Watson Headache® Education

Understanding The Role Of The Neck In Cervicogenic And Primary Headache For Health Professionals Managing Headache And Migraine

Programs And Courses Are Designed To Inform Individuals Living With And Health Professionals Managing Headache And Migraine, About The Role Of Neck Disorders And The Watson Headache® Approach.

Watson Headache® Institute - Education Pathway

A step-by-step pathway to understanding Cervicogenic Headache and the Role of Cervical Afferents in Primary Headache

Continuing Professional Development

Dean Watson, on behalf of the Watson Headache® Institute, presents to Manual Therapists (Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Manual Therapy Doctors) in the role of cervical afferents in cervicogenic and primary headache as well as the internationally acclaimed Watson Headache® Approach.

The Watson Headache® Approach is the only scientifically validated manual cervical approach that has been shown to affect the underlying cause of headache and migraine conditions.

Gain the skills, knowledge and experience to transform lives by helping those living with headache and migraine.

Our continuing professional development courses consistently receive feedback scores of 9 or 10 from participants to indicate they would recommend our courses to colleagues.

Thank you to those of you who have. This helps to fulfill Dean Watson’s vision that “a skilled examination of the upper cervical spine becomes routine when investigating headache and migraine conditions”.

A New Skill Set and Community

With both offline and online courses, health professionals can acquire a new skill set to support making a difference in the lives of those living with headache and/or migraine.

Participation also provides the opportunity to join a community advocating for cervicogenic headache and the role of cervical afferents in primary headache.

Receive ongoing updates and invites to supporting events such as webinars, question and answer sessions and Watson Headache® International Symposia and Summits.

3 Key Benefits of Our Courses

Determining the relevancy of upper cervical afferents in headache and migraine – With 390 million migraine sufferers worldwide, clinical experience and scientific validation has proven that identifying cervical relevancy is a skill set you will need to treat more than just ‘cervicogenic headache’.

Identifying a cervical cause of headache and migraine – With the specific techniques of the Watson Headache® Approach and associated clinical reasoning you will be able to precisely determine which segment/s of the neck are involved in headache and migraine thereby removing the guesswork out of management.

Utilizing a systematic approach to achieve superior clinical outcomes – With this new skill set you will change lives; you’ll be inundated with people searching for headache or migraine relief.

Education Pathway

Online And In-Person Courses

Hosted By The Watson Headache® Institute

Presenter Dr Dean H Watson PhD APA Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Online Course

Level 1 Foundation Course Online Recorded - 8 Modules plus Access to 12 Weeks Live Streaming In-Person Q&A Sessions

Please Note: The Watson Headache® Institute courses are only open to those holding a Tertiary Qualification in, and Professional Registration to practice as a Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Osteopath or Manual Therapy Doctor.

Looking Inside The 8 Online Course Modules

Discover the foundations of our course by exploring our introduction to the modules.

In-Person Courses

Located in Adelaide South Australia

Level 1 Foundation Course
3 Day In-Person

Pre-requisite to the Consolidation Course after a minimum of 3 – 6 months of clinical practice.

Level 2 Consolidation Course
3 Day In-Person

Pre-requisite: Completion Foundation and a minimum of 3 – 6 months of clinical practice since.

Level 3 Certification Course
4 Day In-Person

Pre-requisite: Completion Consolidation course and a minimum of 3 – 6 months of clinical practice since.

What’s Included In Our Professional Education Courses?



Laying The Foundations

Level 1 Foundation Course Online or In-Person

Be prepared for a paradigm shift! The Foundation Course Online/In-Person will not only change your perspective of the role of cervicogenic dysfunction in primary headache but also take the guesswork out of treating headache and migraine conditions – no headache or migraine is complicated. In this intensive training you will:

Understand how cervicogenic dysfunction can be more than just a trigger for primary headache conditions i.e., it can be the cause.

