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This year ATMS is pleased to host an ATMS Special Event, the Functional GI Symposium 2019 in Sydney on Sunday 15 September.

The ATMS 2019 Functional GI Symposium is a special event designed to provide a powerful educational focus with specialised, integrative, naturopathic trainings on the diagnosis and treatment of varied GI presentations.


Key areas being covered include:


  • Parasitic infections
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Functional GI physical exam techniques
  • The latest in Microbiome research
  • IBD and Faecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Microcirculation, pH, temperature and blood profile
  • Nutrition and lifestyle factors


This special event brings together five extraordinary speakers for a day of learning, by offering training to natural medicine practitioners on the relevant, up-to-date naturopathic and medical information they need for the treatment of various Functional GI issues.

Event Details

Sunday 15 September 2019
Aerial UTS Function Centre, Level 7, Building 10, 235 Jones Street, Ultimo 2007, NSW


Earn 6 CPE points and hear from five amazing speakers

Speaker & Program Highlights

  • Dr Johan van den Bogaerde: Microbiome Research, FMT and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Robert Beson: Gut health: Environmental & Internal Profile Considerations
  • Dr Jason Hawrelak: Blastocystis and Deintamoeba – Gastrointestinal pathogens or commensal Symbionts?
  • Dr Nirala Jacobi: Top Physical GI Exam Techniques
  • Dr Daniel Weber: Neurotrophic Factors in Gut Health


ATMS Accredited Member  – $260

Non ATMS Practitioner – $305

ATMS Student Member – $200

Non ATMS Student – $220

Early bird ticket pricing is available 8 weeks prior to the symposium.

Full speaker and program outline

Dr Jason Hawrelak is a research scientist, educator, naturopath and Western herbalist with nearly 20 years’ clinical experience. He did his PhD examining the capacity of probiotics, prebiotics and herbal medicines to modify the GIT microbiota and has written extensively in Australian and International textbooks and journals on these topics. He is on the Medical Nutrition Council of the American Society for Nutrition and is a Fellow of both the American College of Nutrition and the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia. Dr Hawrelak is currently the Senior Lecturer in Complementary and Alternative Medicines at the University of Tasmania’s School of Medicine (Hobart, Tasmania), where he coordinates the Evidence-based Complementary Medicine programs.


Presenting ‘Blastocystis and Dientamoeba – Gastrointestinal Pathogens or Commensal Symbionts?’


Many of our patients present with gastrointestinal signs and symptoms. When tested, some of these patients have Blastocystis, Dientamoeba, or both organisms present in their gastrointestinal tract. When the two coincide – the presence of both GI symptoms and Blastocystis and/or Dientamoeba in the stools – does it necessarily follow that these organisms are the cause of that patient’s GI symptoms?

In this presentation, Dr Hawrelak will explore:

  • Blastocystic and Dientamoeba literature, particularly in relation to their potential pathogenicity
  • Considerations around diagnostic closure
  • Consequences of potentially inappropriate treatment

Dr Nirala Jacobi, BHSc, ND (USA) is considered one of Australia’s leading expert in the treatment of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a common cause of IBS.


She is the medical director for SIBOtest, an online testing service for practitioners. She is so passionate about educating practitioners that she founded “The SIBO Doctor”, an online professional education platform for functional digestive disorders. She lectures nationally and internationally about the assessment and treatment of SIBO and is the host of the popular podcast The SIBO Doctor podcast for practitioners.


She is the medical director and senior naturopathic physician at The Biome Clinic, center for functional digestive disorders in Mullumbimby, New South Wales.


Presenting ‘Top Physical GI exam skills’


The physical assessment of our patients serves an important role, often overlooked by practitioners. Besides good history taking and ordering tests, physical exams are equally as important to help guide the practitioner in the right direction and help prioritise treatments.


The full functional GIT physical exam is a comprehensive assessment of the digestive tract that takes 20-30 minutes to perform in your clinic.


In this presentation, Dr Jacobi has chosen 5 physical GIT exam skills that can be tremendously useful in your everyday practice. With this talk she hopes to revive enthusiasm for honing practical physical exam skills in clinical practice.


