Institute Faculty

Dr. James Dunning
DPT, MSc Manip Ther, OCS, MTC, MCSP, MAACP (UK), FAAOMPT, MMACP (UK)
Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (USA)
Manipulation Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (UK)
Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (UK)

Dr. James Dunning is the President of Spinal Manipulation Institute and Dry Needling Institute of the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy. He is the owner of Alabama Physical Therapy & Acupuncture in Montgomery, Alabama.  Dr. Dunning specializes in spinal manipulation, western and traditional Chinese acupuncture, and trigger point dry needling for a variety of neuromusculoskeletal conditions.  Dr. Dunning graduated Magna Cum Laude and received a Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University, a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of the Pacific, California and a post-graduate Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, Florida.  In addition, he received a post-graduate Master of Science in Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy from the University of Birmingham, England, and has completed advanced training in osteopathic spinal manipulation and acupuncture through the London School of Osteopathy, British Medical Acupuncture Society, and Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (UK). 

Dr. Dunning is a Manipulative Physiotherapist, Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, Certified Manual Therapist, Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, Member of the Manipulation Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (England), and Member of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (England).  He has completed original experimental research investigating the effects of cervical manipulation on the electromyographic activity of the upper limb muscles.

Dr. Dunning presented on the neurophysiological effects of C5-6 high-velocity low-amplitude thrust manipulation on the biceps brachii muscle at the 2007 American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) Annual Conference in St. Louis.  This original experimental research entitled "The effects of cervical manipulation on the resting electromyographic activity of the biceps brachii muscle" by Dunning & Rushton (2009) is published in the international journal Manual Therapy 14 (2009) 508-513.  The full text PDF version can be downloaded here.

Dr. Dunning has a special interest in the use of acupuncture and spinal manipulation for the treatment of cervicogenic headaches, whiplash associated disorders of the cervicothoracic region, post-partum pelvic pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunctions, lumbar zygapophyseal joint dysfunctions, neurogenic cervicobrachial pain syndromes, craniofacial pain, and neuromyofascial pain syndromes.

In 2008, Dr. Dunning presented original experimental research on the effects of HVLA thrust manipulation on the electromyographic activity of upper limb muscles in Rotterdam, Netherlands at the 9th Congress of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT).  Dr. Dunning was awarded the 2009 AAOMPT OPTP Research Grant for the study entitled, "Upper cervical and upper thoracic thrust manipulation versus nonthrust mobilization in patients with mechanical neck pain: a multi-center randomized clinical trial"--Dunning et al (2012) was published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Recently, Dr. Dunning presented the findings of his latest study entitled, "Bilateral and multiple cavitation sounds during upper cervical thrust manipulation" at the 2012 IFOMPT Conference in Quebec, Canada. Dunning et al (2013) was just published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders and can be downloaded as a full text PDF. Most recently, Dr. Dunning taught spinal manipulation workshops and presented original experimental research at the 2013 Italian Manual Therapy Conference in Tuscany, Italy. Dr. Dunning's most recent article titled, "Dry needling: a literature review with implications for clinical practice guidelines" was published in 2013 in the journal Physical Therapy Reviews. This literature review can be downloaded as a full text PDF here.

Follow Dr. Dunning at twitter.com/drdunning


Dr. Raymond Butts
DPT, PhD, MSc NeuroScience, Cert. SMT, Cert. DN

Dr. Raymond Butts is the senior Physical Therapist at Palmetto Health Research Physical Therapy Specialists, Columbia, SC. Dr. Butts has a special interest in the use of spinal manipulation and dry needling for the management chronic neuromusculoskeletal pain conditions. He graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Psychology and served as an Army officer in the Bosnia-Kosovo and Iraq conflicts. Dr. Butts received a post-graduate Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Brain and Neuroscience Research from the University of Tubingen (Germany), where he investigated the central mediated aspects of chronic pain with magnetoencephalography and fMRI. In addition, Dr. Butts completed a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) and a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Motor Rehabilitation from the University of South Carolina. His PhD dissertation investigated the use of transcranial magnetic and direct current stimulation for dis-inhibition of the motor cortex and facilitation of plasticity-dependent, motor recovery. Dr. Butts is the recipient of the University of South Carolina Distinguished Graduate Award for his innovative research.

Dr. Butts became Certified in Spinal Manipulative Therapy™ (Cert. SMT™) after successfully completing SMT-1, SMT-2, SMT-3, and SMT-4 of the Spinal Manipulation Institute HVLA Thrust Manipulation Series™; additionally, he became Certified in Dry Needling™ (Cert. DN™) following successful completion of the DN-1 and DN-2 dry needling courses through Dry Needling Institute of the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy™. Dr. Butts is a Senior Instructor for both Spinal Manipulation Institute and Dry Needling Institute for the following courses:

  1. SMT-1: High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust Manipulation of the Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar & Sacroiliac Joints.

