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Visceral Manipulation- A Unique Approach to Holistic Health

Visceral manipulation is a gentle, hands-on manual therapy technique developed by French osteopath Jean-Pierre Barral that focuses on improving the function of internal organs and their surrounding tissues. This approach is based on the premise that unrestricted movement of organs is essential for optimal health. By applying precise manual techniques, visceral manipulation aims to release tension patterns, adhesions, and scar tissue that may be impeding normal organ function and contributing to various health issues.


I experienced the benefits of visceral manipulation when I was recieving pelvic floor physical therapy for chronic sacral pain back in 2023. At first it seemed like straight up voodoo- how is poking at my iliocecal valve supposed to help anything? Over a year later I can confidently say it's the one thing that has made the most positive impact with my more stubborn pain issues. So of course I had to learn how to do this strange magic myself. In January of 2024 I took my first visceral course through the Barral Institue and it was fascinating, enlightening and exhausting. Since then I've continued education in this modality and have also seen how it has benefited clients on my table. Below I've answered some of the most common questions about visceral manipulation, but please don't hesitate to reach out if you'd like to discuss how this method could help you reach your goals.


Does visceral manipulation hurt?

No. VM should never hurt. It is a very gentle and specific modality that is body led- meaning I never force, only ask. I also allow the tissue to tell me where it wants me to work and where it doesn't. Since we are working with delicate and vulnerable structures, it's imperative the body feels safe.


Can I stay clothed?

Yes, absolutely. VM can be done directly on the skin or through a thin layer of clothing, depending on the client's comfort.


I've had abdominal surgery- can I recieve visceral manipulation?

The short answer is it depends. There are some cases where VM is contraindicated (medical implants, active cancer) but surgeries such as c-sections and gall bladder removal are totally fine as long as you have recovered fully without complications. Please reach out to discuss your unique situation.


Can visceral manipulation help my back pain?

Possibly! Many chronic back issues can have a visceral root.


Can I get visceral manipulation while on my period?

In a perfect world we prefer to do VM while the client is not menstruating, but that simply isn't always possible. I recommend drinking additional fluids and using a heating pad after a VM session during your period.


Can I get visceral manipulation if I have IBS?

Yes! VM can be hugely beneficial for digestive disorders. Please disclose any issues you have in this area.


Is visceral manipulation contraindicated during pregnancy?

Yes, I do not perform any visceral work during pregnancy. I do, however, offer prenatal massage at any trimester.



As always, don't hesitate to reach out if you any other questions about this incredible modality.


Take good care,

Sarah



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