The ultimate reward in chiropractic is giving life back to people who have given up on it. Dr. Kevin Pecca is no stranger to these miracle cases and long healing processes. Learning from his mentors, Dr. Kevin knew that in order to become the doctor he wants to be, a change in him needs to happen. Chiropractors starting in practice need to know what they are doing and they need to give 100% at all times. Learn why there is a need to see how the process is done by those who came before you and trust that the healing is taking place.
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Starting in Practice and Putting Your Heart in 100% with Dr. Kevin Pecca
I’m excited about my guest. It’s my first repeat guest on my podcast. The reason why I’m bringing him back on is because the last time I talked to him, he was just a student intern in my office. Now, he is a great doctor in the State of New Jersey doing some incredible work. I would like to introduce to you today my friend, Dr. Kevin Pecca, who has taken over the country’s oldest Upper Cervical office and now is running an incredible clinic all by himself out in Montclair, New Jersey. Welcome to the podcast again, Kevin.
Thank you, Dr. Hoefer. It’s an honor.
I’m so happy to talk to you again Dr. Pecca. I know the last time we talked, we were really excited about what you were going to do when you graduated and what you were going to do when you move back to New Jersey and took over your own practice. I want you to fill in what has happened since last December when you graduated from college as a Doctor of Chiropractic.
Since last December, I graduated school and I was out in California. Then me, my cousin, Timmy, and another chiropractic student, Sonu, we road trip to cross country, saw some really cool stuff. I moved back home and then on January 1st, I started up my chiropractic career with one of the best to ever do it, Dr. Meg Banitch. It was really an honor to work with Dr. Banitch because she’s been doing it for about 30 plus years. It was just great to see the process that someone has that level of expertise just go through how she works with the patients, what happens when it gets difficult, how to talk to people, just to cover chiropractic in almost every aspect. I was very fortunate where I got to study you who has been doing for eight, nine years now, Dr. Tomp, Dr. Hall, and then finally with Dr. Banitch. I’m really blessed to be able to learn from all of you because you are just so excellent at what you do.
I started with Dr. Banitch in January and started getting my own patients. I was working as more of an independent contractor with Dr. Banitch. I got to bring in my own patients. I got to see her patients when she was out of the office. It really helped develop my skill set as a doctor because I had such an unbelievable internship with you, which I’ll be forever grateful for. You let me bring in people off the streets for practically just a little cost and we got to change so many lives that way. It really helped develop my skill set. There’s really no way for you to prepare as a doctor when you actually start. You probably had the same thing. When you first started it’s like, “It’s on. It’s ready to go. There’s no more practice. There’s no more running to the chiropractic intern at the clinic. It’s you and you’ve got to be ready.”
I just want to clarify for all the listeners. When you say “it”, when you say practice, when you say Hall, Tomp, Hoefer, Banitch, you’re talking about Blair Upper Cervical chiropractors because we practice this incredible Blair Upper Cervical technique. I totally appreciate what you’re saying. I’m so grateful that my mentor is across the hall. If I have a question or if I’m having an issue with looking at a film or have an issue with maybe something isn’t going the way I thought it would, I can just say, “Dr. Tomp, what do you think about this?” It was great to have you in our office when you were interning with us because you got to see the dynamic of having the two doctors in the practice. That’s a blessing. Unfortunately, most Blair doctors are lone wolves out in the world with no one near them. I totally understand and it’s really neat. You mentioned some of the people that you brought in as a student intern in the office. One of the girls just showed up, Lauren, and she hadn’t been in a year because she felt so great. She was out of alignment so we adjusted her and literally on the table, she’s like, “I feel so much better already.” That was only two adjustments in a year. I want you to tell me how do you feel you were ready, the confidence that you had to just know that you knew that you knew that when you brought somebody in, you’re going to be fine taking care of them knowing that Dr. Banitch was definitely transitioning out.
I was over confident when I started because I saw so many miracles happen in your office. I was on fire. I’m going to help everybody. You get into practice and you get a couple miracle cases right away. You start getting the people that you don’t know quite how to handle. You got to see him a little more. You have to adjust your skill set to match them. That was an awesome challenge that I had to go through. One of my first patients, her symptoms were literally the entire left side of her body was numb, couldn’t feel the left side of her body. You don’t see it. What do you do in that instant? I’m grateful that I have the Blair analysis where we’re not chasing symptoms. We’re going after the root cause of the problem. If you clear the interference around the brainstem, everything has a shot to get better. That was definitely a challenge and a difficult one but the Blair analysis is so thorough and in depth. It saved my life. It saved your life. It’s amazing the miracles you get to see happen with the Blair technique.
