The Liebell Clinic Original Discovery
Can you tell if it’s going to rain the next day? Do your joints or muscles hurt when a storm is coming?
Maybe you get headaches/migraines more often, depending on the weather.
Does an old injury flare up when the barometric pressure drops?
Did your grandmother ever tell you a storm was coming because she could feel it in her bones? Maybe grandpa’s war injury bugged him for the same reason?
You can be certain that Grandma and Grandpa were NOT crazy; they definitely could tell! Maybe you are a walking and talking barometer, too. If so, you’re not alone! Weather-related symptoms have persistently plagued humanity throughout recorded history.
Barometric pressure shifts are definitely a problem for people everywhere, but science has never had much of an explanation of why. One might think more would be known by now.
Dr. Donald Liebell, DC, BCAO
477 Viking Drive #170
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
The answer is… nothing!
There are no drugs that can make you less sensitive to the weather. Drugs might give you some relief after symptoms have already set it in, but that’s it.
There has been a large amount of scientific literature on the subject of weather sensitivity, dating back to the 1800s. Nothing that I have found has mentioned anything that can be done for it.
However, the wind may be shifting!
According to a rapidly expanding number of Liebell Clinic patients, a promising treatment is on the horizon:
Preliminary evidence suggests that I have discovered and developed the world’s first preventative treatment capable of naturally reducing sensitivity to changes in the weather.
To be crystal clear, I am not making a medical claim; it is not yet a proven method. It is a work in progress. What I can say is that a substantial number of patients have reported success. Nevertheless, my patients and I consider it a groundbreaking discovery. We’ll need further evidence and scientific investigation.
In August of 2020, A man named Gary flew from Mississippi to see me for ear acupuncture treatment for health matters unrelated to barometric pressure symptoms. However, during his visit, he told me that for as long as he could remember, he’s gotten migraines. They would happen like clockwork whenever a storm front was brewing. Like many people, he’d feel better once the rain came. Gary’s ability to predict the weather was as good as any doppler radar! He also said that he knew he would always get a migraine from the pressure of an airplane flight.
Even though Gary said it was worth it to him to get the migraines from the airplane trip coming to see me; I still felt bad that he had to suffer from one thing to get help with another. He asked me if I could do anything with ear acupuncture to help him deal with barometric pressure, as well as cabin pressure in the airplane.
I told Gary that in the history of the world, nobody’s ever come up with a treatment that could do anything about that, but I wish I could help. Then the idea struck me like a lightning bolt!! At the time, I had been reading dozens of scientific papers on functions of the vagus nerve, in preparation for writing up another research project. Over the past several decades, there has been a large amount of scientific investigation into its functions, which are many. The vagus nerve originates in the brain (cranial nerve 10) and wanders all around the internal organs. But still, there is much that is unknown about vagus nerve. I wondered, could it have something to do with sensitivity to barometric pressure change or other weather phenomena?
Could I do something about it by stimulating the vagus nerve from its branches which extend to the skin of the outer ear? I thought about it and came up with an idea. I asked Gary if he would like me to, at least, try to help him with his barometric pressure problem with ear acupuncture. I made it clear that I had no idea whatsoever if it could help, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.
One of the many wonderful things about ear acupuncture is that we acupuncturists can always try to help a patient for any sort of symptoms. It’s not an experiment to insert an acupuncture needle with established techniques to try to help a person feel better, naturally. That is precisely what I did.
What mattered was how I came about a means to analyzing Gary’s situation and figuring out where to insert the needle. Still, I had no idea if my ear acupuncture treatment would be of any help… until November, when he sent me an email! Gary informed me that he had not had any headaches since his treatment. He told me there had even been a couple hurricanes and other weather changes, which did not bother him!
I figured maybe it was just a fluke or a coincidence; I would have to examine and treat others with weather sensitivities to see if I could reproduce the results.
That is precisely what happened!
