The Rubicon Group Committed to the highest standards of educational excellence and Chiropractic clinical mastery.

Previous Conferences

November 2019, Paris

The 2019 Rubicon Conference was held in Paris, France at the Hyatt Regency Etoile in sight of the Eiffel Tower. The program included researchers, clinicians, educators and thought leaders in chiropractic from the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Israel, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan as follows:

Discussion About the Profession

Drs. Haavik, Holt and Niazi

Drs. Riekeman, Clum and Deitch


Speaker Slides

Speaker Video

Ernest Kamavuako, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, King’s College, London, United Kingdom

Dr. Kamavuako was trained as a biomedical engineer, completing both his Master’s degree and Ph.D. degree at Aalborg University in Denmark. He has held academic and research positions in the United States (Indiana University, Purdue University), Canada (University of New Brunswick) and the United Kingdom (Imperial College, King’s College). His main research interests relate to the use of intramuscular recordings in the control of upper limb prostheses. Other research interests include neurorehabilitation, applied signal processing and Health Engineering to promote wellbeing. Dr. Kamavuako is recognized as a world authority in the application, use and interpretation of muscle signals, including high density EMG technologies (HD-EMG) as well as near infrared spectroscopy (NIR spectroscopy), and has been collaborating with chiropractic researchers from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic for the past three years, and he will share with you their startling results.

Speaker Video

Denis Alemi, D.C.
Chiropractor and Past Vice-President of the French Chiropractic Association

Dr. Denis Alemi earned a Doctor of Chiropractic from Life Chiropractic College West, Hayward, California in 1994 where he graduated Cum Laude. After graduation, he practiced in San Francisco for three years as he continued his post-doctoral education in chiropractic neurology with Prof. Frederick Carrick. Dr. Alemi was granted certification in Chiropractic Neurology through the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (DACNB) in 1997. He has since completed additional training in brain injury rehabilitation, clinical nutrition and neuro-developmental disorders.

Upon his return to France in 1998 he practiced in the French Alps for three years, in 2001 he established his practice in Paris. As an active member of the chiropractic community he has taught at the Institut Franco-Européen de Chiropraxie, has been a member of the Board of Directors and past vice-president of the Association Française de Chiropraxie and participated in national and international chiropractic and health care meetings (World Federation of Chiropractic, World Health Organization). He has also been a board member of the medical association AMDPI in Paris and has developed an esteemed inter-professional collaboration with the medical community.

He is the founder and director of CerebroStim which aims to help children with neurodevelopmental disorders by implementing state of the art techniques in neuroscience.

He will be presenting the recent and accumulating evidence that supports the involvement of the cerebellum in cognition, social and emotional behaviors.

Gerard Clum

Speaker Slides

Gerard Clum, D.C.
Presidential Liaison for External Affairs; Director of The Octagon; Director of The Center for Compassion, Integirty and Secular Ethics (CCISE), Life University

Dr. Gerard W. Clum is a 1973 Palmer College of Chiropractic graduate, was a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic, a founding faculty member at Life Chiropractic College (now Life University) and first president of Life Chiropractic College West (January 1981 through January 2011). Dr. Clum has served on the board of directors, or as an officer, of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), the Chiropractic Summit and the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). He presently serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the F4CP and as Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC).

Since retiring from the presidency of Life Chiropractic College West as President Emeritus, he accepted an appointment as Presidential Liaison for External Affairs at Life University. He has also been appointed the Director of The Octagon, a think tank sponsored by Life University. Dr. Clum was also recently named Director of the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics (CCISE) at Life University. In addition, he serves as a consultant and expert witness in matters related to chiropractic practice and care. He has been recognized as “Chiropractor of the Year” by ICA, “Man of the Year” by Dynamic Chiropractic and as one of the top five leaders of the chiropractic profession in a Dynamic Chiropractic readers’ poll. Dr. Clum was the 2014 recipient of the Lee-Homewood Award of the Association for the History of Chiropractic. He has lectured throughout the world and has been recognized and honored for his efforts over the years by international, national, state and local groups.

