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Physicians Learning Conference

June 10th-11th, 2017

Integrative Healthcare Strategies for Patients with Chronic Pain and Multisystemic Chronic Illness

Join us for this ground-breaking Integrative Physicians Learning Conference and Retreat at an amazing location!

Dates: June 10th & 11th, 2017

Venue: The Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VA

EDS Wellness’ Physicians Learning Conference strives to promote an open-minded environment — one that opens doors to understanding and facilitates constructive discussions; thus, leading to improved quality of care and better patient outcomes.

***All medical specialties and healthcare providers welcome! CME credits possible. Details will be confirmed soon.***

Speakers’ presentations, conference workshops, and content is based on the most up-to-date diagnostic criteria and evidence-based integrative strategies, ensuring the highest possible standard of care for patients with chronic pain and multisystemic chronic illnesses.

The Physicians Learning Conference aims to equip medical professionals of all specialties, the medical information, and resources needed to ensure the proper diagnosis and care of patients with complex, chronic and often misunderstood medical conditions.

Healthcare providers will learn practical tools to help with the proper diagnosis and care of patients with chronic illnesses from top specialists in various medical specialties, such as

Rheumatology, Cardiology, Genetics, Internal medicine, Oncology/Hematology, Psychiatry, Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Functional Medicine, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Neurology, Anesthesiology and Chronic Pain Management, Naturopathic Medicine, Nutrition, Physical Therapy and Biomechanics and more!

The 2017 Physicians Learning Conference will provide a unique opportunity for healthcare providers of all specialties and backgrounds to network, learn and openly discuss medical research, and focus on collaborative patient care.



***We are working to keep speakers and workshops updated as conference details are confirmed; however, conference speakers are subject to change without notice.***

Clair Francomano, M.D.

Heritable Connective Tissue Disorders and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
Director of The Ehlers-Danlos Society Center for Clinical Care and Research at the Harvey Institute of Human Genetics, Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Peter Rowe, M.D.

“Treatable co-morbid conditions: POTS/dysautonomia, and other lessons from chronic fatigue syndrome.
Director, Children’s Center Chronic Fatigue Clinic
Professor of Pediatrics
John’s Hopkins Medical Center

Jyothi Rao, M.D.

Functional Medicine and GI Health
Owner of Rao Wellness Center, Co-Author of Finding Balance
Maryland University of Integrative Health

Alan Hakim, M.D.

Hypermobility Syndromes
Rheumatology and Acute Medicine – The Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth, United Kingdom

Alan Pocinki, M.D.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autonomic Dysfunction, and Hypermobility Syndromes
Associate Clinical Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and the Health Sciences

Jan Dommerholt, PT, DPT, MPS, DAAPM

EDS and Central Sensitization
President and Owner, Bethesda Physiocare

Lawrence B. Afrin, M.D.

Mast Cell Disease and Multisystemic Chronic Illness
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, The University of Minnesota
Author of Never Bet Against Occam: Mast Cell Activation Disease and the Modern Epidemics of Chronic Illness and Medical Complexity

Pradeep Chopra, M.D.

Integrative Pain Medicine and Multisytemic Chronic Illness
Assistant Professor (Clinical), Brown Medical School

Deborah Norris, Ph.D., .C-IAYT, 500-RYT

The Art and Science of Mind-Body Therapies for Pain Relief
Author of ‘In the Flow: Passion, Purpose and the Power of Mindfulness’
Founder of The Mindfulness Center in Bethesda, MD

Conditions of Focus:

– Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)
– Chronic Pain Conditions, such as Fibromyalgia
– Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
– Mast Cell Disease, such as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
– Autonomic Dysfunction (Dysautonomia/POTS)
– Functional GI Disorders
– Endocrine Disorders
– Autoimmune Disorders
– Inflammatory Conditions
– Chronic Pelvic Pain Conditions due to Pelvic and Bladder Dysfunction
– Complex Multisystemic Conditions
– Comorbidities affecting Surgical Complications, Poor Wound Healing and Postoperative Outcomes

Sample Conference Schedule:

***We are continuing to work on the agenda and hope to be able to provide the final conference schedule during the week of May 23rd, 2017***

Day of Arrival

Friday, June 9th, 2017 – The Salamander Resort or alternate local accommodations

7:30pm-8:30pm - Welcome Reception (Gold Cup Wine Bar at The Salamander Resort)

Our welcome reception is open to all conference attendees, speakers and volunteers. Please join us from 7:30pm-8:30pm on Friday, June 9th, 2017 in the Gold Cup Wine Bar within The Salamander Resort. Light beverages and snacks will be provided. Guest tickets will be available for an addition charge soon. Details and a link to purchase additional welcome reception tickets will be emailed to attendees and speakers.

