Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

CMCC symposium extends beyond the research

Maria DiDanieli   


Nov. 3, Toronto, ON
– The 2009 “Annual Conference on Advancements in Chiropractic”, held on October
24-25 at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC), featured talks that
showcased the research accomplishments of staff and affiliates of the college,
with an eye on how this painstaking work will impact chiropractic practice and
the progress of the profession.

October 24 was a full day of detailed and informative presentations, introduced
by Dr. John Triano, Dean of Graduate Education and Research Programs at
CMCC.  In his introduction, Triano
reminded attendees that not all pain is due to musculoskeletal problems and
that other pathological possibilities need to be considered, as well, when approaching
patient care.  He went on to conclude
that that it is the DC’s duty to care for patients who present for chiropractic
treatment, and reiterated the need for informed consent in all cases. 


A wide variety of chiropractic
research themes

The day
progressed with speakers such as CMCC’s Dr. Silvano Mior – who reviewed the
clinical profiles of patients who access chiropractic, especially in Canada – Dr.
Howard Vernon – who talked about challenges in differentiating pain – and Dr.
Brian Budgell who evaluated various models for explaining referred somatic pain
from internal  disorders.

Bernadette Murphy, currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Health at
the University of Ontario, Institute
of Technology, discussed how
altered afferent input might reorganize central processing to result in altered
function – ie, neuroplasticity – and how this neuroadaptative potential might
be harnessed through rehabilitative exercises and/or a manipulation
intervention.  Murphy began this work at
the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where she worked with
Dr. Heidi Haavik, also a presenter at the symposium.  Haavik expanded on the theme of Murphy’s talk
to integrate the concepts behind subluxation into the area of neuroplasticity.

Visiting guest speakers

Not all
speakers at the event were local doctors.

From the University of Arizona, Department of Family and
Community Medicine – but also an adjunct professor at CMCC – Dr. Heather Tick
spoke from her perspective as a functional medicine practitioner to offer
attendees a nutritional approach to pain reduction as well as refreshing
strategies in healthy aging medicine.

From Cleveland Chiropractic College,
Dr. Cheryl Hawk discussed the evidence behind chiropractic for
non-musculoskeletal conditions.

From the University of Utah, Dr. Jeffrey Hebert used a
treatment-based classification approach to identify subgroups of individuals
with back and leg pain.

assistant professor at the University
of Pittsburgh, Dr.
Michael Schneider asked chiropractors to keep upper cervical spine instability
resulting in hyper- versus
hypomobility in mind in cases that do not respond well to manipulation and/or
exercise, and where there is a history of C-Spine trauma and/or chronic neck
pain/headache/dizziness.  Dr. Schneider
also suggested methods – including modified imaging techniques – for pinpointing
this diagnosis in order to more effectively target treatment strategy. 

Colloquium on Subluxation

On Sunday
October 25, the presenters were joined by Drs. Philip Bolton and Marion
McGregor, and also by Alice Kwong, for CMCC’s first-ever chiropractic
colloquium, titled “Reconciling Subluxation and Science”.  The colloquium began with presentations by
the researchers wherein the various language and models for subluxation were
outlined, epidemiology was overviewed, biomechanical evidence for subluxation
was discussed and a variety of processes such as pain and visceral responses to
spinal activity were examined in the context of subluxation.

The last segment of the colloquium was an open
discussion between the panel of researchers and presenters – joined by
world-renown chiropractor and neurologist Dr. Scott Haldemann – and the

This dialogue
raised questions about:

  • terminology and its impact on the survival of the
  • how multiple definitions may or may not help matters,
  • the need to uphold various distinct characteristics of
  • the need to continue to try and discover the mechanisms
    behind clinically observed phenomena,
  • the role of understanding adjustments better versus the
    importance of refining the definition of subluxation in the development of chiropractic,
  • the importance of tackling these questions together as an
    open-minded, unified profession. 

Dr. Jean
Moss was called upon at the end of the event to say a few words.  Dr. Moss 
thanked the organizers of the symposium, the presenters as well as
attendees, and took a few moments to acknowledge the progress that chiropractic
research at CMCC has made. 

The event
organizers wish, at this time, to also acknowledge the role of the sponsors for
the event:  ObusForme was the Gold
Sponsor for the day and Canadian Chiropractor Magazine lent its support as the
media sponsor. (We were grateful for the opportunity to participate in this
well-organized, informative and important event.) 


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