Over the course of several months, I asked patients (coming to see me for ear acupuncture for other health matters) if they suffered from weather-related symptoms. It turned out that lots of folks had problems worsened by a drop in barometric pressure. Who knew so many people were human barometers!
Once I had several people report substantial improvement, I was convinced I had discovered something. I began to document treatment with a special questionnaire before and several weeks after my new treatment. It became clear that my ear acupuncture innovation was helping people, tremendously!
The next step was to accumulate data and write a paper to submit my discovery to a medical journal. This can be a very tedious, complicated, and time-consuming process. It can take a year or more for the academic process to be completed. Getting any scientific discovery evaluated and recognized has historically been challenging, to say the least. Some of the biggest breakthroughs in medicine were laughed at, ridiculed, suppressed, or completely ignore, at first. Therefore, the principle of “patience is virtue” must be considered.
My 9-page discovery paper is currently under medical journal peer review. I am anticipating publication some time in 2022. Once it is published, the next step will be to organize and conduct a formal clinical trial research study. This is necessary to officially prove to academic medical standards, the effectiveness of what I decided to call Liebell Meteoropathy Treatment© (LMT).
One of the challenges may be that university medical research institutions may not be interested in something involving ear acupuncture. Hopefully, there won’t be any biases or disinterest because LMT is not a drug. My 2020 discovery is that it looks like our bodies’ sensitivity (or lack thereof) to changes in the weather may be a function of the vagus nerve. It looks like I have found an innovative way to figure out precisely where and how to stimulate this all-important nerve, so precisely, that it triggers the body to regulate itself better when the barometric pressure drops.
What this means is that weather sensitivity (meteorosensitivity) appears to be a treatable neurological problem. I have been refining and expanding LMT since 2020.
The location on the ear for the LMT acupuncture is different for each person. Established patients of the Liebell Clinic know the many health benefits of ear acupuncture. Many have already reported lasting benefits from my new LMT© in as little as just one treatment. They are saying that they are significantly less sensitive to weather changes!
The treatment itself is stimulation of what is called the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (ABVN). It is done by stimulating tiny nerve endings on the skin of the outer ear (auricle) with specialized, 3mm-long acupuncture needles. It is a way to affect the vagus nerve (which originates in the brain), safely and naturally. For the medical journal publication, I have provided detailed background, relevance, and science associated with my non-experimental, but innovative application of auricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture or auricular therapy).
My patients and I are so excited about LMT. For thousands of years, countless people have suffered from changes in barometric pressure and other weather phenomena. Sadly, it has been poorly considered, medically.
The worst part is that many doctors have notoriously blown patients off for insisting they can predict the weather from their symptoms. Little has changed. Patients report to me that physicians are still telling them that “it’s all in their head!” It is despicable for people to be invalidated and insulted with such ignorance-based cruelty.
Why? Because there has been a mountain of scientific evidence that weather sensitivity is both a proven and extremely common medical phenomenon. A solid 30 percent of the population may be affected. There’s even a medical term for the condition of being affected by changes in weather…
“Meteor” refers to weather and “pathy” is for pathology or illness. Meteoropathology means any symptoms or illness that is provoked by weather.
If your grandmother told you that she could tell it was going to rain because her arthritic joints flared up a day or so in advance—she suffered from meteoropathy!It just sounds fancier, but it’s the same thing.
It’s definitely not fair that some people are sensitive to weather, and others are not at all. You might not even realize that you feel cranky when it’s going to rain the next day or so. Your mental state, or your sleep might even be affected by fluctuations in the barometric pressure.
If you think meteoropathy is just for old people; think again! When doctors don’t understand or have experience with something, they often blame the patient.
This is pathetic! Remember there’s something called the Hippocratic oath? It is perhaps the most well-known of Greek medical texts. A physician is required to swear to be humble, and respect and care for patients properly. This includes specifically, to try to prevent disease whenever possible because it is better than having to cure it.
