UCM 203: Fulfill the Mission by Empowering New Doctors with Dr. Angelo Colavita

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Dr. Angelo Colavita joins the Upper Cervical Marketing Podcast from Clifton, NJ. In this UCM Podcast, Tony Hook interviews Dr. Angelo who shares his heart to equip and empower more students and doctors to be impactful chiropractors. We discuss how he and other leaders in the upper cervical community are making a difference and how we all have a role to play. Check out this podcast and get engaged for the mission! 

Links discussed in the show:

UCM Practice Growth Systems

Dr. Colavita’s website 

Upper Cervical Practice Growth Sessions

Talking Points
Audio Transcription
Tab #3
  • Dr. Colavita's Background

Over 25 years of experience, influenced by his wife's migraines and treatment from Dr. Vern Hagen.

  • Introduction to Upper Cervical Care

Dr. Colavita was inspired by his wife's significant improvement under this care.

  • Philosophy and Impact

Emphasis on the scientific and reproducible nature of upper cervical care.

  • Teaching and Legacy

Dr. Colavita's commitment to teaching and continuing the work of his mentors, like Dr. Sweat.

  • Challenges in Chiropractic Education

Discussion about the decline in chiropractic students and the need for more upper cervical awareness.

  • Patient Selection and Treatment

Importance of selecting the right patients for upper cervical care and focusing on atlas alignment.

  • Future of Chiropractic Practice

Ideas for expanding and improving chiropractic education and practice, emphasizing collaboration and specialization.

Tony Hook - 00:00:45

Hello and welcome to the UCM podcast.

I'm your host for today.

This is the place where we discuss key issues facing UC docs and systems to overcome them.

Joining me today is our special guest, Dr. Angelo Colavito with Colavito Headache and Neck Care in Clifton, New Jersey.

Doc, welcome to the program.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:01:06

Thank you, Tony.

Appreciate being here.

Tony Hook - 00:01:09


Um, for those that may not know about you, share a little about yourself, your practice.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:01:13

Um, well, I have an office in Clifton, New Jersey, and don't hold that against me from being from New Jersey.

I don't want to be here either, to be honest with you.

But it is, I've been in practice 25 plus years and I graduated from Palmer in Iowa back in the late 90s.

And I found out, I'll tell you a quick story how I got into this.

So I was in school and my wife had migraines so bad she couldn't pick her head up off a pillow. And her father was a radiologist. And so he had friends that were neurologists.

So she had been to a few and they gave her medication. And, you know, these were hormonal migraines, they said. And, you know, you're going to have to deal with it.

But then the medication didn't really help all that much. So literally five, six days at a time, she just beat down and just couldn't even get out of bed.

And so I sent her to one of my professors, Vern Hagen from Palmer and Vern just a quick thing about Dr. Vern Hagan, who just died a couple of months ago, actually. He's a, he was a contemporary of Dr. Sweat.

So I think, he was in his, you know probably 94, 90, 93, 94. Anyway, he was DeJarnette’s pupil, and he went ahead and he was a big SOT guy.

He was huge in the SOT world and he trained directly with DeJarnette and just talking about upper cervical and just chiropractic in general, as far as history goes.

So I would go back there to teach and he would always, um, he would always take me out to lunch and dinner anytime I was there. And that we had many great conversations and a lot about the history of chiropractic.

And I remember one story he told me where he was at breakfast with DeJarnette and Goodheart walked in. 

And, you know, Goodheart, the father of AK, right?

And so Goodheart walked in and, you know, DeJarnette called him over and said, hey, come on and have breakfast with us.

And, you know, you're talking decades later, Vern was telling me this story and you could see that passion in his eyes.

And he said it was so unbelievable being there, seeing these two giants talk about chiropractic and the similarities of their techniques and how a lot of it intertwined and all of that.

So, I mean, it was really a great thing.

So anyway, I sent her to Vern, who was a chiropractic giant in and of himself.

and taught at Palmer for many years and got a lot of chiropractors into Upper Cervical Chiropractic specifically for him.

And, and for me, it was Atlas Orthogonal.

And I will tell you that I had Karen go ahead to him and, she came back from there, Tony, and she said, “This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I can't tell you how much better I feel. You got to look into this.”