Heidi Haavik

Speaker Slides

Speaker Video

Heidi Haavik, D.C., Ph.D.
Director of Research, Centre for Chiropractic Research, New Zealand College of Chiropractic

Dr. Heidi Haavik is a chiropractor who has also gained a Ph.D. in human neurophysiology. She has recently released the book ‘The Reality Check: A Quest To Understand Chiropractic From The Inside Out.’ This book describes in easy-to-understand language what happens in the brain when a chiropractor adjusts dysfunctional segments in the spine. The book (available at is based on cutting-edge neuroscience research performed over the past two decades. Dr. Haavik also runs a company that enlightens the world about the science of Chiropractic (

Dr. Haavik has used her neurophysiology expertise to study the effects of adjusting subluxations on the function of the central nervous system. Specifically, she has utilized techniques such as somatosensory evoked electroencephalography and transcranial magnetic brain stimulation to investigate the effects of chiropractic adjustments of vertebral subluxations on somatosensory processing, sensorimotor integration and motor cortical output.

Dr. Haavik graduated from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic in 1999 and has practiced Chiropractic for more than 17 years. She was awarded her Ph.D. degree by the University of Auckland in 2008. She is the Director of Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic where she established and runs the Centre for Chiropractic Research. Dr. Haavik served as a member of the World Federation of Chiropractic’s Research Council for ten years. She has received numerous research awards and has published a number of papers in chiropractic and neurophysiology journals. She has presented her work to both chiropractic and neuroscience communities around Australasia, Africa, North America and Europe. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Journal of Chiropractic Education, Chiropractic Journal of Australia and is a Review Editor in Movement Science and Sport Psychology for Frontiers in Psychology and Sports Science.

Dr. Haavik was named ‘Chiropractor of the Year’ in 2007 by both the New Zealand Chiropractic Association and the New Zealand College of Chiropractic Alumni Association. Her online membership is for those in the profession who want to understand the science of Chiropractic and want to be able to appropriately and ethically communicate this science with the public, their patients and other healthcare providers (

Speaker Video

Yori Gidron, Ph.D.
Vrije Universiteit

Dr. Gidron is an Israeli health educator who completed his Ph.D. in 1996 at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dr. Gidron has served as a senior researcher at the Carmel Institute for Social Studies, Zikron Yaakov, Israel; as a lecturer in behavioral medicine at Ben Gurion University, Beer-Shiva, Israel; and as a senior lecturer in health psychology at the University of Southampton, England. He held the academic rank of ‘Associate Professor,’ medical psychology at Tilburg University in The Netherlands, and ‘Professor,’ health research, Brunel University, West London, England.

Professor Gidron is a faculty member at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, Belgium. His research interests include power-spectral analysis of heart rate variability as a measure of autonomic nervous system activity. In late 2018 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, he and colleagues authored a paper titled, “The Vagus Nerve Can Predict and Possibly Modulate Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases: Introducing a Neuroimmunological Paradigm to Public Health.” In this paper, Gidron and his co-authors introduce “… a new paradigm to predict, understand, prevent and possibly treat such diseases based on the science of neuro-immunology and specifically by focusing on vagal neuro-modulation.”

Speaker Slides

Speaker Video

Jason Deitch, D.C.
AmpLIFEied, Founder; The Smart Chiropractor and Body Signals, Co-Founder, Publisher

Dr. Deitch completed his undergraduate education in Marketing at Northeastern University in 1991 followed by a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University in 1996. Dr. Deitch practiced in California from 1997 through 2006. During this time, he was also active in media circles hosting a local cable television show, as well as participating in radio broadcast efforts throughout the area. In 2009 Dr. Deitch was featured in Debbie Ford’s movie, The Shadow Effect together with Deepak Chopra, M.D., Marianne Williamson, and Mark Victor Hansen, Ph.D.