These skills include:


  • Eyes, Nails and Tongue analysis to assess GIT function
  • Hypochlorhydria diagnostic palpation techniques
  • Vagal tone assessment (using a tongue blade)
  • Murphy’s Gallbladder point (hands on exam)
  • Assessing Mineral Status (using a blood pressure cuff)

Dr Weber is a Visiting Professor at Tianjin University and the CEO Panaxea™ International Inc. Recognised internationally as an informative and passionate speaker, Dr Weber travels extensively lecturing on modern botanical medicine, psycho-physical diseases, microbiome and its spectrum of diseases as well as cancer.


He is a highly regarded published author on integrative medicine and is deeply committed to research and evidence-based medicine (EBM). He is also the editor of the Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, a member of the Mederi Scientific Advisory Board, USA, and Advisor to the NIH and Global Consortium of Oncology and Chinese Medicine (Washington).


Dr Weber holds a Master Degree in Botanical Medicine, has been a Registered Somatic Psychotherapist since 1987 and is a Doctor of Health Science (DSc) from Charles Stuart University, and maintains an international practice from his Sydney Clinic.


Presenting ‘Neurotrophic Factors in gut health’


In Western culture, we often say the heart is at the centre; as in ‘the heart of the matter’ but, in truth the gut is our centre, our core. Our GI tract is nine metres long; we are a tube. And within that tube multiple functions occur. The gut is our largest immune and endocrine organ in the body, and the variety of microbiome throughout the gut cover a spectrum of different living organisms. Our gut microbiome is often described as an organ in our body like any other organ i.e. liver, kidney or brain, it is that critical. For example, the microbiome diversity communicates directly to our CNS and effects cognition as well as mood. The gut microbiome effects the entire body, from immunity to endocrine to cognition. The gut is the hero of the body.


In this brief look at the gut Dr Weber will explore its link to:


  • Psychophysical disorders
  • Stress and affect disorders
  • Endocrine function
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Gut-brain communication

Dr Johan van den Bogaerde is a progressive, highly regarded Gastroenterologist with over thirty years’ experience in his field. He has a particular interest in gastrointestinal immunology, the brain gut axis, Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) and ways in which the microbiota can protect from disease.


After moving to Australia in 2008, Dr van den Bogaerde successfully completed his studies at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, and a conjoint senior lecturer at the University of NSW. Presently Johan practices within the Department of Gastroenterology at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital

Presenting ‘Microbiome Research and the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease’


Many medical experts now agree that the evaluation, study and intervention of the microbiome could be as important as the discovery of antibiotics.


Join Dr van den Bogaerde on a journey down the road of microbiome as he discusses emerging research, developments, and various new and exciting treatment strategies in the world of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).


In this presentation Dr van den Bogaerde will discuss:


  • Research work which has been completed across animal studies that may or may not be transferable to human patients
  • Research work in human studies
  • Role of faecal transplantation in disease, with focus on patients who have IBD
  • The potential for future medical treatment strategies

Robert Beson is a passionate researcher with over thirty years’ experience. He worked directly alongside the Father of Microsurgery, Dr Earl Owen, for many years, developing a revolutionary Probiotic Formulation and range of innovative gut supplements.

Robert founded the International Probiotics Institute and the gut care brand Progurt. He is a passionate communicator about gut health and travels worldwide meeting with leading medical practitioners, educating them in ways to think differently within a clinical practice.


Presenting ‘Gut Health: Environmental & Internal Profile Considerations’


Gut health affects every aspect of our life and every aspect of our life affects our gut health. Our self-created external environment (no matter where we live) directly impacts our internal environment which in turn affects the state of dynamic balance of our microbiome.


Professor Earl Owen, the father of microsurgery, assisted Robert Beson for many years. Together (over a 5-year period) they observed many unwell individuals suffering from one or more serious medical conditions. These individuals showed both miraculous-like results or a total lack of response when inoculated with probiotics. These interesting observations led to them to a new way of thinking and reasoning.


In this presentation, Robert will speak to you about the importance of gut health, the impact of lifestyle and diet decision-making and the remarkable results that can come about as a result of thinking differently. He will also discuss the microbiome’s ability to communicate with its hosts cellular structure and organs, depending on the internal and external environment profiles of temperature, moisture, PH, circulation, hydration, blood profile and nutritional intake.

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