Transportation to the Welcome Reception from The Salamander Resort:

The Salamander Resort has two resort-owned cars that are available to take guests within a 5 miles radius – free of charge. Reservations are not available and transportation by resort-owned cars are available on a first come first serve basis.

Day One

Saturday, June 10th, 2017 – The Salamander Resort

7:45am-8:15am - Conference Check-in and Registration
8:15am-8:30am - Welcome and Introduction by Kendra Neilsen Myles, C.H.E.S, RYT 200, Executive Director and Founder, EDS Wellness
8:30am-9:00am - Patient Case Study #1 with Open Discussion (Moderators - Dr. Alan Hakim & Maria Dastur)
9:00am-10:00am - Speaker: Alan Hakim, M.D. Presentation: 'Updated Diagnostic Criteria and Considerations for Multisystemic Hypermobility Syndromes’
10:00am-10:30am - Interactive Q&A and Round-Table Discussions (Topic: 'The comorbid occurrence of complex and "not so rare " conditions - i.e., Hypermobility Syndromes, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, Mast Cell Activation Disease, Dysautonomia/POTS, functional GI disorders, and more.' Moderators - Dr. Alan Hakim & Kendra Neilsen Myles)

(Optional – Break or visit with vendor/sponsor tables)

10:30am-10:45am - Break
10:45am-11:45am - Speaker: Peter Rowe, M.D. Presentation: ‘Treatable co-morbid conditions: POTS/dysautonomia, milk protein intolerance, and adverse neural tension—lessons from chronic fatigue syndrome’
11:45am-12:00pm - Q&A and Open Discussion
12:00pm-1:00pm - Lunch (provided).
1:00pm-2:00pm - Speaker: Jyothi Rao, M.D. Presentation: ‘Gut Microbiome and the Role of Nutrition in Chronic Illness’
2:00pm-2:30pm - Interactive Q&A and Round-Table Discussion (Topic: ‘The Role of Nutrition in Healing and Wellness’ - Moderators - Kendra Neilsen Myles & Dr. Jyothi Rao)

(Optional – Break or visit with vendor/sponsor tables)

2:30-3:30pm - Speaker: Lawrence Afrin, M.D. Presentation: ‘Mast Cell Activation Disease: Current Concepts’
3:30pm-4:00pm - Interactive Q&A and Round-Table Discussion (Topic: ‘The Epidemic of Chronic Comorbid Conditions’ - Moderators - Maria Dastur & Dr. Larry Afrin)
(Optional – Break or visit with vendor/sponsor tables)
4:00pm-5:00pm - Speaker: Pradeep Chopra, M.D. Presentation: ‘Aspects of management of chronic pain in EDS.’
5:00pm-5:30pm - Interactive Q&A and Round-Table Discussion (Topic: ‘Connecting the dots of pain management, Dysautonomia and MCAS’ - Moderators - Dr. Pradeep Chopra and Kendra Neilsen Myles)

(Optional – Break or visit with vendor/sponsor tables)

5:30pm-7:00pm - Break/Rest/Enjoy Resort Activities and Amenities
7:00pm-9:00pm - (Optional) Group Dinner at Hunter's Head Tavern (R.S.V.P Required)

Our Saturday night dinner is optional and those who wish to attend must RSVP ahead of time; however, all attendees and speakers are welcome. Additional guests are also welcome. We have made reservations at Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville, VA (a short drive from The Salamander Resort), and have a limited number of spots available. Because of the large equestrian show in the Middleburg, VA occurring the same weekend as our physicians’ conference, a large group reservation is not possible. We have made several smaller group reservations for 7 pm at Hunter’s Head Tavern. We will try to accommodate more people as necessary. 

Please RSVP if you wish to attend by emailing

***Please note – Dinner tickets for both attendees and guests are available by going Adult tickets (attendee & adult guests) are $100 per person. Tickets for children 12yo and younger are $50 each.***

We are looking forward to a casual and fun dinner, celebrating this ground-breaking and exciting integrative medical conference focused on education, proper diagnosis, and solutions to help patients living with chronic, complex and multisystemic medical conditions find ways to live well, through collaborative partnerships with their healthcare provider team. Our Saturday night dinner will be casual and inviting, with understated elegance. Dress code is resort “chick” (i.e. business casual). 