And so I went to Vern and I said, I said, what'd you do?

And he said, well, we use this instrument and Dr. Sweat, he's coming here in a couple of weeks.

You should go listen to him.

And so it was like he was in a class, like just, you know, came into one of the classrooms and talked to, you know, it was my anatomy class or something.

And I said, man, this makes so much sense.

It's scientific.

It's reproducible.

You take an x-rays before and after.

I mean, it just makes a lot of sense. Right. It's logic. So I took his class and, you know, at that time, there's four weekends. So you had to be committed to go ahead and take it, you know.

And so four weekends within the first few hours of the first weekend of the first class, I said. I mean, and still the hair on the back of my neck is standing up.

I got goosebumps telling you this story because it just lit a fire in me. And I was like, my God, this is. This is for me.

Tony Hook - 00:05:15

What I want to do in my life.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:05:19

Yeah. Oh, without a doubt. And then and then, you know, within weeks to months to years after that, I knew this is what I was born.

This is what God made me to do.

and so that was what God made me for, and so, you know, it, it, it, I cornered him, cornered him, this is so funny, I cornered him in the bathroom, and I said, I said, sweat, I want to come down to Atlanta, and I want to train with you directly. 

And, you know, he was always so gracious and just so kind and you know, and I said, and he said, yeah, Angelo, I'd love to have you.

And, so we moved down to Atlanta and I trained with him directly.

And I'll tell you something, you know, Dr. Sweat, I was very close with him and, and we spent a lot of time together and, I will tell you that I, I realized that he was grooming me for this since, since we met really.

And essentially within a couple of years after I was in practice, he had me teaching and you know, he, one of the greatest.

So, you talk about your kids being born, being the greatest things in your life.

And that is, you know, for me, but right up there is when Dr. Sweat in the last few years, that he was lecturing said, one of the greatest, when I met, Dr. Colavita and he said he wanted to learn the Atlas work was one of the greatest parts of the history of Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic was, I mean, for me, like, right up there.

Tony Hook - 00:07:03

Humbling, huh?

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:07:05

Yeah, geez. Oh, man, really. I mean, you know, honestly, he was a giant. And, you know, he taught me. You know, more things personally than even professionally.

And, and, we spent a lot of late nights and, and I could tell you all kinds of stories and he was just, you know, a father figure to me without a doubt, which he was for a lot of people as well.

He was one of those Tony, one of those charismatic people that just others were drawn to him. And, and you know, I only hope to become  some portion of that as we carry on this work. So he really, he left the Atlas Orthogonal work to me, Dennis Fiorini and his son, Matt Sweat. And we carry that on and try to try to better that and, you know, take it to the next level.

Tony Hook - 00:07:54

That's it. Carry on the legacy. Right?

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:07:57

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Tony Hook - 00:07:59

And, you know, there's so many stories. I was sharing it before we started, right? In regards, like, how did I get into upper cervical? Like for you, it was looking for solutions for your wife.

You know and so you know trying to find solutions for that and there's a lot there's so many cool stories of that that doctors have that people have of discovering it but that's just it. 

Like we have to discover it like it's some we were out in the woods one day and you know. It's like there it was or it's like somebody crossed your path and it's the right thing at the right time which we're grateful for. You know we're grateful for those things. But you know I feel like that's kind of a problem.

Like, shouldn't it be a little bit more known, like more awareness of it?

I feel like the awareness is not where it should be, man.

And we've done a couple of podcasts on this topic, a similar topic anyway, but it seems to me, and this kind of gets us into the topic for today.

It’s like over the past few years, there seems to have been like this decline in the number - this is my observations - decline over the, in just number of chiropractic students in general.

Some of that's probably the whole, you know, COVID junk and all that stuff.

But there's a decline there and specifically upper cervical students and doctors though, like the clubs have been dwindling.

Now there's pockets of rebirth and, you know, ebbs and flows and stuff. But heck, there's even a change in what's being taught in the colleges, you know, and the whole moving away from subluxation is like, what?

You know, that doesn't help matters, of course. Is this what you're seeing as well? Am I off in seeing this?

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:09:32

It is. It is. So I've been teaching for about 20 plus years.

And I will tell you that the air or the culture certainly has changed. And, you know, listen, I'm on staff at three different chiropractic schools and it is different, though, depending upon what chiropractic school it is.

