made it downstairs. I don't remember how it is. I literally was spinning and falling. Drew came home. He took one look. He was like, “We're going to the emergency room.” I said, “We're going to the orthopedic doctor because I’m going to work tomorrow.” The orthopedic doctor took one look at me and said to Drew because he didn't think I was going to comprehend much. He said to my husband Drew, “I'm not comfortable giving her a note back to work. She will not leave here. You give her that darn note and then we'll go into the emergency room.”

He complied. We walked out of there. We get to the emergency room. They ran every test. In the meantime, I'm pretty incoherent from what I understand like not making much sense. I kept saying, “I have to go to the bathroom.” They have me strapped down like, “You can't go anywhere.” I was like, “Please let's take care of that test later.” When I finally got permission to go, that's when I nearly hit the floor in the hospital. They admitted me because they got to see it firsthand. They had to catch me.

You didn't fall there. They caught you before you hit the ground.

They did. Thank goodness. I was admitted for observation overnight and nothing happened. They told me, “You have post-concussive syndrome. We want you to go see a neurologist.” I said, “What's post-concussive syndrome? I have no idea. What is this? Where did I get the first concussion from?” They were like, “Didn't you tell us that you had a bicycle accident and you hit your head against a brick wall?” I'm like, “Yes.” They're like, “There you go.” No one told me. I was so busy dealing with other physical parts of my body that were recovering from that accident that I didn't even know anything was going on with my head.

There's that thing called second impact syndrome when you have two concussions close together, you're more susceptible to the second one because you're still healing up from the first one.

That happened. It took about eleven months. I went to vestibular therapists. They took care of the vertigo. I saw my neurologist. I did all my exercises, everything. It took about eleven months from the start of my bicycle accident to the second concussion that I felt 100% recovered. I was back to working out, back to work, doing everything. I didn't feel any remains of anything, which was pretty awesome. Concussions were difficult but not as difficult as breaking your shoulder where my head was at. I found out that differently. In 2016, I was at work and we were setting up our classrooms to go back. It was a Thursday. Kids were coming back Monday. It was heavy classroom work. What can I do to organize my class and get their paperwork together? The day was over at 4:00 but this was about 5:00 so I was finishing up. I was running a little later but most teachers would do that anyway.

I have to go to the restroom. I'll wrap this all up in a minute. I’ll come back and put away these confidential papers on these students in a minute. I head to the bathroom, which is right down the hall not far at all from my room. It's the next door. I hit a saturated wet floor that had no indication that it was wet. My feet flew straight from the floor to the ceiling. My head came down on a cement wall on the right-hand side and then I slammed on the back of my head and my back. I'm not clear about if I passed out at this particular point or if it was a second or what happened. I know that I was screaming, “Help me.” I was afraid to move. I did not know what I did. All I knew is everything hurt. I wasn't in a good place.

I started negotiating with myself because no one was coming. I have an elevator key around my neck. I start saying to myself, “You can do this. You have to go to the elevator. It's right there. You can see it. Go down one floor and then you're at the nurse's office. It's all you have to do.” I managed to literally talk myself through that and get there. I get to the nurse. She takes one look, listens to me, starts trying to get in touch with my husband and our Principal, Dr. Bill Jimenez. She was, at the same time, trying to fill out paperwork, trying to talk to me, telling me I'm not going back to my class and to stay put right in that wheelchair, don't move. When Drew came, she said, “She needs to go to the hospital.”

When the principal came, I was already negotiating with him that I needed to get back up to the classroom to take care of my students' files. I wouldn't stop. Laurie, the nurse, was like, “She's not going. Her medical instincts were she needs to go and she needs to go now but his compassion as an educator was she needs to shut those files down. She's not going to let that go. Wheel her up there. I'll go with you.” He did. “Let her shut that computer down and take her back down.” It takes all of five seconds. Laurie and I headed to the elevator, me in a wheelchair. I did that. That was that.

How was your mental state on the third one?

I was confused but I thought I was fine but I did think, “Please, don't be like here we go again.” There's no way I'm letting that happen. That's what I thought. I'm not going through that. We're not doing any of this, missing school, school's just starting. That was a definite in my head. I was not going to miss, not even one day, over this. I'm a little bit of a pit bull. When I make up my mind about something, it's pretty made up. Drew took me to the hospital. Everything cleared out. They sent me home. I did not know about a follow-up appointment. The next morning, I was up going to work. I was hurting even worse but I was going. I get a call from Principal Mr. Jimenez, he says, “You need to go to the doctor. I'll give you your choices before you can come in.” I said, “I'm fine. I'm coming in.” He said, “You're not. You need to go there first.”

