Today’s episode we have Dr. Ed Gigliotti. Dr. Ed is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor of Upper Cervical Chiropractic in Rochester, New York. His website is UccRoc.com. One day I was scrolling through YouTube and I saw the caption, How Chiropractic Saved My Life. I click on the video and it was one of the most moving six-minute video clips I’d ever seen on Dr. Ed’s amazing life story recovering from post-concussion syndrome, which led him to his destiny of becoming an Upper Cervical Chiropractor.
Listen To The Episode Here:
Upper Cervical Chiropractic with Dr. Ed Gigliotti
Please welcome, Dr. Ed. Dr. Ed, how are you doing?
Thank you. Very good, thanks for hosting this. I really, really appreciate it.
I’m very excited for this episode because like myself, I had a very similar story to you. I saw many different doctors, chiropractors, and everything. It was a tough go. I was watching your YouTube video and it was just one of the most amazing videos I’ve ever seen. I just wanted to talk about where you’re from and everything and how you got into chiropractic. Dr. Ed, where are you from?
Now I’m in Upstate New York, Rochester, New York, but I’m originally from Hamilton Ontario, Canada.
When did you move to the States?
I moved here once I got into chiropractic college. I was looking at all the different schools. I didn’t know the difference between them. I moved here at the end of 2009, it was August 2009, to get to Seneca Falls.
What made you want to pick the career path of being a chiropractor?
I have no idea. I was in school. I was going to go to a teacher’s college. I just finished my undergrad, Bachelor of Science. Something told me one day, “You’ve got to be a chiropractor.” I just go in, two feet forward all the time, I just jump in and that’s it. I put out my transcripts into chiropractic colleges in the US because they have rolling admissions, you can start at any time. The rest is history.
Were you under chiropractic care your entire life?
No. I was at certain times in my life; when I was younger, even when I was competing in martial arts and also playing soccer and everything. It was very treatment-based. When there’s an issue, then go. It was very symptom-based determined on what was even done on that visit.
You were into martial arts as a kid?
I started when I was about eighteen.
What did you start with?
I started with Jujitsu and Judo. After a back injury, I couldn’t touch my toes for ten months. I couldn’t actually touch past my knees. I don’t know if the muscle tore or whatever but it was really bad. I ended up transitioning to striking. Within a year of doing Jujitsu and Judo, I got into pretty seriously into kickboxing and boxing.
You couldn’t really bend down so you went to striking. You were able to be mobile with that and everything? It didn’t really affect the lower back injury?
Yeah, not really. It sucked every day. It hurt every day but I could compete and I could fight so I just kept doing it.
It’s interesting you brought that up because I feel there are so many people out there pushing through pain and they think it’s normal because they learn to live with it. I really want to talk about the injury that pretty much put you on the path you’re on today. Please talk about how you got into upper cervical chiropractic.
I was in chiropractic college, second to third trimester, I was there for under a year. I woke up one day and didn’t feel right. I did what 99% of the people in this country do. I was like, “It’s fine. I’m just going to school that day and it will pass.” I felt heaviness in my chest. I just didn’t feel right.
Can you talk about all the symptoms? You said you didn’t feel right. What was going on?
That day I just felt off. There were no symptoms. That’s it. I just didn’t feel right. I felt heavy, my chest didn’t feel right. I just went to school. My buddies were like, “What’s going on? You’re not yourself today,” because I was quiet. Usually I’m really talkative and disruptive. I’m like, “I’m all right. Just give it until tomorrow. I’ll be back on track.” Next morning, I woke up and I was good. Everybody has their unique health story if they ever have something happen. My health symptom-wise plummeted within two months. Within two months, I had all these symptoms piling up and they were getting worse, worse, and worse. I was having all day every day right-sided headaches. I was having a sore throat every morning, burning on the whole right side of my chest, right knee instability even postsurgical, like ACL reconstruction. I had SI joint issues. When I laid prone out a table, my pelvis was up about an inch and a half right side, which is not touching the table. I had digestive issues. Anything I ate came straight out. I had vision issues. I couldn’t see out of my peripherals. Colors didn’t look right. I didn’t realize that until after but my vision was dull. Everything seemed dull all the time.