As an early adopter and proponent of social media engagement, Dr. Deitch has distinguished himself as an astute advisor on the use of social media technologies and strategies in a professional services environment. In this role he has presented at conferences throughout the United States around the globe.

Dr. Deitch is the founder of AmpLIFEied, the world’s largest social media content library and public education amplifier for chiropractors. He is the co-founder and publisher of The Smart Chiropractor and Body Signals professional education systems for chiropractors. Dr. Deitch is uniquely positioned to assist you in understanding the risks and rewards of competent social media engagement as a Doctor of Chiropractic.

Speaker Slides

Sylvain Cremoux, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France

Dr. Cremoux is an assistant professor in the Laboratory of Industrial and Human Automation control, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science (LAMIH) of the University of Valenciennes (France). He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Movement Sciences (Neuroscience, Biomechanics) within the Institute of Sciences of the Movement of the Aix-Marseille University in 2013. His research focuses on the analysis and interpretation of the neurophysiological mechanisms regulating muscle activations, especially by the time-frequency analysis of muscles and cortical electrical activities, in healthy and pathological participants. His forté is the regulation of voluntary muscle contraction and its reorganization after cervical spine injury. Dr. Cremoux is now collaborating with chiropractic scientists from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic to help increase the understanding of the neuroplastic effect of Chiropractic and enhance the understanding of the implication of that care. Dr. Cremoux is currently co-supervising a Ph.D. student with the New Zealand team looking at both the neurophysiology and the biomechanics of the spine and how this can go wrong when we are subluxated and the effects of adjusting the subluxations.

John Downes

Speaker Slides

John Downes, D.C.
Teacher, Global Assessment of the Extremities for the CEA

Dr. John Downes teaches Global Assessment of the Extremities for the CEA. He has blended his years of clinical practice and teaching into a practical program of learning that challenges participants to enjoy a season of discovery. His clinical experience with athletes throughout the world from youth, college, professional and Olympic programs has provided opportunities to apply these principles and study the practicality of management protocols.

Through lecture and dialogue, the role of extremities and how their function impacts spinal stability is reviewed in examination, assessment and management paradigms. Dr. Downes has taught the CCEP material since 1993 and serves on the Board for the Council on Extremity Adjusting. A 1986 graduate of Life College, he is currently the Director of the Sport Science Institute and Vice President of Global Initiatives at Life University.

Kelly Holt

Speaker Slides

Kelly Holt, BSc., BSc. (Chiro), PGDipHSc., Ph.D.
Dean of Research, New Zealand College of Chiropractic

Dr. Kelly Holt is one of the inaugural chiropractors to graduate from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic in 1998 earning his BSc. and BSc. in Chiropractic. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Population Health from the University of Auckland in 2014. His Ph.D. focused on the effects of chiropractic care on sensorimotor function and falls risk in older adults. Dr. Holt’s areas of research interest include falls prevention, neurology, reliability of vertebral subluxation indicators and population health. In May 2018, Dr. Holt shared his Ph.D. research findings about the multimodal changes they discovered in the older adults, and presented about the known differences in brain function found in people with only minor spinal problems. In February 2019, Dr. Holt was published in Scientific Reports, a member journal of the Nature family of journals, as he and colleagues addressed “The effects of a single session of chiropractic care on strength, cortical drive and spinal excitability in stroke patients.” This project was partially funded by The Rubicon Group, and Dr. Holt will share this study’s finding with us.

Imran Niazi

Speaker Slides

Imran Khan Niazi, Ph.D.
Laboratory and Research Partnership Manager/ Senior Research Fellow, New Zealand College of Chiropractic

Dr. Imran Khan Niazi obtained his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Riphah University in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2005. He obtained his master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University and FH Lübeck, Germany in 2006, and he obtained his Ph.D. at the Department of Health, Science and Technology at Aalborg University in Denmark under the supervision of Professor Dario Farina and Associate Professor Kim Dremstrup. His Ph.D. focused on brain computer interfaces (BCIs) that involve direct communication pathways between the brain and an external device – an area of research very important for stroke rehabilitation.

