It’s okay to rest when we get tired, but we don’t have to quit. We have to be determined and do everything we can to work through the tough times so we can keep growing. Join Dr. Kevin Pecca and Dr. Jeffrey Scott as they dive into chiropractic care, focusing mainly on the neck, back, arms, and legs. Dr. Scott is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor. And in this episode, he shares how he came down with this career path to better people’s lives. He talks about his experiences, thoughts, and who opened his eyes and gave him exposure to the holistic side of healthcare. He elaborates on the numerous positive impacts of helping people get rid of pain, from improving their function and quality of their lives to allowing them to accomplish their hopes and dreams
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Welcome back, everyone, to another episode. You can also find me on Instagram, YouTube and Tik Tok @DrKevinPecca, Facebook @MontclairUpperCervical. If you have any questions or comments about the show, you can email me personally at DrKevinPecca@Gmail.com. Enjoy the show. We got a good one for you.
I know I say this at the beginning of every episode but it truly is a special episode where we have Dr. Jeff Scott in the building. We brought him into our office, Montclair Upper Cervical, as the second upper cervical doctor in our practice. He’s extremely talented, very passionate about what he does and it’s an honor to have him on the show. It’s an honor to work with him side by side every day, getting people well and letting the miracles flow. Without further ado, please welcome Dr. Jeff Scott. Dr. Jeff, how are you?
I’m doing well. Thank you. I’m excited to be on the show. I’m looking forward to this.
Jeff, I like to ask everybody at the start of every episode, where are you from originally and what were you into growing up?
I was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey so essentially, New Jersey is definitely my home. I obviously grew up here and decided to come back here after a chiropractic school. I graduated high school in Bridgewater in 2008. Growing up, pretty typical life. I loved sports. I probably have tried every sport under the sun. Soccer was my main sport. I played a little volleyball in high school, ran some track, baseball, basketball, hockey, a little bit of everything growing up.
Jeff, what led you to go to chiropractic school?
Before coming on here, I was trying to think of how am I going to tell this story because at least in my own head, it’s a little bit of a roundabout way of how I got into the profession but long story short is I always considered myself, at least when I was in chiropractic school, to be a little bit of a black sheep for the chiropractic profession, at least compared to my friends and colleagues at school. I never knew any chiropractors growing up. I have no one in my family who a chiropractor. I was never under chiropractic care as a kid. I knew very little about the profession and compared that to one of my close friends, who has a practice out in Iowa. She was the 35th to 36th person in her family to become a chiropractor. She’s the third-largest family to go through Palmer.
You yourself didn’t have too much chiropractic experience. What was it like running into her at school? I’m sure she was pretty gung ho about the entire profession.
Luckily, I’ve always considered myself and I always try to be someone who’s very open-minded. I don’t let anything generally shock me. I try to always be open to new ideas and concepts then incorporate them as I can. I knew going into it that it was going to be a lot of new experiences and a lot of different thoughts than I might’ve been exposed to. It was cool to hear her side and how it’s been impactful to her life why she chose to come into the profession. If anything, it opened my eyes even further.
Jeff, back up a little bit because when I was talking to you, you had an osteopath or a physical therapist point you towards chiropractic because he could have easily pointed you towards physical therapy or osteopathic. He pointed you towards chiropractic. Talk a little bit about that experience.
That’s where my journey into the chiropractic profession began. My mentor, who I’ve talked to you about, I best classify him as an exercise physiologist. In my late teens, early 20s, he opened my eyes and gave me exposure to this holistic side of healthcare. How impactful that can be in helping people get out of pain, improve their function and more importantly, improve their quality of life. It allows them to accomplish their hopes and dreams, whether it’s something as simple as picking up your grandkids and being healthy or where my real exposure was for young high school and college athletes staying on the field, going to colleges and maximizing their athletic potential. He opened my eyes to that, so I did a lot of research. It came down for me then as a result between the fields of chiropractic care and physical therapy. The catalyst that spurred me to go on to become a chiropractor and choose the chiropractic profession was an injury that happened to my mom.
My mom’s a nurse and unfortunately was hit from behind with a pretty giant linen cart at work one day. Overall, it was probably more of a mild injury but nonetheless, because it occurred on work property, they sent her to physical therapy at her hospital. I remember she went to a handful of visits, was getting a little better but nothing substantial from what the expectation would have been based on the severity of the injury. I remember that same mentor of mine took the time to go over my mom’s cervical X-rays with me. I remember looking at her cervical spine that her C5 vertebrae was slightly pushed forward relative to the rest of the vertebrae in her neck. For whatever reason, whatever light went off, a fire was lit.
I remember thinking to myself, "If I’m not doing something where I’m helping address the root cause of people’s pain and dysfunction, then I’m not going to be happy. I'm not going to be satisfied and not pursuing the best version of myself." That all combined made sense and it clicked. I was like, “The field of chiropractic to me seems like it’s going to give me the best opportunity to pursue that passion and to pursue that goal.” I applied to chiropractic school a couple of months later.
Why did you choose Palmer?
It was because I knew nothing about the profession.
You got lucky you chose a pretty chiropractically sound school. I knew about chiropractic. I didn’t know anything about the philosophy. I thought chiropractic schools, they’re all the same in the country. It doesn’t matter where you go, but those who go into chiropractic school, the first couple of weeks, you find out very fast that, “There’s a philosophy to this that they don’t teach in all the schools.” I didn’t know what that meant until I got there because people were telling me not to go to my school because there’s no philosophy. The moment I walked in the door, I was like, “This is what people are talking about.” On the other hand, you got very lucky and picked a very sound original chiropractic school. They’re pretty philosophical-based. It was a great place to land for you, I feel like.
After I applied to school, luckily enough, I was working at a deli throughout college in the summer and right across the way was a chiropractor who came in fairly frequently. I got to talk to him and he gave me some insights but through my own research, it was twofold why I chose Palmer. The first one was I was like, “I don’t know anything about this profession.” I knew what the bigger players were in doing my research but I was like, “If I’m going to go somewhere, might as well go to where it all began.” Palmer and Iowa was the choice. Also, at the time, I played rugby in undergrad at Yukon. I knew I wanted something that was to continue to allow me to be active and have something to do outside of school. Palmer obviously has a men’s rugby team, so those two decisions and reasons were why I left New Jersey for the three years of my life to go and live in the Midwest.
That’s something our patients in our office appreciate too because the woman I bought the practice from, as you know, as Dr. Banitch and her father, both went to Palmer and all of our patients know that’s a very good chiropractic school. Once Palmer comes out of your mouth, they’re already excited and know you’ve got a great chiropractic education. Jeff, I also want you to touch on the different places you worked after chiropractic school because it’s been beneficial to everything we’re doing in our office now. We were helping people before you got here but it’s taken our practice to the next level. I think it’s partly because of the other experiences you had before you found us.
I know other chiropractics and I suppose you did something similar. In our last semester, we’re able to do an externship. Luckily enough, that’s how I came across Dr. Nancy. I came out and did my externship back in New Jersey with her up in Morristown. Being open-minded and not wanting to put myself in one spot, that has always been something that’s allowed me to take on these new experiences. Dr. Nancy’s practice was a big combination of mostly activator, some osseous adjusting a little bit of SOT, and then they were learning the Blair Upper Cervical Methodology from you and Dr. Banitch at the time.
Getting that exposure to the activator principles, how she used that and helped patients was definitely the first step for her first job, building that skillset, getting immersed in that. Afterward, I did get to go and work at an integrative clinic with physical therapy, OT, some DOs and athletic trainers for a little while. I was also at a soft-tissue-based practice as well. I was keeping that open mind and wanting to try new things and round out my skillset as best as I could is what has allowed me to accumulate different clients and allowed me to decide what I think is best for me as a clinician.
As you have seen, it’s taken our practice to the next level because at Montclair Upper Cervical Chiropractic, where you work, you are getting top-notch upper cervical care. Upper cervical is going to take care of most issues, 90%, 95%, maybe even 100% of issues. Now there’s that 15% that something still lingers. It’s not an end-all, be-all, cure-all. When Dr. Jeff came into our practice, when people started doing well upper cervically and we knew their neck was strong, we were able to implement some different things. Dr. Jeff started working on people’s shoulders, knees, mid-back, very light adjustments with the activator, but as you’ve seen, Jeff, since you’ve been there, you have helped out tremendously. Some of the things that I wasn’t even checking.
