Dr. Debra Pavlovic had migraine headaches from age 5 until age 30. When she reached puberty, they accelerated and included PMS and TMJ. Her headaches would cause her to throw up and many times she passed out. She never had a day without pain and some days were excruciating. Because she had pain for so many years, Debra got accustomed to it and believed everyone experienced pain in some way every day. Her father would put her in the family car, and they would search for help. The family lived near University of Michigan and Debra’s father could not understand why the specialists there could not help her. They were told it was all in her head. It was a massive headache; of course, it was in her head!
At age 30, Dr. Debra’s first husband, Tom Pavlovic was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. One day while she was chaperoning a youth group to Nashville, Tennessee she met a student from Life University. He told her about a group of doctors in Jacksonville, Florida who were championing a specific type of chiropractic adjustment for MS patients, Atlas Orthogonal. She thought, if it could help her husband with MS, it might help her migraines, too! They made an appointment and were both treated. Dr. Debra’s migraines, PMS and TMJ disappeared, and she was amazed! Later, they referred twenty-nine patients with MS to the doctors in Jacksonville. Twenty-eight of those patients went into remission, but unfortunately Tom was not one of them.
At that time, Debra had been working in Interior Design for over 15 years. After witnessing and experiencing first-hand the extraordinary results from Atlas Orthogonal, she started to consider a career change. This amazing treatment could be a way to take care of her husband and his failing health. They relocated to the Atlanta area, where she got a job as a kitchen designer and was able to take prerequisite courses for chiropractic at Life University. Debra and her husband also received treatment from Dr. Roy Sweat and Dr. Matt Sweat. Debra’s adjustments would hold for a couple of weeks enabling her to work, study and care for Tom. Dr. Sweat suggested she attend Sherman College of Chiropractic, because they taught and used the AO instrument he designed, in the Health Center. Debra, Tom and their Schnauzer, Winnie, packed up and moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina in October 2000. Unfortunately, Tom’s health continued to deteriorate, and she was forced to slow down her education. She persevered and in March 2005, she graduated with her mentor Dr. Roy Sweat by her side.
Dr. Debra’s husband Tom died 3 ½ months after she opened her first practice in Dr. Sweat’s Office. She decided to move to Lakeland, Florida to be closer to family. New mentors in St. Petersburg added specific techniques to her treatment that kept her migraine-free for months rather than weeks. She wanted to learn these new techniques and be close enough to St. Pete for her own care. No other doctors were doing this work in Polk County, so Dr. Debra thought it would be a great place to set up an Atlas Center, not to mention the traffic was much better than Atlanta!
Debra knew from childhood that she loved people and wanted to help them. Whether the design of a kitchen, a home, or a body of bones, designers love design. Her desire to be on the cutting edge of the next great design motivated her to pursue the most precision work available in the profession today, Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic care.
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