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(The presentations are listed here in the order presented at the 2016 SDPS)

Click this link to order Summit presentations from 2015 & 2017


Keynote Dr. Robert Sapolsky did not allow his presentation to be sold as part of this video package. He has permitted the viewing of the Q&A from his talk.

Website where you can view his Stanford lectures: Robert Sapolsky Rocks

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Placebo and Nocebo: Different Contexts, Different Pains

Fabrizio Benedetti, MD

BIO: Fabrizio Benedetti, M.D. is Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Turin Medical School and at the National Institute of Neuroscience, Turin, Italy. He has been nominated member of The Academy of Europe and of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain. He was consultant of the Placebo Project at the US National Institute of Health and member of the six strong Placebo Study Group at Harvard University, and held positions at the University of California and the University of Texas. He identified some basic mechanisms of placebo responses across a variety of medical conditions, such as the involvement of endogenous opioids in placebo analgesia and of cholecystokinin in nocebo hyperalgesia, as well as the neuronal circuit that is affected by placebos in Parkinson’s disease. He is author of the book Placebo Effects (Oxford University Press 2008), which received the Highly Commended Book Award of the British Medical Association, and The Patient’s Brain (Oxford University Press 2010).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in A Manual Therapy Setting

Alison Sim

Bio: Alison Sim has a keen interest in educating health professionals about the latest science surrounding pain, especially pain that hangs around- chronic or persisting pain. Pain science can be quite disheartening as a topic- there are no magic bullets or quick fixes. This can make engaging with this material difficult, with the result that practitioners might choose to avoid exploring the material at all.

Alison's goals in teaching on the topic are to take the science and help practitioners translate it into tangible, clinical concepts and tools. Alison qualified as an osteopath in 2001 in Melbourne, Australia. She is currently undertaking a Masters of Pain Management through the Sydney University Medical School and Royal North Shore Pain Management Research Institute. She has lectured at Australian Catholic University, Victoria University, and RMIT in a variety of science and clinical subject. She has also worked as part of the teaching team at Deakin University Medical School.

Website: Beyond Mechanical Pain

Twitter: @BeyondMechanicalPain

The Professionalization of Massage Therapy Through Integration With Pain Science

Ravensara Travillian, Ph.D.

BIO: My name is Ravensara S. Travillian, PhD, NA-C, LMP, and I have been a licensed massage practitioner in Washington state since 1992. In 2006, I completed my PhD in Biomedical & Health Informatics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. I practiced at the Refugee Clinic at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for 7 years, providing massage therapy for pain relief, insomnia, and other symptoms for refugees living with the aftereffects of having survived war, genocide, and other forms of trauma. In private practice, I have provided massage therapy for veterans with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, geriatric clients living with the effects of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, clients with high-risk pregnancies, and parents at high risk of child abuse and neglect due to intergenerational effects of previous abuse and of low socioeconomic status.

Additionally, I have served the profession as a Board Member for the Massage Therapy Foundation, and as Chair of the Best Practices Committee, tasked with developing and communicating best practice guidelines to ensure that clients can depend that an entry-level massage therapist knows how to deliver effective massage therapy appropriately and safely. I was named as a Scholar at the University of Washington Institute for Translational Health Sciences, an institute whose purpose is to "translate" clinical needs into the basis for research, and to "translate" research findings into useful clinical treatments.

My current research focuses on developing a user-friendly and universally-accessible evidence base for massage practitioners, clients, and potential healthcare colleagues to draw upon for reliable and valid reality-based information about massage therapy. I am currently completing a book on massage research and information literacy, and exploring the feasibility of developing a master’s degree program in advanced-practice professional massage therapy for vulnerable and underserved populations.

Twitter: @RavenTravillian

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Willingness To Have Pain & Commitment To Valued Living In Chronic Pain

Kevin Vowles, Ph.D.

Bio: Kevin Vowles completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at West Virginia University in 2004. From 2005 to 2009, he was employed by the Centre for Pain Research and Services at the University of Bath. Beginning in 2009, he accepted a position to provide psychology leadership in developing and novel interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program delivered interface of primary and secondary care interface. After three years of trial funding, this program was deemedby the UK's National Health Service to be highly effective in both clinical and financial terms and permanent funding was secured.

In 2012, he moved to the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico, where he is currently an Associate Professor, to continue his work in the development and evaluation of treatment methodologies for those experiencing chronic pain conditions. He has been working in the field of chronic pain and illness for the majority of his career and has published over 65 articles in the area since 2002.

Motivation, Confidence, and Communication

Bronnie Lennox Thompson, Ph.D.

BIO: About me: I trained as an occupational therapist, and graduated in 1984. Since then I’ve continued study at postgraduate level and my papers have included business skills, ergonomics, mental health therapies, and psychology. I completed by Masters in Psychology in 1999, and started my PhD in 2007. I have many passions, but one of them is to help people experiencing chronic health problems learn to achieve their potential. I have worked in the field of chronic pain management, helping people develop ‘self management’ skills for 16 years. Many of the skills are directly applicable to people with other health conditions.

My way of working: collaboratively – all people have limitations and vulnerabilities – as well as strengths and potential. I use a cognitive and behavioural approach – therapy isn’t helpful unless there are visible changes! I don’t use this approach exclusively, because it is necessary to ‘borrow’ at times from other approaches, but I encourage ongoing evaluation of everything that is put forward as ‘therapy’.