Appreciate that the medical model of headache is clinically irrelevant and why a diagnosis is meaningless. After all, a diagnosis is just based on a set of signs and symptoms, it says nothing about the underlying pathology.

Discover how to take a sensitive and effective subjective examination. Arguably the subjective examination for headache and migraine conditions is more important than other musculoskeletal conditions not only because of ʻRed Flagsʼ i.e., slow leaking aneurysms (misdiagnosed significantly), cranial vasculitis, tumors, etc., and potential craniovertebral instability but also because there are no reproducible objective signs; there is an increased reliance on the subjective features for reassessment.

Learn how to conduct a non-aggressive, non-symptom provoking, effective stability assessment of the craniovertebral complex, using techniques you will understand; you wonʼt be daunted when faced with this part of the assessment.

Familiarize yourself with the ʻWatson Headache® Approachʼ, a scientifically validated (Dean will share the result of his groundbreaking PhD research; some are saying this is the most significant research in manual therapy and headache for decades) method of confirming cervicogenic dysfunction as the source of sensitization of the brainstem the disorder that underpins primary headache syndromes.

Why Deanʼs manual therapy approach challenges and asks questions of the sensitized brainstem. The ʻWatson Headache® Approach identifies the segment/s involved. This diagnostic accuracy is unparalleled in manual therapy. The Approach also provides an alternative to high-velocity thrust techniques to address upper cervical segmental hypomobility.



Consolidate Your Learning

Level 2 Consolidation Course In-Person

To promote comprehensive discussion and interaction the Consolidation Course intentionally involve small groups of delegates. This takes full advantage of Dean’s unparalleled experience.

Whilst on the Foundation Course you learned to ‘touch’ (excuse the pun!) type, the Consolidation Course is about becoming an ‘author’ i.e., whilst anyone can learn a technique ( FoundationCourse), success depends on how you use them also known as ‘CLINICAL REASONING’.

Apart from the first 2-3 hours where we re-visit aspects of the Foundation Course (where your questions and experiences with patients are addressed), the Consolidation Course is about facilitating and accelerating your progress; this is done through your participation in the case studies of 4-6 patients.After this course your outcomes will be significantly improved because you will:Realise the importance of ‘Battle 1’ (B1) versus ‘Battle 2’ (B2);Be able to identify why progress is not as it should be. Your confidence in your choice of treatment direction and technique will be increased; no more uncertainty.Achieve improved clarity around un-resolving (as the technique is sustained) headache and how you can still achieve a positive result even though headache reproduction remains unchanged.Understand why in the event of an adverse reaction it occurred and how to deal with it!



Certifying Your Learning

Level 3 Certification Course In-Person

Completing the Certification Course demonstrates to employers, professional colleagues, and those living with headache and migraine conditions, that you have displayed a clear understanding of the fundamentals, theory and practical tenants of the Watson Headache® Approach.

Upon completion of the course, a practitioner should be able to care for complex headache patients of all types and be competent in clinical reasoning, techniques and patient communication (education and counselling).

Ongoing recognition as a Watson Headache® Certified Practitioner is conditional on maintaining the Watson Headache® Approach standards, including pursuant to any re-certification by the Institute, as well as retaining such professional qualifications in good standing in his or her profession, and compliance with the Institute’s policies and procedures.

Professional Education: A Complimentary Guide For Health Professionals

10 Misconceptions When Treating Headache and Migraine

In this guide Dean dispels commonly held myths and explains how to significantly improve the life of a headache or migraine sufferer with the Watson Headache Approach.


If after you have experienced the first two modules or two hours of any of our courses/programs/events and you are not 100% happy, for whatever reason, we will refund your fee. We are more than comfortable making this guarantee because of participant feedback.

We know the Watson Headache® Institute’s courses will change your perspective on the headache and migraine condition as well as how you manage the upper cervical spine. You may be a little anxious about the value of your first course with us. We understand this, and trust this takes the risk out of your decision to join us.

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