Visceral Manipulation is a gentle, hands-on treatment approach designed to restore the inherent rhythmical rocking motions of the body’s organs. Thereby, it restores the optimal physiological processes of the organs and the overall health of the body. Dr. Jean-Pierre Barral developed this treatment approach during the 1970s.
He discovered each organ in the body has a continuous rocking motion with approximately 7 to 8 cycles per minute. The motion is along an axis unique to each organ. He found that when the body had sustained injury or trauma, the resultant changes to the tissue could significantly affect the axis of motion, the amplitude of motion, the ease of motion, and the rate of motion. This could have a profound effect on the physiological processes of the organ, which in turn, could dramatically affect the health of the entire body. He found that restoring the natural motion of the organ could produce dramatic positive effects on the entire body.
The process of determining what resistance in the body should be addressed is based on the body’s intelligence. Each cell in the body is programmed with detailed instructions on how to perform its own unique functions and how to respond to changes in its immediate environment. Cells are constantly communicating through energetic transfer such as chemical reactions, heat, electrical impulses, and vibrations.
Barriers to cellular communication can develop when changes occur in the tissue due to trauma or injury. In the absence of current information, the cells continue performing tasks based on their information. This would have been appropriate behavior when that information was current, but which may actually be counterproductive to the body under the current circumstances.
It is similar to how quickly and drastically behavior on a battlefield must change based on the current conditions and how devastating the results would be if the current tactics are based on outdated, incorrect information. Releasing the communication barriers allows cellular communication to resume. The cells then resume their appropriate functions.
One of Jean-Pierre’s classic phrases is, “only the tissues know.” This is about laying aside any preconceived agenda of what must be causing symptoms. Only the cells contain the information of why they behave the way they are and what circumstances dictated the behavior change.
The task of the Visceral Manipulation practitioner should be to “listen” to the cells, not dictate behavior. So how can the practitioner “listen” to cells? Another one of his classic phrases is, “the body hugs the lesion.” This is about the tendency for tissue resistance to pull toward its source.
The skilled practitioner quickly determines how normal resistance in the body tissues has been disrupted by a prevailing additional resistance toward which the entire body is pulled. It is similar to how a blanket would feel if you pinched a place with your fingers and continued pulling or drawing the blanket toward you. No matter where you touch the blanket, you can feel the drawing force through the blanket’s fibers toward your fingers.
Once the source of resistance is determined, releasing the resistance is determined by the behavior of the tissue. The practitioner engages the resistance and then holds, glides, rocks, supports, slackens, stabilizes, or whatever else the tissue is attempting to do. The corrective process of the body is what occurs following the Visceral Manipulation treatment.
In that, the body has been in continued dysfunctional movement patterns potentially for years. Millions of these cyclical motions may have occurred abnormally. To reverse the adverse effects, the body may require many thousands of normal rhythmical motions.
This may require days, weeks, months, or years. The corrective process is ongoing, as the improving rhythmical motions of the body progressively improve the abilities of the impaired organs to perform their physiological processes. This allows the body to progressively move toward an improving state of balance, harmony, and health.