Some people, if the upper cervical didn’t clear out their shoulder. You’ve done a couple of shoulder adjustments, knee adjustments that have been lingering in some patients for a long time. On their next visit, they come in. They’re like, “Whatever Dr. Jeff did that last visit was amazing. I don’t have any more knee or shoulder pain.” Part of it is the upper cervical and then the other part is you addressing the other things that need to be addressed because I feel like once the upper neck is in place, when you go to the right area and do the right thing in the right spots, the rest of the body falls into place nicely. I’m pumped to have you in the office. I think we’re taking upper cervical to the next level. I hope people don’t get confused. Dr. Jeff is a very sound, talented upper cervical doc, first and foremost. We’ve been experimenting in other areas and it’s been helping out a lot of people.
The way I like to think about it, as you and I have talked about, is getting that upper cervical area the atlas, the axis, C3, C4, whatever is needed, getting that sound. Opening the dark cores of the cervical line, getting that area stable, allowing opening, taking that pressure off the spine, the brainstem allowing the brain and the body to communicate seamlessly is so crucial. It’s so imperative. The way I like to think of the rest of it is you're helping the body along. I do believe, kind of a Palmer principle, that nature needs no help and no interference. I do believe in the body’s capacity to heal itself. I believe that if you move as much interference as you can, the body has that innate ability to take care of itself. The way I like to think of it is you’re helping the process along. You might be taking away some interference that the body could very well get to, given the right conditions, but you’re helping it along. That’s allowing it to devote energy elsewhere that might allow it to heal other past injuries, traumas, wounds that it would have taken longer to get to.
Jeff, I haven’t asked you this question yet. As you know, I started looking for associates. I reached out to you and said, “Jeff, how are you doing? Are you still interested in coming back to upper cervical?” You said, “Thank you for the offer. Let me think about it. I’ll get back to you.” A couple of weeks later, I heard back from you. You were eager and excited to start. What was it that drew you back towards upper cervical that got you because you were excited about it?
I would say taking a look at where I was at philosophically what I wanted to do going forward. What I liked about going from the soft tissue to what I’ll call a more traditional approach with the adjustments and upper cervical care, especially the healthcare, it’s the level of analysis. It’s knowing here’s how the bones, the joints, the vertebrae are misaligned, even before knowing that you had the 3D X-rays at the time, just knowing that it was a very analytical approach. It was very much of a looking at the data. Pretty much knowing that when you went to make an adjustment on someone that you’re going to put something back into place, down to the nearest millimeter, as we always say.
It was knowing that you either knew the treatment was going to be accepted or it wasn’t. I think that resonated with me. I have a very analytical approach. That’s how I process things. Having that knowledge of the treatment worked or the treatment didn’t work is something that resonates with me. Knowing then too, it was like, “I’m getting back to what I thought was a root cause." I’m getting to the root cause of the atlas at the axis. If something else in the upper neck is out of alignment that is interfering with the body’s ability to communicate and regulate itself, you need to address that. You then open up the door to numerous possibilities. If you don’t address that, then you might get better or you may not. For me, it was very much wanting to get back to knowing did my treatment work or did it not work and managing patients from that holistic standpoint.
That’s my favorite part about Blair Upper Cervical. It’s so systematic. Everything is measured. There’s no guesswork. If you follow all the protocols, you know exactly what to do and what not to do that day. That’s why I feel like it must be extremely frustrating for other techniques that don’t have the systems in place where you’re adjusting people every time. One of the cool things you saw was one of our newer patients that came in with six-plus concussions, a variety of neurological issues, blurred vision, dizziness, headaches, numbness, and tingling, nerve pain. She was in rough shape. We gave her an adjustment. When somebody has all those neurological issues going on, you have to be very careful. You have to know what you’re doing. When somebody has all those issues, sometimes it can get a little worse before it gets better.
