Kevin Pecca is a chiropractic student that happens to be an intern in the office that I practice at, Precision Chiropractic in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. He talks about his journey and how he found Blair Upper Cervical, and some general info about it that will help everyone understand what this process is like.
Listen to the podcast here:
Blair Upper Cervical: Feeling The Healing with Dr. Kevin Pecca
Hi, guys. Welcome to Is Your Head On Straight with me, Dr. Elizabeth Hoefer. I’m your host. I’m super excited about our show today. I have an awesome guest that I know you’re going to love to hear from. We’re going to get started. My guest today is Kevin Pecca. He is a chiropractic student that happens to be an intern in the office that I practice at, Precision Chiropractic in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. I just want to get right to it, Kevin. I want to find out what your journey in chiropractic has been. If you can just give me why chiropractic, out of all the things you could choose to do in the world, why did you choose to do this?
How’s everybody doing? I chose chiropractic because chiropractic literally saved my life and gave me my life back. Six years ago, I had a traumatic brain injury that left me with blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, brain fog, knee pain, anxiety, depression. It literally just stripped me away of everything I was capable of doing. It lasted about four years. I didn’t think I was ever going to come out of that dark place because I saw three medical doctors, three neurologists, a doctor of osteopathic and a psychiatrist. Most of all told me, “Kevin, you’ve had a traumatic brain injury. You might have to live with this the rest of your life.” They put me on seizure medication because I couldn’t go to bed at night because my hands were really shaking. They put me on antidepressants because I told them I was depressed and they wanted to boost my mood. It wasn’t that I was a depressed person, it was just, I couldn’t really function anymore so they put me on antidepressants. They put me on pain killers to numb the pain. I wasn’t a huge fan of medication, but I took it because I exhausted all options I had and I would’ve done anything to get better at that point.
I took the medication and after three months, I felt way worse than I did than the start of the concussion. I believed all those people that told me, “Kevin, you’re going to have to live with this for the rest of your life.” I just believed it. I slipped into a very dark, depressing place. For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to live anymore. I woke up one morning and I said, “I can’t do this anymore. I think this is it. I’m done.” I sat up and I started to cry. After about three or four minutes, I’ve thought about it and then I felt like that wasn’t the right answer, that wasn’t the way out. I needed to see this through and find the root cause of the problem. It took about another two years of more medical doctors, more chiropractors, more physical therapists.
I finally landed in a Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic office that completely saved my life. After my first adjustment, it completely turned the light back on in my life. For the first time in four years, I wanted to live again, I wanted to be here. I felt connected, I didn’t feel depressed or had anxiety. Literally, the moment after my adjustment, I felt my life coming back to me. I walked outside and the colors on the trees are brighter and greener. I got home and I was literally telling everybody what just happened. It was an amazing experience. From that day on, I knew that I needed to become a chiropractor and help other people and turn their lives around and give them their life back.
Let me go back. You were under chiropractic care, like traditional full spine, you get your neck cracked and you feel better. You were under that kind of chiropractic care and you were already in chiropractic college when you found out about Blair, is that how it went down?
I was under chiropractic care since the third grade. He was a very good chiropractor, always fixed me up. He didn’t do the cracking of the neck, he did a little bit of a toggle adjustment, but it wasn’t as specific as Blair. That got me better. I was never really educated on the different philosophies, different type of techniques of chiropractic, I just knew chiropractic work. In high school and college, I got my neck cracked and adjusted. Even after my incident, my concussion, I still went to get my neck cracked and it would work for probably about an hour or two I would get some relief. I was in their office three or four times a week just trying to feel okay. I’ve been under a ton of different chiropractic care but nothing like the Blair technique.
I just wanted to get that picture. You were under chiropractic care and it was giving you some relief but it just wasn’t longstanding. You couldn’t afford or you didn’t have the time to be there three times a week.
There’s almost like a natural pain killer for a couple hours.
Obviously, chiropractic is an incredible thing where we reduce the issues of your nervous system and your body functions better. The Blair Chiropractic technique is something that is a little bit more specific, for people out there listening and wondering what are we talking about. It’s something that I’m super passionate about as a doctor. One of these days, you’ll get to hear my testimony, but I really wanted to start with Kevin because his transformation has been so incredible. The first time that I got to meet him, it was about two years ago. I met him at his college, Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. I went up there just to volunteer and introduce students to a different concept of chiropractic philosophy, some stuff that they weren’t learning at their school.
I’m a big believer in when you give back, it’s given back. I was basically tithing into my profession and the future of my profession by giving my time to the students at this college. I met Kevin and he was really excited because he’d actually heard of the work that I did with another amazing chiropractor, Dr. Drew Hall. He had been under care with Dr. Hall and he wanted to find out if there was any way that we could get him approved to come to our office and do an internship. We filled out the application through Precision Chiropractic and we got approved. He was able to come down and actually start doing observation for college credit.
