Meet The Presenters and Contributors


Gail Wetzler, PT, DPT, EDO, BI-D
Director of Curriculum, Barral Institute
Symposium Facilitator


Empowering Change Through Policy
Presented by: Leonard A. Wisneski, MD, FACP

Learn more about integrative medicine as it exists today and how the future looks for healthcare. The axis between government, hospitals and private practitioners are in alignment and the messages Dr. Wisneski will share are uplifting.

Leonard A. Wisneski, MD, FACP is Clinical Professor of Medicine at George Washington University Medical Center, Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Division of Integrative Physiology, at Georgetown University where he is a founding member of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Curriculum Planning Committee and has taught a course in integrative medicine for several years. He also holds faculty positions in the Department of Medicine, as well as The Department of Nursing at The University of Colorado. He served on the board of the American Holistic Medical Association and was President of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine. He is currently chairman of the board of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium which promotes national legislation pertaining to integrative healthcare.


Regenerative Medicine-Understanding and Optimizing Stem Cell Research as a Solution to Many of Today's Health Care Issues
Presented by: Melanie Baughn, DO

Hear a pioneer and expert in cell therapies and regenerative medicine offer insight into today's healthcare issues.

Dr. Melanie Baughn is a diplomat of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine. She is board certified in Emergency Medicine and has over 15 years in emergency medicine and 20 years in medicine collectively. Dr. Baughn has experience in clinical settings ranging from Level I trauma centers to community/rural hospitals, clinics and private offices. She is a clinical faculty instructor at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado and is a first-hand witness of the benefits of regenerative medicine.


Interconnected - The Power to Heal from Within
Presented by: Pedram Shojai, OMD

From inflammation to immunity, our microbial balance is a key factor in health, happiness and longevity. Dr. Shojai will walk us through the latest findings in the microbiome and speak to how the entire body is interconnected.

Dr. Pedram Shojai is the founder of Well.Org, a New York Times bestselling author of The Urban Monk, Rise and Shine, and The Art of Stopping Time. He's the producer and director of the movies "Vitality," "Origins." and "Prosperity." Dr. Shojai is a Taoist Abbot, a doctor of Oriental medicine, a kung fu world traveler, a fierce global green warrior, an avid backpacker, a devout alchemist, and a Qi Gong master. A licensed acupuncturist and wellness consultant, Pedram teaches transformative practice and meditation, various forms of Qi Gong.


Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Neuroplasticity of the Gut and the Role of Visceral Manipulation
Presented by: Ron Mariotti, ND, BI-D

SIBO is a complex syndrome involving multiple systems; gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, neuromuscular and the immune system. Treating SIBO from a purely conventional or functional medicine perspective, without addressing the underlying neurodensity via visceral manipulation results in less than optimum outcomes. Dr. Mariotti will discuss the key locations essential to treat with Visceral Manipulation (VM) in order to improve outcomes.

Ron Mariotti, ND, BI-D graduated from Bastyr University with his doctorate in naturopathic medicine in 2004. He began studying VM with Jean-Pierre Barral in 1992. He has been leading the VM study groups in Seattle since 2000 and, under the approval of the Barral Institute, taught VM1, VM2, and VM3 to the naturopathic students at Bastyr University. Dr. Mariotti continues his work as a certified instructor for a number of courses at the Barral Institute, while managing Visceral Synergy, a naturopathic clinic in Seattle.


Dynamic Waterways - The Importance of the Glymphatic System in Central Nervous System Health
Presented by: Tad Wanveer LMT, CST-D

The glymphatic system is a recently discovered central nervous system (CNS) waste clearance pathway that also functions in the distribution of nourishing substances throughout the CNS. Tad uses his skills as an illustrator and animator in describing the basic structure, organization, and function of the glymphatic system. He also discusses how disturbance of the glymphatic system may contribute to CNS pathology.

Tad has been specializing in CranioSacral Therapy (CST) since 1993. He was a member of the Upledger Clinic staff from 2001-2006, where he served as a clinical therapist and head of the Intensive CST Programs. Tad is the author and illustrator of Brain Stars: Glia Illuminating Craniosacral Therapy, has been published in numerous periodicals and has illustrated various works written by J.E. Upledger, DO, OMM. He is the creator of the glial focused CST classes – CST Touching the Brain 1 and 2, which he teaches internationally as an Upledger Institute International instructor.


Brain Unleashed: Living Well with Parkinson's Disease
Presented by: Indu Subramanian, MD

Neurologist and Integrative Medicine Practitioner, Indu Subramanian, will share her knowledge of neurodegenerative disorders with special emphasis on the evolution of treatments for Parkinson's Disease. As a certified yoga teacher and an instructor of mindfulness courses, Dr. Subramanian will explain how these experiences encouraged an integration of complementary and alternative approaches to the success of "Living Well with Parkinson's Disease."

Dr. Subramanian is a board-certified neurologist at UCLA Neurological Services in Los Angeles specializing in treating Parkinson's Disease and other movement disorders. She graduated from University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1996 and has been practicing for 24 years, focusing on advancements in neurology and integrative medicine.