Most I'm thinking I'll give him the day, my negotiation. “I'll go to the doctor. They'll see me and then I'll be back Monday when the kids are there.” That wasn't the case. That began the long journey of Dr. Rochester, the doctor that I saw there being my best of buds and managing my whole care. He soon found out that concussions are not always in an out of it nor do you get a 100% back on all of them. They're no joke like I had thought breaking the shoulder was. In fact, maybe worse because they linger forever. At least with a broken bone, you get an X amount of time and then they can look at it and you have delayed union or nonunion. With a concussion, a lot of people are just guessing at where they're going with things.

The shoulder, you can physically see it. You can test it out to see if it's healed. With a concussion, it's a silent injury. Nobody knows you're going through it. There is no timeline or no doctor that can tell you it's going to last 3 to 6 weeks and you're going to be fine after that. Nobody can predict that for you, which is scary.

There was a lot of times in the beginning and this was the hardest part for me, where I was convinced that I was coming out of it and then we get a setback. That is so deflating because I'm the type of person also too because I was athletic that I would push through things. You push through. You try a little harder. That mentality wasn't serving me. I had to learn, this thing owns me in the beginning and I have to respect that. If it's creeping up, I need to do something about it, respect it and start listening to what these doctors are saying instead of my own way and beliefs. I had, fortunately, a good team that was telling me the right information. It was my stubbornness.

That’s one of the unfortunate things with concussions. You can't will yourself out of it. If you're a real go-getter, it sets you back because you want to exercise. You want to do all these things you used to be able to do. It's incredibly frustrating when you can't. You try to do in any way and you end up feeling worse. It's incredibly frustrating. That's funny you mentioned that because I remember going through the same thing where I was like, “Tomorrow's going to be a different day. I am going to suck it up. I'm going to exercise tomorrow. I'm going to do all my homework, tests and write all the papers.” You do that and at the end of the day, you're like, “Why did I do that? I feel ten times worse. It's not worth it.”

You have to learn. One of the reasons why putting this information out there for people is good because I didn't know any of this. When I started to go look for more information, I was given information that was way over my head. My ability at that time to process was pretty new. I was like, “What are you even saying to me? Drew, do you understand that? I'm so confused.” It always felt like it was meeting a brick wall and never quite getting in there. If I could do it, it's hearing people's stories that would have resonated with them.

Terry, what were you going through? What was happening symptom-wise?

Pretty much you have a checklist you get for concussions.

You had them all. What weren’t you experiencing is probably a better question?

I used to be like, “This is so time consuming because it's a whole page.” Light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, nausea, migraines and pressure in my head. It felt like a vice was around my head and kept pulling it. I found out later that I had normal pressure hydrocephalus from it. Fortunately, in my second concussion, I had an MRI. We knew that fluid wasn't there. In the third concussion, we realized that there was fluid accumulating but I'm thinking maybe that's why there was so much pressure. Also, the inflammation but there was so much pressure. Vision issues, double, blurry and wavy made it impossible to read and concentrate, focus, memories, insomnia. I would stare at the wall and go, “How would you go to sleep?” I can't shut down at all. It'd be 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM and I'm still trying.

Insomnia like I have never seen them before. I never had any of these issues before either. Emotionally, up and down, cry, yell, angry, sad, anxiety and depression. I was suicidal. I was on suicide watch several times. My balance was horrific because I soon found out towards the end that I had damaged my vestibular and my vision but this didn't come out for maybe 3.5 years later where we had kept trying to move past the balance and go, “We're at a standstill.” It came out that there were permanent issues. I know all that amount of trying probably wouldn't have gotten as far is what they were telling me. I had to deal with, “You're telling me I have permanent issues. I'm not a believer of that. I have never quit on myself.” That's one of the reasons why we do the podcast. There are always answers and people who are like that who are traveling this road, that maybe I've tried something you never thought of and to bring that to others but to bring it to yourself also.

Terry, did you feel like you were alone and the only person that was going through this at the time? Did you know anybody that you could talk to that had a similar situation? I remember when I was going through this, I felt like I was the only person in the world that has been through this and suffering with this. It's scary and lonely. Even when you do talk to a person that has a concussion, it seems like it's different for every single person that has one. I remember in my experience, it was an incredibly lonely, frightening time because I thought I was the only person in the world dealing with it.