I probably always had something underlying, I started getting this pretty serious anxiety. I just couldn’t stop my mind. You have all been there, chiropractic college, or you might be there now. You go in through and you get home and I just couldn’t shut my mind off. At school, I could hide it because I could just keep busy. At home, when it was quiet, it sucked. You go through that for quite a while and you’re not sleeping. I was having insomnia. I wasn’t sleeping more than two hours a night. I just felt literally hell. I was always on the edge of just completely breaking. I developed depression and then I had emotional numbness. I had emotional numbness for a long time. The only thing I could feel was fear itself. Any other emotion was not something I could perceive. I couldn’t perceive joy, I couldn’t perceive excitement or love or anything like that. It was literally just fear. It was fear or nothing.
From all my concussions, I remember being at my grandma’s funeral and my girlfriend at the time was like, “Aren’t you upset?” because I wasn’t crying or anything. I was just staring straight through everybody. I couldn’t feel a damn thing. The emotional numbness, what you were talking about, I didn’t feel connected to anybody. It was one of the worst feelings ever. You mentioned that with your wife and everything when you were going through all that stuff, I completely connect with that.
These are the patients coming in. These are a lot of people that you meet in public that put on a fake smile, you put on a mask. When you have that going on, it’s very difficult to go on with life and not be worried because the people that you’re supposed to care most about, you don’t care at all about or you don’t feel like you do. It’s very difficult to go on day-to-day because relationships and communication is so much of our lives. I was like, “I’ve got to do something about it.” I started going to the school first, all the practitioners at the school. It was all symptom-based. I went to these AK Docs. I went to Motion Palpation, all different things, just wherever the symptoms were is where they looked. They were trying to treat each individual symptom either through acupuncture, chiropractic, manipulation because there was some adjustments, or through different supplements. Go through that for a few months and was getting no results. I started pulling money out of my school loans and I was like, “I have to go outside of the school.” I would drive to Ithaca or Rochester two times a week. That was an hour each way. No matter those two cities, one was north and one was south. I started seeing craniosacral practitioners, Rolfers, EMDR for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, traditional Chinese medicine doctors, herbalists, different nutritionists to counselors to spiritual healers. You name it, I’ve tried it.
Going through all of these, were you connecting the dots at all of what might have caused this? You probably thought you were dying at this point, right?
I thought I was losing my life. I didn’t think I was going to die but I thought I was going to live a miserable life my whole life. I thought there was no way out of it. I did not connect the dots because of all the symptoms. You’re just looking where the smoke is. I did that and after two years, I was like, “Forget it. It’s not getting any better. It’s getting worse.” I was having these episodes for about three months at a time. I’d literally be like a light switch and then all of a sudden I’d feel that I have four good days. The good days, I could remember what it was like to be back. The symptoms were just literally clear within minutes, then they would be gone for four days and they’d be back within four minutes and then stay there for a month or more.
I just gave up. I gave up on myself. I said, “Forget it. I’m going to help other people. I’m just going to keep pushing through it.” There are a lot of chiros right now that are doing this. There are a lot of chiropractors right now that their health isn’t where they’re at, their emotional well-being, their spiritual wellbeing. I know this because we actually get a lot of them under care. We actually have bred a lot more upper cervical docs. We have one great guy, he’s changing his old practice from symptom-based chiropractic, regular chiropractic, what you see out there which shouldn’t be regular chiropractic, to now changing to a principled office and doing upper cervical. He said to me, “You know want the biggest thing is? I was just an irritable jerk all the time. Since I’m getting adjusted, I’m feeling happy and loving again. I haven’t felt this since my bowling accident years and years ago.”
