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Visceral Manipulation

Visceral Manipulation was developed by Dr. Jean-Pierre Barral, D.O., P.T. between 1975 and 1982 while he was teaching spinal biomechanics at England’s European School of Osteopathy. Barral investigated “how the thickening of tissues in the body creates areas of greater mechanical tension that, in turn, pull on surrounding tissues.” This thickening of tissues is the basis for how our gut can develop adhesions around organs that will restrict them from functioning fully.

Visceral manipulation is defined by the Barral Institute as:

1. a gentle manual therapy that assesses the structural relationships between the viscera (organs), and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to the various systems in the body.

2. assists functional and structural imbalances throughout the body including musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urogenital, respiratory, digestive, eliminatory, neuroendocrine and lymphatic dysfunction.

According to the Barral Institute’s website, visceral manipulation is found to help the following conditions:

Acute Disorders:

  • Whiplash

  • Seat belt Injuries

  • Chest or Abdominal Sports Injuries

  • Concussion

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries

Digestive Disorders:

  • Bloating and Constipation

  • Nausea and Acid Reflux

  • GERD

  • Swallowing Dysfunctions

Women’s and Men’s Health Issues:

  • Chronic Pelvic Pain

  • Endometriosis

  • Fibroids and Cysts

  • Dysmenorrhea

  • Bladder Incontinence

  • Effects of Menopause


Musculoskeletal Disorders:

  • Somatic-Visceral Interactions

  • Chronic Spinal Dysfunction

  • Headaches and Migraines

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Peripheral Joint Pain

  • Sciatica

  • Neck Pain

Pain Related to:

  • Post-operative Scar Tissue

  • Post-infection Scar Tissue

  • Autonomic Mechanisms

Pediatric Issues:

  • Constipation and Gastritis

  • Persistent Vomiting

  • Vesicoureteral Reflux

  • Infant Colic

Emotional Issues:

  • Anxiety and Depression

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder