2nd Watson Headache® Institute International Symposium 2021 Online



Welcome to the official website of the 2nd Watson Headache® Institute Symposium Online, a collaboration between the Watson Headache® Institute and ManualMENTE – Formazione in Movimento.

The Symposium 2021 ONLINE is scheduled from 1 – 3 October 2021 with a simple login to access the presentations again at your leisure until the 31st December 2021 (a total of 92 days access).
It is our aim to provide you with the opportunity to embrace contemporary research and the role of cervical afferents in Cervicogenic and Primary Headache. We look forward to you joining us.

The 2nd Watson Headache® Institute International Symposium 2021 Online program is designed to…

  • deepen your knowledge
  • challenge paradigms
  • stimulate conversation
  • advance your clinical skills
  • improve the collective understanding

… about the prevention and management of not only Cervicogenic, but Primary Headache and non-headache conditions in which the Trigemino CERVICAL nucleus is thought to be involved.

As with previous symposia, (scientific and clinical) researchers and clinicians will be presenting contemporary high-quality research and perspectives on a wide range of topics ensuring relevant, accessible and patient centric care.

Watson Headache® Institute

Watson Headache® Institute, an international educational body based in Adelaide, South Australia. Through this organisation, Dr Dean Watson (PhD) has been educating the pubic and health professionals for 25 years (see more below). On this occasion, the Institute is promoting the Inaugural International Headache Symposium, ‘Turning Headache Upside Down’ in Milan Italy May 2018. This has included Dean bringing together the Scientific Program along with Platform and Workshop presenters.

Watson Headache® Institute educating the public and health professionals in the causative role of upper cervical disorders in headache and migraine.

Watson Headache® Institute advocating that a skilled and specific manual therapy approach (Watson Headache® Approach) to examination of the upper cervical spine becomes routine when investigating primary headache conditions.


ManualMENTE - Formazione in Movimento

ManualMENTE, after more than 10 years of experience in the organization of residential training courses for physiotherapists in manual therapy and neuromusculoskeletal rehabilitation, Simone Scaglioni, physiotherapist and teacher in manual therapy, has created this new organization and is expanding with the help of a committed team. All this with the conviction that the best possible investment for a real success in serving their patients is valuable training. Wanting to continue in the direction of contributing to the improvement of the profession, offering colleagues the best training experiences from the international scene. With exceptional experience and a base in Italy (whilst reaching out internationally), the ManualMENTE team are a perfect choice to organise the Symposium.

ManualMENTE has offered advanced training courses in neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapy for years, proposing the best from international research.

ManualMENTE courses are not simple events, but real experiences giving emotions to leave in a family environment. Always with the utmost professionalism.


Meet Your Speakers

Dr Dean Watson

Dr Dean Watson graduated in 1976 with Dip Tech Physio, subsequently with Grad Dip Adv Manip Ther (Hons), Master Manip Ther (University of South Australia), culminating with a PhD in 2017 (Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia).

Dean’s PhD investigated the role of cervical afferents in migraine, which for the first time demonstrated a manual cervical intervention (the Watson Headache® Approach) ameliorating the underlying disorder in migraine.

Since 1990, Dean has treated headache and migraine conditions exclusively, accumulating over 35000 hours of clinical experience with over 8500 patients. From this unparalleled experience, the Watson Headache® Approach has evolved. Dean has taught his critically acclaimed course and presented internationally on numerous occasions since 1997, the Approach now being practised by over 3500 practitioners in 25 countries.

Dean is Director of the Watson Headache® Institute and Watson Headache® Clinic and has published in Cephalalgia and Headache, the premier, peer reviewed headache publications. He remains an active clinician, researcher, educationalist, and author, and is currently an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of South Australia.

Ms Elizabeth Huzzey

Elizabeth Huzzey has over 30 years in clinical practice with a special interest in drug free treatment options for headache and migraine management. She qualified with a Master of Headache Disorders from the University of Copenhagen and the world-renowned Danish Headache Centre in 2020. Here she learnt from giants in the headache world, Olesen, Goadsby, Bernstein, Steiner and Sinclair to name a few.
Elizabeth is Project Leader and Principal Investigator for EdACHe – Education and assessment for competence in headaches – an osteopathic foundation funded project aimed at improving the standard of headache knowledge among UK Osteopaths and allied health practitioners.

As an Osteopath, Acupuncturist, Lecturer and Researcher Elizabeth has spent her career exploring approaches to headache treatments from experts in different fields; neurology, neuroscience, physiotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine to name a few. It is on this journey that she met Dr Dean Watson PhD in 2011 when attending the Watson Headache® Institute Level 1 Foundation course in the UK and later the Level 2 Consolidation course in Italy.

Elizabeth firmly believes that physical medicine has an important role to play in headache treatment and progress should be made through education, collaboration and research.

Roger O'Toole

Roger O’Toole graduated with first class honours as a physiotherapist in 2002, and soon thereafter developed an interest in chronic conditions, completing post graduate training in advanced physiology and chronic pain management. Since 2004, Roger has focused his interest in chronic conditions into headache and migraine treatment and management.

This interest has involved taking on further study including completion of the Level I Foundation Seminar and Level II Advanced Seminar presented by the Watson Headache® Institute. In 2013 Roger was among the first group of therapists worldwide to become a Watson Headache® Certified Practitioner.

Roger has acquired a unique and highly specific skill set which has culminated in the opening in 2012 of one of the first headache and migraine treatment centres dedicated to using the Watson Headache® Approach (apart from Dean Watson’s clinic in Adelaide).

Having consulted for over 5000 hours with over 1200 clients, Roger is one of the most experienced practitioners in Australia in using the Watson Headache® Approach.

Roger’s unique skill set and experience have seen him sought out by other therapists with an interest in headache and migraine. This sees Roger hosting clinicians from around Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, in his clinic to help them better understand the role of the neck in headache and migraine, with the hope that the Watson Headache® Approach will continue to broaden its reach.

Roger has enjoyed becoming engaged in research over the past 2 years in collaboration/conjunction with the University of South Australia and the Watson Headache® Institute and is excited about the future of manual therapy in primary headache conditions.

Ms Trina Morris

Ms Trina Morris hails from Vancouver, Canada where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Kinesiology (Human Movements) and Psychology (Neuropsychology) at Simon Fraser University. Trina graduated from the University of Queensland with a Masters of Physiotherapy Studies in 2008 and has completed numerous post-graduate courses on the cervical and thoracic spine, breathing dysfunction, Pilates, and pain management.

In 2010 Trina attended her first Watson Headache® course which sparked an interest in helping patients with headaches and migraines. She has progressed from a ‘generalist’ to a niche practitioner specializing in the cervical spine and patients suffering from headache and migraine. In 2014 Trina became a Watson Headache® Certified Practitioner. On successful completion of the Level 3 Certification Watson Headache® Institute course Trina divides her time between a specialty headache clinic (Headache Neck and Jaw Clinic) and a general physiotherapy clinic (Sandgate Physical Health Clinic). Trina has treated patients experiencing headache and migraine for the past 10 years, cumulating over 10,000 hours of clinical experience.

Trina has been an invited speaker at the Watson Headache® Symposiums since it’s inauguration in 2016 and has since presented in Sydney, Milan, and for the Australian Physiotherapy Association in Brisbane. She also played a role leading the workshop in Milan on the assessment of the upper cervical spine.

Over the past 2 years, Trina on behalf of the Watson Headache® Institute, has been actively involved in collaborative research with the University of South Australia. Trina believes that credible research is crucial in the advocacy of cervical afferents in primary headache and is currently focusing on the role of physiotherapy techniques for those people suffering from severe headache and migraine.

Dr Julie Walters

Dr Julie Walters graduated from the Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2004 working in private practice and with Elite sports teams in Adelaide before returning to University to complete her PhD. After finishing her PhD in 2011, Julie has progressed to become Program Director of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honours and Graduate Entry Masters programs at the University of South Australia (UniSA).  

Julie’s research has focused on academic teaching, headache, and the use of placebo in manual therapy research. Furthermore, Julie and UniSA are collaborating with the Watson Headache® Institute on further projects investigating various aspects of migraine, cluster headache and post-concussion syndrome (post traumatic headache).  

Throughout her 10 years in academia, Julie has maintained a passion for clinical practice, and is currently completing her Masters in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Recently Julie completed the Level 3, Watson Headache® Certified Practitioner requirements.

Dr Elliot Shevel

Dr Elliot Shevel qualified as a Dentist in 1967, and subsequently specialized in Maxillo-Facial and Oral Surgery in 1972, going on to graduate with a Medical degree in 1977.

His interest in headaches started in 1992 when he developed a new intra-oral device for the treatment of Temporo-Mandibular Joint problems. The device, which he called the “Posture Modifying Appliance” or PMA, achieved its effect by relaxing the jaw and neck muscles. To Elliot’s surprise, some of his patients reported that their migraines had improved. Elliot thought that he had found the answer to migraine and opened The Headache Clinic in Johannesburg.

Three years later, Elliot found that gently compressing the pulsating frontal artery of one of jis migraine patients immediately stopped her pain. When he removed the pressure, the pain returned. This made him realize that closing the arteries in patients diagnosed with artery pain would be an effective treatment – Elliot designed surgical procedures to close off the extracranial scalp arteries and the maxillary arteries in selected patients, with excellent permanent elimination of pain.

Then, in late in 2018, Elliot observed that when certain tender points in the tendons attaching the cervical muscles to the skull were injected with local anaesthetic, the artery pain disappeared. This made him realize that the primary pain source was in the tendons, primarily along the superior nuchal line.

Elliot then developed a technique for desensitizing the tendons, and designed a special instrument with which this is easily achieved. When the involved tendons have been desensitized, there is permanent pain relief. The treatment is equally effective for all primary headaches, so since then he has not had to do any arterial surgery, and he seldom has to use the PMA.

This confirmed three things for Elliot:

Migraine is not a neurological disease

All the different “types” of primary headaches are merely different pain patterns, but with the same underlying pathophysiology.

Primary headaches can be cured.

Associate Professor Alan Pearce

Associate Professor Alan Pearce is the pre-eminent concussion researcher in Australia and internationally recognised for his work into mild brain injury in sport.

A/Prof Pearce has a PhD in neurophysiology from the Department of Medicine at University of Western Australia and has since published over 200 publications, including two edited books on exercise neuroscience across a 20-year career. His work has been focussed on recovery and neuroplasticity changes associated with brain injury for the last 15 years.

A/Prof Pearce has been the lead researcher reporting the first studies on long-term outcomes of repeated concussions in Australian Rules footballers in 2014, Rugby league and union players in 2017 and most recently published in 2021, the largest study completed on retired athletes with concussion and head trauma history. He was also the lead author of the first published CTE study of former Australian Rules footballer Graham “Polly” Farmer in 2020.

With over 200 research publications to his name, he has conducted over 500 assessments of concussion in people at all levels of sport, but also those who have experienced concussion outside of sport.

A/Prof Pearce is also an experienced keynote speaker at conferences, and also presents public seminars to educate the community about concussion, how it can be reduced and managed as well as being a regular media commentator for the advocacy of safer sport. Alan’s expertise is internationally recognised with articles written about his work in the New York Times, The Guardian UK, BBC, Reuters, as well as front- and back-page articles on his work in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, The Monthly, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph, and feature reports for Sunday Night, SBS Insight, ABC 7.30 and The Project.

Prof Dr Fabrizio Benedetti

Fabrizio Benedetti, MD is Professor of Neurophysiology and Human Physiology at the University of Turin Medical School, Turin, Italy, and Director of Medicine and Physiology of Hypoxia at Plateau Rosà, Switzerland. He has been nominated member of The Academy of Europe and of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain. He is author of the book Placebo Effects (Oxford University Press, 3rd Edition, 2020), which received the Medical Book Award of the British Medical Association. 

Fabrizio’s previous books include The Patient’s Brain (Oxford 2010), and Placebo (Springer 2014). He has also been granted the Medical Book Award of the British Medical Association in 2009; the Seymour Solomon Award of the American Headache Society in 2012; the William S. Kroger Award of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis in 2015, and the EFIC-IBSA Award for the best paper in the European Journal of Pain in 2015.

Dr Claudia Clerici

After Dr Claudia Clerici graduated in Motor Sciences and in Physical therapy, she went on to deepen her knowledge in Manual Therapy and Therapeutic Exercise. Soon, afterward she began to take on training assignments and was invited to speak at several national and international conferences.