With that patient that you were just describing, were you able to give her an education that she understood, that she believed that making in that specific correction at the top of her neck was going to make a difference and so far, how has she progressed with care?
She was a tough challenge. She was almost like a doctor chaser. She was running from doctor to doctor to doctor, “Why should I do this?” She was a challenge for Dr. Banitch and I. My first patient in the office was a woman that was in such excruciating low back pain. She could barely walk into the office and she was going to get surgery in three or four weeks. She was in so much pain she could barely sit in the X-ray chair. It was tough to watch because she was just in so much pain. It wasn’t like a couple of the Blair cases you see where they pop up off the table and they say, “I’m healed.” It was more of a process. Before coming here, crying every single day, being able to barely walk, completely lost her ability to live life. I just heard from her husband a month or two ago. He just called and thank me. He said, “I got my wife back. She’s a completely different person. She doesn’t need surgery. She’s living again. She’s exercising. We can’t thank you enough.” That’s the ultimate reward in why we get into this and do what we do.
It’s really great that you’re talking about your first year in practice and that it’s not all these miracle cases. We’re going to brag about the people who got healed instantly and who had one adjustment and all their pain went away but the truth is it is a process. Slow and steady wins the race. That’s what I educate my patients on every day. I tell them, “In chiropractic, we go off of these 33 principles and the principle number six is all processes take time.” It takes time to become dysfunctional. It takes time to heal. With that said, the lady who came in with excruciating pain and she could barely sit, two months is a very little amount of time compared to the long suffering she dealt with. I’m happy that you are in a realistic sense giving hope and giving life back and not telling people, “One adjustment and it’s done. You’ll be healed.” It’s definitely a process.
It took probably about a year, year and a half for me to be completely healed with a lot of ups and downs. If it wasn’t for a person like Drew Hall, who knows exactly what it’s like and you to just be like, “Hang in there. It’s going to get better. I promise,” because you lived it. I had a woman in early February last year with Ménière’s. Ménière’s can be a tricky thing because they have the ear ringing, the ear fullness and the dizziness. Around the one month mark, she was holding her adjustment but she was like, “I don’t feel any different.” I said, “It’s okay. It’s going to take some time and usually around the three or four-month mark with Meniere’s, we start seeing great changes.” This woman hung in there, held her adjustment for around the three or four-month mark, and the blurry vision, the dizziness, the ear ringing, it all disappeared. I barely see her anymore. She was coming in twice a week just to see if she was holding and she got her life back. What’s great about Blair is you know when to leave it alone. You know when to hold so. Maybe some other doctors would have tried to interfere with that healing process and maybe made an adjustment where you know exactly when to leave something alone and let the body heal because of all the analytical tools we have. If you leave it alone and it holds, you will definitely get your life back and sometimes it doesn’t happen overnight. It goes up and down and up and down.
I do think it’s important to mention the scanning tool and the leg checks and the palpation and all of the different factors, the posture analysis that we use, to determine if somebody is objectively neurologically clear because a symptom doesn’t always tell the whole story. When I teach my healthcare class, I talk about the fact that you’re 80% dysfunctional neurologically before you ever even feel a thing. I’m really grateful that you know when not to adjust because that woman and her Ménière’s issues are forever grateful that she no longer has that because you knew when to let her body do the healing that it needed to do. It is a tough line to walk because there are standards of care. There is a hundred different chiropractors out there that work for insurance companies that will tell you, “You only have two weeks and if you don’t make a difference, it’s not working.” We don’t have to live within those parameters. We just have to trust the process. I’m grateful that you’re educating your patients that that’s the story. You have to trust the process and know that your body makes the healing. Tell me about the transition because you were a student, you went in as an IC. Dr. Banitch and you worked together for probably nine months, right?
Yeah. In the beginning, I didn’t have my license yet. I was literally just in the office just shadowing her, watching what she did. Then I got my license and I started working on people. We see a lot of great things happen. What I noticed most for me was I started to have to change everything. To become the doctor I wanted to be, I have to start taking care of myself outside of the office and really start eating healthy and working out. Maybe some sacrificing not going out as much and everything just to be as effective as I wanted to be in the office. That took a month or two to realize that I really need to buckle down and if I want to become the doctor I want to be, I really got to start focusing and showing up every day 100% and putting work into the craft. That made a big difference. Focusing in the office and then focusing on what you’re doing outside of the office as well.
When did you graduate?
I believe it was December 12 or 13.
