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Rise Again with Dr. Kevin Pecca

5 years ago

Expect Miracles podcast host Dr. Kevin Pecca gets into an intimate conversation with Peter Raisanen on his podcast, Rise Again Podcast, and shares the super unique story of how he overcame some significant odds in his own life that brought him to where he is now, doing what he loves and changing the world the way he is. Dr. Pecca is a doctor of chiropractic who practices a specific method of chiropractic called Blair Upper Cervical Technique. People who have diverse diseases and conditions fly in from all over the world to get treated by him. Learn more about Dr. Pecca’s trials and how he rose again in this revealing episode.

It has been years since I’ve made my recovery from a brain injury leaving me with blurred vision, headaches, hand tremors, brain fog, severe anxiety, severe depression, severe fatigue and an inability to live a functional life. I am so thankful to be here as an upper cervical chiropractor helping others heal from brain injuries, neurological conditions, pain and helping people live their lives to the fullest. I truly love what I do and I would like to thank all of you, beautiful people, that support the podcast. I really appreciate it. I had the pleasure of going on The Rise Again podcast with Dr. Peter Raisanen to share my story. It has been a while since I shared my story and some of the readers may not know it in its entirety. This episode is my journey back to health. I hope you enjoy it. Don’t forget to check out more of the episodes of The Rise Again podcast if you’ve enjoyed this one.


Listen To The Episode Here

Rise Again with Dr. Kevin Pecca

Our guest is Dr. Kevin Pecca. Kevin came highly recommended to me by two of my friends. After looking more into Kevin’s work, I’m astounded at what he can do and where he’s come from to get to where he is now. He’s a Doctor of Chiropractic. His office is located in Montclair, New Jersey. He practices a specific method of chiropractic called Blair Upper Cervical Technique. This guy heals people who come to him with diverse diseases and conditions from around the world. I saw people from Ireland and Canada. People are flying in from all over to see him. He has a super unique story in the fact that he overcame some significant odds in his own life that brought him to where he is now, doing what he loves and changing the world the way he is. Thanks a lot for joining me, Kevin.

It’s an honor to be a part of this show. I’m very excited to be here. Thank you so much.

Your story starts out amazingly from the very beginning. You were a miracle at birth.

I was born around three months early. The doctor wanted to put my mom on some medication for whatever reason it was. It might have affected the timing of my birth. I weighed two pounds, fifteen ounces. The doctors didn’t think I was going to make it through the night because I was so small. My mom told me that my body was the size of her palm and out of the palm was my head. My legs and my arms were just dangling. I was very little.

I worked in the NICU for a couple of years so I saw a lot of infants like the size that you were. It’s a precarious time being that small and not fully developed yet. You did all right.

I caught up fast. Within the first year, I was around the size I should be. There weren’t many issues. After my birth, I caught up fast and everything. It was great after that.

Tell me about your family life and home. Do you have siblings?

I am an only child. My parents had a child a year before me that had some kidney failure and kidney issues. He was only alive for a couple of hours. Then my parents had me, which was another huge scare. After that, the doctors told my mom, “I think this is it.” They’ve been through so much with just two children. I think that’s the reason why I was an only child. The first two childbirths they had was a lot on them.

You wouldn’t wish something like that on anybody. That’s terrifying from a parent’s perspective to watch people go through that with their children. It’s the life hanging in the balance. What were the things that you grew up in? Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a town called Howell, New Jersey. It’s about ten minutes from the Jersey Shore. I loved growing up there. I met so many amazing people that I’m still friends with now. It’s a great community with a lot of farmland. I was into regular activities growing up as a kid. I played a lot of sports like hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball. I got into lacrosse at a later age. I was very into being active, like with contact sports. I loved it all. It took up the majority of my childhood and early adult life.

You’re an athlete. In high school, you played a lot of different sports. A big part of your story is this love affair with hockey. When did that begin for you?

It began when I was about four. My younger cousin must’ve been about two or three at the time. He was cruising around in his rollerblades. I thought it was the coolest thing. I took the roller blades off his feet and started cruising around in our family party all day. Ever since then, I was addicted to hockey. I loved every minute of it.

Rise Again: It doesn’t much to get a concussion. If symptoms don’t persist, people think you’re fine.