Tony Hook - 00:09:53


Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:09:54

So, I mean, I went to Palmer and, you know, at the time that I went to Palmer, you know, I thought that was my best option.

And, you know, my idea behind all that was that, you know what, at that time, almost every school, every other school that was established was established by a doctor that graduated from Palmer.

Tony Hook - 00:10:17

So go to the Fountainhead.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:10:19

Go to the Fountainhead. Exactly.

And so that's what I did.

And I felt like I got a great education there. And then, you know, times change, culture changes. And it really, to a degree, is dependent upon the school itself.

You know, I met with Ron Oberstein just a couple of days ago, I was teaching out at Life West and he is, do you know Ron?

Tony Hook - 00:10:45

Yeah, I love Ron.

He's a great guy.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:10:50


He makes himself accessible. He runs an excellent program there. And he is 100 percent chiropractic and he's upper cervical friendly.

And really, he rolled out the red carpet for us. And I got to say, I just love being there. And I do really like the culture there as well.

Sherman does a great job. I like the culture there also. You know, these are more upper cervical oriented schools, in my opinion.

Tony Hook - 00:11:19


Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:11:20

However, yeah, you're right. We do have a problem in general.

You know, let's start from what you talked about originally, which is just in the world or at least in this country.

Look, chiropractic has has been the underdog from its inception, right?

Tony Hook - 00:11:37

In one man.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:11:39

Yeah, yeah, exactly. And so I think we've gained a lot of ground over the years.

But I mean, the last statistics that I just that I've seen, we're still at like 14, 15, 16 percent of the population goes to a chiropractor, which is nuts. It really is. I mean, that's it. 

Tony Hook - 00:11:57

That's in the, probably in the U S let alone worldwide.

I mean, cause obviously you get into other countries. It's like, that's, you know, that's not even there.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:12:05

It's a minuscule amount.

And, you know, I've had, and look, we're blessed and I've got so much gratitude in the ability to go ahead and for the ability to go ahead and have to teach and to spread the word and to have a lot of doctors and students come to my office and do all that.

And to your point, I've had doctors from all over the world come in and students as well and train with me to go practice in their country.

And you get friendly with them.

And Dr. Kim being one, he stayed with me for two years. And he went back to Seoul, Korea. And he had to then go ahead and get his PT license there.

He had to go to PT school to be able to then practice chiropractic and bring the instrument to Seoul, Korea. So the percentage of chiropractic in the rest of the world is minuscule in comparison to the United States.

Tony Hook - 00:13:07

Still, even as well, like we're, we're just, we could say this way, we're barely scratching the surface of really serving our communities with the care that they need to find hope and healing.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:13:09

Yes. Right.

Tony Hook - 00:13:07

We're barely scratching the surface. We need so many more.

And yet we don't have that and if we, if they are pumping out, it's like, or they're not upper cervical minded as much. And so why else do you think that is? Obviously you're doing your part. 

You're getting involved with teaching and inviting docs over.

Hey, come, come shadow.

Like, let's see what I do. Like, you know, they're talking about it, but like, why has this happened? How has this, how has that happened?

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:13:42

Well, I mean, you know, if you, in delving into why chiropractic students don't become upper cervical doctors, in talking about that first, you know, a lot of patients ask, well, how come I haven't heard of this?

How come there aren't more of you?

And just a brief statement about that.

When I got out of Dr. Sweat's office, I thought I was going to change the world.

Man, I was, listen, I'm just as passionate today as I was 25 years ago, but I will tell you that I thought I could, I thought I could change the world.

And you quickly realize people don't want to hear what you have to say, right?

And, and then, you know, and you can only affect the people that in your circle that you can affect your circle of influence, right?

And that's, you know, other people around you, the, the, the patients in particular, right?

And so I quickly realized though, and Dr. Sweat, you know, knowingly and, and pronounced to me though, put me in that position to start teaching.

And the way you, you can really change the world is you start teaching other people to do what you can do.

And that's why I have such a passion for that. It's certainly not the money cause you don't make any money from that. I mean, it's, it's really something that you know, you don't even offset your cost.

But so point being though, is that, is that it is the passion and that is, that is the way we change things.

