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Exploring Life and Business with Mercedes Cook

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mercedes Cook.

Mercedes, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My story began when I was in high school. I had been dancing and cheerleading since I could walk. Toward high school graduation, I starting dealing with severe hip pain, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. My parents and I started meeting with a doctor after doctor to figure out where my issues were stemming from. Unfortunately, no one was able to help me, and our questions were left unanswered. This is ultimately what led me to sitting in a chiropractic office that specialized in “Upper Cervical Care”. I had no idea what it was at the time, but my mother had a friend that said we needed to go and get my spine looked at, so we thought we might as well give it a shot.

I met with the upper cervical chiropractor and he explained to us how my hip issue was related to my neck being out of alignment and that my sleeping and anxiousness could be related to that as well because my nervous system was in “fight or flight”. I had no idea how my neck was the root cause of all of this, but I was willing to give it a try because nothing else to this point had helped. The first adjustment was quick and gentle, and I immediately noticed a difference afterwards. My hip pain was gone and I felt calmer. I was still skeptical on how one small adjustment made such a huge difference. I ended up going to a patient education class later in the week to learn more about upper cervical care and ask the doctor more questions. It was in that class where a lot of things clicked for me, and I instantly knew that this was my calling. I whispered to my mom next to me that this is what I wanted to spend my life doing! If I could help transform others lives by precise and gentle adjustments without and drugs or surgery, then I was in!

From that day forward, I never questioned my calling. I completed my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at Miami University and then went on to get my doctorate in chiropractic at Life University. After school, I moved back to my hometown to be an associate doctor at the same practice I had received my first adjustment. It was a privilege to serve my hometown and be near my family, but I ultimately knew I wanted to start my own practice someday in Southern CA. I had been working on my business plan on all the details on how to start my own practice when I got a phone call that there was an Upper Cervical practice for sale in San Diego, CA. I immediately jumped on the opportunity to come see the practice and the area. From the second I got here, it felt like home! My mind was immediately made up that moving to San Diego was the next move.

And that brings us to today! My husband, myself and our pup have been loving San Diego now for almost two years. We’re so grateful for the opportunity to live and experience this amazing place. Its even more amazing that I get to do what I love every single day and bring the most specific Upper Cervical Care to this city!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would describe it more like a smooth rollercoaster? The only smooth part about the process was knowing my life’s purpose and passion and being completely committed. The biggest struggle was the unknown. I didn’t know that I would be purchasing my dream practice months before the country decided to shut down. Thankfully chiropractic is considered essential in California, so I was able to keep my office open and still continue to see patients. There were many ups and downs that the last year and a half brought, but I’m honestly grateful for all of it. The lessons and accomplishments that came from these struggles have been invaluable.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My practice is a unique type of chiropractic that specializes in precisely and gently correcting the upper neck. There is no twisting or cracking involved in our adjustments. We perform a detailed exam to locate the root cause of the problem, use specialized cone-beam computed tomography to get a 3-D image of the neck and then perform precise adjustments to get our patients well and stay well.

Our office specializes in helping people who have “tried it all”. They have went to several other chiropractors and seen doctor after doctor with no answers. Or they have found help but it’s only temporary. Because of our attention to detail and precise analysis of the spine we are able to help patients get their life back that deal with Meniere’s disease, vertigo, migraines, radiculopathy, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and many other complex cases.

Another cool part of our practice is we also see a lot of young and healthy people who are looking to be proactive in their health. Even when no symptoms are present, that doesn’t mean there is nothing to be proactive about. Misalignments usually happen during the early stages of life for many reasons. Stress is the biggest factor and it can be physical stress (sports, falls, car accidents) but also emotional stress (losing a loved one, big life changes, etc.) that affect our spine and nervous system. The earlier we address our spine, the more we can enjoy our life and our health later on.

Our goal for our clients is to get the spine to hold for long periods of time so the body can heal and function as it was designed to do. By doing precise adjustments, we can get our clients to hold for weeks to months so that adjustments are not needed week after week. What we have to offer is long-lasting relief, healing and health. We offer complimentary consultations for anyone interested in seeing if Upper Cervical Care is the right fit for you.

Something I’m most proud of is our office practices what we preach. Were all under Upper Cervical Care ourselves and do our best to maintain our own health and wellness so we can better serve our community.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
My advice for just starting out with any business is don’t get too analytical. We can always find reasons or excuses not to do something because of risks or fear, but if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’re going to find a way to make your business thrive. I didn’t have all the answers starting out and I still don’t, but I’ve never let that stop me from my goal of owning my own practice (and someday more than one!) The best thing you can do is make sure you have a solid support team around you. Without all my supportive relationships with family, friends, and other business professionals, this journey would be a lot harder.

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Image Credits:

Donny Michel

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