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A Guide to Visceral and Neural Manipulation

The originator of both Visceral Manipulation (VM) and Neural Manipulation (NM) is Jean-Pierre Barral, a French Osteopath and Registered Physical Therapist. Barral developed VM, a manual therapy that focuses on the internal organs of the body, and began teaching it in the United States as early as 1985. Alongside Alain Croibier, another Osteopath from France, Barral continued his studies into the effects of trauma on tissues of the body. Through this work, Barral and Croibier found that “any trauma to the body impacts and elicits a reaction from the entire nervous system.” Following their discovery, Barral and Croibier developed a form of therapy to focusing on the Nervous System.

For this information and more, go to http://www.barralinstitute.com/

Visceral Manipulation

VM is a gentle manual therapy that focuses on the organs and helps to improve your “body’s ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction." Rather than focus on the site of the complication, VM is built upon an evaluation process that takes the entire body into account. A VM Therapist looks for a “compensatory pattern beneath the site of the issue in order to reveal a source and treat the corresponding tissue.” An individual’s body is made up of” interrelated components that are set in perpetual motion." Organs can lose mobility for a number of reasons and when this occurs, the body is forced to compensate. In order for your body to operate smoothly, it needs to be in balance.

“VM treatment is based on gentle compression mobilization and elongation of the soft tissues.” The number of sessions required to treat a patient can vary on a case by case basis; however, most “experience significant improvement within three to five sessions."

Neural Manipulation

NM is a gentle therapy that focuses on the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. If the nervous system isn’t functioning properly, an individual may suffer pain or loss of function in an area of the body. NM works by first identifying “local nerve restrictions and fixation.”  Like with VM, beneath the pain or complication there is a pattern that presents itself in a patient’s body, this is what a NM Therapist looks for. Through trauma, a nerve can become “fixed” or dysfunctional, meaning that it can’t move freely with its surroundings as it should. This can lead to wider spread areas of disharmony, which can cause structural and functional problems over time. With treatment, NM helps to “re-establish communication in the body and improve its ability to adapt and restore itself to optimal health.“

“Treatment is comprise of precise gentle engagement, mobilization and elongation of the soft tissues, and most specifically, the nerves.” The number of sessions required to treat a patient can vary on a case by case basis; however, most “experience significant improvement within three to five sessions."

For a visual demonstration, take a look at our YouTube video.


As a PR and Marketing intern at Alchemy, I can’t cite an overabundance of experience in practicing VM or NM; however, I can attest to the benefits I’ve personally experienced. As Eli has been continuing his studies, I’ve been given VM treatments to evaluate areas lacking in proper organ mobility. We found that my stomach was in fact “fixed” in the sense that it lacked lateral movement. This wasn’t too surprising considering I’ve dealt with digestive issues for years. After one session with Eli, I could tell a difference in my general comfort and even experienced less nausea. Since beginning the treatments, I’ve been able to cut down on medication that I’ve taken daily with little change over the past 4 years. What did surprise me is how much change can take place from short sessions comprised of gentle therapies. Having never had a massage before the VM treatments, I was a little nervous, but they proved unobtrusive and effective.


Comment as Anonymous change
Jun 10, 2017 1:13 pm
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