Did you play in leagues and stuff like that growing up then?

Yes. It took up most of my time as a child, a teenager and a young adult. I was obsessed with it. I met so many great people that I’m still friends with. It opened up a lot of avenues in my life. At one point, it took everything away from me, but it also gave me everything. I’m grateful and thankful that I got to play that sport.

*What did you play? *

I played mostly center and right wing. I was a forward.

That’s where the action is. You probably got knocked around a little bit on the ice by the big defenders and stuff like that. What happened with hockey?

You don’t realize how rough of a sport hockey is until you’re removed from it. Hitting is part of the game. You get your bell rung a couple of times, but you get back up and shake it off. That could happen a couple of times in the game. Throughout a long season, it adds up. I had one bad concussion, which was the start of most of it. I played junior hockey. Some kid slashed me across the head with a stick. I wasn’t thrilled about that so a fight broke out towards the boards. Right where what connects the glass, the metal piece, I slipped back and hit my head against it. It completely cut my head wide open and I lost consciousness. I got punched in the face a couple of times after that happened. I remember being in the fight. I woke up in the locker room with just my jockstrap on. I asked people, “How did I do?” They were like, “How did you do? You need to go to the hospital. You’re bleeding from the back of your head. You hit the back of the boards with your head and you lost consciousness.” I had no idea. That’s a pretty scary thing, being out of it. I was probably unconscious, but I was moving around. I got up and they walked me off the ice. I woke up in the locker room. My body was awake, but I had no memory of it until about ten minutes later.

That’s the amnesia that people have around those incidents, especially those big concussions. I imagine you ended up going to the hospital.

I went to the hospital. I got about ten staples in the back of my head. It didn’t feel too bad. I had a little bit of brain fog and a minor headache for a couple of days. After that, I was fine. I took three weeks off, advisable by the doctors, to make sure I was good to go back. I kept playing the entire season. I was so called fine. I had a CAT scan. Everything came up negative. They didn’t even say I had a concussion, but it doesn’t take much to get a concussion. If symptoms don’t persist, people think you’re fine.

If your experience is like mine having had a traumatic brain injury, with that recovery process, people are like, “You look great. You’re looking awesome.” Inside you could feel, “I am a wounded warrior here. There’s something that’s not right.” Did you have that happen in your case?

That is the scariest part of a traumatic brain injury. I had one concussion and was fine for that entire season. I was seventeen years old then. I kept playing in college. I had a couple of good hits to the head in college. My last concussion was in practice. We were doing a hitting drill. I collided with one of my friends who was about 6’4”, 220 pounds. He was hitting drill in the corners. His shoulder hit me right in the head because he was taller than me. I saw stars a little bit. I shook my face mask off and I was fine. That weekend, we had a tournament. I had little hits to the head, nothing major, nothing that even stood out. I woke up that Monday morning and I had brain fog, blurred vision, dizziness and nausea. My legs were so painful and weak, which was a very strange feeling. It was almost tough for me to connect the dots to what happened because it felt like I had a concussion. You’d think that when people have a concussion that they’re symptomatic right after it happens. A lot of the times, in what I see and maybe what you experienced, you could be symptomatic months to even years later down the road from an injury like that. It was tough for me to connect the dots to what happened. I asked my team. My teammates were like, “We don’t remember you getting hit over the weekend. What are you talking about? You’re fine.” I’m like, “I am not fine.” It was a very scary incident that first day I woke up.

With the symptoms that you described, you’re probably wondering what’s going on. What were the steps? What did you end up doing from that? Did you just wait?

I went to the physician on campus. One of the symptoms I had was hand tremors. My hands couldn’t stop shaking. That was one of the scariest ones for me. The doctor said, “It sounds like you had a concussion. Why don’t you wait two or three weeks? You seem like you’ll be okay and you could continue to play.” That’s exactly what I did. I waited for two or three weeks. I still didn’t feel 100%, but the playoffs were coming up. At that age and in that time of life when hockey was my world, that’s all I wanted to do. Even though I wasn’t feeling 100%, I played a game two or three weeks later. I felt fine during the entire game. It was the same scenario a couple of days later. The dizziness, anxiety, depression, hand tremors and headaches hit again about two days later. That’s when I started to get very worried. I didn’t have a big hit or a big one-time thing that I was like, “This is a concussion.” I didn’t know what was going on, but I couldn’t finish the season after that game because my body started to shut down on me.