It’s pretty cool because when you go to chiropractic school, the first year is just basic sciences. We have to learn all of the anatomy, all the physiology. We have to know why the body works the way it works. It’s similar to medical school in that respect. Where we differ, where chiropractic starts to go in a different direction is when instead of learning how to prescribe medication or how to do surgery, we take that application of human physiology and we apply it to the innate understanding that we have as a philosophical principle that our bodies can heal itself. We do chiropractic spinal adjustments to allow the nervous system to heal our body. The final few years of your education, you’re actually learning how to do adjustments.
Kevin had been under chiropractic care, it sounds like, since he was in third grade and then he met Dr. Hall who then did a very specific Blair upper cervical correction that changed his life, which what amazing testimony that is. I get the opportunity to meet him two years ago and for the last two years, he’s been in my office either observing or learning how to take X-rays, learning how to take notes and just being a good doctor. He’s actually been able to bring patients in from the community and convince them, as a student, to let him adjust them. As far as I can say, it’s going great. The people that he’s had under care have gotten great results.
There’s a number of conditions that he’s helped, but most notably, we take care of a man who already had spinal surgery and had fusion in his neck. The neat thing about the work that we do is that it’s so specific. We’re not worried about disc issues, we’re not worried about previous surgery because we’re not dealing with unspecific manipulation. We’re really working with the fine joints in the neck. We don’t have any cause of concern necessarily when people have had neck issues that are longstanding. That’s been really neat to see him, as a student, not even going out into practice yet, have the confidence and skillset to be able to deliver a correction that’s going to help people heal.
Kevin, I want to know, at your college, because Blair specific Upper Cervical specific chiropractic and maybe even the philosophy of chiropractic, the way that we understand it, that we’re innate bodies that heal and we have this thing called innate intelligence, what would you tell people who are interested in learning more about chiropractic? Even somebody listening who is just a person seeking out something different. Maybe they’re going to a chiropractor three times a week and it’s just not helping them get to the level they want to get to or they’re afraid of chiropractic and they don’t want to start having to go three times a week. What would you say to somebody listening that isn’t even necessarily in school yet, what would you tell them just as far as in general for chiropractic, what would you want them to know?
There’s probably over 200 techniques of chiropractic and there’s different philosophies. There’s light force techniques, there’s some that are a little heavier than others. As far as chiropractic goes, I would say you’d have to find the technique that’s best for you, that clears out the interference in the nervous system. If there was a better technique than the Blair Upper Cervical technique, I would be doing it. I’ve studied a bunch of different chiropractic techniques, I’ve been probably under at least ten to twelve different chiropractic techniques. Blair Upper Cervical, it’s literally changed my life, it’s changed how I look at the world, what I want to do with my life and it’s literally the only technique that makes sense to me.
What’s great about it is you know exactly when to adjust, when not to adjust. You have different tools that tell you that there’s nerve interference and when there’s not. There’s no guessing. What I love about it is, why I think it worked for me, because nobody’s had the same traumas as I have or you’ve had, nobody is built the same way as me or you, so why would you give that person the same adjustment as you give everybody else? That’s what really made sense to me with Blair.
The asymmetry analysis of how one side of the bone can be different than others. When other chiropractic techniques are just feeling on your neck and they feel, “Oh, this side is a little more restricted or there’s more tension on this side,” and they just crack it. They don’t really know why they’re doing that, they’re just feeling. Whereas we, we have the X-ray analysis, we have the Tytron scanner, we have the leg checks, we have the hip height and we know exactly what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and to clear the interference out of the nervous system.
It’s beautiful because I’ve spent a good two years in doctors’ offices trying to get better and I based my life around that. I have a doctor’s appointment at 3 PM, I’ve got to call out of work early. I need to be there. That was happening three or four times a week and it completely just dominating my life and I couldn’t really live. Then I came across the Blair technique. You could literally save someone’s life in one adjustment. It’s the most amazing thing.
Those adjustments, as we know, can hold weeks, to months, to years. My adjustment has been holding for three years now. Before that, I was getting cracked three or four times a week and I wasn’t really getting better. Who knew that a couple adjustments could just completely save my life because it keeps it in place, it keeps the interference away. This was the first technique where I felt the healing actually happening within my body. I felt my spine getting straighter and my posture better. I felt the nerves in my neck retracing and twitching a little bit and just all over my body, you feel the healing, which is beautiful about it.
