2022 AIMA Conference Speakers

We are delighted to have the following international and national speakers presenting at the 2022 AIMA Conference.


Dr Iain McGilchrist (Scotland) sponsored by The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust
Iain is a psychiatrist, neuroscience researcher, philosopher and literary scholar. He is a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and former Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London.

He has been a Research Fellow in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore and a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch.  He has published original articles and research papers in a wide range of publications on topics in literature, philosophy, medicine and psychiatry.

He is the author of a number of books, but is best-known for The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (Yale 2009) and most recently he published a two-volume set “The Matter With Things”.

He lives on the Isle of Skye, has two daughters and a son, and now grandchildren.

Dr Marc Cohen (Aus)
Marc is a medical doctor, university professor, author, poet, entrepreneur, wellness trailblazer and perpetual student of life, trying to coax the world towards worldwide wellness. Marc has spent more than 30 years practicing and researching holistic health and has served as Professor of Heath Science at RMIT University, President of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association, and a Board Member of the Global Wellness Summit. His interests include all aspects of wellness such as health retreats, detoxification, bathing, water quality, saunas, hot springs, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, energy medicine, nutrition, herbal and plant-based medicine, fermentation, elite athletic performance and flow states. Marc has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and many books and technical texts on wellness and natural medicine including ‘Understanding the Global Spa Industry’ and the landmark text ‘Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide’ along with the consciousness raising children’s books “Bing & Bang Begin” and  “The Beautiful Mare and the Boy Who Gave Thanks”,  He is Founder of the Extreme Wellness Institute and Co-Founder of the Bathe the World Foundation, and co-owner of Extremely Alive Wellness Tonics and Maruia Hot Springs. You can find him at www.drmarc.co and on linktree.



Dr Aimie Apigian (USA) – prerecorded presentation
Aimie is the leading medical expert on how life experiences get stored in the body and restore the body to its best state of health through her signature model and methodology, The Biology of Trauma™. She is a double board-certified medical physician in Preventive Medicine and Addiction Medicine. She has a Masters in Biochemistry and a Masters in Public Health. In addition to her medical training, she is also a Functional Medicine physician and has training and certifications specifically in neuro-autoimmunity, nutrition, and genetics for addictions, mental health, and mood and behavioral disorders. She has several certifications in various trauma therapies including Instinctual Trauma Response Model (an art trauma therapy), Somatic Experiencing (developed by Dr. Peter Levine), and NeuroAffective Touch (Dr. Aline LaPierre).

Dr. Aimie brings you The Biology of Trauma™: a new lens and a methodology that courageously both adds to and bridges trauma work and medicine by reverse-engineering the chronic effects of trauma on the nervous system and body on a cellular level.

Rachel Arthur (Aus)
BHSc BNat (Hons 1st)

Rachel Arthur is a respected and widely published naturopath and registered nutritionist specialising in integrative nutrition, with a particular interest in diagnostics. With over 20 years’ experience in both the clinic and the classroom, Rachel is considered a leading nutritional educator, delivering post-graduate training and mentoring to naturopaths, doctors and allied health care professionals alike.  She has contributed work to authoritative texts, including all 4 editions of the award-winning:  Herbs & Natural Supplements – An Evidence Based Guide (Elsevier). She delivers a popular monthly podcast Update in Under 30 and a post-graduate mentoring program for clinicians working with nutrition.  Rachel’s ongoing enthusiasm for integrative health and for education make her presentations practical and empowering experiences for attendees.


David Chaloner (NZ)
B.Sc.Hons Human Sciences. Cert. AOD studies (cit)

David has spent the past 30 years working in a variety of residential AOD rehab settings-residential and intensive outpatient, NGO and private; also assisting in the programme development of a private rehab in Thailand.  For the past 25 years, he has operated a consultancy from within the ‘Picton st. Practice’ in Ponsonby. Generally only accessible via referral, in which he works with individuals exploring addictive processes, change, family systems and dynamics, motivation, relapse prevention and “recovery” maintenance, life expansion, and purpose.

This came about 35 years ago when he found himself sitting in rehab at Hanmer Springs, feeling angry, defensive and puzzled.  Subsequently empowered in discovering he was without any question, by any definition, an ‘alcoholic’ and addict; a path eventually lead to the discovery of life purpose in training as an AOD clinician. Interning and subsequently working as a counsellor and facilitator at Higher Ground and continuously developing into other roles, until the passion to work unfettered by any other considerations, lead to this 21-year private practice of (to him), extraordinary richness and diversity.  He discovered that he never wanted to do anything else!  With great difficulty, he also wrote a book on it: ‘ask-addiction survival kit’ and is currently regretting the decision to write another.