Rise Again: The scariest part of brain injuries is that it’s a physical injury that you can’t see. You look at somebody and they look fine on the outside.

Were you more reclined to taking a back seat, hanging out at home and doing other things? Could you focus? How was your memory?

I couldn’t find the right words to say to people. My short-term memory was almost gone. It was tough for me to have a conversation with people. I couldn’t study anymore. I remember looking at the keyboard to my computer and it was all jumbled. I couldn’t type papers. I would have to go so slow because if I looked down, everything would be swirling on me. I couldn’t write a paper, focus and exercise. I tried to do five pushups one time and the whole room started spinning. I had to lay down for about five hours to feel like I was not going to die. Two weeks prior to that, I was having a great time. I was enjoying school and hockey. Two weeks later, you’re filling out disability paperwork at the school because you can’t focus, read, exercise and talk to people. Your world is lost in an instant. It was very scary.

You were this robust athlete who is able to accomplish what they want and who’s vigorously taking on life head-on. Now you’re in this space. What came up for you? Were you feeling resigned, angry, let down or depressed? What was going through your head at that time?

That was my identity as a person. I played hockey. That’s what I love to do. When that’s gone, you feel lost and confused. I had unexplainable depression and anxiety. I was always a happy, upbeat and positive-thinking person, but I had no control over my thoughts. I had no idea when the severe depression or panic attacks were going to hit. I would start randomly crying to myself. I had no control over my emotions. On the flip side to that, I couldn’t feel any emotions. I was unresponsive to people talking to me. For instance, my grandmother passed away. She had a great life. She was about 96. She was getting up there and she passed away. Everybody was so upset, understandably, at her funeral. I was very close to my grandmother, but I was so out of it. I was just looking through everybody.

My uncles and everybody were like, “What’s wrong with Kevin? He doesn’t look good.” People were like, “He had a concussion. He should be all right.” What we touched on before was the scariest part of these injuries. You look at somebody and they look fine on the outside. It’s not a physical injury that you can see, like a broken arm or anything like that. The best way I could describe that four years of my life was a mental prison. I had no control over my emotions. I had no idea when the anxiety and depression were going to hit. I was not myself at all. I was having out-of-body experiences where I was almost looking at myself in my body. I would have to think, “What would the old Kevin say in this conversation?” or pretend laugh when somebody made a joke because I couldn’t follow it or I was just emotionless. That was not my persona at all.

To go from a super extroverted, fun, probably a pretty gregarious, outgoing person to just playing along, trying to just be socially acceptable and just try to fit in, I can relate to the depression and anxiety. I can almost feel the pain that you were going through at that time. Were you being treated? Were medical professionals trying to treat you? What was going on?

After about a month with no improvement, after the doctors telling me, “Rest. Take it easy. You’ll be fine,” I began to feel worse. I was in Washington, DC. I called my mom, who was in New Jersey and saying, “There is something very wrong. I don’t know what it is, but I’m not getting any better. I think we might have to see a specialist, a neurologist, somebody that specializes in brain injuries.” I didn’t have a severe concussion so I felt weird calling it a brain injury. I got a bad concussion one time in junior hockey, but that was years ago. I didn’t have that one moment where I 100% had a brain injury. I felt almost bad saying I had a brain injury. People that I was surrounded with couldn’t tell what was going on with me.

I went to go see a neurologist. They told me the same thing. They said, “You’ve got to give it a little bit more time. It’s still very early. It could take three to six months for these injuries to heal. You’ll probably never play hockey again.” That was crushing. I cried in the waiting room after that. It’s not like I was going to go professional hockey or anything, but it was my world. After hearing that, it was devastating to me. I could almost live with that, but I couldn’t live with the symptoms. I never felt normal 24/7 for years. I didn’t know what was going on. I saw a neurologist. He told me, “This is all normal. It’s part of the brain injury. You’ll heal up.” I said, “Okay.” I went back to the same neurologist three months later and he almost didn’t believe me. He’s like, “It’s all in your head. You’re going to be fine.” He had a flashlight on his desk. I picked up the flashlight and put it up against his wall. My hand was shaking with the flashlight. The light was shaking against the wall. I was like, “I’m twenty years old and I have hand tremors. This is not normal. Something’s wrong.” He didn’t have an answer for me. I pushed on because he didn’t want to believe it.

