Visceral & Neural Manipulation
with Graham Stones
Visceral manipulation is a whole body treatment which addresses the deeper internal restrictions of the body which can be affecting the overall function of the body, causing muscular and postural distortions and dysfunction and resulting in pain or even injury.
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.
What is it used for?
Common problems that can be treated with Visceral Manipulation include:
- Sports & yoga injuries or restrictions
- Chronic back pain
- Hip, knee, shoulder, elbow and wrist pain
- 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.