I like that, you’re feeling the healing. It’s like a new catch phrase. I obviously hear the passion that you have because your life was transformed. You suffered from concussion, you suffered from debilitating headaches. At one point, you were admittedly suicidal. All of those things have improved with a technique called the Blair Upper Cervical technique. Obviously, this show is about getting your head on straight. A big way that I go about doing that in life is through the work that I do as a Blair chiropractor. I’m not going to have every single show be about the Blair technique, but I just wanted you to come on today to really give some hope to people out there that are listening to understand that, you know what, when you get healed, you find your passion. It just happens to be that your passion is to do the very thing that healed you. I’m really excited that you were here today.
Do you have any advice for chiropractic students that are in school and maybe not so enamored with the field that they’ve chosen? I know that there’s probably people out there, they get so burned out with taking tests and exams and getting through every day that they can’t fathom learning another thing. What would you say to a student who may be listening, that they can and could possibly have the same experience with this?
There’s a lot of students that I know of in my school and probably many other schools that they’re in the chiropractic program but they just feel lost. They don’t know why they’re doing it. Some people feel it’s a good profession to make a lot of money, some people just want to help people but they don’t realize, they’re just going through the motions, they’re taking tests, they don’t really know why they’re doing it. I would just tell them to keep exploring the technique that works for them. My school is not very heavy in philosophy. They teach one technique pretty strongly. I had to go out and find people where I can get answers from. That’s what I think is pretty important for students.
The more doctors you know, you’ve changed my life, Dr. Hall has changed my life. I would have never gotten that experience if I just stayed in my little school bubble and just listened to what they taught me. I’ve got an entire chiropractic education outside of my chiropractic school. My school is very good, they’re very great at preparing you for boards and everything, but I found my calling outside of school. They didn’t really teach the Blair technique in school. I wouldn’t have known about it if my friend didn’t tap me on the shoulder one day. He saw that I was suffering and he was tutoring me. He was like, “What’s wrong?” I was like, “I think I might have to drop out of school. I don’t think I can do this chiropractic thing.” He goes, “I know somebody that might be able to help you.”
Sure enough, it was a Blair doctor and it changed my life. Get out there, meet as many doctors as you know and do what you feel is right. I personally think the Blair technique is the best technique. If it’s not for you, find what it is for you. As long as they’re taking away interference and they know what they’re doing and getting your head on straight, then it’s a good technique. Chiropractic works.
I agree with you. What I heard you say there is that you were basically being vulnerable. A buddy saw that you were struggling. You were vulnerable enough to admit that, “Hey, I don’t know what’s going on.” I think being truthful and being real and making sure that you’re not putting on this fake fine all the time is really important too. That’s one thing that I’ve noticed as a doctor. I can see past the fake fine and get to the root issue. We do a lot of stuff in our office, it’s pretty cool. We get a lot of great results. Kevin, I’m so excited for your future. When do you graduate from chiropractic school?
I graduate December 18th, this December.
That is absolutely fantastic. Where are you going to be practicing once you are done with chiropractic college?
I will be in Mont Clair, New Jersey taking over Mont Clair Upper Cervical Chiropractic. It’s an existing practice with Dr. Banish in Mont Clair. It’s a third generation Blair practice. One of the oldest upper cervical offices in the country. I’m very excited. I can’t wait to get out there and start healing people.
Wow, I’m really looking forward at the things you’re going to do. Thank you so much for being on Is Your Head On Straight with me today. I feel like you’ve inspired some folks and I know that I am certainly inspired by the passion that you have. I look forward to seeing what you’re going to do in the future and who you’re going to talk about healing very soon. Thank you so much.
Thanks, doc. I’ll see you tomorrow.
About Dr. Kevin Pecca
Dr. Kevin Pecca is a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C) with an office located in West Orange, New Jersey. He practices the Blair Upper Cervical technique and specializes in Blair Upper Cervical (upper neck) alignment and health. He suffered 6 concussions playing Ice hockey which ended his career at 20 years of age and left him with an array of symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, brain fog, lightheadedness, anxiety, depression, hand tremors, and knee pain. His health problems had become so debilitating he didn’t think he would ever feel normal again. He went to countless medical specialists looking for answers. Some told him it was all in his head, while others told him he was going to have to live with these symptoms for the rest of his life.
All of the blood work, CAT scans, and MRI’s came back negative and he had absolutely no idea where to go or what to do. He was put on seizure medication to help his hands stop shaking, he was put on anti-depressants to boost his mood, and was put on painkillers to numb the pain. Nothing seemed to be working and felt worse.
After being treated by many medical specialists for 4 years with little results, he found himself in a Blair Upper Cervical office. He started to heal after the first adjustment! Blair upper cervical literally saved his life, and now he is healthy and gets to practice the technique that gave him my life back.He is excited to be back in NJ helping people regain their health through Upper cervical care. He graduated from Red Bank Catholic HS. He received my BA in psychology from Catholic University in Washington, DC and his Doctorate of Chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences. In his free time he loves to surf, play hockey, fish, practice yoga, hike and travel.