I saw another neurologist. She wanted to help me. She put me on seizure medication because I told her I was having hand tremors. She put me on painkillers because I told her I was in excruciating pain all the time. They put me on antidepressants because they wanted to boost my mood. I took all three of those for months. It was making me feel worse. Some of the side effects of antidepressants are more suicidal. I went to my local chiropractor. I was telling her, “The neurologist put me on seizure medication, painkillers and antidepressants. I don’t think the antidepressants are working. I’m feeling more suicidal.” She’s like, “Maybe they are.” That struck a chord with me because when you look at the side effects, it could cause more depression and more suicidal thoughts. Once I looked up on that, I stopped all medication cold turkey, which I don’t recommend. I always knew that they were only masking the problems. It wasn’t going after the root cause of the problem. I didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life.

I stopped taking the medication. I drifted into a very dark place after that because all these brilliant people were telling me that I was never going to get better or that it was all in my head and I was making it up. I remember being at the National Concussion Center in Washington, DC. I was seeing a neuropsychologist. Five minutes into telling him the same story, he stops me right in the middle of my story and says, “What if I told you you’re going to have to live with this for the rest of your life?” I looked back at him. My jaw dropped. I said, “Five minutes in, are you giving up on me already? I think I want to see another doctor.” I never went back to that office after that. Even in my practice now, I like to give everybody hope no matter what they’re going through. There is a chance of recovery. I was getting a lot of noes and closed doors on me.

After that, I probably fell into the deepest depression I’ve ever been in my life. After two years of waking up every day with anxiety, depression, brain fog, knee pain and with a positive mindset saying, “Tomorrow is going to be different,” every day for two years, nothing changed. I woke up one day. I rolled over to my side and started bawling my eyes out crying because I couldn’t take the pain anymore and it felt like I lost everything. I couldn’t do anything anymore. I started crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was going to kill myself that day. That’s how much pain I was in. I slowly collected myself and regathered my thoughts. I started laughing hysterically because it was almost comedy at this point that it was not getting any better. It became almost funny. I was in that dark place and it lightened the mood a little bit. I made a promise to myself that day that I was going to do whatever it takes to get better. I don’t think I could have ever taken my own life, but I was gearing up for a long, miserable life. Two years have gone on at this point. My friends didn’t know what to say to me. People stopped calling me to hang out. It was a very lonely time. I cried myself to sleep most nights. If you hang in there long enough, you will find a miracle. That’s what happened to me.

That’s what you stand for and it’s amazing. I could feel some of your pain when you’re talking about those medicines that they put you on. I don’t even want to talk about my experience. My experience was different than yours. I do want to touch base on the treatment that they gave you and that feeling of absolute hopelessness that you had. Being suicidal, hopeless and not getting any answers, there could be nothing more frustrating. Have you ever recommended speech therapy for memory or for any of that stuff? Did you feel like you recovered all of the memory that you lost?

EM 105 | Rise Again Rise Again: A brain injury puts the entire family through the wringer. It’s not just you.

I am completely healed. From the time I got that last concussion to now, I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. From that moment I told you about, it took me another two, three years to be healed. I started doing some research. That day I wanted to kill myself, I went to a Catholic university with a huge basilica on campus. I thought to myself, “Maybe I can talk to a priest. Maybe he can sprinkle some holy water on me, give me a couple of Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s or at least point me in the right direction, give me some hope.” I owe this priest my life. I walked into his office that day. He was a very unconventional priest. He had cigarettes on his desk. He had a full grizzly beard. He sat me down and told me to tell my story. The way he presented himself, he pulled up a chair and he listened. One of the most frustrating things I went through was feeling like nobody was listening to me. I felt like everyone was just listening to my symptoms and trying to mask it with a pill or they didn’t know what to think so they said, “You’re never going to get better.” I needed somebody to hear me out, just to hear what I was saying. This priest pulled up a chair and listened to me. About halfway through, he stopped me. I thought he was going to tell me the same thing that doctors were telling me, “This sounds pretty serious. I don’t know if you’re ever going to recover.”