About 80% I agree with that. I felt that a lot. When I didn't feel alone, it was when I was getting treatment. I went to a neurology center so there are other concussion patients. When I went through vision therapy, there was another person that was also going through that. Those were the only times that I felt like, “I'm not alone.” Other than that, yes. I also felt that not anyone gets what I'm going through. Another thing is I had bad chronic pain, fibromyalgia-type pain, pain overall, plus I had a back injury. I was in pain. It was, “You look fine all the time.” I felt that part alone. Nobody gets this. They look at you. You look fine.

That's the scariest part. You're not fine. You're dying on the inside. In terms of searching for answers, where did you go? Where did you look after you went the standard route? After you saw your medical doctors and you probably hit a brick wall with that because everyone's telling you looked fine. Where did you turn to next?

I convinced Dr Rochester that I needed to see my chiropractor. I was still within the 90 days. It was workman's comp so it would’ve have covered it. I needed him to get on board. He was fabulous. He said, “Let's do it.” That was the first thing, I needed to get to a chiropractor. I couldn't even say it. I was in so much pain. That then began to turn things around because we know that's going to help overall with the nervous system and healing and immunity. Everything would turn around for me and I knew that I just had to get there.

Within 3 or 4 weeks, I was feeling a little better, much more manageable. That was the start of it. Before that, Kevin, I couldn't even think about anything but just to get out of pain. After that, I'm not going to mention anything that they recommended but more along what I did. I started using essential oils. A real big help was peppermint pushed to the roof of my mouth for headaches and a blend called PanAway, which you leave out the eye and you get what it does. I did that all over my back and my head. I then turned to CBD. That helps a lot with anxiety and my mood. I went to medical marijuana. That started turning around elevating the mood and the pain. I took a notch up from CBD I felt. For me, it was superior and also helped me sleep. Once I was able to sleep, that was a big turnaround. The medical marijuana gave that to me.

Did you know much about medical marijuana before you tried it?

I, as a teen, smoked but I hadn't touched it in years. I made sure, I said, “I don't want to get high” They were like, “For suicidal depression, you're going to want to elevate your mood a little bit.” They were giving you very little guidance and the rest they had me research on my own. The first time I took it on my own, I was so stoned. Everyone can tell I'm stoned. I was like, “This is ridiculous. I took too much.”

It was a lot of trial and error with that.

The podcast was a lot of ideas that came up with people.

Terry, what was your thought process on starting a podcast? I can only imagine you're going through this. When I was going through this, I was nervous to talk about my story. I didn't like talking about it because it would almost give me more anxiety and I’ll feel like my symptoms would come on a little bit more. I applaud you for being brave and starting a podcast. What was your intention with that because that's impressive?

Thank you but that's all Drew. I had no intention. To me, my job was to heal. Drew's job was we got to find answers. He's as much of a Pit Bull as I am. He always says I am but he is too. He wanted to do this for me to get me in touch with people, almost like a support group hotline, to get answers, to help other people, mutual helping. When he first came to me with it, he said, “I want to start a podcast.” I said, “You go, boy.” I had no idea. What about? He said, “You.” I was like, “I'm not doing that.” He's like, “Yes.” I’m like, “Why would anyone even want to listen to this?” I couldn't even think about it. I said, “If people get value out of it, they get value out of it then I'll stay. If they don't get value out of it, I'm out.” It's hard for me to tell this story. I do a lot better at it now but in the beginning, I could not get through it. Back then, when he was asking me was when I had trouble telling the story. It's all him. Now, I see how wise he is.

**It is such a godsend to have a spouse that's onboard with everything you're going through. It makes it nearly impossible to do on your own. I have a lot of people in relationships whether it's their spouse, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, they're in the office, we're doing the consultation and they're almost aggravated with what their partner's going through. “How come they're not better yet? Why is this happening? Will they be able to return to their ‘normal’ self?” It's frustrating when your significant other isn't onboard with you. It almost makes you panic a little bit more and try to push yourself, will yourself back to that place.

