Craniosacral Therapy
Visceral Manipulation
Health and Wellness
Massage Therapy
Visceral Manipulation
What Is Visceral Manipulation?

Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a soft hands-on manual therapy developed by French Osteopath, Jean-Pierre Barral. He was named one of Time Magazine's Top Six Innovators for Alternative Medicine to watch in the new millennium.

This gentle manual therapy releases unhealthy restrictions in the body's viscera – such as the liver, intestines, kidneys, and stomach – which cause pain and dysfunction. Jean-Pierre Barral says; "The muscles are witnesses to what is going on deeper inside the body". 'Listening techniques' are used to find the body's greatest struggle in that moment of treatment because the source of the problem may not be at the site of pain. The therapist feels for the decreased motion within the viscera, as well as restrictive patterns throughout the body and then applies VM techniques. VM therapy 'wakes up a little something in the body' re-establishing the body's ability to adapt and restore itself to health. VM is often cited as a missing link in the treatment of recurring musculoskeletal pain, postural distortions and biomechanical dysfunction.

Is Visceral Manipulation Like Massage?

VM is a soft hands-on manual therapy. It is a fully clothed treatment with professional and modest draping used when needed. The body creates a compensatory pattern that is unknown to you underlying the pain or illness. Most often the initial source of the dysfunction is far from where the pain is felt. Using specific 'listening techniques', the therapist 'listens' for this pattern and the source of the problem and treats the related tissues. The treatment is a gentle compression, mobilization and elongation of the soft tissues. As the source of the problem is released, the symptoms will start to decrease and the body will return to greater health. This could take several days to occur after the Visceral Manipulation treatment.

My Organs Are Causing My Pain?

Your body is made up of many interrelated components such as bones, muscles, nerves, a thin connective tissue called fascia, as well as the internal organs (viscera). Your organs are in perpetual motion. When you breathe, walk and stretch, your organs move in your chest and abdomen. For example, when you take a breath, your kidneys move one inch; and with deep inhalation, they move 4 inches. In a day, they move a little over ½ mile. That's around 19,000 miles in a lifetime!

This movement of organs is transmitted through fascia to other structures of the body. When you are healthy, all the structures move with an interconnected fluidity. All of this movement is important as it influences activities throughout the body from the tiniest cellular pulsations to rhythmic contractions of the heart and blood flow. Optimum health relies on a harmonious relationship between the motions of the organs and other structures of the body.

There are many reasons for an organ to lose its mobility: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/delivery. When an organ is no longer freely mobile but is fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate. This creates abnormal points of tension and the chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems throughout the body – musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urinary, respiratory and digestive, to name a few.

Imagine scar tissue around the lungs. Because of the pull of the adhesion, with every breath, the movement patterns of the nearby structures would be altered. This could shift rib motion creating pulls on the spine. These restrictions might then show up as mid-back and neck pain, as well as limited motion in the shoulder. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction - magnified by thousands of repetitions each day. This also explains how pain can often be far removed from the actual cause.

Emotional Release with Visceral Manipulation

There is documentation that our emotions have a great impact on how our body functions. This is greatly due to how receptive our organs are to our feelings. Different emotions affect different organs. Emotional reactions can translate into simple spasms in the liver to headaches, oily hair, hypersensitive skin, bad breath, sensitive gums, and serious diseases. When the brain receives negative emotions it sends tension to the related organ, the organ then sends tension back to the brain resulting in a vicious cycle. Conversely, a physically damaged or imbalanced organ can stimulate emotional upset. VM can break this cycle, enhance the health of the organ, and restore emotional balance.

How Can Visceral Manipulation Benefit Me?
Visceral Manipulation can help alleviate a wide range of health issues associated with pain and dysfunction including but not limited to:
  • Chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • Sciatica
  • Back, hip and knee pain
  • Repetitive strain injuries, e.g. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Whiplash and other physical trauma
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Vertigo
  • Post-surgical pain and Scar tissue
  • Acid Reflux and Heartburn
  • Bladder incontinence
  • Digestive disorder

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