Dr. Niazi developed an interest in Chiropractic while working with Dr. Heidi Haavik in Denmark where he witnessed some remarkable changes in brain function in subjects who had been given a chiropractic adjustment. Dr. Niazi has held a full-time Research Fellow position at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic since 2012 and retains strong collaborations within the biomedical engineering community. Dr. Niazi holds an adjunct research position at Aalborg University and at Auckland University of Technology in Auckland New Zealand. Dr. Niazi will be coming to Paris for The Rubicon Conference to present the follow-on work on the above stroke pilot study that Dr. Holt will present to you. Since this original stroke study was published, the team has been back to Pakistan and followed up with another group of chronic stroke victims to see what four weeks of chiropractic care can do for them.

May 2018, Atlanta

The 2018 Rubicon Conference was convened at the Waverly Hotel and Conference Cener in Marietta, Georgia. The Conference featured a faculty representing universities from New Zealand, Australia, Canda, Pakistan and Turkey. The focus of the colloquium was a discussion of the changes in the way chiropractic educational institutions view spinal dysfunction and the effects of spinal manipulation, recognizing spinal manipulation’s neuroplastic effect on the brain.

April 2017, Melbourne

The Neo-Vitalistic Lens

Neo-vitalistic thought accepts on an a priori basis that all living beings are self-conscious, self-healing and self-evolving. This understanding respects and embraces a systems approach to life, realizing that a change in one part of the system changes the entire system. These perspectives empower the individual, and the society, to marshal resources for healing and happiness on a new and intensified level. Neo-vitalism stands with science in offering a paradigm that encompasses a broader perspective of health and healing.

In this presentation Dr. Riekeman related how neo-vitalistic perspectives are consistent and congruent with emerging systems theory science and the traditional principles upon which the chiropractic paradigm was constructed. He contrasted 18th century French vitalistic concepts with 21st century neo-vitalistic perspectives illustrating the power of the contemporary model. This session will concluded with a discussion of real-world manifestations of neo-vitalistic thought at play in the health care environment of 2017.

Advances in Neuroscience, Parts 1 & 2

Drs. Haavik and Holt shared this presentation as well as the Part 2 presentation reviewing their research history and demonstrating the body of knowledge that has been amassed over the past 15 years and the implications of this research in the practice of chiropractors. Together they brought the latest in neuroscience research enriching the value and clinical utility of the chiropractic approach to health and well-being. This was a translational lecture having brought current basic science research findings to the adjusting table of the chiropractor for the benefit of his/her patient.

Advances in MRI Imaging; Image Guided Adjusting Technique, Part 1

Dr. Scott Rosa, a pioneer in the application of weight-bearing MRI technology involving phase-contrast imaging to assess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow before and after upper cervical adjustment discussed his background and experience in applying these technologies in his practice using the Atlas Orthogonal (AO) upper cervical adjusting procedures. Dr. Rosa provided the rationale for the application of the MRI related approaches as well as an extensive series of images detailing the ability to observe altered CSF flow-before and after AO adjusting and the impact that these corrections have had on the patients involved.

The Chiropractic Continuum—Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Dr. Phil McMaster, president of the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Auckland, New Zealand discussed the interface of foundational perspectives in chiropractic with the demands of the evidence-informed environment of health care in 2017. Dr. McMaster explored the process of expressing a chiropractic conceptual approach to health and well-being using the language, metaphors and framework of contemporary health care thought.

The Biology of Belief Revisited

Internally acclaimed author and lecturer, Dr. Bruce Lipton, revisited his now decade old first edition of The Biology of Belief. Dr. Lipton updated the audience on how his views have been reinforced and strengthened by the science that has emerged over the past decade. He brought together the perspectives of his first and second editions to illustrate the power of the individual to influence health, happiness and well-being in their life and in the lives of those around them.

