Visceral manipulation is a gentle hands-on mobilization primarily of the chest, abdominal and pelvic organs to correct imbalances and restore optimal function. The aim is to stimulate the body's self-corrective mechanisms to help remove abnormal tension in order to enhance bodily function.
Visceral manipulation has been a part of medicine in Europe and in the Orient since pre-recorded times. In the 1970s this was developed and researched primarily in France through Dr. Jean Pierre Barral and Dr. Arnaud. The connection between the viscera (chest, abdominal and pelvic organs) and the spine, spurred this on; they found that thickening of body tissue creates an area of greater mechanical tension, which in turn pulls on surrounding tissues.
The visceral system relies on an interconnected synchronicity of motions of all organs and structures in the body. When abnormal tone, displacement or adhesions from infection, surgery or abnormal use of the body impair an organ's mobility, this affects the function of the organ and its surrounding structures.
For example, an adhesion around a lung could affect mobility of a rib, which could affect mobility of the spine. Adhesions can be found anywhere; the main emphasis in visceral manipulation is treatment of adhesions in the chest, abdomen and pelvis.