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The Neuroplasticity Model of Chiropractic Care – London

Course Date

Start: 20th April 2019 @ 09:00am
End: 21st April 2019 @ 13:00pm

Course Location

Holiday Inn – London Regent’s Park
Carburton Street, London, United Kingdom, England


Course Description


This event will start with a brief look at past chiropractic theories and what research evidence there is pro or against such theories. The Neuroplasticity model will also be introduced, and a brief introduction to how the brain works, and how it creates inner maps of the body and of the world, and how important these are for your experience of reality. This will be followed by a brief overview about how the brain changes in response to internal and external stressors of everyday life and what this means to our health and function. The evidence about how spinal dysfunction can impact this will also be covered. Heidi will differentiate between good healthy brain adaptations vs maladaptive brain changes, and what impact chiropractic adjustments have on brain adaptations. What research evidence tells you about what you can do to help your brain adapt in a healthy direction will be discussed. Then spinal function and dysfunction will be covered, including what neuroscientists know about how the brain controls spinal movement patterns. The point of doing scientific studies will also be discussed, and Heidi will share how research works and what types of ‘evidence’ you can get from various types of studies. The importance of evidence based practice will be discussed and highlighted throughout this course. Heidi will then cover the many studies that have been done that show spinal dysfunction negatively affects brain function, ie has a maladaptive neural plastic effect on the brain. This will be followed by exactly what happens from a neurophysiological perspective when we adjust the spine, according to published studies. And after this Heidi will discuss the many studies that have shown adjustments have a neural plastic effect on somatosensory processing. She will also cover the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain where these somatosensory processing changes have been shown to take place. And she will discuss what this might mean for our patients in practice. She will then cover how chiropractic adjustments have been shown to change movement control of both arms and legs as well as other muscles of the body in multiple research articles. Heidi will also explain what this means, practically, for our patients, and for us. Then Heidi will cover the evidence we have showing our adjustments also change multimodal sensory integration, and the practical implications of this. Finally, Heidi will cover the importance of translating research for the public and other health care providers, and will provide you with examples of how to do this. She will also cover the importance of communicating this research ethically and honestly and in a language that makes sense to your audience. She will provide you with simple tools and resources you can implement on Monday morning.


Learning outcomes (after this event attendees should be able to):

  1. Explain chiropractic- relevant basic science neurophysiology research in an easy to understand language to patients and other health care providers
  2. Explain at least one way that adjusting the spine impacts the central nervous system
  3. Discuss why the bone out of place (MOPI) model is no longer a good model to discuss with the public
  4. Describe what neuroplasticity is, give examples of adaptive vs maladaptive plasticity, describe sensorimotor integration, multimodal integration and inner brain/body schemas
  5. Summarise the essential functions of the spine and describe how the brain senses and controls spinal movement
  6. Describe how maladaptive plasticity can cause symptoms, such as pain
  7. Describe the three components of Evidence Based Practice and differentiate between clinical science and basic science


Presenter Bio

Dr Heidi Haavik is a chiropractor who has also gained a PhD 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 is based on cutting edge neuroscience research performed over the past two decades (the book is available 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 dysfunctional spinal segments of the spine 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 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 over 19 years. She was awarded her PhD 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 is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ontario, Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Canada and was a member of the World Federation of Chiropractic’s Research Council for ten years. Dr Haavik 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. She 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 health care providers (


Course Credits


Course Contact Name

Heidi Haavik

Course Contact Email


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