European and North American Updates

The Rubicon Group was pleased to bring egional updates on the status of the profession, in particular the education environment, from Europe and North America. Drs. Christina Cunliffe and Adrian Wenban, of the McTimoney College of Chiropractic and the Barcelona College of Chiropractic respectively, briefed the attendees on the continued growth and expansion of the profession in Europe. A similar update was presented for North America by Drs. Edwin Cordero, president, Sherman College of Chiropractic and Dr. Guy Riekeman, president of Life University. This front-line update provided insight and perspective that will assist the profession in Austral-Asia in appreciating current trends and patterns of interest.

Epigenetics and the Chiropractor

Dr. Lipton, former University Wisconsin Medical School Associate Professor and Stanford University researcher, discussed the realities of gene controls relative to health and disease with an emphasis on the epigenetic factors that give humans the ability to alter gene expression. Dr. Lipton addresse epigenetic controls as powerful enabling mechanisms that can assist the patient and practitioner in escaping the perspective that people are a “victim of their genes” and therefore powerless to alter their impact. The understandings offered by Dr. Lipton of genetic mechanisms reflected his text, “Spontaneous Evolution” in the context of contemporary quantum physics principles as he contrasted them with Newtonian principles. A broader understanding of this information added new depth of awareness to the impact of how our thoughts, behaviors, habits and routines can be harnessed to heal or endured into deeper levels of dysfunction.

The Australian Chiropractic College-An Update

The Rubicon Group was pleased to welcome Dr. Pat Sim of Adelaide, South Australia, as a representative of the Australian Chiropractic College as he brought the member programs of The Rubicon Group and the attendees of the 2017 Rubicon Conference up to date on the latest developments in the emergence of the Australian Chiropractic College. This presentation focused on the curricular and programmatic elements that will serve to fill a need in chiropractic education in Australia that have heretofore remained unaddressed. Dr. Sim reviewed in detail the efforts related to collaboration with The Rubicon Group in general and the New Zealand College of Chiropractic in particular. The interface with the Australian Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia were thoroughly discussed. Dr. Sim explored the needs of the Australian Chiropractic College and the opportunities for involvement on the part of the profession in Australia.

The Rubicon Group and You

In closing, the member institutions of The Rubicon Group, addressed their hopes and aspirations for the profession globally. The mission of The Rubicon Group was discussed in detail as the plans for the future were offered to the audience.

September 2016, Geneva

Dr. Richards discussed the long history of vitalism as it relates to matters of health, well-being and vitality. He reflected on the changing nature of the discussion of vitalism from the ancient Greeks to the 18th and 19th century French perspectives to current thoughts on vitalism. Dr. Richards’ main emphasis was to demonstrate the continuum of thought on the subject of vitalism over millennia.

Dr. Rob Scott of Life University focused on contemporary discussions of vitalism and neo-vitalism with emphasis on the influence of quantum physics perspectives on vitalism and neo-vitalism in the 21st century. He offered a broad perspective on the implications of vitalistic thought in light of current paradigms of health and healing. Dr. Riekeman discussed vitalism and neo-vitalism in the practice of chiropractic and in the office setting of the practicing chiropractor. His emphasis was on how questions related to vitalism and neo-vitalism play out in everyday practice and how they serve to orient the chiropractor in his/her clinical role.

Dr. Haavik odf the New Zealand Chiropractic College provided a broad overview of current research efforts of interest to the chiropractic community. In addition, she reviewed preliminary findings associated with the studies emerging from her lab and the laboratories she collaborates with around the world. This session offered the chiropractor and chiropractic educator the absolute leading edge of research in and around the discipline including what is likely to emerge in the literature in the near future.

Dr. Clum of Life University offered an overview of matters related to safety and risk management associated with the practice of chiropractic. Major literature associated with cervical spine adjusting and vertebral artery issues was discussed as were recent publications related to pediatric care. A special section on case reports seeking to identify emerging areas of risk consideration closed out the session.

Dr. Pennacchio of the McTimoney College of Chiropractic offered an overview of the classic chiropractic discussion of the 33 principles as articulated by Stephenson and contemporary perspectives on the relevance of these concepts in 21st century chiropractic care.