I’m also an educator. I take this role very seriously – it is as important to health care as research and clinical skill. I offer an active knowledge of the latest research, integrated with current clinical practice, and communicated to clinicians working directly with people experiencing chronic ill health. I’m a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Orthopaedic surgery & Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Otago Christchurch Health Sciences. Remember though: this blog represents my opinion, and not the opinion of my employer. I also offer courses, training and supervision for therapists working with people experiencing chronic ill health.

Website: HealthSkills Blog

Twitter: @Adiemusfree

Keeping the Bio Consistent With Psychosocial Intervention*

Greg Lehman, DC, MScPT

BIO: Greg is a clinician and researcher in exercise and spine biomechanics. He received his MSc in Spine Biomechanics at the world famous Waterloo Spine Biomechanics Laboratory researching manual therapy and spinal function. Greg has been teaching for more than 15 years in the clinical biomechanics field but with an emphasis on how biomechanics fits within the biopsychosocial model of care. Greg has a special interest in pain science and how neuroscience research can better explain many clinical conditions than the traditional biomechanical model. Greg has not told a patient they have bad posture, a SICK scapula, altered pelvic positions, misaligned joints or that they needed joint stability in years and believes that the research firmly supports this view. He looks forward to convincing you as well. Greg believes that both the biomechanics and pain science research leads to a much simpler approach to all pain and injuries and that many of our clinical approaches don’t need to be completely discarded but rather reconceptualized. Greg runs two websites ( and and is also an Instructor with The Running Clinic - a leader in running injury prevention courses for therapists and teaches Physiofundamentals: Reconciling biomechanics with pain science.

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Twitter: @GregLehman

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Clinical Application of the Pain Paradigm: Challenging the Challenge

Michael Shacklock, DipPhysio, MAppSc, FACP

Michael received his graduate qualification at the Auckland School of Physiotherapy, New Zealand, in 1980. He worked in public hospitals in the medical, surgical, paediatrics, orthopaedics, intensive care and burns areas around New Zealand before being employed in private practises, treating spinal and sports injuries in Nelson and Auckland. In 1985 he moved to Adelaide, Australia, working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and private practises around Adelaide.  He then completed his Masters degree (ManTher) at the University of South Australia in 1993.  He received a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists for his monograph and international best seller text book, Clinical Neurodynamics, Elsevier, Oxford, 2005.  

In addition to his neurodynamics book, he has published two other books, Moving in on Pain (Elsevier) and Biomechanics of the Nervous System: Breig Revisited.  He also authored, co-authored and mentored numerous research projects and articles, commentaries and clinical papers in international peer reviewed journals and is a reviewer for, and is on the International Advisory Board of, Manual Therapy journal, United Kingdom.  His special interests are neurodynamics, pain and musculoskeletal function.  

He continues to give invited presentations and workshops at conferences, elite sporting and sports medicine facilities, universities, hospitals and seminar hosts around the world. Michael is an active clinician, has more than 30 years' experience in treating patients and is recognised as an international leader in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders with a neural aspect

Website: Neurodynamics Solutions

Twitter: @neurodynamics

Practical Pain Science In the Clinic

Sandy Hilton, DPT

Bio: Sandy graduated from Pacific University (Oregon) in 1988 with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy and earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Des Moines University in December 2013. She has worked in multiple settings across the US with neurologic and orthopaedic emphasis combining these with a focus in pelvic rehabilitation for pain and dysfunction since 1995. Sandy teaches Health Professionals and Community Education classes on returning to function following back and pelvic pain, and co-teaches Advanced Level Male Pelvic Floor Evaluation/Treatment for Entropy Physiotherapy as well as Neurodynamics and Sensory Integration for Pelvic Pain and a Practical Application of Pain Science course with Pelvic Health Solutions.

Sandy’s clinical interest is chronic pain with a particular interest in complex pelvic pain disorders for men and women.  Sandy is also pursuing opportunities for collaboration in research into the clinical treatment of pelvic pain conditions.  Sandy has co-authored two papers, 2 book chapters and "Why Pelvic Pain Hurts" a patient focussed book.

Website: Entropy Physiotherapy

Twitter: SandyHiltonPT

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Insights On Movement From A Feldenkrais Perspective

Todd Hargrove

BIO: Todd Hargrove is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, Certified Rolfer, and author. Todd graduated from Hamilton College in 1990 with a B.A. in Economics, and from the University of Washington School of Law in 1995 with a J.D. While working as an attorney, Todd developed chronic neck and back pain, but eliminated it through movement therapy, exercise and bodywork. In the process, he developed a passion for understanding chronic pain, its relationship to movement, and using this understanding to help others.

In 2005, Todd quit his career as an attorney to pursue his interest in helping others with their movement. Since then, he’s been practicing as a massage therapist and Feldenkrais practitioner in Seattle. Since 2008 he has written a blog at, which focuses on applying a modern understanding of pain science and neuroscience to movement-based therapies. In 2014 he published A Guide to Better Movement: The Science and Practice of Moving with More Skill and Less Pain.Todd has a lifelong interest in sports, and has competed in tennis, ping-pong, billiards, soccer, and squash.

He also has a broad interest in a wide variety of movement disciplines including yoga, Pilates, martial arts, dance, sport specific training, weight training, running, kettle bells, and corrective exercise.

Website: Better Movement

Twitter: @ToddHargrove