I remember I was nervous to be around people. I didn't think anybody wanted to be around me because I was going through this. I thought I was a burden on other people because they had to deal with me. You see a lot of people in relationships and the significant other is not supportive. They're not on board and they're almost angry that their partner’s feeling this way. All the partner wants to do is get better. It's truly amazing to see what you guys have. Drew, I'm sure you know this, you pulled Terry up here. A lot of people wish they had the support system that you give Terry because not everybody does. It's truly amazing from what I see.**

He's been a star in all this. He doesn't ask for anything in return. He has put in so much work, it's heartfelt work and a great support for me. I don't know how I would have done it without him. I do feel for people who are going through that. I see it as you're married, that was for better or worse. You're going to change. No matter what people are going to change. You go through that together and you see where that lead to both. I sometimes think that television has destroyed the image of marriage. The happy ever after and this and that so easy. Some shows have done that whereas marriages truly work. It comes from both sides. You have to work at it. That doesn't always mean it's pretty or easy. You care enough to keep going. You can't be selfish. You got to put aside yourself a lot too and be like, “What about the other person too?” It has to always enter into your head.

Drew, can I ask you a question? What was your intention with the podcast? Who were you trying to bring on? What were you trying to discover? Where did you want the podcast to go?

There were a couple of things there. First, Terry mentioned it a little bit about feeling alone other than the times that she might've been in therapy sessions with other patients that were going through the same thing. Two big parts of it for me was one, there was nothing whatsoever out there for people like me, which may lead to some of those frustrations of those people that are coming into your office. I needed to find it. Another thing that was important to me too was that Terry was a teacher and very much spent her entire life from the time that I knew her of being of service to other people. I thought the podcast may be a good way for her who was going through a bad emotional time to give back to being of service to other people that it may make her feel better. The last thing was I don't want to say it in a sense that it might sound bad but it was selfish in the terms of we were trying to learn and figure out ways that Terry could get better. Having conversations with other folks that were in this community could help us to do that as well as providing the resource to others. Those were the big pillars behind initially starting the program.

You came across other people that were suffering with traumatic brain injuries. You heard their stories, things they did to help to get better and grab more information about what's going on because you're right. If you Google post-concussion syndrome, it's scary because usually a worst-case scenario pops up. There's no cure for this. You have to dig for some positive, good information. That's what I love most about your podcast is you're getting that positive information that people need for the brain injury community. Terry, where are you at now? You said you had some good news for me. I'm curious to see what it is.

Before I hit the good news, I got one of the biggest blows because when I had a VNG and then I was told by my neurologist that my vision was only curable through eye surgery. We would talk about that a couple months down the road but let's see how my prism glasses work. My vestibular was permanently damaged. Nothing I could do so don't bother.

You’re told this by a doctor?

My neurologist. It was a blow. I wanted to not hear that. I wanted to keep moving. I knew I was at a plateau. I hadn't been at a plateau for a while but I thought that's a plateau. If I'm going to crush this plateau and keep moving, this happens. I, ultimately, always had wanted to go back to work. Prior to getting this news, I was like, “Why am I not getting returned to work? No one's returning me to work. Social Security says I automatically qualify. Why am I automatically qualifying?” They had the test results before I did. They saw it as permanently damaged too. Now I’m like, “Why is everyone saying it?” I got a vocational evaluation. There was nothing I could do cognitively and physically. No one was returning me to work. It was bleak, not hopeful.

You love what you do.

I wanted to return up until COVID then I was like, “I'm so glad I'm not teaching now. It’s chaos.” Up until then, I cried every August when the kids and the teachers were returning. I’m like, “I can't handle this. I love what I did. I wanted to go back. I wanted to be me. I wanted to be 100%. What are they talking about? This is as good as it's going to get. How can it be? I have no balance? I started taking ION*Gut Health by Dr. Zach Bush. I saw a significant improvement in my inflammation, in my mental clarity, which I hadn't seen for a long time even though I was doing other things right. It gave me a glimmer of hope. I thought, “Maybe I'm not that plateaued. I'm going to keep looking.” You came on our podcast. I had heard upper cervical, it was mentioned on our podcast before but there was something about you and what you were saying that drove it home to me. One of the sayings was from your priest. Do you remember that?

You can do all the hoping, wishing, praying in the world but if you don't find out the root cause of the problem, you're going to stay in the same situation you're at.

That hit me because I was like, “That resonates with me.” I'm a root cause person. I believe in the natural way. I said, “This sounds everything you were talking about upper cervical. That's what you were talking about. It sounds like I need it.” At first, I looked into yours and thought, “Let me try going there.” It's quite a ride. I knew, with my vision, I wouldn't make it. I wouldn't be able to independently do that trip. I found a more local person in Gap, Pennsylvania, which is about 25 minutes from me. That worked out. He's been fabulous. I went through the X-rays and the thermographic imaging.

They do the thermographic imaging on the back of your neck.