Now, in my opinion, the reason why you don't have more students taking it is because they're looking at end game, right?

And what's end game?

End game is, is you can,

Let's go back just a little bit. 

Why do kids go to chiropractic school? Well, there are a lot of reasons. I think one of the bigger ones is, well, I was influenced by a chiropractor, usually father, mother, sister, brother, whatever.

That's what you typically find.

Aside from that, it's, you know, well, “I thought it would be a good profession to get into.”

And lastly, you got those, well, you know, “I thought I could support my family on it or whatever, or I wanted to get into the medical community and I gravitated toward that”, right?

So what you have is, you have these students, who you got them in chiropractic and why don't they go into upper cervical?

You know, honestly, it's the culture at the school they're at, number one.

When I was at Palmer, you know, we had Gonstead was probably the biggest culture there.

You had Mount Horeb not that far away. And, you know, full spine was such a big thing. And, you know, my buddy did this. So let me go ahead and do that.

And to be honest with you, when I was in chiropractic school, before I found out about Dr. Sweat and upper cervical and AO, I interned at a Gonstead doctor's office.

And so, um, you know, I think you gravitate toward what the culture is there and, depending upon the culture of the school, then you're kind of limited to what, you know, what your friends are doing almost.

nd if you really get deeper into it in those long range, views of students, what do I do when I get out of school? 

You've got to take more, in my opinion, you have to take more time as an Upper Cervical Chiropractor.

I can sit there and comfortably see.

Yeah, that's what it boils down to.

Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, you know, because if you don't experience it yourself or a loved one, which is what we just talked about, you know, you might not have that direct, that direct hitting you right in the heart type passion.

And so I think part of that is, you know, in a typical day, you know, the max I can see is 35, 40 patients.

You know what I mean?

And so a traditional chiropractor, how many are they seeing? They could see 100 in a day. You're walking in and walking out.

Tony Hook - 00:17:51

I was going to say double that easy.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:17:54

Yeah, easily, easily.

Do I get paid any more money than a traditional chiropractor does?

No. No. Not really.


So, I mean, the cost to get into it is is more. You have to take x-rays, got to take post x-rays. All that stuff is expensive.

You need, you know, for us, you need an instrument, which is not that bad. But, you know, to get that going, you need money to get that going.

And they already have a lot of money in debt for for school itself. So I think that is probably one of the biggest factors.

And that was part of that empowerment program that I wanted to start, you know, to go ahead and have a venue so that those students could more easily transition from school into practice that way.

You know, the problem still remains. I mean, it's still there like that. And you got to really light a fire into them. and, You know, students are not, those students of today are not what they were 20 years ago.

And I'm not saying bad or good. It's more a matter of you have to teach them differently.

Their expectations are different.

What the schools offer are different.

In my opinion, you know, to be honest with you, you know, the students really kind of, you know, you really have to, you know, kind of gravitate toward them and see what they want.

You know what I mean?

Tony Hook - 00:19:20

Sure. Yeah. So man, you've shared a lot there.

I was, I was taking some notes over here, but ultimately if we're, if we're wanting to succeed on the mission, right? Like you just said, you know, people that get into, you know, you got into chiropractic care and you're like, I was going to change the world.

Like you're ready. You're like, man, we're going to set people free. They're going to find freedom. They're going to live their best life, best version of themselves. We're going to clear subluxation.

It's going to be amazing. People are going to get their life back. Right?

And I mean, to get somebody to that point, right? Like you said, you can only influence as many people as you can.

So I think one of the things we can do to address this then is to multiply yourself, right? So developing, right? Because that's exponential.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:20:02

Yes, exactly.

Tony Hook - 00:20:03

And so how would we do that then? Like as far as, is it a matter of infiltrating the community and the clubs? Is it, is it, when I say infiltrate, it's kind of negative, I suppose, but is it having, making sure that we're active on campuses?

Is that, is that it? Is it inviting them over to your, your practice to shadow?

I don't know. 

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:20:24

You know, yeah.

What the non-teaching or the people that are…that's kind of a complicated thing.

So let me say this. In each group, whether it's us in AO, the three of us, or if it's Orthospinology or Grostic or NUCCA or any of them, you've got your few doctors, your few that teach.

And they teach at the schools and they teach the students and they teach the other doctors and so on. You have that.

