International Manual Therapies Conference Set for May 2022

The International Consortium on Manual Therapies (ICMT) and its conferences are for manual therapy practitioners with inquisitive minds who are not afraid of asking questions. The ICMT is for practitioners who are willing to work together, through the challenges of communication, to come up with and answer meaningful questions regarding manual therapy’s role in health care.  By being an organization that supports communication and collaboration, ICMT will help advance the understanding and provision of more effective manual therapy.

Manual therapy providers interested in forging better communication and collaboration can plan to attend ICMT’s 2022 conference, which will be held May 6-8, 2022, in Phoenix, Ariz., and online.  Learn more at (An ICMT online event is being considered for the fall; keep watching ACA communications for updates on that opportunity.)

In the 20th century, millions of people routinely received numerous forms of manual therapy.  This indicates that there is a niche for various approaches and understandings in manual therapy within health care. In the manual therapy research performed during this time, practitioners have struggled to objectively describe and understand what they do and what effects manual therapy provides.  Both within and between professions, practitioners use terms and describe rationales and techniques that are not understood by other manual therapy providers, inhibiting advancement of this field.  This lack of precision also keeps basic scientists, whose research interests overlap with manual therapy, from understanding clinician insights, inhibiting their ability to develop meaningful research for those performing manual therapies

ICMT recognizes that science is the best tool to improve understanding and advance society. ICMT members assert that science is most effective when there is good communication and collaboration.  Establishing good communication and promoting collaboration is a primary purpose of the inaugural ICMT conference.

To learn more about the 2022 ICMT conference, ACA Blogs asked one of the event’s organizers, Brian F. Degenhardt, DO, what chiropractors can expect:

How will it be different than other conferences focusing on manual therapies?

This conference is unique compared to other conferences.  In addition to world-renowned keynote speakers and unprecedented interprofessional panel presentations on fundamental topics within the field of manual therapy, attendees will actively participate in several small group sessions interconnected by technologies to help address fundamental roadblocks limiting the advancement of manual therapies

In the new and rapidly changing healthcare system, these sage words by Charles Darwin ring out, “[T]hose who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

What content highlights can you share?

Participants will learn a more accurate and scientific means to describe what they do in clinical practice.  Participants will learn about the most recent evidence that relates to likely mechanisms underlying manual therapies to update and expand their understanding of what they do.  Participants will also learn about and discuss the latest NIH strategic plan for future research in manual therapies.

What can attendees expect to take away?

This is a conference where participants will gain greater insight into new ways to observe and think about their performance of manual therapies. Participants will learn to better communicate their clinical activities and will become better informed on the evidence base for the type of practice they perform.  This is not a conference where practitioners will learn new techniques to apply in practice.  Direct hands-on activities will occur at future ICMT conferences.

How will attending ICMT potentially change the way someone practices?

Participants will be able to more accurately inform and discuss with patients and clients the form of manual therapy they provide and how it relates to other types of manual therapies.  Participants will become more observant and aware of how they perform their form of therapy.

Why is promoting more collaboration among manual therapy providers important?

The International Consortium on Manual Therapies envisions that the advancement of knowledge of manual therapy and the quality of care its practitioners provide will be hastened through interprofessional engagement, communication and understanding about manual therapy practice, educational principles and research designs and outcomes.

Who else will be there?

Practitioners across numerous professions/disciplines of manual therapy and scientists whose work relate to aspects of manual therapies will participate in this conference.

This consortium provides a venue for practitioners and researchers to collaborate in a progressive, multi-professional environment to discuss ways to advance the practice and science of manual therapies. The members of this consortium value the disciplines, cultures and backgrounds that provide various perspectives and skill sets in manual therapies.  The consortium allows participants to have a better understanding of the manual therapy field and the commonalities across professions. It will also encourage respect for differences in ideologies and techniques.

The vision of the International Consortium on Manual Therapies is that the knowledge of manual therapy and the quality of care its practitioners provide will be hastened by improving communication and understanding about practice, educational principles and research designs and outcomes produced by the various manual therapy disciplines.


Feedback from ICMT Participants 

Manual therapy providers who have worked with ICMT in the past share their perspectives on the importance of collaboration:

  • “This is a unique opportunity to engage and interact with manual therapy professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions. The goal of the conference is to foster understanding in the similarities and unique aspects of each profession in the hopes of promoting optimal patient-centered care through our collaborative efforts.” — Vincent DeBono, DC, CSCS, vice provost, innovation and new ventures, Logan University, St. Louis, Mo.
  • “It is valuable and important to network with professionals in other disciplines managing similar MSK pain syndromes. The ICMT is an organization that will help you think in new ways about your manual approach to therapy.”
  • “During my association with members within the International Conference on Manual Therapies, it has been enlightening to see how our work as chiropractors overlaps with other professions and also to see the distinctive characteristics of each profession.”
  • “In order to create more insightful, effective and appropriate, integrative models of health care, we need to understand each other’s diagnostic and treatment language. This conference will introduce us to other professionals and create the opportunity to explore each other’s theories and research.”


Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.