Visceral Manipulation

Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a gentle manual therapy that aids your body’s ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction

By evaluating the entire body to find the source of the problem, the treatments are not focused solely on the site of pain or dysfunction. The curriculum presented in the visceral manipulation program offers a method for assessing and treating the influence of those structures that lie in front of the spine. Those influential structures can include organs and their fascial attachments, peritoneum, the greater omentum or blood vessels.

VM was developed by Dr. Jean-Pierre Barral, a Registered Physical Therapist and Osteopathic Physician since 1974. He’s held many positions including Director (and Faculty) of the Department of Osteopathic Manipulation at the University of Paris, School of Medicine, in Paris, France and Chairman of Department of VM on the Faculty of Medicine Paris du Nord. Over time he developed this form of manual therapy based on his theory that each internal organ rotates on a physiological axis, and that each internal organ has a relationship through fascial attachments to the spine.

At the Lung Disease Hospital in Grenoble, France Dr.Barral’s in-depth study of patterns of stress in tissues of cadavers complemented his interest in biomechanics in living subjects. He recognized the potential for the organ system to create lines of tension within the body. This observation was fundamental to his development of VM. He has worked with researchers in France and North America to create evidence-based data, documenting changes in the viscera with the use of x-ray fluoroscopy, endoscopy, doppler and ultrasound before and after manipulation of the organ. Today, VM courses based on his findings are taught around the world by certified teachers who successfully complete a rigorous training program with Dr. Barral.

When is visceral manipulation recommended?

If one has a history of: trauma (fall, fracture, surgery), whiplash and seatbelt injuries, lower back pain and sciatica, digestive disorders, acid reflux, postoperative scar tissue pain, swallowing dysfunctions, women’s and men’s health issues, chronic pelvic pain, anxiety and depression, and more.

VM is performed with light touch, compliments all other forms of therapy, and is used in combination with general massage treatments. VM therapy helps to re-establish the body’s ability to adapt and restore itself to good health. As with other manual techniques, the client’s adherence to specific exercise, stretching techniques and other home care modalities remains integral to the success of treatment.