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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Chiropractic Breakthrough: Provides Relief for Migraine Sufferers

Jul 01, 2013 06:22PM ● By Nancy Somera

Dr. David Sullivan, a board-certified chiropractic neurologist at Keystone Chiropractic Neurology, in Mechanicsburg, discovered a breakthrough procedure last summer that immediately alleviates pain experienced by migraine sufferers. This new therapeutic technique, formalized by Sullivan into a clinical study last fall, was uncovered when a patient that works at a printing press mentioned to Sullivan that his dizziness, vertigo and headaches improved or disappeared completely when he stood next to a particular printing machine. At first, Sullivan considered sound made by the machine as the source of relief, but when replicated in his office, the patient experienced no improvement. When the patient described feeling pressure waves while standing next to this particular printing press, Sullivan considered the effects barometric pressure has on the inner ear, which led to his discovery.

With a common medical instrument frequently used to diagnose ear infections, Sullivan is able to produce a vacuum-like seal in the ear, creating pressure that forces the membranes in the ear to oscillate, stimulating specialized nerve endings on the ear drum, in particular the trigeminal nerve. It is believed that brain rewiring caused by damage or abnormal functioning of the trigeminal nerve is the source of migraine headaches. “Migraines are caused by a neighborhood of brain cells not functioning and communicating the way they should,” Sullivan explains. “When rewiring goes awry, cells can change shape, which cells they talk to and what chemicals they make. This new therapy calms that neighborhood down, and through neuroplasticity, rewires the brain cells to send new messages, reducing chronic pain.”

Thirteen migraine sufferers participated in the pilot study and all experienced immediate pain relief with varying lasting effects. Sullivan is expanding and testing his hypothesis and ideas through further research. He is currently enrolled in a course of study on traumatic brain injury rehabilitation in Atlanta, Georgia, applying newly acquired knowledge in neuroscience to create drug- and surgery-free treatment plans to modify symptoms of concussion, migraines, dizziness and other neurologically based ailments that greatly affect a patient’s quality of life.

At Keystone Chiropractic Neurology, Sullivan and his staff are available for second opinions and to offer insight and other avenues to feeling and living better for people living with neurological conditions. “I see patients who haven’t had a pain-free day in years,” Sullivan says. “Our main goal is to diagnose the problem, fix it and let people live the lives they are meant to.”

Keystone Chiropractic Neurology is located at 1001 S. Market St., Ste. B, Mechanicsburg. For more information, call 717- 697-0589 or visit

Nancy Somera is a frequent writer for Natural Awakenings.

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