ASRF Annual Report 2020 - 2021

A year of innovation, diversification and strengthening.

President’s Report: A Challenging, Yet Dynamic Year
I would first like to thank our Members, Donors and Commercial Supporters for their continued support. The 20/21 financial year has been hard for many of our community members, and we are touched by your ongoing commitment to the Foundation.

This year has been such a dynamic year for the ASRF. With myself stepping into the role as Foundation President, and new Directors coming onboard, the learning curve has been significant. We have such a passionate and diverse Board at present, all of whom wish to see the Foundation and the profession grow. We are dedicated to funding and facilitating clinically relevant vertebral subluxation research, as well as providing education for our community and beyond. We continue to be proud of our rigorous two-stage approval process, to ensure that the research we fund is clinically relevant and is performed with scientific merit.

In the 2020-21 financial year, we were able to fund two large studies into how chiropractic care effects the human immune system (for more on that see the Research Highlights). We also embarked on a most ambitious plan, to have our greatest number of studies funded in one year, through our inaugural ‘ASRF Case Report Project’. With this project, we will have 30+ case studies published throughout late 2021 and early 2022. These cases were submitted by chiropractors in our community, and the project was funded by the hugely successful ‘ASRF Spinal Hero Month’, where we raised $25,000, with the help of our Heroes, Donors and Sponsors. These case reports have the capacity to be the building blocks of future clinical studies, and will be a significant addition to our knowledge-base.

We have continued to diversify our income streams. We’ve produced the Case for Chiropractic Vol II, a coffee table resource book for Chiropractors and the lay reader alike. It is an amazing reception room addition, and we’ve heard from Members who are also using both volumes of the book as teaching tools for their teams – very exciting! We have also seen the release of two children’s chiropractic books, written by our very own Dr. Marcus Chacos, with proceeds of the sales going towards subluxation research. Additionally, the team has been working hard throughout the year to create other fundraising educational tools, as well as events like the online Subluxation Summit. We’ve continued to grow our partnerships with a range of individuals, businesses and Commercial Supporters, all of which adds value for our Members and raises funds for the Foundation.

With all the efforts of our staff and volunteer Board, we have secured a small financial profit this year and managed to fund a wealth of research to support you in your practice. We know that the coming year will not be without its difficulties. It is why we are working even harder to secure the future of the Foundation, to help secure the future of ChiropracTIC. Research is the currency of governments, so with your continued support, we are working hard to support your way of life.

Dr Ryan Seaman, President

Key Achievements

  • Held a Strategic Planning session that resulted in a new Strategic Plan and Vision. This plan is designed to create stability, growth and value for our organisation and our Members.
  • Launched our new website, including a new Members Portal, which contains a wide range of resources for our Members to use in practice and their communities.
  • Held a very successful Spinal Research Hero Month, where we raised $25,000, with the help of our Heroes, Donors and Sponsors. Funds raised were for the ASRF Case Report Project.
  • Launched the inaugural ASRF Case Report Project, which will produce more than 30 Case Reports focussed on stress, immunity and adaptability, to be published in late 2021- early 2022.
  • Continued to develop our relationships with important chiropractic individuals and organisations around the world, including the ACC, UCA, APCJ.

Research Highlights 

While the ASRF exists for a number of reasons, its mission at heart is to fund and facilitate research, and disseminate findings that further the understanding and development of chiropractic care. Each year the Foundation sets the Research Agenda and calls for grant applications supporting this agenda.

We are now in the second year of our modified Research Agenda, focusing on the role of subluxation in resilience and adaptability, with a focus on stress and immunity. This agenda was set after the Foundation conducted an extensive survey of our Members, who identified stress and immune function/dysfunction as two key focus areas.

In 2020, the Foundation received numerous high quality research applications from researchers across the globe. All applications are assessed for clinical relevance as well as scientific rigour by our unique two stage process by the Clinical Advisory Panel (CAP) and the Research Committee (RC) before recommendation to the Board of Directors for funding.

The following applications were approved by the ASRF Board for funding in the 2020 round over a two year period:

Dr Jonathan Little – Impact of a corrective model of chiropractic care on immune cell phenotype and function.

This study will expand previous suggestive work in the literature [1-6] to explicitly determine whether immune function can be improved after a series of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) sessions. The primary aim is to investigate and measure the impact of reducing vertebral subluxation on immune cell function. Before and after 12 weeks of prescribed chiropractic SMT treatments in participants diagnosed with vertebral subluxation, immune biomarkers will be measured with state-of-the-art lab-based immune cell phenotyping. This research will be the first to comprehensively characterize the impact of SMT to reduce vertebral subluxation on immune function in humans.

