Barral Institute Visceral Manipulation

Have you tried numerous hands-on therapies and failed to find any relief or long-term solution to your problem? If so, read on. Visceral manipulation may be the solution you have been seeking.

What Is Visceral Manipulation?

Visceral Manipulation is a soft tissue therapy that treats all areas of the body but with a specific focus on the internal structures, the organs (viscera).

This treatment method aims to restore the normal motion and function of the body. French Osteopath Jean Pierre-Barral developed Visceral Manipulation. He became interested in working along the lines of tension within the body and ultimately to the visceral / organ system and how that impacted the muscles and bones surrounding them.

He often found that when a musculoskeletal issue did not resolve, working on any restrictions around the organs improved symptoms and that person’s overall health and vitality.

Visceral Manipulation is often to be the missing link when it comes to resolving recurring musculoskeletal pain, postural issues and biomechanics dysfunctions.

Your Internal Organs Are In Constant Motion

To represent how all our organs work together in harmony, this is an image of part of an orchestra. You can see four muscians sitting nest to each other playing the cello, violin and flute. Other players are in the background and the backdrop is black.
Your body is a complex system of interdependent parts that must work together in harmony for optimal health.
Each organ has its own rhythm and movement, which is established during embryonic development and maintained throughout life.


Fascinating isn’t it like a beautiful symphony when they’re all is working together.

Fascinating Fact:

Every organ also moves in relation to the rest of the body as we stretch, breathe, walk and generally go about our daily lives.

Consider this; during each breath you take the kidneys move 2.5cm (10cm in a deep breath), that’s approximately half a mile a day!

Why Is Visceral Manipulation Important?

Each organ, as in almost all the structures in your body, is surrounded by connective tissue and fascia. This fascia acts like a spider’s web running throughout your body and in essence connecting everything together.

To allow for all the movements you do it should be flexible and fluid. This ensures you can move freely and that your organs can slide against each other as you and they work.
In the same way that a new pair of jeans or a tight top feels restrictive and impedes your movement and comfort, restrictions within the fascia can restrict and impact the local structures around it too.

Such restrictions and tension lines will cause your body to compensate and adapt the way it moves. This will lead to dysfunction and eventually injury, symptoms and pain, but not always at the site of the initial restriction.

An image of water moving but the light on it shows the waves of motion in greens, oranges and purples a bit like oil. To represent fluid flow and general fluidity of movement needed within the body and helped with visceral manipulation

They are called vital organs for a reason – we can’t live without them, so the body will always adapt to protect them. Even if that means pain to stop you moving and harming them.

An Example Of When Visceral Release work can be helpful

In the centre is a photo of a ladies abdomen with an appendix scar and hysterectomy scar. She has a white towel around her waist. There are three arrows going away from each scar, one up to her ribs and two to her left hip to show how tension can pull from scar tissue. The background is orange with two lighter orange curved sections to the upper right and lower left. The it's all about health logo is in the bottom right corner and above the image it says 'Scars can create tension lines that effect other parts of the body

You may have an abdonimal surgery scar creating tension on the large intestine. To protect this your body may create a rotation in your pelvis to relieve the tension and prevent it from being damaged.

Your body is so intelligent it will do everything it can to keep your vital functions going. Pain in the skeleton is by far the better option as far as your body is concerned.

Until those restrictions are released your misalignments will keep returning. This can be the root cause of a lack of long-term relief from other manual treatments you may have tried before.

What Can Visceral Manipulation Help?

  • Whiplash.
  • Seatbelt injuries.
  • Bloating and constipation.
  • Painful periods.
  • Chronic pelvic pain.
  • Chronic spinal pain.
  • Sciatica.
  • Headaches.
  • Pain related to scar tissue.
  • And much more.

What Can Cause Internal Restrictions?

  • Physical injury.
  • Infections.
  • Operations.
  • Postural and lifestyle habits.
  • Repeated one sided movements.
  • Diet.
  • Pregnancy and delivery.
  • Emotional trauma.

All accident, injuries, and traumas (including operations) leave their mark on your body. These can create lines of tension within your body. Over time these can result in areas of restriction to the ligaments and structures that attach your organs to each other and your spine/skeleton.

When all your organs can move freely, they can easily get on with the functions they were designed to do without impingement.

What is Visceral Manipulation Treatment Like?

Our approach seeks to identify the root cause of your discomfort, rather than just treating symptoms. This means we don’t just focus on the site of your pain. A variety of assessment methods are used to find the area that your body needs help with first.

Visceral Manipulation is founded on the belief that your body has innate wisdom and knows what it needs. Our role as therapists is to listen to your body and work with it to promote healing.

With gentle pressure, we locate areas of greatest tension and apply specific techniques to restore flexibility to your fascia (connective tissue), as well as promote the movement of your organs and their surrounding structures.

Ultimately, our goal is to enhance the overall functioning of your body.

A visceral Manipulation treatment depicted by a photo of a therapist placing two hands on a person's abdomen. You can see the edge of a white towel covering their chest and another towel covering them from the pelvis down. It's shows how gentle the intial contact is.

Initial contact is gentle, helping the body to accept the treatment and allowing us to work quite deeply. However, it is never invasive and rarely painful. Some comment it feels as if we are reaching places and restrictions no other therapist has got to before!

Once we release the source of the problem, your symptoms will reduce. The benefits of a treatment can continue for a few days afterwards as your body adjusts to the improvements made. Your body is then able to restore to better health.

Case Study:

How visceral manipulation can help. This is a photo of two men on a gold course to relate to the case study talked about in the text. The man on the left has black trousers and a bright orange top and has just finished his swing from teeing off. The man on the right in light trousers and a pale blue top is leaning on his golf club waiting to play. In the distance you can see the trees lining the course and the sunshine beaming down.

A patient had a shoulder problem for over 15 years. After trying numerous treatments, all of which had failed to provide a long-term solution, they stumbled upon Visceral manipulation.

An initial visceral assessment found that they had tension in a ligament which attaches the liver to their diaphragm. When you raise your arm above your head, your rib-cage, including the liver, needs to be able to move freely. This tension was preventing this.

After releasing this restriction their shoulder problem resolved, they were pain-free and they were able to hit the ball much further when playing golf – much to their friend’s despair…

Lorna and Rachael Kennard-Wall are both qualified to carry out Barral Visceral Manipulation.  They use this technique alongside their other therapies.

Visceral Manipulation Pricing

Initial Consultation: (90 minutes) – £105

Follow-Up Sessions (60 minutes) – £75

With Lorna Kennard-Wall or Rachael Kennnard-Wall

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