He stopped me where I was and said, “You can do all the hoping, wishing and praying in the world, but if you don’t go out and find the root cause of this problem, you are never going to get better.” He told me to take a step back. He’s like, “Think about all the people in the world that have ever lived. Of all the humans that have ever lived, do you think there has been one person that has gone through the same thing you’re going through? I bet you that one person has found it and beat it. Keep doing your research and find that person. There’s got to be someone out there that can help you. If there’s not, you have to be that one person to get out there, get off your ass and find that solution. It’s never going to get better if you keep sitting back and feeling sorry for yourself.” I was not expecting that at all. A bell went off in my head and I said, “This this guy is right.” It had nothing to do with religion. He didn’t give me any BS. He told me how it was. It was the best advice I’ve ever gotten in my life. After that meeting, I started making some phone calls. I got in contact with an ex-NHL player who used to coach me. His career ended through concussions and he was doing well now. I called him. He said, “I’ve been going to see this one doctor.” Have you ever heard of platelet-rich plasma injections?


He was doing regenerative medicine around the brainstem area. I go to see this doctor. He is the first one that said, “We could help you. I see these cases all the time. We’ve gotten people better that have been worse than you.” I said, “I’m in.” The moment he told me he can get me better, I looked over in the chair next to me and my mom started crying. Not only was I experiencing all of this, but a brain injury puts the entire family through the wringer. It’s not just you. Everybody who’s surrounded by you is affected by these things. She started crying tears of joy. I thought to myself, “I need to get better here because not only is my health suffering, but I’m also affecting all the loved ones around me.” That was a big wake up call to do everything in my power to get better. I did a couple of injections. I felt great after the first one. The brain fog lifted and everything was very clear. I said, “This is what normal feels like. This is how people live.”

My mood increased and the brain fog lifted, but it only lasted a couple of days and then everything came back. Normally you’re supposed to wait about two to three weeks in between those shots. I called the doctor immediately after it wore off. I said, “I need another one because everything’s back.” He’s like, “Come in next week.” I kept going to this doctor. For whatever reason, the shots didn’t have the same effect as it did on my first injection. I did about ten or eleven of those shots. They are fairly pricey. After the tenth or eleventh one, we couldn’t afford it anymore. I had to stop. The shots didn’t end up working, but it pointed me in the right direction. This was the first doctor that told me that posture dictates function. If you clear the area around the brainstem which is your control center, your body will heal itself and start functioning again to its optimal potential. That stuck with me. Even though I wasn’t healed, I applauded this doctor. He pointed me in the right direction.

Throughout my journey of trying to get back to health, I can’t tell you how many practitioners told me, “Whatever you do, do not go see the chiropractor.” I grew up with chiropractic care for my entire life. I listened to these people because I didn’t want to ruin anything. On some levels, I do agree with them. There are some chiropractors that will just take your neck, twist it side to side and could cause further damage. With any field, there are some gifted chiropractors who are healers and do phenomenal work and can cure neurological disorders. I was left with no answers yet again. I decided maybe I’ll go back to my family chiropractor because I’m still feeling the worst I’ve ever felt. About two and a half years have gone by at this point, maybe three, I went to go see my family chiropractor. He did specific chiropractic work. He got me functioning again to about 60%, 70%, 75% better. I was seeing him about three or four times a week.

The only problem was if I didn’t see him for a week, all my symptoms would come back. I was extremely reliant on this doctor. I’m thinking to myself, “What if this guy goes on vacation or what if I ever wanted to backpack around Europe? This isn’t solving my problems. I’m relying on this person.” I figured that there was something about the chiropractic. I didn’t know what it was, but it was getting me somewhat better. I decided to go study it, dive a little deeper and see if there was a technique that could possibly heal me down the road. My cousin went to chiropractic school out in California. I’ve always been attracted to that state. I’ve always wanted to live there. I followed in her footsteps and moved to California. Sure enough, three or four weeks into my school year, everything started coming back. I had blurred vision, dizziness, anxiety, depression and headaches. Continuing Master’s-level education is very taxing. You have to use your brain a lot. It’s almost like a full-time job studying, learning anatomy and all that. I couldn’t do that with the brain fog and the headaches.

