Author, alumnus heals himself

Dan Sullivan '13 self-publishes book about his journey to heal his ADD naturally

Dan Sullivan had a lot on his plate. In addition to pursuing a degree in management and serving as goaltender for the University of Maine ice hockey team, he struggled with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Now the 2013 MBS alumnus has published a book about his ADD diagnosis, his experience with prescription medications including Adderall, and his successful quest to heal himself naturally through holistic approaches to health.

“Adderall: Medication to Functional Medicine: My Story from Division 1 Hockey to Health Care,” was self-published in August 2017 and is available through Amazon.

“I wanted to write this book for people struggling with ADD,” says Sullivan, a certified health coach at the Bangor-based Maine Center of Neurointegration, which offers non-invasive and natural ways to change the brain.

“I wanted to offer my own trials, errors and learning experiences so people can find relief as soon as possible. Through my book I hope to reduce the time and the frustration that people experience in making progress towards health.”

Characterized by inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity, ADD in adults may result in trouble managing time, being organized and setting goals.

Diagnosed with ADD about a year before he entered college, Sullivan tried various medications, including Adderall, with some success, but says they “were not sustainable and never truly addressed the root causes” of his ADD.

“Ultimately I realized that I needed to find another way to health,” says the York, Pennsylvania native.

During his sophomore year at MBS he began studying and researching natural ways to treat ADD — reading books and articles, listening to podcasts, watching videos, attending seminars and speaking with experts. With help from Dr. Gerard Graves, who practices at the Maine Center of Neurointegration, he learned about functional medicine, which seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease and views the body as one integrated system.

Ultimately, he created for himself a comprehensive, personalized approach to healing that included nutritional strategies, gut detoxification, neurological therapy and exercise.

“I didn’t think it would be possible to ever get off medication, but I came to realize that getting healthy requires commitment, discipline and the belief that good health is possible,” says Sullivan.

He credits his MBS education with helping him hone the decision making, problem solving and communication skills that enabled him to find a holistic approach to treat ADD. Meanwhile, his participation in hockey gave him “the courage and mental toughness to withstand the discomfort of getting off medication.”

Inspired by the knowledge he gained about non-invasive and natural ways to change the brain, Sullivan decided he wanted to help spread the word about functional medicine. In 2015 he became a certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which offers holistic approaches to nutrition and wellness.

A year later he became a certified high performance and mindset coach through the Bulletproof Executive.

Now a health coach and neurofeedback practitioner at the Maine Center of Neurointegration, Sullivan says his business education has helped him succeed in his job by “instilling the daily habits necessary for success.

“Thanks to my MBS training, I am able to manage my time, efficiently utilize the resources available to me, and maintain a positive mindset,” he says.

Sullivan plans to enroll in medical school once he completes prerequisite classes, but meanwhile enjoys teaching clients with neurological deficits ranging from ADD to autism to manage their brain activity.

“I get to witness the positive transformations in people’s lives and know that I played a small part in helping them increase their energy and mental clarity,” he says. “I like that the field of functional medicine and neurology is constantly evolving and that there is more to learn every day.”