Among the many training courses Claudia attended, she completed the Certificate in Manual Therapy at Curtin University and the four-year Master in Manual Therapy in Milan. Claudia also attended a DMT program (Doctor in Manual Therapy) in the USA and she obtained an Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapist certificate at the Master in Physical Therapy, Manual Therapy and Therapeutic exercise at Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna.

Claudia has always been self employed treating patients with neuromuscoloskeletal problems. She also has several years of experience in elite sports as a physical therapist and athletic trainer as well.

On September 2016 Claudia started the cooperation with “Manualmente Formazione in Movimento” as event and courses co-organizer.

Dr. Kelly Cheever

Dr. Kelly Cheever received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Southern Utah University in 2012. Upon completion of his undergraduate education, he continued and worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the Football team at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he also received a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science. It was there that he developed a love for research and the importance of the cervical spine in considering the wellbeing of contact sport athletes. This research experience as a graduate student compelled him to pursue further academic training and subsequent move took him across the country to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to complete a PHD.

While a doctoral student he continued learning about the elaborate role the cervical cephalic connection plays in multisensory integration and regulation of posture and locomotion. Furthermore, he continued to explore the influence chronic exposure to repetitive head impacts played on the structures of the cervical spine in contact sport athletes. Kelly also served clinically as head athletic trainer at a collegiate preparatory academy and the research coordinator in the Temple University Concussion Assessment Research and Education (TU CARE) research laboratory.

Kelly now serves as an assistant professor in the department of Kinesiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he continues to balance research with clinical practice as a working athletic trainer. His research interest surrounds the long-term health outcomes associated with contact sport participation and the identification of comorbid pathology following concussion. Kelly has published several highly cited journal articles on the differentiation and identification of cervical symptomology following a concussion and the influence of repetitive head impacts of cervical sensorimotor function.

Dr César Fernández-de-las-Peñas

Dr César Fernández-de-las-Peñas is a clinical researcher at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Spain. He has published around 500 publications and he is first author of approximately 140 of them. Most papers concentrate on clinical human pain research, drug screening and interaction between motor control and chronic pain. The most relevant topics of his research is focus on neck pain, headaches and neuro-physiological effects of manual therapy.

César’s research activities are concentrated on biomedical sciences within neuroscience. The specific research areas have been on pain and assessment of pain in volunteers and chronic pain patients. The main focus is on human clinical chronic pain research. He worked with headache and TMD patients from more than 15 years ago in a specialized clinic in Spain

Assoc Prof Steve Milanese

Steve Milanese is currently Associate Professor in Physiotherapy in the School of Health Sciences, the Program Director of the Masters of Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy degree program and a Director of the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence. Steve also currently holds adjunct professor positions in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at iNTI University, Malaysia, and University of Santos Tomas, Phillippines, and a visiting adjunct staff member of the faculty physiotherapy at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute (Deemed to be University), Chennai India.

He has postgraduate qualifications in Ergonomics, Manual Therapy and Sports Physiotherapy and teaches into both the undergraduate physiotherapy program, and the postgraduate Masters of Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy Practice program. Steve’s areas of teaching include the topics of Evidence Based Practice, manual therapy and musculoskeletal physiotherapy and use of electrophysical agents.

Steve has authored over 90 peer reviewed publications in the areas of ergonomics, evidence based practice, manual therapy and health care, and presented at over 25 national and international conferences. He currently supervises 6 PhD students. His research areas include tendon recovery post-exercise, learning styles of allied health students in clinical education, adolescent health, PTSD and human performance

Steve is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (UK) and Bellberry Human Research ethics committee. He is a registered physiotherapist in Australia and UK.

He was awarded the Excellent Educator Award – UniSA in 2012 (Student nominated award for the academic staff who demonstrated innovation in teaching, engagement with students and enhancement of the student learning experience), the Inaugural Maitland Award (Best paper presented at Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference – SA chapter) in 2010 and the Silver Quill Award from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, for knowledge transfer in 2003.

Prof Dr Harry von Piekartz

Harry is a Professor at the University of Applied Science in Osnabruck (Germany) and is study director of the Master of Science in Musculoskeletal Therapy. He is senior IMTA Teacher of the International Maitland Teacher Association (IMTA) and founder of Cranial Facial Therapy Academy. He successfully completed his Master of Science degree in Physiotherapy at the University of Leuven (Belgium). His thesis was on “The Neurodynamic Testing of the Mandibular Nerve: Reliability and norm-data”.