What's Vision Got To Do With It: The Role of Vision in our Sensory World
Presented by: Charles Shidlofsky, OD, FCOVD

This presentation is designed to introduce the neuro-anatomical model of vision and how it is impacted by developmental and acquired brain dysfunctions. How vision is integrated into the other sensory processes will be discussed, as a few common vision syndromes seen after acquired brain injury.

Dr. Shidlofsky is on the medical staff of Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation-Frisco and Ft. Worth and Encompass Health-Plano. He serves as the team vision coach/eye doctor for the Dallas Stars (NHL), FC Dallas (MLS) and Allen Americans (ECHL). He serves the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association as Secretary-Treasurer, and the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation as 2nd Vice President. Dr. Shidlofsky is the founder and Vice President of the International Sports Vision Association, He is a frequent lecturer on the subjects of vision testing and rehabilitation after a TBI/ABI, sports vision, developmental vision, myopia management, specialty contact lenses and medical/allied medical co-management.


Trauma Induced Anxiety - Manual Therapy Research for Brain Health
Neurofeedback Analysis
Presented by: Rachel Ragsdale, MA, LPC, BCN and Gail Wetzler, PT, DPT, EDO, BI-D

The presenters will share their findings from a study regarding patients with anxiety, chronic pain and sleep issues. Pre and post brain mapping analysis will be shown and discussed.

Rachel Ragsdale, LPC, BCN is the founder and owner of NeurOptimize, a premier provider of natural treatment options for various mental health disorders. Rachel oversees all clinical operations and team specialists across all locations, while serving as a licensed professional counselor and board certified neurofeedback specialist and handling all qEEG analysis, treatment planning, and protocol creation. Her clinical experience spans issues from anxiety, depression, and trauma, to peak performance, concussion recovery, and focus training.

Gail Wetzler, PT, DPT, EDO, BI-D is the Director of Curriculum for the Barral Institute. Gail currently owns an integrative physical therapy practice in Denver where they treat orthopedic, fascial/muscular/soft tissue, neurologic, pain, respiratory, digestive, Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as women's and men's health issues. Gail earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago in 2013. She earned her Equine Diplomate in Osteopathy from Vluggen Institute of Equine Osteopathy in 2009 and in 2005, she earned her Diplomate from the Barral Institute.


Functional Manual Therapy Approach to Manage the Mechanical Capacity of the Vagus Nerve
Presented by: Gregory Scott Johnson, PT, FFMT, FAAOMPT

This presentation will cover the importance of optimal mobility of the vagus nerve to ensure optimal vagal tone. Focus will be on assessment, dynamic palpation, manual therapy management through active and resisted movements, and home program considerations. Discussion related to the type of symptoms which respond well to this approach and a case study of a patient impacted by treatment.

Gregory graduated from the University of Southern California in 1971 and completed a one year residency program at Kaiser Vallejo under Maggie Knott. He remained as senior faculty for six years. He is best known for his identification of the need for Physical Therapists to integrate treatment of the facial system into manual therapy and the development of the first Soft Tissue Mobilization course for Physical Therapists in 1980. In addition, Gregory utilized his extensive background in PNF to adapt standard manual therapy techniques of Joint Mobilization and develop the dynamic techniques of Functional Mobilization and Resistance Enhanced Manipulation (REM) techniques for joints, soft tissues, and neurovascular restrictions.

Gregory has trained more than 40,000 therapist in the USA and internationally. Gregory Johnson is the co-founder and President of the Institute of Physical Art, the co-developer of the Functional Manual Therapy approach to patient care, and the Director of an APTA credentialed AAOMPT Fellowship program in Functional Manual Therapy. He has published multiple chapters and articles on Soft Tissue Mobilization, PNF and the Orthopedic Patient, Functional Mobilization, and Functional Test for the Lumbar Patient and is currently involved in several research projects on Functional Manual Therapy.


The Polyvagal Theory - How it Informs Psychiatry, Somatic Experiencing and Mental Health Care
Presented by: Randy Brazie, MD

The polyvagal theory links the autonomic nervous system to social behaviors. Discover how this theory helps us understand that the vagus nerve calms the body, but in different ways.

Dr Randy Brazie is a general psychiatrist and a board certified diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Resilient Health, a nonprofit agency based in Arizona which provides integrated services to local communities. He has a longstanding interest in helping those with trauma related conditions. His clinical experience has taught him that a broad-based, multidisciplinary approach which is evidence based provides the best outcomes. He is a strong proponent of Polyvagal Theory and is collaborating with Deb Dana and Stephen Porges in bringing the theory as a foundation to Resilient Health's clinical expertise.


Clinical Applications in Manual Therapy for the PolyVagal Theory with Chronic Pain and Trauma Patients
Presented by: Laura Gómez Guio, CST, PT, DO, CVPT

Many patients, especially those suffering from trauma or chronic pain, experience a deregulation of the nervous system which is really the origin of the issue. Hear how incorporating a polyvagal perspective to manual therapy techniques can be beneficial to your patients.

Laura Gómez Guío is a physiotherapist, Romana´s Pilates international teacher, Diplomate of Osteopathy and somatic experiencing practitioner. She is also an international teacher for the Barral Institute and for the TBA-IOS International Osteophatic School, as well as somatic experiencing teacher assistant. Since 2004, she has been the founder and director of her own private multidisciplinary clinic since 2004 in Madrid.