Dr Tony Fernando (NZ)

Tony is a psychiatrist and sleep specialist from Auckland, New Zealand. He was recently awarded a PhD by the University of Auckland for his thesis on medical compassion. He obtained his medical degree from the University of the Philippines and his psychiatry and sleep training from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been awarded multiple teaching awards by medical students and the faculty of medicine at the University of Auckland. In 2012, he was awarded by President Aquino of the Philippines for his services to sleep medicine and medical education. In 2015, he received the Chair’s award by the New Zealand Medical Association, the highest recognition given by the association to any doctor in New Zealand for his work on physician well-being. In January of 2017, he received temporary ordination as a Buddhist monk in Myanmar. He regularly teaches mindfulness meditation and emotional balance to inmates at Mt Eden Correctional Facility. During the Covid19 Lockdown, he recorded guided meditations for use within the NZ prison system as prisoners were in isolation for 23 hours a day. He plays the cello and is a cheap-eats foodie. Despite his fear of the water, he learned to swim in 2014 and has swum across Auckland Harbour a few times, and regularly competes in ocean swimming races.


Dr Christine Houghton (Aus) – sponsored by Nutrisearch

Christine holds a PhD in Nutrigenomics and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Queensland as well as a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition from Deakin University in Victoria. She is a registered Nutritionist and Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Science at the University of Queensland.
Following 3 decades as a private practice Nutritional Biochemist, Christine founded the Brisbane company Cell-Logic which researches and manufactures nutrigenomic ingredients for clinical application. The company’s primary focus is on the research and development of broccoli sprout-derived bioactives along with other clinically-relevant phytochemicals that target upstream causes of disease.
In addition to her published works, as an educator Christine is the author of several evidence-based post-graduate online courses designed for practising clinicians.



Professor Julia Rucklidge (NZ)
Julia is a Professor of Psychology and Clinical Psychologist in the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing at the University of Canterbury, the Director of Te Puna Toiora, the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab, theme leader in the Child Wellbeing Institute, and co-author of The Better Brain jointly published by Penguin Random House and Harper Collins in 2021. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she completed her PhD at the University of Calgary in clinical psychology and in 2000, she immigrated to New Zealand. Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of research showing poor outcomes for individuals with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving standard conventional treatments. For over a decade, her lab has been running clinical trials investigating the role of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the treatment of mental illness, including ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety and stress. Julia has been the recipient of many awards, including the Ballin Award from the NZ Psychological Society for significant contributions to the development or enhancement of clinical psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand, being named as a Woman of Influence in New Zealand in 2015, 2018, and 2021, and a Braveheart award for her contribution to making Christchurch a better place to live. Her 2014 TEDx talk has been viewed over 3 million times. She recently created a free EdX online course for the public on mental health and nutrition. Julia is passionate about advocating that a good nutritional foundation is central to helping people prevent and recover from mental health challenges.

Dr Michelle Woolhouse sponsored by Bioceuticals (Aus)
Michelle is first and foremost a holistic and integrative GP. She is also an author, medical director, a podcaster, lecturer and retreat facilitator.  Her philosophy is that health care should focus on the person as a whole, and address the physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing of the individual.  She has post graduate training in hypnotherapy, nutritional medicine, acupuncture and mind-body medicine. She holds fellowships with ASLM, ACNEM and the RACGP.
Her soon to be released book “The Wonder Within” is a heart-led playbook for the anxious, stressed and burnout. It is a book that offers a powerful antidote to mental distress and aims to help people navigate a new and scientifically validated way to relate to their fear and overwhelm.
She is a host of FX Medicine podcast and an ambassador for ACNEM. She is also a keynote speaker in the arena of holistic health, anxiety and stress management, and the facilitator of wellness and empowerment immersions for women.
Her number one piece of advice to patients is: ‘everything in moderation even moderation itself!’ She loves surfing, watching her children grow up, growing veggies and talking to trees. @holisticgp      www.theholisticgp.com.au      www.vively.com.au


Alberto Garolli (Italy) – presenting virtually (bio coming soon)