What is it?
Visceral manipulation is a gentle hands on technique developed by Jean Pierre Barral, a French Osteopath and Physiotherapist. The technique targets the fascial system around the organs and is applied in the skull, rib cage, abdominal and pelvic regions. The fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds and supports all structures in our body, including our organs. It is the fascia that connects our organs to each other, and to the bones of our spine, ribs and pelvis and even to certain deep postural muscles. When the muscles are active and moving the bones, the organs need to be able to move to accommodate this movement.
According to Barral, 80% of musculoskeletal restrictions have a visceral component. Despite most healthcare professions approaching the body as separate parts and systems, the body is an integrated whole and functions as one during every moment of our day. Our organs must be able to move to accommodate the pressure changes of breathing, our heart breathing and the peristaltic action of our digestive tract. Most traditional anatomy education teaches one body system at a time and fails to help learners integrate these. Further study to understand the relationships between the various body systems, plus precise training of the hands is completed to apply visceral manipulation proficiently. Due to their soft and fluid nature, the viscera are much more sensitive to traumatic forces than the muscles and bones. The viscera are key to our survival and basic functioning. Our brain is great at recruiting neighboring muscles to hug and protect a struggling blood vessel, nerve or organ. If treatment of the muscular system is temporary at best, it may be time to look deeper.
The ISM approach used at Diane Lee and Associates fits well with visceral manipulation. A visceral problem can be picked up and treated just like a joint, muscle or nerve issue. Most people who’ve had several high impact accidents will have problems in all of these areas that
can be addressed.