Truth, Lies and Chiropractic thesis earns University’s top academic prize

Published 4 May 2023
A mand and woman on the dias at a graduation ceremony Dr Simon Senzon with Chancellor Sandra McPhee.

An internationally-renowned chiropractic thought leader and educator produced a PhD thesis described as a tour de force to earn the coveted Southern Cross University Chancellor’s Medal.

Dr Simon Senzon’s PhD thesis ‘Truth, Lies, and Chiropractic’ explores the strengths, weaknesses and impact of the chiropractic peer-reviewed literature about identity.

“I pioneered a novel analysis of the chiropractic identity literature, illuminating a new path forward for the future of chiropractic research,” said Dr Senzon, founder of The Institute Chiropractic (TIC) based in the US.

He plans to develop a new 100-hour online program for TIC’s students and professionals based on his thesis.

Regarded as an academic pushing the boundaries of chiropractic knowledge, Dr Senzon’s decades’ long research on the history of ideas in chiropractic has led to him lecturing around the world. He is also one of the most prolific authors in the chiropractic profession.

He travelled to Australia with his son to attend the Gold Coast graduation ceremonies where he proudly received The Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding PhD Thesis from the Chancellor Sandra McPhee.

“I was completely floored, humbled, and excited to be awarded the Chancellor’s Medal. After four years of painstaking research and what is likely one of the most complex theses I could imagine, it is incredibly gratifying to be acknowledged in this way,” said Dr Senzon.

Accolades for exceptional thesis

His lead supervisor Southern Cross University Emeritus Professor Stephen Myers described the thesis as a tour de force.

“Simon’s thesis is a remarkable undertaking and a landmark study for integral theory research,” said Professor Myers.

Integral theory developed by the US philosopher Ken Wilber is a framework for looking at all aspects of the human experience and our endeavours through all perspectives (individual and collective both interior and exterior).

“Simon has completed research which uses all the lenses of integral theory and may be the first to ever achieve this goal. Practically, Simon has dissected the scholarship within the identity literature of the chiropractic profession and mapped the discourse using citation analysis to discover the most influential papers, which he has then dissected using thematic and critical analysis,” Professor Myers said.

“To do this, Simon has needed to develop new scientific tools and then demonstrate their usefulness. Simon’s thesis is a tour de force and his work has the potential to influence other professions to use his new tools and follow his methodological steps to be able to understand more about the scholarship underpinning their identity.”

Dr Senzon said Southern Cross University’s flexible PhD program offered him the best opportunity to pursue such a thesis.

“Considering I had been publishing in this field for two decades, with about 30 papers in peer-review, I wanted to find a program that would allow me to continue my work without being bogged down by mandatory classes. My hope was to use my previous publications towards the thesis, which I have done. The thesis appendix includes 25 of my papers and nine book chapters,” he said.

“The Faculty of Health at Southern Cross University had already enrolled several chiropractors pursuing the PhD. I followed in the footsteps of these colleagues, namely Dennis Richards and Donald McDowall, both of whom graduated in the last year or two.”

Dr Senzon thanked the tireless support and encouragement of his PhD supervisors: Professor Myers, Dr Elizabeth Emmanuel, Associate Professor Paul Orrock and Adjunct Associate Professor Elaine Jeffords (all of Southern Cross University); and external supervisor Dr Brian McAulay of Logan University (USA).

“I was thrilled to see my lead supervisor, Stephen Myers, be honoured at the same graduation ceremony as Professor Emeritus of Southern Cross University,” said Dr Senzon.

Dr Senzon started The Institute Chiropractic (TIC) in 2016 to offer an online learning centre for chiropractors worldwide.

“The mission of TIC is to educate a global group of chiropractors who share a common knowledge base about chiropractic’s history of ideas,” said Dr Senzon.

“I found this was necessary because there is no agreed-upon curriculum in the profession regarding history, philosophy, and theory. Chiropractors and chiropractic students may access over 100 hours of content, mostly comprised of my lectures and interviews. New content gets posted for members on a regular basis, based upon my latest research.”

Two men in graduation gowns

Dr Simon Senzon (left) with his supervisor Emeritus Professor Stephen Myers.

Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University 0429 661 349 or