The Shala London

The art of visceral manipulation

Some 90% of all musculoskeletal problems have a visceral (organ) component.

|    Therapies

Although relatively under utilised in modern physical therapy (though that is starting to change), the art of Visceral Manipulation has been a part of medicinal cultures since pre-recorded times. The word “visceral” refers to the internal organs of the body such as the stomach, liver and kidneys. Visceral Manipulation (VM for short) is therefore a hands-on-therapy that locates and releases points of tension within and around the organs that are affecting the body’s ability to function optimally.

VM can also be called “organ-specific fascial mobilisation”, as it is carried out by gentle mobilisation of the connective tissue (fascia) around the organs. Fascia occurs throughout the whole body. It can be thick and strong like a tendon that attaches a muscle to a joint. Or it can be more elastic such as organ fascia, which gives the organs the mobility they need to move to the extent required for good health; an optimally functioning liver, for example, should move up to 30,000 times a day. Visceral Manipulation helps to both prevent and correct any restrictions of such movement, which would soon create other problems in the body, like musculoskeletal pain. In this way VM helps the body to exist in a state of harmony and balance.

The science of Visceral Manipulation was founded by Physiotherapist and Osteopath Jean Pierre Barral who, while working in the lung disease hospital in Grenoble, France, observed how visceral restriction (in this instance of the lungs) could lead to changes in, and pain of, the muscles and joints. He went on to discover, through extensive research, that some 90% of all musculoskeletal problems have a visceral (organ) component. As such, physical therapies that don’t address underlying visceral issues can often be short-lived even if they do cause an initial reduction in pain.

Barral was named one of Time Magazine’s Top Six Innovators for Alternative Medicine. A multitude of studies have gone on to prove just how far-reaching the benefits of the VM method he developed can be- from 96% of a group of chronic lower back pain sufferers experiencing a marked improvement in their condition after having been given VM treatments, to another group of patients showing significantly positive changes in organ function via both X-ray and ultra-sound after VM treatments.

Common problems that can be treated with Visceral Manipulation include:

  • Sports and yoga injuries or restrictions
  • Chronic back pain
  • Hip, knee, shoulder, elbow and wrist pain
  • Whiplash
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Digestive problems such as bloating, constipation and IBS
  • Emotional issues such as anxiety, stress and depression- there is groundbreaking new research which proves through brain Scans that the mind does not distinguish between physical issues and emotional issues.

VM can be used to break the cycle of any of these symptoms, unlocking complicated bio-mechanical distortions and allowing the body to regain healthy functioning and movement. Successful resolution is about finding the areas of restriction that are specific to you, then allowing them to release in the way needed for your body to reorient itself towards better health. As such, VM is for anyone who simply wants to feel better in themselves.

If you are having difficulty with certain yoga postures, experiencing long-term restrictions in movement, or suffering from pain or discomfort anywhere in your body (even if it’s not getting better with other forms of physical therapy)-or if you just instinctively feel that you’re capable of getting more from your body and can’t put your finger on what is holding you back- then it is worth getting checked out by a Visceral Manipulation (VM) therapist. As founder Jean Pierre Barral’s groundbreaking research proved, there is a 90% chance that it is the missing link to your problem. Read more here.

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