I usually don’t tell people this story. There was a person in my class. We were in the first term, so nobody knows how to adjust. She said, “One of my parents was a chiropractor. I grew up giving adjustments. I can give you an adjustment.” I was giving probably about $100 a week to one of the chiropractors down the road, which doesn’t sound like a ton of money, but I had student loans. I needed to save every penny I could. I said, “If this girl can adjust me, I’ll be saving some money and I’ll be good.” I got a neck adjustment from her and something cracked in my neck. She did one of those standard twist pop adjustments. I said, “What was that?” She goes, “I don’t know. What was that?” I said, “I don’t know. You are the one that gave me the adjustment. What was that?” The whole right side of my neck swelled up. The brain fog and headaches were so intense. That was a Thursday and I was getting tutored by my friend the next day. I’m gearing up to drop out of school and go back to New Jersey because I couldn’t function anymore.

My one friend that was tutoring me was about a year into the program. He was further ahead in the program than I was. He’s like, “What’s wrong with you?” I said, “I don’t know. I think I’m going to have to drop out. The brain fog and headaches are all back. I can’t concentrate.” He said, “I might know one person that can help you.” I’ve heard this before, but this was my last chance or else I was going back to New Jersey. I made an appointment with this doctor. I walked into his office. I was filling out the paperwork. When I turned in the corner, on his wall says, “Expect miracles.” I’ve never gravitated more to a sign than that. My eyes locked in on that. It was engraved in my brain. I thought to myself, “This place looks a little different. There might be some hope here,” but I’m still not feeling great. I’m doing my intake paperwork. I sit down with Dr. Drew Hall, who’s a Blair Upper Cervical specialist in California. I’m telling him the same exact story. I see him smirking across the desk, almost laughing. I’m thinking to myself, “What was so funny? This is not a funny story. I’m having so much pain right now.”

He lets me finish my story. He said, “I had the same exact story as you. I was wrestling my friend after baseball practice. He picked me up and dropped me on my head. I felt a huge crack in my neck.” He thought he was completely paralyzed. After a couple of seconds, he wiggled his hands and fingers and thought he was fine. Eight months down the road, he had headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, anxiety and depression. His sinuses swelled shut. He also didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to live anymore. He went to go see an upper cervical specialist and it completely saved his life. That’s how he got into the work. He told me, “I had the same exact story as you. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can get you better, fix you up and get you living your life again.” This was new to me. Besides that one doctor who told me he can get me better, there was a conviction in his voice that I believed. At the same time, I was like, “I heard this before. Let me see it. I can’t live like this anymore.” They took the three-dimensional X-rays. They figured out which adjustment I needed. That was almost like a blueprint to my own anatomy.

They laid me on the table. They gave me a very precise upper neck adjustment. I popped up off the table and felt the anxiety and depression leave my body almost immediately. I wasn’t without that anxiety and depression for four years and I felt it lift almost immediately. I said, “Something changed. What’s going on here?” They had me rest in the back room. I felt a surge of life coming back into my body that was not there for so long. I felt connected to the source again, whatever you want to call that, higher power or God. That’s what I felt. I went home that night. The colors on the trees were brighter and greener. The brain fog was gone. I slept through the night for the first time in four years. I woke up the next morning without any doubt. Every fiber in my being was like, “I have to do this.” I’m not saying I was healed after that one day because that’s not true. I had an amazing first adjustment, but it took me about six to eight months to feel normal again, not a full recovery. I continued to heal a year after that. I didn’t feel completely like myself until a year and a half after that, but every couple of weeks, something was getting better. The brain fog was getting better. The headaches were almost gone. The hand tremors went away almost immediately as well.

Every couple of weeks, I was getting my life back. I looked in the mirror about eight months later and thinking, “The headaches aren’t here. Anxiety and depression are gone. There are no more hand tremors.” I was living again. I was thriving. What did this guy do? He touched a bone in my upper neck and I was getting my life back. It’s so far out of our paradigm of health. People almost don’t believe it. What he did was what I was talking about before. If you clear the interference out around the brainstem, you get the proper nerve flow back, blood flow back and your body begins to heal itself. That’s exactly what started to happen. I got my life back. It didn’t happen overnight. I had so many doors slam shut on me. It would have been easy to sit back and accept that I was never going to get better. It took me four years with over a dozen practitioners. I stayed the course and believed that I was going to get better. I didn’t know how it was going to happen. I don’t believe in coincidences anymore. To land in somebody’s office on the completely other side of the country that has the same exact story as you, almost gives me goosebumps.

