Dr. Jean Pierre Barral is a French osteopathic physician who developed a very gentle, pain-free, hands-on technique called Visceral Manipulation. In his practice he discovered that when organs and the connective tissue surrounding them become irritated and restricted, associated muscles become tight and the joints also become restricted or “stuck”, you may say. This knowledge gives us a better understanding of how to assess the body of our clients and recognize that it is true, that you can’t judge a book by its cover, that sometimes the ailments we feel can be a result of what is going on from deep within. Even our emotions and life experiences can have an effect on our internal restrictions.

We can think of our connective tissue as being like “Saran wrap”. We know that Saran wrap is used to keep our food fresh by keeping air out, and that it is a clear film that we can see through. This wrap in our body covers every single cell and therefore we are wrapped from head to toe. Each organ is wrapped with the same connective tissue but its name changes depending on where it is located. Each organ moves independently but we have to remember that they are connected so if there is a restriction from one organ then it can have an effect on another and so on. Some tissues need to have a more slippery” function in order to allow the organs to slide and glide amongst each other.

So, if someone has surgery let’s say, air can enter their abdominal cavity and can dry out some of the connective tissues creating a restriction on some organs leaving a long term effect on the normal range of motion of the organs. This may lead to external restrictions or ailments such as unexplained knee pain, which can be related to a restriction of the bowel. Using Visceral Manipulation techniques these kinds of restrictions can be released allowing the organs to move and function in a healthy way.

There are many causes of restrictions. Some causes include Surgery, Illness, Stress, Trauma, Childbirth and C-Section.

Any time there is inflammation of the connective tissue, adhesions and scar tissue result. The scar from a surgery is only what we see but it goes deeper than that. A surgery for the removal of an appendix is a great example of how muscles and joints are affected. The appendix is found where the small intestine joins the large intestine. This special junction lies directly next to a major muscle called the psoas muscle, which attaches to the spine, pelvis and upper thigh and can cause joint restrictions.

What should I expect from a Visceral Manipulation treatment?

  • Visceral Manipulation feels like a gentle, pain-free touch; however, the effects occur deep within your body.
  • You should avoid eating for at least half an hour prior to your treatment.
  • You should drink water, stay hydrated and avoid caffeine and alcohol immediately following your treatment.
  • Depending upon what your body presents to your therapist on the day of your treatment, additional treatments may be required as part of the treatment plan developed by you and your therapist.
  • A Visceral Manipulation treatment is like a rigorous workout for your organs. You should wait at least 21 days between treatments to allow your organs to adapt to their new range of motion.
  • Changes may be felt immediately or at any time up to 21 days following your treatment.

About Kimberly In addition to being a Registered Massage Therapist Kimberly has completed extensive training and several years of practical experience in Visceral Manipulation. She is continuing on her path of furthering her knowledge.

  • LT 1: Listening Techniques 1. An Integrative Approach to Evaluation
  • VM 1: Abdomen 1
  • VM 2: Abdomen 2
  • VM 3: The Pelvis
  • VM 4: The Thorax
  • VM 5: Manual Thermal Evaluation and Introduction to VisceroEmotional
  • Medallion Member of the Barral Institute
  • Teaching Assistant for VM 1