The following day, I began my adjustments. Four weeks later, that image came back straight. I couldn't believe it from a total mess. He's like, “You don't need an adjustment.” I'm like, “What are you talking about? I need a picture of this.” I was amazed, four weeks. That was a Thursday. Tuesday, I went again and it was straight still. I was pretty excited.

For the readers, Terry is getting a thermographic scan of her neck every time she goes to see her upper cervical chiropractor. When things are out of alignment, it's usually squiggly and it shows that there's inflammation coming out of the nerve roots. When it's straight, the inflammation is non-existent, everything's looking good and the nerve flow is where it needs to be so she doesn't need an adjustment. That's the goal. You want to keep the scan straight and you want to not give the person adjustment if the nerve flow is where it needs to be. We say holding is healing. That's what Terry's talking about. She's holding her adjustment and her body is healing.

Going back to the beginning when he was testing me, he was testing my balance and he said, “That's a brain stem issue.” I went, “It's vestibular and vision.” He's like, “It's a brain stem issue.” I'm saying, “This can be fixed through this.” This is what I'm thinking like, “I don't know. Where do I go? I'm going with it.” I don't know what to believe but at this point I'm going with him because I'd rather believe in that than permanent. I remain believing in it, remain 100% positive on it, faithful to it and committed. That's where I'm going with it. I said, “Drew, stop.” Four years, I've not been able to go up and down stairs. It's been horrible balance holding on and extremely difficult for me to manage. I have a dorsiflex issue on my right ankle because when I broke it from my balance from dizziness, it didn't heal right. It was compromised. You add that into that, it just complicates the stairs. It's a mess. I said, “Hold on, Drew. I need you to watch this.” I navigated those stairs probably 70% better.

For the first time in four years.

Much slower than I would have done prior to my accident but I was like, “I'm not holding on and I'm going up. I'd go back up and down, look at this.” I was still being careful managing that we don't want to see anything happen but I was blown away.

You were told point blank by medical professionals that was not possible and it would not happen again. Good for you for keeping that open mindset and believing that it's still possible.

I did everything my upper cervical doctor asked me to do. When he told me, “These couple of exercises, I want you to do.” I did them. I'm a firm believer in essential oils in there. I don't know if you haven't heard of Valor but they call it Valor, your courage in a bottle. They also call it chiropractor in a bottle. I literally was rolling it on my neck thinking because it helps you hold an alignment. I didn't know if you knew that. Valor all over my neck constantly before and after the adjustments and then I would keep applying it. I believe this works. There's a lot of power in belief.

That's where it starts.

I have to thank you wholeheartedly for recommending upper cervical because look where I am now. I've been telling everybody and friends. Everybody needs it. I don’t think brain injury, everybody could benefit. If you're not aligned and it's out of alignment easily, then anyone can benefit from any age.

The woman I bought my practice from has been doing it for over 30-plus years. She's checked thousands of people. A total of four people walked into her office where she couldn't find an upper cervical misalignment in 30-something years. That leads you to think that everybody could benefit from this. It's the control center of our body. Every nerve in your body passes through that gateway. If you keep that gateway clear, it's beneficial to everybody. It's not just a chiropractic thing. It's something that makes sense. If you keep your nerves intact 100% especially where the brain meets the spinal cord, every part about you is going to function better. That's one of the things I'm trying to get through on this show, spread the message.

I'm glad you're doing what you're doing because it got the word out there for me and whoever else. I can then also spread it to other people when I meet them because I'm good at talking about what has helped me. I hated neck adjustments. I would always tense up. My chiropractor would be like, “Relax.” I hate them. For people that might be like me and get squeamish about that whole thing or is tensed up, you don't even feel it. It's completely different. It’s not like that at all.

The goal is to give the adjustment and leave it alone. Other chiropractors watch it in the office 3 or 4 times. I'm a fan of all forms of chiropractic. It's a great profession but this is a complete 180 where some chiropractic techniques want you in the office 3 or 4 times a week, getting your neck cracked. Where upper cervical, they want to give you that one adjustment, they want to keep it in place and let the body heal by itself without any other intervention. That puts the power back in the patient's hands when the adjustments start to hold because you don't need anybody else. Your body is literally healing itself without any other intervention once it's put back in place. That's what I find the most beautiful thing.

I have a compound issue I was concerned with. I very much love and needed my chiropractor before upper cervical. I felt a complete dependency on that person too like, “How am I going to not go to this person because the upper cervical that I'm currently seeing, like you, doesn’t do that. One thing for now while working on this.” He said, “Eventually, it will be fine but then not from the neck down.