You just told me January 1, you were at that office in Montclair, New Jersey ready to go. You had zero transition time because you had literally move across the country. You had zero transition time from college student to professional. I think that’s an important thing that you just mentioned. I know often weeknights, “Forget about it. I’m not going to do anything because number one, I have my family, my kids. I got to get their homework done,” but I know that I have to be up and ready. My brain has to be fully firing. My heart has to be 100% when I walk into that office because if you’re distracted, you’re not going to give the great care that you want to give. That’s great that you know that. What advice would you give chiropractic students looking to start their own practice? You’re living the dream. You took over an incredibly successful practice but most people don’t have that luxury. Would you recommend doing a one or two-year associateship or independent contract where you have access to other chiropractors or would you say, “Just save your money and get out and start on your own”?
It’s interesting especially if you’re doing upper cervical work. A lot of the patients we see had been every single place, other where they come in with a lot of crazy symptoms. People that can’t walk, people that are in wheelchairs, people that can’t lay down on their side because the room starts spinning. You have to know what you’re doing. I definitely recommend associating with another doctor especially if you’re doing Upper Cervical for six months to a year just to see everything that goes on because you get people that can’t walk and you can change their lives. You just have to know what you’re doing. Being able to see that from an experienced doctor, being able to read the X-rays, being able to figure out that some people have different bone structures and everything and the different ways to adjust things, that’s all experience.
I went out to lunch with a girl that I went to chiropractic school with. She’s back in New Jersey too. It’s sad to see that there are some mentoring programs in the chiropractic profession and they’re making these kids pay all this money. They’re making them do all these things saying, “You have to get this software and this equipment and all this. You have to make all these videos.” When there’s people out there like you and Drew and Meg Banitch that will take the time out and if you show you’re interested, they will give you this knowledge for free. If you’re genuinely interested about it, there are so many people that will help you. You don’t need to go spending thousands of dollars. You’re already in this debt. If you show the initiative, there are so many people from the goodness of their heart that will help you. Earlier this week, I sent you X-rays. I said, “Is there anything that you see that I don’t see on this x-ray to help out this person?” You got back to me in ten minutes and that’s not something you can pay for. I showed the dedication in your office. You know how serious I am about it. I love you to death and you will do anything for me. I’ll do anything for you. I think that goes a long way with people and I think you need that to succeed.
I think that saying that chiropractic eats their young is true to an extent but if you get in with the right crowd like the Blair world, the doctors are so unselfish. We just simply want people to get better and you’re now in that camp, Dr. Pecca. You are now going to be the doctor that another student comes and says, “Doc, what do you think about this?” You’re not too far off from that. I feel the training that you got and the access you had to these really exceptional doctors while you were a student set you light years ahead. You walked into Dr. Banitch’s office and you hit the ground running. I think that your advice of spending time associating or at least being around a doctor that can mentor you is so vital. I think that’s what the Blair society is working on doing is providing a safer place for students coming out of college to be able to make a decent living learning still how to take care of people and then be able to successfully take that on. I know Darren White had an incredible program up in Washington. Dr. Lenarz has trained several doctors that are super successful. Now those doctors, doctors like Rachae Bell and others in Washington, Chris Wolff, they’re taking that and then they’re doing that for the next generation. It’s exciting to see. Now, you’re in the East Coast and now you got to represent. You gave me an example of a Ménière’s patient who was difficult but did end up making a good recovery after several months. Is there another case that you want to brag about? You’ve been in practice now. When did you officially open your own shop, a month and a half ago?
I’ve officially opened up my own shop in September. There’s people that I’ve inherited it from Dr. Banitch. It doesn’t even have to be a miracle case sometimes. It’s this woman that hasn’t been in in six months. She came in and she goes, “I don’t know what’s going on. I have blurred vision and dizziness and all this.” She was freaking out a little bit. We laid her on the table. We put her back into alignment. She gets up and she’s just like, “I feel so much better already.” It’s been a couple of minutes. They’re just so thankful for it. That’s what really keeps you going. Sometimes we focus on the people that aren’t doing as well as we’d like and we can’t help and then you have somebody walk in the door and it’s just like, “That’s exactly why I do it.” It’s amazing to see.
Just from the Blair website alone, I’ve gotten so many referrals to the office and with all the Ménière’s research, I would say Ménière’s is probably half of my patients right now. It’s great because these people have been to other medical doctors. I’m not knocking the medical profession. There’s definitely a time and place for medication, but this people will look in their eyes and said, “There’s nothing you can do for Ménière’s. You’re going to have to live with this forever. Take this medication.” When they come to our office or at any Blair office for that matter, you clear out the interference and they do get their lives back. Even if it’s not everything at once. If you just take away their 24/7 ear ringing, I don’t have that but that has to be one of the most excruciating things to live with, and to have that go away and to have that person literally give you a hug and say, “My ears aren’t ringing anymore. I feel great. I have my life back.” That’s why we do what we do. You see it a lot in Upper Cervical offices to the point, not that it becomes routine, but it’s just you get to help so many people every single day. It’s almost like everything becomes a miracle. You’re thankful you get to do what you do.