  2. SMT-3: Lumbar & Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: Diagnosis & Management with HVLA Thrust Manipulation & Exercise.

  3. DN-1: Dry Needling for Craniofacial, Cervicothoracic & Upper Extremity Conditions: an Evidence-Based Approach.

  4. DN-2: Dry Needling for Lumbopelvic & Lower Extremity Conditions: an Evidence-Based Approach.

Dr. Butts recently presented original experimental research titled, “Facilitation of Motor Skill Acquisition in the Non-Dominant Upper Extremity via Motor Training Augmented with Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation and Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation”. In 2013, Dr. Butts co-authored and published “The Side, Duration and Number of Cavitation Sounds during Upper Cervical Thrust Manipulation” in the internationally recognized journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders; the full text PDF version can be downloaded here. Most recently, Dr. Butts is featured as a co-author of “The Within-Session Change in Low Back Pain Intensity Following Spinal Manipulative Therapy is Related to Differences in Diffusion of Water in the Intervertebral Discs of the Upper Lumbar Spine and L5-S1”—presently under review by Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Dr. Butts is an adjunct instructor of Anatomy & Physiology and Applied Anatomy & Biomechanics at Midland’s Technical College and the University of South Carolina, respectively; in addition, he is a guest lecturer in the University of South Carolina Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Lastly but not least, Dr. Butts is a former competitive rower, and he has competed in numerous international and world-class rowing championships.


Dr. Thomas Perreault
PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. DN, Cert. SMT

Dr. Thomas Perreault is a Manipulative Physiotherapist and practices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He specializes in the use of dry needling and spinal manipulation for a variety of neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Dr. Perreault received a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from the University of Maine and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) from Franklin Pierce University in Concord, New Hampshire.

Dr. Perreault is a graduate of the Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (IOMT) post-professional and APTA credentialed residency program. He is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and is a guest lecturer in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Boston University. Dr. Perreault is Certified in Dry Needling™ (Cert. DN™) through Dry Needling Institute of the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy and is a senior instructor for the following courses:

  1. DN-1: Dry Needling for Craniofacial, Cervicothoracic & Upper Extremity conditions: an Evidence-Based Approach.

  2. DN-2: Dry Needling for Lumbopelvic & Lower Extremity Conditions: an Evidence-Based Approach.

In addition Dr. Perreault successfully completed the SMT-1, SMT-2, SMT-3 and SMT-4 High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust Manipulation Series™, and he is Certified in Spinal Manipulative Therapy™ (Cert. SMT™) through Spinal Manipulation Institute.



Dr. Firas Mourad
PT, MS, OMT, Cert. SMT, Cert. DN

Dr. Firas Mourad is the owner of SPORTLIFE Physiotherapy in Montichiari, Italy.  Dr. Mourad specializes in spinal manipulation and dry needling for a variety of neuromusculoskeletal & sports injury conditions. Dr. Mourad received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Brescia University (Italy), a Master of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT-IFOMPT) from the University of Genova (Italy), and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sport & Exercise Medicine from Ulster University (Belfast, UK). Dr. Mourad is a Lecturer in the Sport Rehabilitation Master’s degree program at Pisa University (Italy). He is a Board member on the Italian Manual Therapy Group (IFOMPT), and he is a Physiotherapist for the Italian National Rugby Team.

Dr. Mourad became Certified in Spinal Manipulative Therapy™ (Cert. SMT™) after successfully completing SMT-1, SMT-2, SMT-3, and SMT-4 of the Spinal Manipulation Institute HVLA Thrust Manipulation Series™; additionally, he became Certified in Dry Needling™ (Cert. DN™) following successful completion of the DN-1 and DN-2 dry needling courses through Dry Needling Institute of the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy™. Dr. Mourad is a Senior Instructor for both Spinal Manipulation Institute and Dry Needling Institute for the following courses:

  1. SMT-1: High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust Manipulation of the Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar & Sacroiliac Joints.

  2. DN-1: Dry Needling for Craniofacial, Cervicothoracic & Upper Extremity Conditions: an Evidence-Based Approach.

  3. DN-2: Dry Needling for Lumbopelvic & Lower Extremity Conditions: an Evidence-Based Approach.

In 2013, Dr. Mourad co-authored and published “The Side, Duration and Number of Cavitation Sounds during Upper Cervical Thrust Manipulation” in the internationally recognized journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders; the full text PDF version can be downloaded here. Most recently, Dr. Mourad is the co-author of “Dry Needling: a Literature Review with Implications for Clinical Practice Guidelines”--published in the international peer-reviewed journal Physical Therapy Reviews (Dunning et al, 2014).


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