This doctor seems like he’s a great upper cervical doctor.

You would like him. Drew and I talked to him, he was saying all the things you would say, which was why we liked him. The whole hatred of neck adjustments and get that out of your head because it's completely different. I had no idea. It's not even the same table. It takes a second. You're like, “That's it?”

What is this doctor's name?

Dr. Cerato.

Is he using his hand? Is he using a hand instrument?

It looks like you with the hand, it's quick.

There are about seven upper cervical techniques. Some use instruments. Some use the hands. Some use sound waves. I was just curious.

He does the thermographic image before and after. It's cool to see the before and after because when I wasn't aligned, you would always see it getting closer to alignment. The first time I went, I was like, “My neck is warm and I'm feeling a pounding.” He's like, “Hello, blood flow.” “What is this? I haven't felt that in four years or more, who knows.” It was so odd.

When you're locked out for several years, right after I give an adjustment, I tell people, “You might start feeling getting a little warm under your ears. You might feel some tingling going up and down the spine. That's the blood flow going back to your head that's been cut off for so many years. It’s your nerves turning back on in a way.”

From this tiny little move that you think did nothing. I highly recommend it. I can't thank you enough. I can't speak high enough about it. It's amazing to me that nobody knows this. They don't talk about this enough. How? That’s incredible. It’s like a secret that needs to be blasted everywhere.

There are not a lot of people doing it. It takes a couple of years to get proficient at it. You’ve got to put the time in to learn it and get good at it. It's easy to get out of chiropractic school and start twisting and cracking the necks. If you're going to a successful upper cervical doctor, they've honed that craft. They've put the time in. It's not easy. It can be difficult. Once you get it down, there's nothing like it.

Dr. Cerato was a regular chiropractor first. Was that the case with you? I forget.

No. I thankfully found this in chiropractic school. By the time I graduated, I knew what I wanted to do. Those are some of my favorite stories that some doctors do full spine regular chiropractic. They discovered upper cervical and they transformed their entire practice.

I'm happy for it. I am feeling hopeful and positive. I feel like I'm not plateauing. I'm progressing ahead. I’m very determined to defeat all odds. Go back to every single one of them who said permanent or no and say, “Look what I did. This is how. Now you need to share it.”

There are people that come to my office and they're looking for one adjustment to solve all their problems. Sometimes you get that great relief. Terry, if you had one adjustment, would you be where you were now?

No, it took the four. I know that I have more to go. I’m not done. It took years of me being here then I need to give my body now the time, whatever that takes to do this. I know there's going to be after this, maybe we're going to start separating the visits. They'll get further and further apart but there'll always be a need to go back for checks and maybe an adjustment here and there. It's easy to get these two bones out of alignment.

You’ve got to keep an eye on it in the beginning. You’ve got to make sure it stays in place. Even if you're not getting adjusted, it's as important going, seeing that's in place and then getting out of there for the peace of mind to know that it's in place. What I was trying to bring home there was true healing takes time. Your body has been out of alignment for several years. It's going to take some time for it to crawl back in the other direction. Three months, six months, nine months, a year into care, you are going to continue to heal. I wish, more than anybody, it was one adjustment you're done and healed. It's not like that. It's a roller coaster ride back to health. Every couple of weeks, it gets a little bit better. You’ve got to stick with it. In that sense, it's pretty cool that it doesn't all go away in one shot. You notice the steady progression. It gives you hope. It's cool to see the healing journey.

I thought about journaling it because sometimes I forget each step.

Terry and Drew, where can people find your podcast, your information and all the great work you're doing?

It's on You can listen on pretty much any place you listen to podcasts. Drew is also on Instagram. It's always @ABattleWithin. We have a Facebook page and it's A Battle Within.

Do you self-produce your podcast?


It's well done, professionally-made. Some people pay a lot of money for the work you guys do. Drew, nice job.

Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. You've made a difference in our lives. You are a miracle for us. Thank you.

I appreciate those words, Drew. That's why I do it. Terry and Drew, thank you for coming on the show. I enjoyed this episode. This is why I do this show, for stories like this. I would love to have you guys back on anytime, maybe 4 or 6 months down the road. We'll keep updated. We'll keep in touch. We'll both continue what we're doing.

We would like to have you back on too. I go through it a little bit more and then we can talk about it.

We'll touch base on how to put people in contact with upper cervical because there are people from all over looking for it. Thank you so much. We'll talk soon.

Take care.

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