EM 105 | Rise Again Rise Again: If you clear the interference out around the brain stem, you get the proper nerve flow and blood flow back, and your body begins to heal itself.

He became my mentor. He taught me all the Blair Upper Cervical work, along with some other great chiropractors like Dr. Hayford and Dr. Banitch. It has been nothing short of life changing. It’s saved my life. It’s what I do every day. It’s my passion. It’s amazing to see people with brain injuries, concussions, headaches and severe neck pain come into my office and get their life back. It’s why I do it. It’s so gratifying. To think I almost gave up in 2012 and almost killed myself that day, it’s so gratifying to be alive. It sounds corny to say, but I am so thankful I wake up. Every day is a beautiful day. Sometimes I get moved to tears because, for four years, every day was the worst day of my life. Not waking up with a headache, blurred vision, brain fog and not being able to concentrate, it’s a beautiful day. It’s almost made my life more appreciative. I can appreciate the little things that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I hadn’t gone through what I thought was a devastating time in my life. It turned out to be the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me.

It’s all relevant. When I look at your life and I see how you scraped rock bottom, one might even surmise and go far enough to say that was a blessing in disguise. Isn’t that how life is for so many of us? If we don’t give up hope and if we can keep pushing through, what your word is your hope. That’s your big word and the thing that you hand off to people. Things serendipitously start to appear, like the man who was the catalyst for all the change, this priest with the cigarettes on his desk who was able to be direct and give you words of direction. Instead of saying, “You used to be like this, but now you’re going to be like this,” he said, “Now you’ve got this stuff. Let’s go figure out how to fix it.” Instead of the but, he threw in the hand.

I don’t think there is any disease, illness or ailment that the body cannot heal itself from. Whether it’s coming to my office or going to any other practitioner that has a positive mindset and a true healer, anything is possible to heal from. I am living proof of that. It’s not only my story, but you do occasionally hear of stage four cancers clearing up, just severe situations. People do have these miracles. It’s easy with the news, television and everything. Even if you Google one of your ailments, the worst-case scenario pops up. It’s scary. I did that with my concussions and awful things were popping up. It got me even more depressed and more scared that I was going to have to live with this forever. Even if you are struggling, mindset is so important. It might not get you better, but it will open the doors. If you pay attention to the signs, it will lead you in the right direction. It’s never over.

One of the biggest things I love to do with people in my office is to work on the mindset of where they’re at. It’s exactly like what you’re saying. Other stuff can be off, but if that’s off, nothing else is going to be worked out. You’re going to be struggling. Your practice is at Montclair Upper Cervical Chiropractic. Is that in Montclair, New Jersey?

I bought a practice from Dr. Meg Banitch, who was a third-generation upper cervical chiropractor. Her grandfather started the practice in Montclair around 1950 or 1948. Her grandfather and father were there. She took it over from her father. It’s been in Montclair for many years. She retired. She was in one of these old Victorian houses in Montclair, New Jersey. It’s a very prestigious town. The property taxes and everything were crazy. I moved it two miles down the road. The practice is now in West Orange, New Jersey.

I would expect the practice to be called Expect Miracles Chiropractic.

I didn’t change the name of the business because it was such an established practice that people were Googling it. If I changed the name, people would have been confused. I kept the name of the practice and made the name of my podcast, Expect Miracles, where I have other doctors, healers and people with amazing life stories on as a testament to give people hope and show them that you can overcome anything. I’ve seen it firsthand. I’ve seen it in other people. It’s a beautiful thing.

How do people find out more about you, Kevin?

I am on pretty much all the major social media networks. It’s Dr. Kevin Pecca on YouTube, Kevin Pecca on Facebook, @KevinPecca on Instagram and Montclair Upper Cervical Chiropractic on Facebook as well. I also have positive affirmations and quotes page on Instagram called Easel Affirmations, which gives people daily quotes and sayings, a little pick me up to inspire people and get them through the day.