Specifically, around 400 B.C., Hippocrates insisted that anyone pursuing medical science should pay attention to seasonal and weather changes. The ancient Greeks knew over 2,500 years ago that weather affected human health! I think Hippocrates would be horrified to know that the best modern medicine has done thousands of years later is coming up with cringe-worthy terms like “Weather Intolerance Syndrome.” It was painful for me to read when I saw it!
It is a scientific fact that the environment affects living things. There is an entire branch of science that is devoted to studying how and why the weather affects living things. It’s called biometeorology. I am proud to be part of this small, diverse, but not very well known group of scientists.
If you do any reading on this subject, you’ll see various scientific terms. Meteorotropism is one of them. This term refers to the effects of weather. This can include medical symptoms as well as other consequences such as an increase in auto accidents, crime rates, and suicides.
Meteoropathy has been associated with problems with the heart, lungs, joints, muscles, nerves, and glands, just to name a few. Rain has been known to be responsible for increased visits to the emergency for psychiatric reasons!
Of course, rain has been most commonly known as a trigger for arthritis pain.
It has long been known to many that an area of old injury can be susceptible to drops in barometric pressure.One of the currently accepted medical explanations is that the pressure drop causes fluids and soft tissues around joints to expand. This expansion (much like a water or hydraulic pressure) causes pressure on nerves, which consequently causes pain.
More simply—when the atmospheric barometric pressure drops—it can cause pressure on your nerves. In fact, a person with existing nerve problems might, on a regular basis, feel worse, depending on the weather. Some people have an increase in numbness, tingling, or burning sensations from an existing nerve problem.
Regarding headaches, one medical explanation has been that low barometric pressure triggers migraines/headaches by creating a difference in pressure between the atmosphere and the air in the sinuses, especially if they’re already stuffed up.
People with heart issues may experience some palpitation or irregular beats, or even chest pain. The occurrence of asthma attacks and other respiratory problems is also on a rise during periods of negative meteorological conditions. It has been observed that weather pressure systems can affect our blood pressure. It stands to reason that a person with existing blood pressure problems, who is sensitive to weather changes (meteorosensitive) might not even realize the effects it is causing on a regular basis.
However, the observations I have made is that it is that the vagus nerve appears to be responsible for how much, if any, your body deals with environmental pressure changes.
It’s important to consider that barometric pressure is just one aspect of weather change. Could temperature, humidity, wind, rain, snow, lightning, and other factors be involved in symptoms? Thousands of years of humans complaining is more than enough proof! For scientists, the problem has been that we cannot measure what a person feels. Even if we could, it still doesn’t solve the problem of meteoropathic symptoms.
Meteoropathy is different from person-to-person. For some people, symptoms are predictable and consistent, like clockwork. For others, it’s all over the place; it’s predictably unpredictable. It’s an extremely complicated and difficult question to answer. One could have different symptoms, or varied intensity under the same conditions.
Throughout history, doctors have mocked or ignored patients for suggesting that weather increased their symptoms. It still is happening today, even though science has validated and vindicated those who have been told they were crazy or hypochondriacs for suggesting the impact of weather on their wellbeing. This will be discussed in detail in my scientific paper, when published.
Medical scientists haven’t dad the vaguest idea what to do about meteoropathy… but I think that I do! Obviously, I am not going to explain the details of my procedure in this article. It has not been proven in a clinical trial, nor do I have a patent for it, yet. What I can say is that I have developed a strict and meticulous procedure by which I can figure out where to insert the tiny (3mm-long) semi-permanent ear acupuncture needles to stimulate the vagus nerve. They cannot just be placed anywhere.
How can we tell that it works?
My patients’ feedback has been that Liebell Meteoropathy Treatment© has made their quality of life much better because of reduced sensitivity to weather.
