NeuroSeminars – Functional Neurology


Advances in clinical neuroscience in recent years have provided us with an opportunity to understand how different therapies affect the nervous system and how this helps restore optimal skeletal-muscular function. Although neurology and neuroanatomy make up a fairly large proportion of university study programs, in clinical practice, this knowledge is often used only by physicians and other health care professionals to identify serious neurological diseases and pathologies. The main goal of NeuroSeminars courses is to provide knowledge and skills for the widespread application of functional neurology in everyday clinical practice.

Upcoming courses: 

Module I:
-Kaunas: October 29-31, 2021

Module II: 
-Kaunas: February 4-6, 2022

Module 3
May 29 - June 2, 2024
Nicole Oliver
English (Lithuanian)
SKU: N/A Category:


About NeuroSeminars: 

Neurology has been at the heart of the Chiropractic profession since its very beginning. But it is only in recent years that advances in clinical neuroscience have allowed us to truly understand how our treatment affects the nervous system; and how this effect allows us to restore and preserve good structure and function within the musculoskeletal system.  Although neuroanatomy and neurology form a substantial part of the chiropractic undergraduate curriculum, very few chiropractors use this knowledge in the day-to-day treatment of their patients; it tends to be used solely to rule out gross neurological pathology.  The aim of Neuroseminars is to introduce more chiropractors and other practitioners of manual therapy, such as osteopaths and physiotherapists, to the practical aspects of functional neurology.

Chiropractors excel in their ability to detect subtle differences in musculoskeletal structure and function, for example through muscle testing, feeling for joint restrictions and checking for leg length discrepancies. Our seminars will teach you how to transfer these same skills to neurological testing. Functional imbalances within the brain frequently cause or contribute to patients’ presenting complaints.  For example they can cause:

  • Muscle imbalances and muscle weakness patterns.  Cerebellar dysfunction, for instance, can produce spinal intrinsic muscle weakness and spinal instability that does not respond well to segmental adjusting alone.  Having the ability to detect and treat the underlying cause of your patient’s problems will help you to prevent recurrences.
  • Altered angulations of peripheral joints.  This predisposes to peripheral entrapment neuropathies and conditions such as impingement syndrome, tennis elbow, IT-band syndrome, plantar fasciitis etc.
  • Autonomic dysregulation, such as increased blood pressure, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, reduced oxygen perfusion and other symptoms associated with increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system.  Increased sympathetic activity is associated with increased sensitisation to pain and chronic pain states.  This, coupled with reduced oxygen perfusion, hinders recovery from injury and predisposes to long-term pain and disability.
  • Reduced joint position sense. This will increase the likelihood of injury and impair healing after injury.
  • Developmental delay syndromes, such as ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

You will learn how to address functional imbalances within the brain using your existing techniques; but you will also be shown new treatment interventions, such as fast-stretch adjusting, coupled-motion adjusting, vestibular stimulation, as well as various physical and mental exercises which are designed to activate different regions of the brain. Our seminars will provide you with a better understanding of the deeper causes of pain and dysfunction, allowing you to tailor your treatment more closely to the individual patient.

You will gain a better appreciation of how what you do works (or in some instances doesn’t work), and on a broader scale why chiropractic and manual therapy in general are so successful for the majority of patients.

Functional neurological testing skills will help you in your assessment of new patients; but they are also an invaluable quick and simple means of pre- and post-testing to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of your treatments – patients like it a lot when they swayed on Romberg’s before treatment, but stood perfectly still after.

All seminars will be interactive with numerous practical sessions throughout the day to develop your newly learnt clinical skills.  Delegate numbers are limited to ensure that each individual receives sufficient attention during the practicals.  Practitioners and students of all regulated manual therapy disciplines are welcome.

Who are these courses for?

  • For physiotherapists;
  • For doctors;
  • Manual therapy professionals;
  • Occupational therapists;
  • Chiropractic;
  • Osteopaths.

The courses will be held in English, with translations into Lithuanian.

NeuroSeminars Functional Neurology Courses are divided into 5 modules (seminars): 

  • I – 3-day seminar: Basics of Functional Neurology; How The Nervous System Affects Muscle Tone And Posture
  • II – 3-day seminar: Pain and headache; Influence of cognitive functions and limbic system on musculoskeletal disorders, pain and patient behavior
  • III – 3-day seminar: Whiplash injury and mild traumatic brain injury; Dizziness, tinnitus, imbalance
  • IV – 3-day seminar: Influence of basal ganglia and cerebellum dysfunctions on the musculoskeletal system and movement disorder.
  • V – 4-day seminar: Brain developmental

Module I: Fundamentals of Functional Neurology; How the nervous system works affects tone and posture – program, date and price

Basics of Functional Neurology

Many practitioners shy away from studying functional neurology because they perceive it to be too difficult or too complex. What we have observed over the years of teaching this subject is that those learners who have good foundational knowledge of the nervous system (e.g. from undergraduate teachings) find it a lot easier to understand, absorb and put into clinical practice the material we present in our seminars. We have therefore decided to offer this new seminar aimed at teaching you the basics in a simple and easy-to-understand way. This seminar will give you the fundamentals of nervous system structure and function, as well as teaching you examination techniques. Once you possess this foundational knowledge, it will be much easier for you to focus on and grasp the clinical applications taught in later modules without struggling with basic neuroanatomy and neurophysiology.

