What is it?
Visceral Manipulation involves the release of tension in the ligaments of the organs in the body. It is a gentle, but relatively deep tissue therapy with the entire emphasis on making sure that the organs move and glide freely. Frequently the cause of the lack of motion in the organs is due to severe trauma to the body (i.e. car accidents, falls, etc.).
Believe it or not, this therapy has actually been around for a number of centuries, originally developed in China and Tibet . But recently this therapy has undergone a considerable amount of research and review by a French osteopath, Dr. Jean-Pierre Barral . He currently trains practitioners in Visceral Manipulation and was featured in Time magazine as one of the next wave of alternative medicines’ new innovators.
What can I expect?
The Visceral Manipulation sessions can last anywhere from 20 – 45 minutes. The therapist will do a lot of “listening” with their hands initially. Then they will either have you sit up or lying down, and use their hands to locate the ligaments of an organ that is literally restricted in motion. At this point they will then gently encourage those ligaments to release their tension and return the organ to a more balanced position.
What are the reported benefits?
Visceral manipulation is extremely relaxing. Apparently when working with the organs, the body releases a fair amount of serotonin, a feel-good/relaxing neurotransmitter.
According to Barral , "In a single day, your internal organs move 30,000 times. Your liver alone travels 600 meters." It is thought that any restrictions in this natural motion, could over time create pain and inflammation within the body.
Barral has anecdotal evidence that Visceral helps with a variety of problems, from chronic back and joint pain to indigestion, infection, incontinence, migraines and even impotence and sterility.