Now, my whole thing was, as far as our group goes, my whole thing was that Dr. Sweat, when I took the class, Dr. Sweat taught the class.

And maybe Matt came in there toward the end.

But you knew who it was. You knew who that person was. You knew who the go-to was, and it was Dr. Sweat.

Now, he would teach 35-plus weekends a year.

Tony Hook - 00:21:26


Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:21:27

I mean, for decades he was doing that into his 80s, Tony.

Tony Hook - 00:21:32

I didn't know that.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:21:33

Yeah. That's a dedication that I don't think exists anymore, you know, and I kind of, you know, we kind of teased Dr. Sweat a little bit and said, hey, man, if you can go ahead and do it by yourself all these years, and the three of us should be able to take that over and do it, you know? And it's still tough. I gotta be honest with you, but the whole thing with that, though, is that.

I knew who it was and I knew. And so I think the continuity has to be there.


I think that's important because you don't want to mix messages. Okay.

And no matter how I do it, as opposed to, to Dennis does it, Matt does it, you know, presents in that way I'm talking about, you know, we're, we're unified in the way that we present.

Now, if we have somebody else come in, and we have somebody else go to the schools, it takes a lot of training to be able to get that person, that doctor on the same page as us to be able to continue that continuity that way.

And I think continuity is probably the number one factor involved that they know who you are and where you're coming from and what you're presenting.

You're going to get the same thing, no matter if it's myself or Fiorini or Sweat.

Tony Hook - 00:22:57

Right, right.

So having that continuity, having a system in place to. Like, here's how we're going to approach.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:23:02

Oh, yeah.

Tony Hook - 00:23:04

Raising this awareness, how we're going to like, here's step one for people that are interested in learning about, in your case, AO.

Here's the first step, you know, for learning about NUCCA or any of the techniques for that matter, right?

So having a system in place that has continuity and you have a point person or three in your case, right?

Like, but we know who to go to.

We talk to these people and they're all saying the same thing.

And so it's very clear to students and new docs for that matter, correct?

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:23:33

Exactly. Now on that note, though, when you talk about new docs, Tony,

I've, I've honestly, I have in 25 years, I've only seen two traditional chiropractic doctors switch over to our technique, at least two in 25 years.

It's not very common.

It's not a very common thing to go from one upper cervical technique to another. However, to go from a traditional chiropractic, full spine, diversified, Gonstead, whatever, to upper cervical is rare.

It's really rare.

Tony Hook - 00:24:18

Well, I want to encourage you.

I've personally, in the seven years I've worked with UCM, I've personally been involved in probably a dozen or so that have converted.

So a lot of times we'll reach out. I mean, they reach out because they're like, hey, I need to do this.

And then they Google upper cervical and they want to do marketing.

So they go up to upper cervical marketing and we come up and they're like, so you guys know what this is and how do I position myself as this?

And so we, that's what, so there's, there's more hope for you there.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:24:46

Tony, man, you send those guys over to me.

I will convert them in a second.

Tony Hook - 00:24:52

There we go.

There we go.

And that's, you know, that's a, that's a part of it is connecting.

I think, right.

We want to connect them. Like, so if it's a student, they get connected to a club, they get connected to a class. They can, they can shadow, they can come to the right.

And they're connected to the right people who have a unified message and system in place with continuity. Right?

Like that's, that's going to create the ones.

And if you're listening to this podcast, you're watching this thing and that's you, get plugged in, get plugged in.

Hopefully that's the, why we're doing this right now is that this is going to go out.

And if you're listening to this right now and you're going, you know what, I need to get more involved and to spread the word.

If you're already in this, the upper cervical camp. 

If you're a student listening right now and you're like, Hey, I don't know, maybe we'll get to start talking, get ahold of the doc here, you know, get, reach out, find out what's going on in your campus.

And if there's nobody speaking on the, on that, on your campus,

What can they do in colleges?

Do they go to the staff or something?

How do they get somebody to come and teach a course or whatever?

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:25:54

Who are you referring to, doctors or students?

Tony Hook - 00:25:57

Students. So if a student on a campus is going, hey, man, I'd love to have this, but we don't have anything like this here.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:26:03

Oh, okay. Yeah, man.

I mean that, okay.

