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Presenter Bios & Abstracts

Prof David Nicholls PhD, MA, GradDip, MPNZ, SFHEA

Dave Nicholls is a Professor of Critical Physiotherapy in the School of Clinical Sciences at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand.  He is a physiotherapist, lecturer, researcher and writer, with a passion for critical thinking in and around the physical therapies.  Dave is the founder of the Critical Physiotherapy Network (CPN), an organisation that promotes the use of cultural studies, education, history, philosophy, sociology, and a range of other disciplines in the study of the profession’s past, present and future.  He is also co-founder of the International Physiotherapy History Association (IPHA) Executive, and founding Executive member of the Environmental Physiotherapy Association (EPA). David’s own research work focuses on the philosophy, sociology, and critical history of physiotherapy, and considers how physiotherapy might need to adapt to the changing economy of health care in the 21st century.  He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, many as first author.  His first book – The End of Physiotherapy (Routledge, 2017) – was the first book-length critical history of the profession. A second sole-authored book – Physiotherapy Otherwise – was published in early 2022 as a free pdf/eBook (available from He was co-editor on the first collection of critical physiotherapy writings – Manipulating Practices (Cappelen Damm, 2018) – and was the lead editor for the follow-up – Mobilising Knowledge (Routledge, 2020). He is also very active on social media, writing weekly on contemporary critical physiotherapy issues. In early 2023 he established a new site specialising in post-critical healthcare ( He has taught in physiotherapy programmes in the UK and New Zealand for over 30 years and has presented his work around the world. 

Title: The end of the professions: What will the post-professional era mean for osteopathy?


Abstract: All of the professions are entering a post-professional era in which they will play are much more marginal role in the organisation off health care than they have done in the past. The health professions have been saved from the kinds of disruption that has affected areas like banking, journalism, manufacturing, public administration, travel and tourism, but change is certainly coming, and the turn in recent decades towards consumer healthcare, the atomisation of the body, and global digital disruption, all point to the fact that we are entering perhaps the most turbulent time in the history of the healthcare professions. 

Central to the disruption to come will be a dramatic shift in the role that established professions like osteopathy play in the future of healthcare. Governments and publics around the world are looking to the health professions to point the way, but osteopathy, like many Western healthcare professions, is only now waking up to the need for it to think beyond the body-as-machine. And never before has a working knowledge of sociology and philosophy been more important, because osteopathy faces a difficult existential question: does it want to remain the same and risk being marginalised in a post-professional world, or does it want to remain relevant but potentially lose the identity and prestige it has worked so hard to obtain? In this talk, I will explain what post-professionalism means, why it’s a real and pressing issue, what health professions like osteopathy are already doing about it, why most of these responses are ill-advised, and suggest some radical alternatives.

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Paul Lagerman

Paul Lagerman is a Physiotherapist and Clinical Advisor for APM Workcare in NZ. He is also widely known as The Naked Physio through his interactions on social media and his writing on his blog site by the same name.

He began his career in the U.K. as a Sports Therapist in the mid-1990s working in a variety of settings including semi-professional football, physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics. He advanced his career into physiotherapy, which led to a specific focus in pain management and working in this field within the National Health Service. Having spent 5 years working in the NHS Paul emigrated to New Zealand, and over the last 10 years has settled and enjoys the kiwi way of life. 

His main role, a clinical advisor, involves the mentoring, supervision and support of clinicians throughout New Zealand. He is also involved in strategic change and innovation within the company, with a focus on improving organisational systems and streamlining clinical care. Paul also works in a consultancy role, working with people with complex pain conditions.

Since arriving in New Zealand, Paul has taught his Know Pain course, invited and organised international tutors to New Zealand to deliver courses, spoken at various conferences within New Zealand and Internationally, and has embarked in further study.  In his spare time, he enjoys DIY, fishing, competing in various events around New Zealand and loves nothing more than getting out into his garden and reap the rewards of home grown Kai.

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Dr Karen Faisandier

Dr Karen Faisandier (DClinPsych) is a clinical psychologist and founder of The Integrative Practice; a holistic psychology service she has run in Wellington, New Zealand, since 2016.

Dr Karen’s innovative service integrates psychological, nutritional and lifestyle strategies into a practical recovery framework for adults experiencing mental health concerns resulting from chronic stress, anxiety and overwhelm. 

Dr Karen enjoys lifelong learning focused on nutrition, integrative medicine, and holistic mental health. In addition to her psychology degrees from Massey University (BA Psych (Hons); DClinPsych) she has completed postgraduate modules with the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM). She is also a full member of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists and the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association and keeps up to date with the research in psychological science and integrative medicine. 