I had eight months left in school. I used to shadow different chiropractors when I was in school. If you’re in school, do it. If you’re out of school, do it. We’ve got to all connect. There’s a lot of good stuff to learn out there. I walk into to an upper cervical chiropractic office. It was a really helpful office. There were just people coming from everywhere. I went there. I left that day. My wife who was my girlfriend at the time, I called her and I said, “There’s something different about this place.” She goes, “How was it?” I said, “It’s one of two things. Either this is a straight cult and everybody drank the Kool-Aid or there’s something to it.” This wasn’t chiropractic that I was used to see. People weren’t coming here just for symptoms. They were coming here to live their life to the fullest. The people that did come for symptoms, they weren’t coming for neck and back pain for the most part. They were saying that their seizures were resolving, migraines after decades were resolving, Parkinson’s tremors reducing by 90% after adjustment; bizarre stuff.
Did they teach you any of this in school, upper cervical? Did they talk about it?
No, they didn’t touch it at all. They talked about upper cervical for a minute or two minutes. It was two ways they would approach it. They would either say it was complete BS and that if you’re doing upper cervical you’re really short-changing the patient because you’re just trying to be really quick and you’re ignoring the whole body. The second thing that was expressed by some chiropractors at the school was that it was dangerous. It’s either, it did nothing or it was dangerous. There were no positive attributes that were ever given to it in my educational experience.
Even at my school, I remember we had a philosophy class and one slide popped up on upper cervical care and it was a B.J. Palmer slide. It said, “Whole in one technique.” I raised my hand, I said, “What is that?” They go, “Don’t worry about it. It doesn’t work.” I was like, “Okay.” That was the only upper cervical thing that ever got taught at my school. That’s it right there.
The good thing is now with research turning around and B.J.’s work, all the improvement to MRI studies that operate with functional MRIs with the craniocervical syndrome. We have a CAT scan in our office. We’ve got a Cone Beam CAT scan. We’re blessed to have that. We’ve had that since October. When you have that, now there’s no denying the truth. You could see the truth. It’s changing. It’s going to be changing in our time.
My wife goes, “What are you going to do about it?” I got off the phone. I got a hold in the receptionist. The receptionist goes, “I’ll get the doc to call you back.” Doc called me back and she goes, “Yes?” I go, “I’d like to come back and shadow.” She goes, “Sure, under one condition.” “What’s that?” She goes, “You have to go under care.” I said, “No. I am fine. I don’t need care.” She goes, “No, it’s not about how you’re feeling. It’s about how you’re functioning. It’s about how your nervous system is working. If you have pressure on the brainstem, if you don’t get it cleared, you will never understand what this work is about.” I said, “Okay.” She goes, “You’re a student. I’ll take care of you.” I got under her care. It was Dr. Irene Adamczuk in Rochester. She practices NUCCA. I got under care and the rest is history. It wasn’t all fun. There was a lot of retracing. There was a lot of stuff going on the first two months. Within two months, I noticed that my symptoms improved by 50% because I used to journal everything because I was trying to self-diagnose. Within ten months, I got my life back.
A lot of people are looking for that overnight fix. With upper cervical, it’s a healing process. You’ll have a couple of good days and then you’ll be feeling all the symptoms again. It’s a rollercoaster, up and down but slowly but surely you do get your health back.
It’s because it works with health. Symptom alleviation, that’s the goal? It’s complete hogwash. That’s how you’re going to hurt patients. The body’s smart. The body knows what it’s doing. Your innate intelligence knows what it’s doing. For instance, if somebody overdoes it in the garden and somebody’s using STEM ultrasound or whatever the heck you want to do under the sun to try and reduce some pain, those same patients are going to injure their shoulder worst because their innate intelligence have inflammation processes and all the rest. If there was a damaged tissue, put pain there, exhibit pain so you won’t do more stuff, you’ll take it easy and heal it. If you shut that off, you’re going to cause issues. It’s like watering a plant, as an example. If you water a plant, if it hasn’t been watered right for twenty years, it will take six, seven months to start seeing some really awesome stuff happen. But you’re going to get some lasting changes as opposed to just spray painting the leaves green.