Course Content:

  • How and why neurological dysfunction can occur.
  • The different motor tracts and their clinical importance.
  • Functional roles of the sensory tracts.
  • Cerebral cortex – overview of the parietal & frontal lobes.
  • Ocular examination – pursuits & saccades.
  • Cranial nerves and their correlation to functional impairments in the brainstem; and how to examine for these deficits.
  • Cerebellum: its function in motor control, motor adaptation, postural stabilisation and injury prevention.
  • Cerebellar testing & introduction to neuro-rehabilitation.
  • Introduction to pain: the concept of pain in the absence of tissue damage, mechanical allodynia and central pain modulation.

How the Nervous System Influences Muscle Tone & Posture

The clinical benefit associated with manual therapy is not simply related to restoring movement to restricted joints and normalising local muscle tone through segmental reflex effects. A major therapeutic role is attributed to activation of the central nervous system (CNS) – in recent years the literature is saying this more and more. It is thought that many chronic or treatment-resistant musculoskeletal conditions are perpetuated by ongoing neurological dysfunctions or maladaptive post-injury changes in the CNS. Knowing how our treatment is likely to affect the nervous system and how to assess and rehabilitate neurological dysfunction can therefore help us restore and preserve good function within the musculoskeletal system. This seminar aims to enhance your understanding of the neurology that often underlies many of the musculoskeletal conditions commonly seen in clinical practice, especially those associated with muscle imbalances of the spine and/or limbs.

Course Content:

  • Fundamentals of neuronal function and dysfunction:
    • Principles of neuronal activation, inhibition and neuroplasticity.
    • Appropriate activation of neurons in order to produce neuroplasticity and avoid excitotoxicity.
    • Transneuronal degeneration.
  • Activation of the nervous system through manual therapy:
    • Why mechanoreceptor-based afferent stimulation is so important for the health of the nervous system, for movement coordination and appropriate activation of postural and stabilising muscles.
    • Proprioceptive mechanoreceptors: their properties, how to activate them and how to optimise their function.
    • Spinal reflexes and their effects on muscle tone.
    • Addressing muscle tone imbalances through spinal reflex mechanisms.
    • Segmental and central neurological effects of spinal manipulation, mobilisation and soft tissue / myofascial therapies.
    • Clinical utilisation of spatial and temporal summation to increase neurological stimulation.
    • Overstimulation of the nervous system through manual therapy, adverse treatment responses and how to avoid these.
  • Brainstem and cerebellar influences on muscle tone and postural control.
  • Assessment and treatment of the cerebellum and brainstem.
  • Neurological considerations for tendonitis and myofascial trigger points / tender points.
  • Treatment of conditions influenced by neurologically mediated alterations in joint angulation and muscle tone, such as radiculopathy, peripheral entrapment neuropathy, rotator cuff impingement, IT band syndrome or tennis elbow.

Module I upcoming dates:
Kaunas: October 29-31, 2021

Module II: Pain and Headache; Cognitive & Limbic Influences on Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain and Patient Behaviour – program, dates and price

Headaches & Pain

For most manual therapists, the role of neurology in the diagnosis and treatment of headache disorders is largely confined to ruling out serious pathology. Although there generally exists an awareness that the trigeminal pain pathway plays a major role in headache disorders, very few practitioners know how to apply this concept clinically beyond simply treating aberrant cervical spine and TMJ biomechanics. This seminar will acquaint you with the mechanisms underlying headache disorders. It will also teach you how to treat in a way that will provide quicker and longer lasting results for your headache patients.

Course Content: 

  • Why treating functional deficits of the cerebellum, vestibular system and brainstem is vitally important when dealing with any patient in pain. We will discuss in detail how to maximize the nervous system’s ability to modulate pain, and how to avoid further pain sensitization.
  • How anything from a painful neck muscle to dry eyes, sinus or TMJ problems, Asthma or heartburn can contribute to headaches through sensitisation of the trigeminal pain pathway.
  • Why adjusting an upper cervical spinal fixation can sometimes alleviate a headache, but at other times can make it much worse. We will discuss how to detect and manage mechanical allodynia and how to treat a patient appropriate to their brain imbalance and neuronal metabolic capacity.
  • What cortical spreading depression is; how it relates to migraine, and how to prevent it from happening.
  • Nutritional strategies for headache, migraine and chronic pain patients.
  • How to address functional neurological problems using your existing techniques.
  • Novel treatment interventions to address brain imbalances, including coupled-motion adjusting, fast-stretching, proprioceptive- and vestibular stimulation. Various physical and mental exercises designed to activate different regions of the brain will be explained and demonstrated.
  • We will also show you sinus release techniques, which are invaluable for many headache patients.