In 2005 he received his PhD in Rehabilitationscience on the Staffordshire University(UK). He directs several musculoskeletal research projects and works part-time in his specialized clinic in Ootmarsum, The Netherlands.

He published 4 books in 3 languages and more than 90 peer-reviewed articles in the field of physical therapy, pain and motor control and is specialized in neuromusculoskeletal assessment and treatment of head-neck face impairments and pain.

Dr Richard (Rick) Kring

Dr. Kring graduated from Physical Therapy School in 1997. Dr. Kring completed a three-year residency and Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (FAAOMPT) from the Ola Grimsby Institute. Received his PhD in 2008 emphasizing central pain mechanisms within neurophysiology.

Dr. Kring currently serves as the Director of Clinical Research and Clinical Manager in Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. As Director of Research, he assists in the development and implementation of research throughout rehabilitation. He is currently active in research, authorship, as well as teaching and lecturing throughout the US and Internationally. Dr. Kring lectures at State, National, and International Universities and Conferences.

Clinical Interests include: All aspects of Manual Therapy, physiologically dosed exercise prescription, cervical-ocular-cranial manifestations of Whiplash Associated Disorders and concussion, neurophysiology, education, regional interdependencies, and the impact of basic science research on clinical treatment.

Dr Lis Dreijer Hammond

Lis trained and worked as a Counselling Psychologist in the UK, specialising in psychosocial adjustment to long-term conditions. She worked clinically in brain injury rehabilitation and pain management before moving to an academic role as Senior Lecturer and researcher. Lis has developed the Integrative Model of Adjustment to Chronic Conditions (IMACC), which is a theory about how people adapt to life with long-term conditions or other lasting effects of adverse life events.

In 2019 Lis moved back to her home country, Denmark, where she is continuing her research work as an independent researcher, alongside offering training in applied use of the IMACC model and rehabilitation psychology in general.

Lis is also Founding Member and Chair of the International Network for Research into Psychosocial Adjustment to Long-term Conditions (INRePALC).

Damien Cummins

Damien Cummins has been practicing physiotherapy for 27 years, having graduated from Sydney University in 1990. His junior years as a physio began at John Hunter Hospital and later in 1993 at Howzat, Newcastle. In late 1993, he ventured overseas to America where he spent a total of nine years practising physiotherapy, interspersed with global travels including an 18 month journey through Europe, Africa and Australia. While in the USA, he lived in Michigan and North Carolina and gained a different perspective on physical therapy and health care.

Since returning to Australia in 2002, Damien has focused his time growing a successful physiotherapy practice in Mayfield and continuing his education journey to support his passion for treating head and neck pain.

Damien is credentialed in the McKenzie and Mulligan methods of spinal treatment and has been focusing on mechanical spinal treatment over the past 15 years. He is a Level 3 Watson Headache® Certified Practitioner.

Damien found a special interest in treatment of headache and migraine through his training with Dean Watson in Sydney and the Watson Headache® Institute. This has prompted him to be the founder of The Newcastle Headache Clinic in 2014 with the goal of providing an alternate evidence based treatment to drugs and injections for headache and migraine sufferers.

Damien is currently carrying out research in the Physical Signs of Cervicogenic Headache within a Masters/PhD program at The University of Newcastle.

Dr Anthony Schwarzer

Clearly when looking at the diagnostic criteria for CGH significant emphasis is placed on the appropriate response to anaesthetic blocks of the upper cervical nerves; anaesthetic blocks remain the ‘gold standard’ for diagnosing CGH.

However, they are not without their limitations; blocking information from the C2-3 disc is problematic – why? Why is it that the CO-C1 segment is not often investigated?  And just what is an appropriate response to an anaesthetic block?  

Dr Anthony Schwarzer has published widely in the area and continues to consult performing anaesthetic blocks regularly for over 3 decades investigating CGH and in doing so identifying the segment/s involved.

Find out how an expert in the field approaches this procedure, and how does one differentiate C1-2 from C2-3, when neuro anatomically there is segmental overlapping of information.  And assuming a successful outcome what options are available?

Anthony’s intimate knowledge in this field will bring a contemporary authoritative perspective to the role of what is clearly a powerful ally in the management of our patients.

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2nd Watson Headache® Institute International Symposium 2021 Online
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