So far, there isn’t any medical test available that could measure a person’s weather sensitivity. Once patients were reporting success with treatment, I started documenting it with a special questionnaire. The before and after treatment feedback was fantastic. Patients have reported improvement ranging from immediately to after just a few weeks. My soon to be published medical paper documents this.
The most common feedback has been simply that folks don’t feel like they are walking and talking barometers, the way they used to. They’re not predicting storms because they are not having increased symptoms from barometric pressure drops.
I’m hoping that I will receive support for further research. Formal clinical trials are necessary for academic medical proof. It would be great if various technologies could be used to make objective measurements that would be viewed as scientific proof.
Meanwhile, as an acupuncturist, it is within my scope of practice to treat people for symptomatic support, which is what I have been doing all along. To the best of my knowledge, I have come up with the world’s first evidence for a preventative and natural means of reducing suffering from the effects of barometric pressure changes.
Millions of people, over thousands of years have reported the undeniable existence of the negative effects of weather changes, specifically barometric pressure drops. Now meteoropathy is an officially a recognized medical phenomenon. Better late than never!
It is long overdue for healthcare professionals to stop insulting patients and trivializing the significance of the effects of weather on their well-being. Perhaps doctors do not even know that scientists proved the existence of meteoropathy quite some time ago. They need to get up to speed!
It’s not superstition, nor is it “all in your head!”
Investigating meteoropathy should be part of virtually any medical evaluation. It is now standard procedure at the Liebell Clinic. I am confident that global interest in the possibility of reducing weather sensitivity is strong. The neurological basis of meteoropathy needs to be fully scientifically proven; I do not make any medical claim that it has been.
We’re just getting started. Medical publication and clinical trials will be aggressively pursued for the sake of people worldwide, who may have realistic hope for this ancient problem. For some people, and certainly most doctors, no treatment will even be considered valid or worthwhile, unless it appears in a science journal. The great news is that nobody has to wait for any of that to happen; anybody can pursue ear acupuncture treatment for wellness or symptomatic support. It is not experimental or outside of an acupuncturist’s scope of practice. Word-of-mouth news of LMT has fueled a great interest already.
LMT is, at its core, standard, accepted, and long-established ear acupuncture treatment. How I arrive at where to place my ear acupuncture needles is currently my secret. All acupuncturists have their methods which determine where and how they insert acupuncture needles. Once my discovery is fully investigated, documented, and validated scientifically, I will, of course, teach LMT to others.
For now, no medical claim is being made. I am merely saying that I have an ear acupuncture treatment that patients have happily reported as successful in reducing their sensitivity to weather changes.
If anything, this article serves to expand public education for awareness that meteoropathy is a legitimate, medically-recognized, and potentially treatable medical phenomenon.
I have my patients to thank for the opportunity to help them. 2022 is my thirtieth year in practice. Serving as both a full-time doctor, but also a researcher and scientist, is thrilling. My patients’ requests for help, particularly for problems they’ve been told are untreatable, has always been my motivation.
“Mother Nature” can be quite cruel!
It reminds me of an old poem of unknown origin:
Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not.
Maybe now we’ll have a way to weather the weather, better! I cannot express enough my gratitude for those who were confident in my ability to solve a medical mystery of millennia—the barometric pressure puzzle. We’re pretty sure that together, we have done it!
Let’s discover and develop Liebell Meteoropathy Treatment© further.
477 Viking Drive #170, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452, United States
The Liebell Clinic has office hours one Saturday each month for special evaluations. Times and dates are variable month-to-month.
Copyright © 2021 The Liebell Clinic - All Rights Reserved. Donald Liebell, DC, BCAO. The information and statements contained in this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The content of this website is for informational purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Your reliance on any information provided by Dr. Liebell’s website, any referenced parties is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice or treatment, because of information contained in this website. This website expresses Dr. Liebell's health care views, and describes wellness-based, natural treatment methods, and must not be misconstrued as direct treatment advice—it is information only.