Cognitive & Limbic Influences on Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain and Patient Behaviour

The cerebral cortex and subcortical regions (e.g. limbic system and thalamus) have a major influence on muscle tone, posture and pain processing. Cortical imbalances, therefore, are often the underlying cause of the conditions we successfully treat on a day-to-day basis. Specifically treating the brain dysfunction in addition to any segmental joint and muscle abnormalities is likely to maximise the potential treatment response and help prevent early relapse. Understanding and treating according to the patient’s central neurological dysfunction will also reduce undesirable side effects of treatment, such as soreness, headache or dizziness; these can be the result of exceeding the patient’s neuronal metabolic capacity or worsening the functional imbalance within their central nervous system.

This seminar will teach you how to assess for and treat dysfunction at a cortical and subcortical level, thus allowing you to treat the brain imbalances that nearly all of your patients have more purposely and with greater specificity. It will also help you to understand various conditions associated with cortical / subcortical dysfunction, such as ADD, depression, and dyspraxia, and why such conditions often improve with manual therapy.

Course Content: 

  • Why the cerebral cortex is important to us and how it influences muscle tone, pain sensitivity and modulation, and patient behaviour.
  • Cortical aspects of eye movement.
  • The cerebral hemispheres; assessment and treatment of
    • Frontal lobe
    • Parietal lobe
    • Temporal lobe
    • Occipital lobe
  • Review of the effects of joint manipulation and other manual therapies on brain function.
  • Review of the effects of brain dysfunction on the musculoskeletal system.
  • How dysfunction at a cortical and subcortical level has a major influence on pain sensitivity and pain tolerance.
  • Introduction to specific conditions affecting cortical and subcortical regions, including depression, anxiety, dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit disorder, epilepsy and dystonia.
  • Assessment and treatment of ‘subclinical’ disorders of cortical and subcortical regions, such as word finding difficulties, problems remembering names or recognising faces, poor navigational skills, sensory abnormalities, light or sound sensitivity, motor or vocal tics, perfectionist or obsessive tendencies and reading difficulties.
  • Recognising and managing cognitive and emotional problems that adversely influence patients’ behaviour and make them less likely to respond to treatment or follow therapeutic recommendations.
  • Blind-spot testing as a window into cortical function and an outcome measure of therapeutic interventions.
  • Low-tech physical and cognitive exercises to address specific patterns of brain dysfunction.

Computer programmes and smart phone / tablet apps that can be used to rehabilitate different brain areas.

Upcoming dates for Seminar II:
-Kaunas: February 4-6, 2022

Price: 499 Eur.
Discount for pre-registration! Price until October 15 – 440 Eur.


Karl Martin Stålaker

15 years of clinical experience as a chiropractor.
Teaching experience: He was previously a lecturer for Barcelona College of Chiropractic and he has taught several short courses to new graduates for the Norwegian Chiropractic Association. He has also presented at the Autumn 2019 Swedish Chiropractic Association conference in Stockholm on the subject of temporomandibular joint dysfunction in vertigo and balance disorders. Over the past few years he has presented parts of the seminars that I have taught in the UK, in Sweden and in Poland, and also the online ones.
He has a postgraduate diploma (PgDip) in Musculoskeletal Neuroscience.
For several years he worked alongside an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist dealing with vertigo, head injury patients and chronic pain patients.

Darren Barnes‐Heath, DC, BSc(Hons), CCEP, MRCC (Paediatrics)

He teaches Functional Neurology and Developmental Neurology at postgraduate level to Chiropractors and other health professionals across Europe.

Darren regularly has patients referred to him from chiropractors and clinicians around the UK, the majority are children.

Married with four children, home life and work-life are busy! He enjoys getting into the countryside and walking or cycling with the family, cricket, learning and sleep.

His studies have taken him around Europe and to America as he has learned from experts in many professions, below is a list of his training.

Extremity Adjusting, (4 x 12 hours of practical seminars) back when he was at studying Chiropractic there wasn’t much emphasis on the treatment of the limbs, this course added to manual therapy particularly joint manipulation of the limbs and feet.

Functional Neurology Course (18 x 25 hour theory and practical seminars) covering neuroscience and practical applications of manual therapies and various rehabilitation techniques and exercises.

The changes seen in these children led to Darren working in three local schools, treating the children that teachers had identified as having learning difficulties. Darren has worked for the Local Education Authority and the Charitable Foundation of British Teachers in three local schools. He consulted with selected children, their parents and teaching assistants at the school, then provided manual therapy, prescribed a neurological rehabilitation program consisting of eye, balance and cognitive brain exercises, computer programs plus dietary advice. The teaching assistant then oversaw the children doing their various exercises and computer programs and monitored progress.

Darren is a certified provider of Interactive Metronome a brain rehabilitation program, Reading Plus a silent reading fluency; Fast ForWord.

Contact for more information:
Phone number: +370 618 67325
E-mail: [email protected]


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