Visceral Manipulation is a bodywork technique that is a gentle, light therapy. Developed by world-renowned French Osteopath and Physical Therapist Jean-Pierre Barral, the work focuses on the organ ligaments of the body and their ability to move freely.
Often due to severe trauma, such as car accidents or extreme stress issues, the organs hold on to this tension.
VM benefits functional and structural imbalances throughout the body including musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, and respiratory.
It encourages your body's own natural abilities to improve the organ' functioning, reduce the negative effects of stress, and improve movement of the muscles and bones through the connective tissue or fascia.
Practitioners of VM include osteopathic physicians, allopathic physicians, doctors of chiropractic, doctors of Oriental medicine, naturopathic physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists and other licensed body workers.
The practitioner will often do light touch massage as a way to detect restrictions in the ligaments of an organ. They will then gently encourage the ligaments to release their tension and return the organ to it's normal state of movement and function.
The session normally last between 20-45 minutes.
It is very relaxing and should not include major deep tissue massage work, however deep pressure may be felt if the restrictions are deep. Shaped massage stones may also be used to encourage release.
This therapy is often helpful for those who suffer from chronic back pain, severe headaches, and many other chronic issues.
VM is reliant on massage and other palpation therapies to detect abnormalities in the body.
When you learn specific VM techniques, therapists (massage, physical, etc.) can understand the action of the abnormal forces and how they effect the body and it's ability to function normally. The goal is to help the body's normal forces remove abnormal effects, whatever they may be.
The cost of this therapy is normally $70-$100 per hour, depending on the location of the therapist and the amount of specialized training he/she has in VM and other massage therapy techniques.
Excellent resource book for massage therapy practitioners
In this Visceral Manipulation book , Jean-Pierre Barral, D.O. and Pierre Mercier, D.O. show how manipulation of the viscera can be used as an effective complement to other forms of manual medicine.
After years of research and clinical experience, the authors demonstrate that the relationship of structure and function among the internal organs is just as strong as that among the constituents of the musculoskeletal system, and that manipulation of the viscera can be effectively used to treat disorders and dysfunction.
Visceral Manipulation II describes how to evaluate each of the major organs, and explains how to perform techniques for treating many types of restrictions.
Read more about this therapy or classes at Why Things Hurt..