Dr William Reed – Acute effects of Chiropractic care on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease associated with an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines resulting in a demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease. There is moderate quality evidence that spinal manipulation (SM) is better than control in influencing cytokine activity in asymptomatic individuals, but few studies have been completed in individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions. The objective of this project is to examine the immediate (1 SM treatment) and summative impact (8 SM treatments/4wks) on pro-inflammatory (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α) and anti-inflammatory (IL-4, IL-10) plasma cytokines 20 minutes and 2 hours post-SM in individuals diagnosed with neuroinflammatory relapsing-remitting MS (MS-RR).

The other highlight of the year is the inaugural ‘ASRF Case Report Project’, which was designed to gather front-line evidence in the form of case studies submitted by Chiropractors. Our team of writers are transforming those studies into much-needed case reports, focused on the effects of chiropractic care on things like stress, immunity and adaptability.

We received more than 30 case studies, some of which will be published as individual Case Reports, while some will be combined into Case Series’. We’d like to thank all those who submitted, as well as the writing team and the students who are helping us with literature reviews. Thanks also to Dr Phillip Ebrall and the Asia-Pacific Chiropractic Journal, who are publishing the Case Reports.

Treasurer’s Report: Planning Ahead and Value-Adding to Create Stability

The Foundation’s outlook from the end of the last financial year was one that was cautious but filled with optimism that the World would get back on track from the setbacks caused by the Pandemic. One doesn’t need to go into too much revision, but we all know that getting back on track in 2021 has been thwarted by something known as ‘Delta’.

The Foundation planned ahead and sought to provide more value-adding services and offerings to our Members. We invested in a long overdue website upgrade, which included an improved Members Portal, where many online learning modules and resources have been added, as a way to support our valuable Members.



We have several multi-year research projects that are currently in progress, and this year we progressed with two new projects around chiropractic and the immune system, as well as raising funds to self-fund the ASRF Case Report Project.

Despite the continued challenges that comes with the pandemic, we have been able to end the 2020/21 Financial Year with a profit, stabilise our membership numbers and even gaining some new Members, expanding into different countries. Our revenue diversification strategies have successfully included a growing portfolio of Commercial Supporters, event Sponsors, endorsements, online-education programs and sales of our Case for Chiropractic books, along with a range of other products.

Thank you to all our valued and loyal Members, Supporters, and Donors – we appreciate you greatly. A special thank you to the United Chiropractic Association for your continued support to help us fund more research. And finally, a big thank you to the Spinal Research team – your tireless work and efforts are always appreciated.

Dr Billy Chow, Treasurer

Research Report: Discovering, Facilitating and Sharing Valuable Works

The ultimate aim of researchers is to gain a better understanding of chiropractic and to articulate that to their colleagues and the wider community, through internationally recognised and reputable publications and mediums.

At the ASRF, we aim to discover, fund and facilitate relevant research and make it widely available to our tribe and beyond, and as such, there is an abundance of research available on the new ASRF website, be it ASRF funded studies or those conducted by others internationally.

We were also excited about the launch of the Asia-Pacific Chiropractic Journal (APCJ) in July, by its inaugural editor, Professor Phillip Ebrall. We are happy to support the APCJ and recommend searching through their issues for some fantastic articles. One such article was largely written by our dear friend and colleague, the late Dr Dave Russell, who was approached to write an article for the inaugural volume on the development of the ASRF Research Agenda and our definition of Vertebral Subluxation, entitled Vertebral Subluxation Research: The Development of a Research Agenda and Conceptual Definition of Vertebral Subluxation for the Australian Spinal Research Foundation. The APCJ a peer-reviewed, open access, fast turnaround and independent Journal that aims to disseminate information relevant to all chiropractors and their clients.

As always, the Board would like to thank the existing members of the Clinical Advisory Panel and the Research Committee, for their ongoing commitment to the Foundation. Your work is a critical element in our process of bringing about research that benefits so many chiropractors and communities across the globe.

We would also like to thank our Members for understanding and supporting our Research Agenda and processes, as well as our researchers, for their continued work in this important area of research.



Dr Sinan Ali, Research Agenda Working Committee Chair

Commercial Supporters 2020-21

We acknowledge and sincerely thank our Commercial Supporters for their contribution to chiropractic research. The companies below are our Commercial Supporters from 2020-21 Financial Year. To see current Commercial Supporters and more information about the companies, see here


Premium Commercial Supporters

The Remarkable Practice Logo

Commercial Supporters

Adio Media
Austbrokers Countrywide Insurance Brokers
Therapeutic Pillow
Zzz Atelier

Foundation Board 2020-21

The Foundation’s Board ensures that we fulfil the purpose for which we were established. They do this through maintaining strategic direction, culture, ethics and policy. In addition to funding approval for all research studies, the Board are responsible and accountable for the Foundation’s financial management, human resources, operational duties and compliance with all legal, financial and ethical obligations.

All members of the Board are volunteers who freely donate their time, energy and professional expertise. Board members and roles listed below are those serving in the 2020-21 Financial Year, as of the AGM in October.

Dr Sinan Ali
Dr David Fletcher
Dr Billy Chow