I mean, listen, if you got the ear of students that go to chiropractic schools where they don't offer upper cervical, which are most, that's really where, where the problem lies is that if we can go ahead now, now, you know, we're in, we're in a bunch of schools, the three of us, Fiorini, Sweat and I are, are in five schools.

And, and if we can get into schools that don't have upper cervical, I mean, that's where you really start making your moves.

Now, the issue is this.

I've tried it and I have made calls and I have talked to provost and vice presidents and you never get the president and chancellors and all these other guys.

And I've talked to them at a bunch of different schools.

They don't want us.

They don't want us.

And man, you know, you I don't know what the problem is.

Why wouldn't you want to offer something at your school?

So I mean, so so so I think in that way, the best way to go would be to get to the people who want to learn chiropractic and become chiropractic students.

And then you filter them to the schools that have upper cervical.

So that's really the way to go, because then you grow the people that support you.

And you know what, if the other ones don't want to support you, then there's no reason to hang around with them. Right?

Have you ever heard that term?

If your circle of if you're the smartest guy in your circle of influence, then you're not in a circle, you're in a cage.

Tony Hook - 00:27:30

Yeah, that's good.

Yeah. Yep. Yep. Yep.

The other thing that you mentioned too, I want to draw this out is you mentioned, I wrote this down, but you kind of have to taste and see, right?

Because you can't, can you have that passion if you haven't experienced the power of upper cervical, right?

You know, that's where it's life-changing.

And so, you know, if you're listening to this podcast and you're going, and you just never, you know, you're kind of on the fence with this whole thing, then, taste and see, man, find somebody that's near you, you know, and check it out.

You know, if it get in touch with somebody and say, can I shadow what you're doing?

I want to see what you're doing here, you know?

Cause that's, that's a, that'd be a huge win.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:28:13

That's it, Tony.

If you can, if you can get this out there more to the, to people that are thinking about going to chiropractic school,

I mean, that's where we can go ahead and get more people involved.

And they have an idea in mind when they get there.

They're not as much influenced by the culture of the school that's there per se or their friends or whatever it is.

They have an idea in mind at least. 

And the best way to influence that idea is to go ahead and, for those practicing field doctors, your chiropractors that's at the grind, every day is to get kids in there, students and adjust them and, and show them what it's all about.

That's how, you know the the world of Upper Cervical Chiropractic from the perspective of let's say non-teaching clinicians that that's really how to convert those people over to upper cervical doctors.

Tony Hook - 00:29:17

Right, they can experience it. And so, you know, there's no way around it.

Like the way, the way that it grows, that the mission that we succeed together on in the mission is to invest in it. Right?

Invest your time, invest, make the decision.

We're going to be advocates.

We're going to take time to be intentional about spreading the word, intentional about opening up the practice, so people can come and shadow and check it out, being intentional about maybe teaching because you can impact so many people there.

Maybe it's going to be intentional about visiting the different clubs, but you have to make that decision.

I'm going to be intentional on this because if I can multiply myself,

then now we're going to move from that 14% that you talked about earlier to 20, to 30, to 40.

And now we're talking about major changes.

And now all of a sudden, I bet you colleges will start teaching it because there's a bigger demand, right?

Because like you said, they're in the business of making money.

So just show them that that's where the money's at.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:30:28

Honestly, that's what they want, more students.

That's what they're looking for.

So I think there's a hefty bill on chiropractic schools at this point.

At least that's my understanding of it.

And so, yeah, the thing that practicing doctors can do is invite

invite these people into their practice and to, to shadow or, or to do that type of thing.

And you can, you can listen.

The truth is that most chiropractors are, are, are fairly charismatic.

You know, how many times have I heard from patients that have come in?

Well, you know, I love my chiropractor, you know, that's a, that's a beautiful thing.

And, and even if the chiropractor didn't help them all that much, they love their chiropractor.

Tony Hook - 00:31:13

And they'll keep going back.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:31:15

Exactly. And so, you know, what I'd love to see, Tony, is I'd love to see more upper cervical doctors specializing in what we do.

And in doing so, then, if you specialize just in the atlas and that's all you do, you're not addressing, you're not using a bunch of other techniques.