Day Two

Sunday, June 11th, 2017 – The Salamander Resort

8:00am - 8:30am - Registration & Check-in/Conference Desk Open
8:30am-9:00am - Patient Case Study #2 with Open Discussion (Moderators - Dr. Peter Rowe & Kendra Neilsen Myles)
9:00am - 10:00am - Speaker: Alan Pocinki, M.D. Presentation: 'Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Pain, Poor Sleep, Fatigue, and Depression'
10:00am - 10:30am - Interactive Q&A and Round-Table Discussion (Topic: ‘When is too much medicalization too much?’- Moderators - Dr. Alan Pocinki and Kendra Neilsen Myles)

(Optional – Break or visit with vendor/sponsor tables)

10:30am -10:45am - Break
10:45am - 11:45am - Speaker: Deborah Norris, Ph.D. Presentation: ‘Evidence-based research for Mindfulness & Mind-Body Strategies in Clinical Practice’
11:45am - 12:00pm - Q&A and Open Discussion
12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch (provided)
1:00pm - 1:30pm - Patient Case Study #3 with Open Discussion focusing on ‘Fostering the Patient-Provider Relationship’ (Moderators - Kendra Neilsen Myles and Maria Dastur)

(Optional – Break or visit with vendor/sponsor tables)

1:30pm - 2:30pm - Speaker: Clair Francomano, M.D. Presentation: ‘Genetics and Epigenetic factors in Heritable Connective Tissue Diseases’
2:30pm - 3:00pm - Interactive Q&A and Round-Table Discussion (Topic: ‘The Role of Integrative Healthcare in Clinical Practice’ Moderators - Dr. Clair Francomano & Kendra Neilsen Myles)

(Optional – Break or visit with vendor/sponsor tables)

3:00pm - 4:00pm - Speaker: Jan Dommerholt, DPT. Presentation: ‘EDS and Central Sensitization’
4:00pm - 4:30pm - Interactive Q&A and Round-Table Discussion (Topic: ‘The Importance of Physical therapy, Exercise and Movement to Help Prevent “the EDS Spiral” of Deconditioning’. Moderators - Jan Dommerholt, DPT & Kendra Neilsen Myles)

(Optional – Break or visit with vendor/sponsor tables)

4:30pm - 5:30pm - Speaker Panel Q&A, Diagnostic Resources and Putting together your "Integrative Referral Team,” Coding and Insurance Considerations and Conference Wrap-up

Additional Presentation/Workshop Topics and Discussions:

***Presentation/workshop topics and discussions are subject to change.***

  • Integrative Healthcare and Wellness in clinical practice
  • Genetics & Epigenetic factors
  • Comorbid conditions such as Mast Cell Activation Disease, Dysautonomia/POTS, functional GI disorders, Craniocervical Instability, Chiari Malformation, and more.
  • Physical therapy, exercise, and movement
  • Putting together your “integrative” referral” team
  • Roundtable discussions
  • Coding and insurance considerations
  • The business of caring for complex patient (i.e. How to keep the lights on, while providing proper care)
  • Diagnostic resources
  • Nutrition
  • Mindfulness for chronic pain & complex chronic illness patients
  • Updates on Surgical Techniques and Outcomes
  • Role of Pharma & Med device companies in care if the complex/chronic illness patient
  • When is too much medicalization too much?
  • Urological and Gynecological manifestations
  • Emergency Room Protocol & Safety

Registration Costs and Deadlines:

***Registration has been extended through Friday, June 9th, 2017***

$565 per person (must register by Saturday, June 3rd, 2017)

$100 per person (Adults – attendees and guests) – Saturday Night Dinner and Silent Auction

$50 per person (Children 12yo and younger) – Saturday Night Dinner and Silent Auction 

The cost of registration includes two-day conference attendance, conference materials, a welcome reception, lunch each day and access to resort amenities (i.e., fitness center, pool, etc.). Extracurricular activities and spa appointments are additional and are the responsibility of each attendee. Please contact The Salamander Resort directly to make an appointment, or to inquire about resort activities.


EDS Wellness has reserved a limited number of rooms at a discounted rate of $465 per night + tax and fees. Nightly accommodations are additional to the cost of conference registration. Rooms will fit 1-4 people. If you would like to reserve a room under the conference room block, please refer to our 2017 Physicians Learning Conference Room Reservations PDF for instructions.

If you are attending alone and are interested in sharing a room with another attendee, please send an email to For other accommodation-related questions, please email Or, visit

Alternate options for accommodations:

List of Air B&B options in the Middleburg, VA area:

– List of Trip Advisor options:

For additional information on alternate accommodations, please visit Alternate Accommodation Options for the 2017 Physicians Learning Conference and Wellapalooza 2017.

