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Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a type of manual therapy developed by renowned French Osteopath Jean-Pierre Barral.  It targets the visceral organs such as the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and colon.  I regularly speak about the importance of fascia, which is the connective tissue that threads our structure together and is found practically everywhere in the body i.e. in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, bones and blood vessels.  When this fascia becomes restricted e.g. in the muscles through trauma or overuse, it causes issues - this is exactly the same with the visceral organs, as these can become tight and restricted just as the muscles can!  Visceral restriction can also be a less obvious underlying cause for other common complaints which tend to be considered purely musculoskeletal in nature e.g. a restricted liver could result in a frozen shoulder, or tightness in the stomach may result in back pain!

VM is a gentle therapy which involves the assessment of the organ ('listening') through palpation, along with gentle techniques to help the organs on their way back to optimal function.  It is not designed to be deep and to elicit pain to the organs - rather it is used to give the organs a bit of gentle encouragement - the body is then able to take over and implement the changes itself.  VM can therefore be thought of as giving the body a helping hand along the way!  

Common Treatable Complaints:

  • Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)

  • Digestive Problems (including with menopause)

  • Bloating

  • Constipation

  • Acid Reflux

  • Frozen Shoulder

  • Back Pain

  • Stomach Ulcers

  • Low Energy

  • Sciatica

  • Nausea

  • Gallstones 



All of our organs are supposed to move in order to function optimally - they are constantly on the move, sliding and gliding over each other.  This motion applies to the proper movement of the organ itself, along with its movement in relation to surrounding organs as they are linked together e.g. if one organ becomes stuck, it can affect another.  It is not uncommon for people to suffer from issues related to their visceral organs - for instance, how many people do you know suffer from Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)?  Not only this, but the way the NHS tends to work with these sorts of issues is to prescribe medication straight away, and in some cases recommend surgery which may not even be necessary, and may cause additional problems further down the line.  Whilst these measures may be necessary in some cases, VM is different in the sense that it aims to target the root cause of a problem and correct it, and much like the soft tissue therapy approach in general, a lot of the time medication and surgery can be avoided altogether, gaining a better health outcome for the patient and saving the NHS a lot of money in the process.  

How does VM work?

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