In doing that, then you can go ahead and get referrals from traditional chiropractors and you can go ahead and say, okay, look, you know, we're going to go ahead and work with this patient's atlas and we're going to correct that and we're going to send that patient back to you, right?

Because that's how specialties work.

You take that patient, you'll never see another one from that chiropractor. Right?

So, you need to go ahead and, you know, let, let's listen, what do we do in chiropractic as a profession? We wind up at some point doing the same thing that medicine's done just 50 years later.

And, and listen, I know you big chiropractic tick.

People are already steams coming from their ears, but I'm not saying that we're like MDs.

What I'm saying is that from the practice standpoint, in the beginning, you had all single practitioners, right?

Everybody was a single practitioner, medicine, chiropractic, the whole thing.

What did medicine do first, 50 years ago? They started to get into groups, right?

You started to have two, three, four doctors working out of one clinic, right?

What do chiropractors start doing now? A lot longer after, a lot of chiropractors now are in teams of two, three, four, right?

Same thing with other aspects of practice as well.

Why should I buy, why should four of us buy an x-ray unit and instruments when we can team up and do it that way?

So let's get on the page and look at what works, right?

And that's the kind of thing that works.

We go ahead and you model what they did to a degree because it works.

Tony Hook - 00:33:29

Yeah, the system.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:33:32

The system is what it is.

It's not necessarily medicine or whatever.

It's healthcare, right?

And that's what works.


Tony Hook - 00:33:40

Yeah, that's it. That's it.

And it's just a matter of like, how can we have this serve the mission, which is to bring hope and healing to sick and suffering people?

Every day, every day, every day, switching them on.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:33:51

You know how we do it from from back to that circle of influence that I spoke about earlier, you get better as an upper cervical doctor.

Now, if there's one thing I want, if there's a lot of doctors, upper cervical doctors in particular, to listen to this, whatever technique you're into, and we want to obviously draw everybody to us, Because we believe in what we do.

Point being, though, is that get better at what you do.

All right?

Tony Hook - 00:34:19

Hone it.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:34:20

And the better you can be at your art, then the more people you're going to influence and get better.

So get back to who's teaching you.

Get back to the research driven that we're doing, you know, and in all of the upper cervical that way. And get back to learning more about how to get better, how to get your art better.

Listen, chiropractors and upper cervical doctors in particular are a very unique group because we are performance-based, right?

How difficult is it to be a medical doctor?

You've got to be a nice person, and you've got to be able to prescribe the right medication.

How difficult is that? It's not difficult at all.

Tony Hook - 00:35:10

They're going to keep coming back. 

They come to you as a chiropractor. 

They don't need to come back as a medical doctor.

We work them out.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:35:18

Yeah. That's the thing.

And so, and so in doing so and doing things that way, then what happens is you are, we have this ability that you have to combine mathematics. You have to have a mathematical part of your brain if you're talking upper cervical.

And you have to use also that artistic part of your brain. And that's very difficult to do.

And that's why surgeons are performance-based.

And surgeons are the closest thing to chiropractors from the perspective of performance-based care than anyone else in medicine because people come to them for a purpose.

If that surgery didn't go well, if you didn't recover from that surgery, if you didn't do well, it's the surgeon's fault.

If a patient comes into me and they didn't do well, guess whose fault it is?

It's me.

No matter how much you want to put it back on the patient, that's about patient selection.

Let me touch on that for a second.

We are specialists.

In being a specialist, you go to a surgeon, he doesn't have to take you as a patient.

He can say, you know what? I don't think I can help you.

We are specialists. This is not traditional chiropractic in the sense of, okay, hey, they come into my office. Hey, let's see what we can do.

That's not how it should be.

In my opinion, it should be, do I think this patient's going to make a good patient?

Do I think they're going to follow my instructions? And do I think they're going to get well because of it?

Because if you get somebody who's hesitant, if you get a patient who is not sure if they want to be there, then you shouldn't be treating that patient because they're not going to go ahead and follow through with care.

And guess who they're going to blame? You.

Tony Hook - 00:37:03

Yep. Absolutely. Yeah.

So having that, having that selection, right.

Which is hard if you're new, because you want to like, I need to take everybody, but that's the hardest part.

But you know, being selected, we, you know, I like to encourage docs to use the phrase like, Hey, come in, let's talk. Let's see if you're a good fit.