She is passionate about educating and inspiring the public about health and well-being through her work with Project Revive - an online health hub she officially founded in 2021. Project Revive shares articles, courses and resources to support mental health and well-being.

Dr Karen’s vision for Project Revive is to promote an empowered approach to lasting health and enable people to achieve calm, energised and connected lives. She hopes to inspire people about their health and ultimately to shape a healthier, happier world.

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Ben Darlow

Ben Darlow is a musculoskeletal physiotherapy specialist practising in Wellington and an Associate Professor in the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice at the University of Otago Wellington. Ben’s key research interests are the assessment and measurement of health beliefs about common musculoskeletal conditions, understanding how these beliefs have been influenced and the impact that these have on well-being, and designing, testing, and implementing interventions to improve knowledge, health care delivery, and outcomes. Ben has also led research exploring interprofessional education.

Title: Moving the journey forward: using the patient story to understand their past and co-construct their future

People’s understanding of their health and their heath conditions is built on information and experiences that they have gained over time. This understanding informs their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. 


Explanations provided by health professionals have a key influence on people’s understanding of back and neck pain, what the likely outcome will be, and what they should do about it. These have the potential to positively, or negatively, affect the person.


This presentation will discuss: 

  • The different types of evidence available to inform explanations about back and neck pain and how these can be explored. 

  • Opportunities to seek new evidence that may help to resolve areas of uncertainty or inconsistency.  

  • Ways to integrate evidence to build meaningful explanations that empower good health and participation outcomes. 


Patient case studies will demonstrate how this process can be used in the clinic.

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Rosie Greene

Rosie Greene is a teacher, registered massage therapist and became a certified instructor for the Barral Institute in 2015 .  She runs the Barral Institute in New Zealand and is passionate about sharing the work of Jean-Pierre Barral with other practitioners. 


She has completed extensive professional development through courses offered by the Barral Institute in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Her studies have included training in Visceral, Vascular and Neural Manipulation, Manual Articular techniques, as well as CranioSacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute. 


Rosie has had a busy private practice since graduating in 2002.   She considers it a privilege to treat a wide variety of patients and uses the evaluation principles and techniques of Jean-Pierre Barral every day in her clinic.


She continues to undertake post graduate study and this includes a special interest in the dissection programme.

Topic: The Patient Journey - What are we missing?


Sarah Dryburgh

Sarah has been practicing as an Osteopath for over a decade and treated hundreds of people with
endometriosis and pelvic pain. A Unitec graduate, she has a long-term interest in chronic pain
conditions. She has completed extensive additional training in pain and a variety of women’s health

Her CPD course ‘The Endo Enigma’ was created in collaboration with her colleague Rebecca Malon. The training arose from an appreciation for how Osteopathy's whole-person approach might help so many people. Endometriosis patients frequently overlook the physical body beyond the pelvic floor, uterus, and endometrial lesions.
Sarah believes that Osteopaths are in a unique position to assist our patients in reconnecting with their bodies. Osteopaths can assist their patients in understanding their body’s inherent self-healing
capabilities. This understanding can be used alone or in conjunction with more traditional therapies to enhance the quality of life of people with Endometriosis.
Sarah runs her own clinic, Pivot Osteopathy in Brisbane, and teaches in the University of Queensland's Biomedical Sciences Department. She is also a member of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and holds a fellowship in Lifestyle Medicine.

Endometriosis: Applying Osteopathic principles and practices to enhance the patient journey
 What is endometriosis really?
 What is the role of the Osteopath in supporting people with endometriosis?
o Pain and allostasis
o Osteopathic treatment models
 How can Osteopaths contribute to the creation of a positive patient journey?
o Language and communication
o Consent
o Supporting our patient to tell their WHOLE story/understand their symptoms
o Other factors e.g. room set
 Self-care tips for Endo patients

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Ruth Troughton

Ruth Troughton is a Physiotherapist with over 25 years clinical experience, more than half of which has been in mental health, including a role as Clinical Leader Physiotherapy in the Specialist Mental Health Service, Canterbury (2014-2020). In 2021 Ruth established a private practice clinic – Te Whakamana Oranga (enabling/empowering wellbeing) - where she works with children, adolescents and adults with mental health conditions and physical symptoms.  Ruth is passionate about the neurobiology of mental health and trauma, a holistic model of care based on Te Whare Tapa Wha, and empowering people to live life.

Workshop: Working with the impacts of trauma: a somatic perspective


In this workshop we will discuss some of the neurobiological impacts of trauma and implications for somatic practitioners, including clinical examples and practical tools.

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