Maybe do a little run through of some of the conditions that you like to see. I had a patient fell off a ladder some years ago. If you’ve not been better and you know Kevin’s story, reach out to him. Send him a message or write him an email. You can easily get ahold of him. If you don’t know how to get ahold of him, get ahold of me. I’ll get ahold of him for you. I’ll put you in contact. Please do that. He’s an amazing guy. He’s doing amazing work out there with people. You don’t have to go further than his website and Instagram to see all the amazing testimonials and work he’s doing. Kevin, you’ve probably been following it. What has been going on in the NHL with concussions?

Every year, there’s at least one big star that gets a pretty nasty concussion and has the same situation as me. They have brain fog, poor vision, dizziness and headaches. Their energy levels are low. It completely ends their career. It’s sad to see. I’m not saying upper cervical chiropractic is the end all be all to every single ailment or condition, but the lower part of your brain, the brain stem, which is the control center of our body, sits in the upper neck. There are two bones in the upper neck. There’s C1, which is the atlas, and C2, which is the axis. They house the brainstem. There’s no disc space in between C1 and C2 to stabilize that area like there is in the rest of the spine. It’s a vulnerable area with the most neurological significance. It’s the gateway to our health. If you’re involved in contact sports, car accidents and if you’ve fallen off the monkey bars when you were little, it doesn’t take much because it’s an unstable area in our body. Those bones lockout.

They cut off nerve flow and blood flow to the rest of the body. It causes all of these symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, neck pain and back pain. It can cause almost anything. Keep that area clear with the precise upper neck adjustment using three dimensional X-rays so you can visualize which bone is out and where to hit it. The reason why we get such great results is that we are extremely specific and we tell each adjustment to that person’s body. There’s no guesswork. We are putting that bone exactly where it needs to be so you get that 100% nerve flow and blood flow. Once that is in place, holding is healing. Our goal is to give you one neck adjustment and have it hold weeks to months to years, keep that area clear and get the nerve flow and blood flow back. You watch a lot of people get their lives back. My goal is to get an upper cervical chiropractic in the NHL. Do you know the quarterback for the Chicago Bears, McMahon?

EM 105 | Rise Again Rise Again: The brain stem is a very vulnerable area with the most neurological significance. It’s the gateway to our health.

I’ve heard of him.

He had a severe case of post-concussion syndrome. There are about seven different upper cervical techniques. He went to an upper cervical chiropractor and it gave him his life back. He was on 60 Minutes. There might have been an ESPN 30 for 30 on it. We are gaining attention in the media. That’s why I do my show. That’s why I go to other great shows like yours. It’s to spread the good word and show people that there is hope. Upper cervical chiropractic is very good for neurological conditions. We see a lot of Meniere’s patients, which is a very disturbing inner ear disorder. It causes ear ringing and vertigo. It’s devastating. I have so many people that come into my office and say they had Meniere’s. They think their life is over because of what other doctors told them. When we get them adjusted, their hearing comes back, the ringing stops and the dizziness and vertigo stops. We see Meniere’s patients, post-concussion, headache and multiple sclerosis. They stop having their seizures when their upper neck is put back into alignment. It’s pretty amazing stuff.

“Be specific to be terrific,” that’s exactly what you’re doing. That’s a quote you need to have on your wall. There’s something about nonspecific chiropractic, which is the high velocity and low amplitude. That’s when they do the twisting, cracking, popping and stuff like that. There can be some benefit to that in a normally healthy person. Being specific about what you need to do is where the rubber hits the road. That’s the money right there. It’s been amazing to have you on. For those of you reading, if Kevin’s story has inspired you to take some massive action in your life, look no further. Take action on whatever it is. Maybe you’ve got some glimmer of hope like, “I’ve got to do this thing. This thing has been waiting for me for a long time. It isn’t going to be there if I just keep waiting for it.” Take massive action in your life and move forward. Action is power. It’s not whether you succeed or you fail. Move forward. Make it an awesome day. I want to thank you, Kevin, for joining me on the show.

Thank you so much. It was an honor to be on your show. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share my story. I wish you the best of luck.

You’re an amazing man. Keep doing all the amazing work. We’ll get some people over to you to get them healed.

Thank you so much.

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