If we're a good fit for each other. Right?

That's the good way to say it. Tony, that that's genius. And, and, and you know what we always offer a complimentary consultation, right?

And in doing so, I spend five minutes, 10 minutes, whatever it is with the patient, right?

And I do two things. And I teach this to the students.

I teach this to all the doctors that we speak to. And that is you figure out a couple things.

One is, is their atlas out of alignment?

Number two, and most importantly to the patient is, do their symptoms correlate to the atlas misalignment in the things that you are successfully treating, right?

Because frankly, patients don't care what an atlas is.

They don't care about you.

They care about their symptoms, right?

But you start to get those symptoms better and then they get interested in what you do and you can educate them at that point.

Because if you want to talk about chiropractic and if you want to talk upper cervical, you want to talk atlas when they're in pain, guess what?

They're not listening to a thing.

And so doing all that, then you're setting the stage for that healing process.

And the third thing is Dr. Sweat used to call those patients funny.

You know, those patients that are a little crazy.

And I think all of us are a little crazy, but there are some that are a little more crazy than others, right? And those people typically don't, they don't make good patients, right?

Dr. Sweat used to call them funny. He said, try not to take funny patients.

He said, because funny patients only get funnier and they only refer funny patients.

Tony Hook - 00:39:01


Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:39:03

So, right. And this is risk management is what this is.

Tony Hook - 00:39:07

Yeah. And they take energy and time from you too.

Just, just the frustrations.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:39:13

Oh, I call them emotional vampires. 

Tony Hook - 00:39:15

They just drain you.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:39:17

Yeah. They drain you and they drain you from the people that you could be helping.

So those kind of people, it's like, you know what, they really can't be helped by what you do.

And that's part of that patient selection thing.

Tony Hook - 00:39:01

Yeah, that's good. That's good.

Well, Doc, we're going to wrap it up there. But I just want to say thank you for sharing. What you do with the teaching, with the, with coming on board with this podcast here and just your involvement with, with upper cervical specifically AO, man, it's amazing.

I've been, it's been awesome to be part of your guys' community this year and get to know everybody case in point.


We've been around for a while.

It's just that we've never crossed paths really, but it's good to get to know you guys.

It's, it's, and to see that what always blows my mind is like, we're marching the same direction.

Right. Like we are in alignment and it's the mission.

And like, how do we get better and better at this?

And that was the whole point of this time to talk.

And if you're listening to this right now and you want to get more involved, you know, follow those things that we were talking about.

I think hat's huge.

If you want to get a hold of Dr. Angelo, how could they get a hold of you?

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:40:24

They can get a hold of me through my website, which is NJAtlas.com.

 NJAtlas.com. has my information has my email address and has all that and they can easily communicate with me that way and we can all spread the word.

Tony Hook - 00:40:42

That's it. That's it.

Get involved.

Be intentional about it.

It won't passively happen.

It has to be intentionality.

And if you're a student listening to this, get plugged into your club.

Reach out to Doc here and learn more about what's going on in the AO community.

They're an amazing community focused on results. It really is a community which has been great to be part. You guys have welcomed me in which is I'm very humbled about that but um so it's get involved. Don't hesitate on that. So again doc, thanks for joining us thanks for sharing! Thank you for your passion and your wisdom.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:41:17

Well tony let me just say for them to communicate with me, it's NJ, like New Jersey, njatlas.com.

And I just want to say to you, I appreciate your mission, man. I appreciate your passion.

I just love to see that we're all on the same page this way. And, you know, I really hope that we can all spread the word.

And I think, I think you're doing something really grand in this way and being able to get to doctors, being able to get to students and spreading the word like you are.

I think it's beautiful, really.

Tony Hook - 00:41:47

That's it. That's it, man.

Not about us.

It's about the mission.

Dr. Angelo Colavita - 00:41:52

That's it. The cause.

Tony Hook - 00:41:55


Well, thank you, listeners and viewers.

We appreciate you.

And as I always say, go Team Upper Cervical.


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About the Author: Dr. Bill Davis
Dr. Bill Davis is the Founder and CEO of uppercervicalmarketing.com. His goal is to spread the word about the best-kept secret in health through Upper Cervical Specific Business and Marketing Solutions.
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