The really cool thing about health and life, it’s our duty as chiropractors to share, that life is not the absence of symptoms. Health is not the absence of symptoms. From ten months after starting care even though I was back to my old self to now, I’m a totally different person. I get checked every week. I get checked every week, I don’t get adjusted every week. When I’m not clear, it affects my whole life and outlook. I couldn’t run a successful office. I couldn’t care for someone. I couldn’t love for someone and be present with them and give them the best adjustment.
I popped out of alignment on Monday and my whole world started coming in on me. I can’t even take x-rays on this person right now because my anxiety level came back. I got adjusted again, completely different person. I was good again. I was amped up about chiropractic again. It’s amazing how that works.
A lot of us we could be going to these upper cervical chiropractors, we could get tied on the outcomes. Really, if you want to see the miracles, you’ve got to adjust the upper cervical. You can do other stuff too. There’s nothing wrong with it if you can neurologically improve it. You have to clear C1 and C2. You have to clear them. The fact of the matter is that chiropractic isn’t about the alleviation of symptoms, it’s about getting people to express life fully. When someone’s nervous system is clear, when they’re functioning, communication from brain to body is 98% as opposed to 72%. I’m telling you, that’s a totally different life to live. These people are mothers, fathers, employees, employers, pilots, bus drivers, they’re all these different people. Everybody should be firing. They should be firing out 100% so they can live life to the fullest. That’s our goal as chiropractors. We’ve got to make sure we’re sharing that message.
The smoke will go away, you cleared the fire and you’ll see miracles. You’ll see people in wheelchairs walking. I see that in my office. You’ll see seizures stop. Little Anthony, two months from ten months had seizures. He had a rare genetic disorder. They said there were eleven in the world. We got him adjusted, the gene stopped expressing itself. He hasn’t had a seizure in a year and a half. On top of that, he got his life back. He was then starting to build up his muscles physically. He could pull up his head within a week after the first adjustment. He’s now starting to walk and he’s speaking. That’s life. That’s the expression of life. That’s not the elimination of seizures. That’s a life love flowing throughout the body.
You and I both know that true health comes from the inside out. That’s exactly what we’re doing when we clear the upper cervical spine.
It’s an inside job. It’s all about neurological communication. All life starts at the nervous system. Chiropractors, we’ve got the best, best tools and profession in the world to help people get their life back. It’s not in the ultrasound, it’s not in the STEM and it’s not in anything else. It’s in their own body. This is a conversation I have with a lot of chiropractors. I hope I can share this from a place of the love. I’m extremely passionate about this work because nothing else got my life back. It was an upper cervical adjustment. If somebody else was worried about my symptoms that day, who was worried about putting a hot pack on instead of really perfecting the adjustment, I wouldn’t have gotten my life back. The fact of the matter is that people might need other stuff in life. A plant needs water, soil and sunlight and the proper environment. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t water that plant, nothing else matters. Chiropractic is the water. We become masters at this. We have to devote our lives to be so darn good at this and to share the truth. No, it’s not about us. It’s the person on the table that we’ve got to help change their life.
That’s the purpose of this podcast. If you’re doing other chiropractic techniques, that’s great, but we’ve got to get the upper cervical word out there too. I had a kid in my office that had football concussions and he was suffering for four years. Two months ago, he finds out about upper cervical. The kid has just been through absolute hell and nobody has ever mentioned upper cervical to him. It’s trying to get the word out and educating people that there is an answer for all these things that are going on in their life.
The answer is life. It’s the expression of life. I know it’s very simplistic thinking and I can talk science, but just to make it simple, if you got a kick in the hose, it doesn’t matter what’s going on at the nozzle. You’re choking off where everything is funneling through. One area, the brainstem, going through this thing from a brain going right through here, and you’ve pressure here, nothing else matters. Life’s cut off. It’s our job as chiropractors to share this truth because if we don’t share the truth we’re screwing people their whole life. They will constantly just be going in and out of different treatments, modalities, the new craze, the new diagnosis. What they’re doing is they’re literally just chasing smoke if they have an upper cervical subluxation choking off brainstem expression.