I know another thing that you were able to be exposed to at the office with me was that you learn about doing podcasting. You actually have your own podcast. Tell me about that.
It’s really funny how that worked out. I got really into the Joe Rogan Podcast, which is one of my favorite podcasts. I was thinking about it and I remember saying to myself, “I’m going to have a podcast one day.” I think two weeks later, I walked in the office and you’re like, “I’m going to start a podcast.” I was like, “Can I come in and listen?” You’re like, “Obviously.” You invited me, I met Tom. One of the biggest things that Tom did for me was in my mind I was like, “I’m not going to start a podcast. I’m not an established doctor yet. I’m going to wait.” Tom was literally like, “What are you waiting for? Do it now. It will be cool for your patients to see you growing as a person and a doctor.” That conversation right there was one of the best advice I ever got. I just started it because Tom said, “Why are you waiting? Just do it.” It helped kick off my practice. It was very beneficial not to wait because I’ve recorded episodes with so many great people. The podcast is called Expect Miracles and it’s on iTunes. It’s not just a chiropractic podcast. It’s anybody that has a really good, great stories. We have doctors, healers, musicians. People with just incredible life stories that have just been through hell. They came out the other side just feeling great again and they have something positive to share with the world. It’s something that I always wanted to do. It really wouldn’t have been possible without you and Tom. I’m just very grateful for that.
Brandcasting You is such an incredible company to work with. They make it so easy for me, for you, for the several other people that I know that are doing podcasting. I had the opportunity to teach about podcasting at the Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Conference. I know a lot of people are interested in it because literally, they just do it for you. Shout-out to Brandcasting You and Tom and Tracy Hazzard. They’re absolutely amazing. Your podcast is awesome. You actually were able to produce your podcast before I even ever got around to producing mine. I was so proud because I was like, “This guy was in on the initial meetings and he took it and ran with it.” I think you had a little bit more free time, which was great.
It was awesome because I have been listening to your podcast for months now. Every time I listen to an episode, not only am I super proud of you because I feel you were my first intern but just the content that you’re bringing, the awareness that you’re bringing, the stories that you’re telling, the world needs that kind of stuff. You’ve opened my eyes. You’ve opened my heart. You’ve opened my mind to other topics that I wouldn’t have ever even imagined considering. It’s just awesome. I am encouraging everybody to become a subscriber to the Expect Miracles podcast with Dr. Kevin Pecca. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the episode that he interviewed me. That was one of his first interviews.
I believe it’s in the first five episodes. That’s a very good one. Dr. Hoefer’s story is truly amazing.
You’ll hear my testimony on my podcast soon. I’m going to record that so that everybody can understand the passion about where I come from and why I do what I do. I’m excited for you, Dr. Pecca. You are doing so great. Tell me the name of your practice and where it’s located.
The practice is called Montclair Upper Cervical Chiropractic. It was in Montclair, New Jersey and we just moved it mile and a half down the road to West Orange, New Jersey. The practice has stayed the same name. The website is DrKevinPecca.com and we’re just really excited to get going. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I love doing it. It’s very exciting to be able to take a practice that’s been there for three generations and them trusting me with it. I’m just very excited. I think the future is very bright. I’m excited to keep going.
I’m so thankful that you took your time with me. I know you are busy building a practice, so the fact that you took a half hour out of your day to be with me today is awesome. I look forward to hearing more about the great things that you’re doing.
Thank you so much, Dr.Hoefer, for having me on. I appreciate it.
It is my pleasure. I’m so thankful that you took the time to come out today. I look forward to hearing from you in the future. We will definitely schedule another interview. I’m looking forward to healing from the East Coast. I am happy that I have somebody to refer to out there. That is good news.
Thank you so much for listening today on Is Your Head On Straight. Our guest was Dr. Kevin Pecca. He practices in West Orange, New Jersey. It’s called Montclair Upper Cervical Chiropractic. You can find him at DrKevinPecca.com. If you have any questions or any kind of interest in learning more about the Blair work, you can log on to BlairChiropractic.com and you can locate a doctor. Their doctors are all over the country and now all over the world. If you’re interested anything about Blair chiropractic, log on BlairChiropractic.com. You can always find me at DrHoefer.com or Precision Chiropractic in Rancho Santa Margarita. Thank you so much for listening. I look forward to talking to you real soon.
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.