I remember after her first adjustment, she came in and she goes, “I didn’t have a good weekend. I got a little bit more of a headache. I was sore,” so when she came in, we ran all our checks. Her thermographic next scan came back perfect. Her legs were in balance. We knew what to do. We said, “We are leaving this alone. Everything looks perfect. You’re going to have an upswing soon.” She said, “Okay.” About two days later, she texted us and said, “I didn’t have any blurred vision or dizziness for the first time in years. I didn’t even have to wear my glasses.”
Sure enough, if you don’t take all those protocols and measurements, you might make a mistake and adjust that person again because they’re not feeling good. You have to know when to adjust a person and when to leave it alone because if everything’s in place, it’s still healing, they’re going to get better. You have to let the body do its job. That’s what I love most about the work. You see a lot of amazing miracles happen and it’s so systematic. You know exactly what to do that day.
The other thing I like to think of is that although the systems allow you to, maybe the best word to put it is to have that faith. This is probably going to being a product of BJ Palmer. If I’m going to go after something that I think is going to allow the body to heal itself and to create the most amount of healing and function for someone, having that ability to be specific, then knowing that the upper neck is such a vital area. The brain stem and the spinal cord is there. If I’m going to hedge my bets, I’m going to put it on starting with the upper cervical care and allowing the body to then heal itself and allowing the body to do what it’s designed to do.
The spinal cord is like a fiber optic cable. It’s the highway to how everything is connected. If you grab that cable and start pinching it up top where all the nerves are and then you release it, you’re going to see a lot of amazing things happen. Almost with any type of ailment, syndrome or condition, I think that is the first place anybody should look to get their health back. It’s how our body operates and heals itself. It’s the gateway to our health. It’s an honor to be working in that area, freeing that area from interference and doing it with passionate doctors like yourself. I’m proud of the practice we have going. I think we’re helping out a lot of people.
When you get to that when you remove that interference in the upper neck, the way I like to think of it is you’re opening up a window of opportunity. Who knows how far-reaching that treatment, how far-reaching when you remove that interference and how far-reaching that can possibly be? It’s truly a pleasure to be working with not only our patients but in the Blair community.
I’m looking forward to definitely doing some more episodes with you, Jeff. Whoever’s reading that would like to have us make an episode about a certain condition, upper cervical chiropractic, we would love to hear what you have to say. You can email us at [MontclairUpperCervical@Gmail.com](Mail to: MontclairUpperCervical@Gmail.com) and we’ll make some new content, more episodes for you. I’m excited for the future and what’s to come. Dr. Jeff, where can people find you online and maybe even schedule an appointment with you?
I’m not on a lot of social media. The best way to reach me would be on Instagram. My handle is @DrJrScott. I have the link to our website where you can either schedule an appointment or give the office a call and see if we’re the right fit and going to be what you’re looking for.
Dr. Jeff, what is your email in case anybody wants to reach out personally?
My email is Jeffrey.ScottDC@Gmail.com.
Dr. Jeff, at the end of every episode, I like to ask all my guests, what is one piece of advice that has resonated with you over the years that you would like to give the audience? It could be absolutely anything.
Years ago, I came across this poem. It’s called the Don’t Quit poem. In that poem, there’s a line and it says, “Rest if you must, but do not quit.” That poem, first and foremost, is my favorite poem. It probably has a very special meaning to me, the "Rest if you must, but do not quit," portion specifically, because the reality is everyone at some point in time in their life is going to be dealing with something. We all have our crosses to bear. We all have our own obstacles that we face in life.
I believe that if you make a promise to yourself that you’re going to do everything you can to work through the hard times, to grow and to keep pushing yourself, you may have to rest. You may need to take a breather. You may take steps back but if you keep going, you don’t quit. You keep pushing forward. You’re going to somehow someway overcome whatever obstacles you’re going through, whatever hard patches, whatever you’re working through, the light is going to start to shine through. It may not necessarily be 100% of what you’re looking for, but slowly it’ll get better and better. Rest if you must, but do not quit.
Dr. Jeff, thank you so much for coming on the show. I loved having you on. We will definitely be making some more episodes soon. Thanks for your time on your day off.
I love being here and I look forward to being back.
Thank you so much.
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