Ed, some people walk around and they say, “I feel fine. I don’t have any aches or pains. I feel fine.” What do you think an upper cervical adjustment could do for those people?
What I would say is that’s a good way of looking at life. I say to people that would say that, “That’s a good idea. I would just skip the oil change this month. Don’t do your oil change on your car. Just wait another 10,000 miles until you start feeling it.” They will tilt their head at you. It’s about the expression of life. Symptoms, if they’re there, it’s already been too long; unless it was a traumatic injury where it just occurred. If it came out of nowhere, which is most people’s issues, it’s been there too long. It’s not about symptoms. People say they feel fine, I’m like, “Good. Let’s make sure you’re working the way you should. Let’s make sure your nervous system is firing at 100%.” If they’re like, “I feel fine,” good, with or without symptoms, let’s make sure there’s no pressure on the brainstem. We’ve got to get you from 70% or 60% to 100%.
I truly believe if we’ve got everybody cleared up at the upper cervical part of the neck, that this would be a completely different world. It would be a completely different world.
You could see it with your patients. You see how marriages that have become a statistic with the divorce come back to life. You’ll see people, the biggest pain, become your number one fans and allies. This happens all the time. They were absolute lunatics. Then you adjust them and you see the real them, you see the real Mary, the real Barbara, the real whoever. You see them and you’re like, “Holy heck. You are a beautiful person. You’re amazing. You just had so much brainstem pressure that it was affecting your whole judgment on life.” That’s what happened to me. That’s what happens to me if I haven’t had an adjustment for too long. I could see it. You see life come back to people the way they’re designed to live. They’re not designed to be sick and broken.
Ed, is there anything else you’d like to touch on upper cervical-wise, chiropractic-wise, health-wise?
Just worry about the patient in front of you. We’ve got to share this message. We’ve got to change the world. When people get out of school and they’re in practice, they worry a lot of times about financials. I just went upstairs right before I came down here. I had to meet with my accountant and my wife and that whole group. My wife deals with all the financials. He looked at me and we had a 30% or 40% increase in revenue from last year to this year. He looked at me and he goes, “Do you know how much money you’re making?” I go, “No.” He goes, “You don’t know?” “I don’t know. I don’t care. My wife takes care of it.” The number one thing is taking care of the person in front of you. If you are scared about financials, don’t worry about financials. It’s not why you’re helping people. Just remember the person in front of you. Dr. Sid Williams used to say, “You want to make more money? See more people.” You’re in an upper cervical office. You want to make more money? See more people. Change lives. Hire more people, get better equipment, hire more staff, find ways to serve more people because people are sick and dying and the rest will take care of itself. Your school loans will be paid off in no time, I promise you, because I can speak from my experience.
Dr. Ed, what is your website? Where can people find you?
My website is Uccroc.com. All the information is on there. I’m on Facebook too, you can always add me. If you ever have any questions, you let me know. We all have to stick together. We’ve got to get off our island and we’ve got to change more lives. If you are looking to make a lasting change and change your heart to a point that you can serve better and live an abundant life, you’ve got to get to Dynamic Essentials. You can check that out at LifeDE.com. I don’t make any money for you, nobody does. It’s actually really cool. It’s one of those few organizations, the only one I know of, that isn’t trying to sell anything. There are probably 400 chiropractors there most meetings. A lot of them are upper cervical. It’s really cool.
Thank you so much, Dr. Ed. That was an amazing testimony and just a wealth of knowledge on the upper cervical spine and everything. Thank you so much. I’d love to have you back anytime.
Thank you. Thank you for having me. Let me know if you ever need anything too. Thank you for all you’re doing.
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