To learn more about The Salamander Resort, or to read about its activities, please visit
For conference, venue, attendee, vendor, or other conference-related questions, please email to

About The Salamander Resort:

“Set on 340 acres nestled into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia’s famed horse and lush wine country…

Resort Founder and CEO, Sheila C. Johnson, has created this opulent and homelike destination. Designed to respect the architectural traditions of Virginia’s countryside, Salamander Resort & Spa features luxurious guestrooms and spacious suites, a luxury spa, full-service equestrian center, Virginia Piedmont-inspired dining, a multi-experience cooking studio, well-appointed wine bar, jovial billiards room, sophisticated library, exhilarating zip lining course, abundant amount of outdoor activities, and a unique array of conference and banquet facilities.

• Historic town of Middleburg
• Less than one hour from Washington, D.C.
• 30 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport

Rooms & Suites
• 168 guestrooms
• 17 suites; Owner’s Suite offers 1,680-square-feet of living space
• All suites and select guestrooms feature fireplaces
• Private balcony for each room
• Pet-friendly

• Farm-to-table Virginia Piedmont cuisine at Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill
• Sophisticated lounge with extensive wine list & cocktails at Gold Cup Wine Bar
• Multi-experience Cooking Studio
• 24-hour in-room dining available

• 14 treatment rooms including once couple’s suite and a rasul
• Full-service salon
• Fitness Center with indoor pool
• Private outdoor heated pool with sauna and cabanas

• World-class 14,000-square-foot stable featuring 22 stalls
• Nine beautiful paddocks
• 25 on-site acres dedicated to equestrian experiences
• Gentle ponies for beginners and children rides and lessons

• Outdoor resort pool with loungers and café
• Five different zip lines and two suspension sky bridges
• Nature-based activities including hiking and biking trails
• Golf privileges at Creighton Farms, a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course

Meetings & Events
• Luxurious 4,500-square-foot-divisible Middleburg Ballroom
• Over 6,800-square-feet of indoor meeting and event space
• Unique outdoor function spaces including the Grand Lawn, Culinary Garden and a restored 100-year-old Stallion Barn”

To learn more about The Salamander Resort, or to read about its activities, please visit You can also click on the links below.

Example of Group Recreation Activities

Additional Information on Group Activities

Example Salamander Resort Activity Guide

Additional Information:


Refunds will be provided if cancellations are received by April 28th, or 6 weeks prior to the date of the conference. Retreat registration fees are non-refundable if cancellations are received within the 6 weeks prior to the conference. No exceptions. We recommend purchasing trip insurance, if necessary.

Virtual Attendance and Conference Recordings:

Virtual Attendance is not offered at this time; however, we are working to provide virtual options. Details and information will be shared once available. Video recording and post-production provided by Lucky Dog Films.

Vendor/Sponsor/Partner Information:

EDS Wellness is happy to provide space for 6 vendor tables and we welcome vendor involvement in this amazing conference! We also are happy to accept in-kind donations of products or services. Because we have limited availability to host vendors/sponsors/partners, we will have specific donation options for those who would like to participate.

This incredible opportunity will provide vendors the opportunity to work in a more casual, less rushed environment. It will also provide attendees a better chance to investigate and discuss resources for patients, versus providing information to read on their own and consider later.

To learn more, please visit our Vendor/Sponsor/Partner page, or send an email to

About EDS Wellness:

EDS Wellness is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization promoting health education, integrative healthcare, and wellness strategies for living well with hypermobility syndromes, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), and related conditions through the publishing of print and digital media resources and materials, including seminars, webinars, conferences, wellness coaching and patient advocacy.

EDS Wellness provides education on various movement, nutrition, and mind-body techniques by collaborating with healthcare practitioners and like-minded organizations, to improve the quality of life and overall well-being of individuals living with EDS and other chronic, often invisible illnesses.

EDS Wellness collaborates with other organizations and healthcare practitioners on various projects associated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and its related conditions, to provide information and resources for those living with EDS and the medical professionals who care for them. EDS Wellness focuses on helping patients live well while living with EDS and its comorbid health conditions.


If you would like to provide a tax-deductible donation to help support the Physicians Learning Conference, please go to

EDS Wellness App:

Download the EDS Wellness App via iTunes!

Download the EDS Wellness App via Google Play!

Do you have a question or need more information?

For conference, venue, attendee, vendor, or other conference-related questions, please email to Or, use the contact form below.