Visceral manipulation is a method of hand therapy consisting of gentle, focused forces that encourage normal mobility, tone, and innate movement of the viscera, connective tissue, and other areas of the body where normal movement is disturbed. It is a trained touch and rearrangement of the surrounding tissues but also of the viscera themselves, when through the visceral hearing a restriction or tendency is found between the surrounding tissues or the visceral structure itself, which can cause pain or any discomfort to the patient.
Jean Pierre Barral, born in France in 1944, began as a physiotherapist and earned his doctorate in osteopathy. Through his training he had the opportunity to examine the tissues and organs of the human body through the examination of corpses for his doctorate. At the same time, through clinical experience and assessment through examination of patients and palpation of tissues, he discovered that the thickening of the tissues around the viscera, which exists in many people, causes a changed mechanical tendency in the surrounding tissues. Thus was developed the theory and practice of visceral listening techniques.
Barral discovered that structural relationships (musculoskeletal, spinal, and cranial) self-correct after appropriate visceral manipulation. Movement is a sign of life itself and everything moves in space and time. Our bodies need movement to be healthy. The same principle applies to the viscera.
Tissues lose their normal movement when there is inflammation. The natural healing process is a local disruption of normal tissue fibers and their replacement by relatively inelastic granular tissue. There are many factors that can cause inflammation: infections, direct trauma, repetitive movement, diet, environmental toxins, emotional stress, etc.
Through the techniques of visceral manipulation, the best normal movement of the visceral structures that are in restriction will be achieved and the function of the viscera will be improved, resulting in the better function and organization of the whole body.
Visceral manipulation can help in many diseases or cases where conventional physiotherapy intervention does not “cure” the problem but also in any case where a disorder is not restored with another therapeutic approach. When the initial cause is in the reduction of the visceral structure, but the pain appears in a distant part of the body, through the restriction of adjacent tissues, it gives the wrong impression that the point of pain is responsible, so it is not “cured” with the classical approach and the patient is still showing symptoms.
Visceral manipulation has very good results in cases:
- Diaphragmatic cavity
- Stomach disorders
- Gastroesophageal Reflux
- Periarthritis of the shoulder
- Neck pain
- Cervical syndrome
- Joint pain in the knees or lower extremities in general
- Temple pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome