Visceral Work


Visceral Work is gentle body therapy that focuses on freeing the connective tissue that wraps our internal, hollow organs; the idea being that organs free from tension and externalized lines of pull are more free to work and thus, more free to help our bodies process the food and liquids that we consume and use everyday.

Visceral Work is based on Jean-Pierre Barral's Visceral Manipulation. I choose to use a different word than "Manipulate," because even though the Barral Institute claims that, in fact, the original French meaning is more akin to a gentle, listening touch to the viscera, I still find the word has a negative connotation for me and my patients, so I don't use it.

I am always listening to the tissues and gently following their orders--always! In Visceral Work, there are many reasons for which we may need to encourage a releasing of the fascia that wraps the organs, and some of them have nothing to do with moving gallstones, aiding digestion, or helping to expand the lungs--to name just a few. Quite often, the connective fascia that binds those organs in place can be radically affected by structural and emotional issues of the body that we can see: shoulders, legs, pelvis, neck, jaw, ribs, and so on. An injury to the right shoulder, for example, may tighten up not just the muscles around it, but may include a line-of-pull that affects the ribs, and deeper to them, the triangular ligaments of the liver. This can, in turn, impact the function of the gall bladder, the stomach, intestines, or more. So any attempt to release that shoulder would often necessitate an exploration of the tonicity of the viscera as well. I have even seen cases wherein a shoulder received its full range of motion by the release of the ligaments of the ascending colon and its Hepatic Flexure!

In short, Visceral Work is wonderful for improving circulation, movement, and functionality in the gut and other important internal structures. At the same time, it's benefits in releasing holding patterns in the areas of the body we can't touch directly can be profound. During a Visceral session, contacts are performed with the patient clothed, are generally very gentle, and often deeply relaxing.

Please contact Brian directly for any questions you may have around this way of working, and whether it may or may not be right for you!