Dr. Brian Kelly of Life Chiropractic College West discussed the principles as expressed by Dr. Pennacchio in the context of a practice environment of the chiropractor in 2016. The expression of these principles in current terminology and context as tools for the practicing chiropractor related the goals and desired outcome of care to patients and other constituents.

Dr. Dan Sullivan presented an environmental scan of literature from a variety of fields to weave a larger picture of the role of the chiropractor and the consistency with contemporary thought from other disciplines and practices as seen in chiropractic practice. His emphasis was on the synthesis of concepts, clinical insights and practice application in day-in, day-out chiropractic practice.

Dr. Downes offer a workshop on patient assessment prior to the administration of chiropractic care and a structured approach to post-care evaluation and progress assessment. He demonstrated various clinical approaches of joint function evaluation with participant participation.

Drs. Cunliffe and Clum presented a global scan regarding the chiropractic profession and its circumstances. Their overview began in Europe moved on to Africa, South America, the Pacific and then back to North America. They reviewed the educational, political and social circumstances of the profession in each region as they addressed the state of the infra-structure of the chiropractic profession around the globe.

Dr. Riekeman closed out the program attempting to pull all of the pieces of the Rubicon Group Intensive program into focus and offering next steps for the attendees about how to put these elements to work for their patients, the profession and the communities in which they live and practice.

March 2016, London

The inaugural conference of The Rubicon Group was presented in London at Heathrow Airport in cooperation with the United Chiropractors Association (UCA) and the McTimoney Chiropractic Association (MCA) of the UK. The three-day conference showcased the areas of activity of The Rubicon Group as well as the accomplishments of the founding Rubicon member institutions.

The program, a two-track approach based on the four pillars of activity of The Rubicon Group offered a broad range of subject matter leading off with a contemporary neuroscience research update from Heidi Haavik, D.C., Ph.D. of the New Zealand Chiropractic College. The Haavik review and update was followed by a more clinically oriented presentation from Michael Hall, D.C., FIACN who provided a series of practical applications of functional neurology perspectives.

The second track opened with a discussion of healthy living explorations with the opening lecture focusing on the role of compassion and integrity in health and healing presented by Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, Ph.D. of the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics (CCISE) of Life University in Marietta, Georgia. This was followed by a dialogue emphasizing the role of chiropractic principles and practice as central elements and anchors to a healthy life style for providers and patients alike delivered by Drs. Rob Scott, Provost, Life University and David Koch, Dean of Philosophy, Life University.

This portion of the program returned to more clinically oriented content with a discussion of weight-bearing and flow contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures as a guide to upper cervical chiropractic care by Scott Rosa, D.C., BCAO, a private practitioner from New York.

The conference moved to a plenary format for the next portion of the academic program withkeynote presentations by Heidi Haavik, D.C., Ph.D.—basic science advances in neuroscience (New Zealand Chiropractic College), Mr. Richard Moore, founder and chairman of Children in Crossfire, Derry, Northern Ireland—the role of compassion and forgiveness in healthy living, Monica Greco, Ph.D. Goldsmiths, University of London—The Vitality of Vitalism, Dejan Rakovic, Ph.D. Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade—The biophysical nature of psychosomatics, body energy informational system, consciousness and vital energy, concluding with a discussion of clinical applications of functional neurology concepts in chiropractic practice.

The program concluded with a series of presentation by the representatives of The Rubicon Group member institutions including Drs. Guy Riekeman, President, Life University; Dr. Rob Scott, Provost, Life University; Dr. Phil McMaster, President, New Zealand Chiropractic College; Dr. Brian Kelly, President, Life Chiropractic College West; Dr. Edwin Cordero, President, Sherman College of Chiropractic; Dr. Adrian Wenban, Principal, Barcelona College of Chiropractic and Dr. Christina Cunliffe, Principal, McTimoney College of Chiropractic.