MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Visceral Manipulation (VM) was developed by the French Osteopath and Physical Therapist Jean-Pierre Barral. According to uncounted Internet-sites, books and other promotional literature, VM is a miracle cure for just about every disease imaginable. On one of his many websites, Barral claims that: Comparative Studies found Visceral Manipulation Beneficial for Various Disorders

Acute Disorders Whiplash Seatbelt Injuries Chest or Abdominal Sports Injuries
Digestive Disorders Bloating and Constipation Nausea and Acid Reflux GERD Swallowing Dysfunctions
Women’s and Men’s Health Issues Chronic Pelvic Pain Endometriosis Fibroids and Cysts Dysmenorrhea Bladder Incontinence Prostate Dysfunction Referred Testicular Pain Effects of Menopause
Emotional Issues Anxiety and Depression Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Musculoskeletal Disorders Somatic-Visceral Interactions Chronic Spinal Dysfunction Headaches and Migraines Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Peripheral Joint Pain Sciatica
Pain Related to Post-operative Scar Tissue Post-infection Scar Tissue Autonomic Mechanisms
Pediatric Issues Constipation and Gastritis Persistent Vomiting Vesicoureteral Reflux Infant Colic

This sounds truly wonderful, and we want to learn more. The text goes on to explain that:

VM assists functional and structural imbalances throughout the body including musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urogenital, respiratory, digestive and lymphatic dysfunction. It evaluates and treats the dynamics of motion and suspension in relation to organs, membranes, fascia and ligaments. VM increases proprioceptive communication within the body, thereby revitalizing a person and relieving symptoms of pain, dysfunction, and poor posture.

Fascinating! Sceptics might think that such phraseology is a prime example of pseudo-scientific gobbledegook – but wait:

An integrative approach to evaluation and treatment of a patient requires assessment of the structural relationships between the viscera, and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to the musculoskeletal system. Strains in the connective tissue of the viscera can result from surgical scars, adhesions, illness, posture or injury. Tension patterns form through the fascial network deep within the body, creating a cascade of effects far from their sources for which the body will have to compensate. This creates fixed, abnormal points of tension that the body must move around, and this chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems.

Imagine an adhesion around the lungs. It would create a modified axis that demands abnormal accommodations from nearby body structures. For example, the adhesion could alter rib motion, which could then create imbalanced forces on the vertebral column and, with time, possibly develop a dysfunctional relationship with other structures. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction – magnified by thousands of repetitions each day….the sinuvertebral nerves innervate the intervertebral disks and have direct connections with the sympathetic nervous system, which innervates the visceral organs. The sinuvertebral nerves and sympathetic nervous system are linked to the spinal cord, which has connections with the brain. In this way someone with chronic pain can have irritations and facilitated areas not only in the musculoskeletal system (including joints, muscles, fascia, and disks) but also the visceral organs and their connective tissues (including the liver, stomach, gallbladder, intestines and adrenal glands), the peripheral nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system and even the spinal cord and brain….

Visceral Manipulation is based on the specific placement of soft manual forces to encourage the normal mobility, tone and motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body….Visceral Manipulation works only to assist the forces already at work. Because of that, trained therapists can be sure of benefiting the body rather than adding further injury or disorganization.

By now, we are all wondering how Barral was able to dream up this truly fantastic panacea. Reading on, we learn that it was not ‘dreamt up’ at all – it was developed through painstaking research and rigorous science:

Jean-Pierre Barral first became interested in biomechanics while working as a registered physical therapist of the Lung Disease Hospital in Grenoble, France. That’s where he met Dr. Arnaud, a recognized specialist in lung diseases and a master of cadaver dissection. Working with Dr. Arnaud, Barral followed patterns of stress in the tissues of cadavers and studied biomechanics in living subjects. This introduced him to the visceral system, its potential to promote lines of tension within the body, and the notion that tissues have memory. All this was fundamental to his development of Visceral Manipulation. In 1974, Barral earned his diploma in osteopathic medicine from the European School of Osteopathy in Maidstone, England. Working primarily with articular and structural manipulation, he began forming the basis for Visceral Manipulation during an unusual session with a patient he’d been treating with spinal manipulations.

During the preliminary examination, Barral was surprised to find appreciable movement. The patient confirmed that he felt relief from his back pain after going to an “old man who pushed something in his abdomen.”

This incident piqued Barral’s interest in the relationship between the viscera and the spine. That’s when he began exploring stomach manipulations with several patients, with successful results gradually leading him to develop Visceral Manipulation. Between 1975 and 1982, Barral taught spinal biomechanics at England’s European School of Osteopathy. In collaboration with Dr. Jean-Paul Mathieu and Dr. Pierre Mercier, he published Articular Vertebrae Diagnosis.

With all this serious science, we are, of course, keen to learn about the studies of VM published in peer-reviewed journals. Amazingly, there seems to be an acute shortage of that sort of thing. You can buy many books by Barral, but to the best of my knowledge, there are no studies of VM by Barral or anyone else in medical journals. My own searches resulted in precisely zero papers, and Medline returns not a single article of Barral J-P on VM, osteopathy or manipulation.

This is odd, I must say!

Could all this important-sounding scientific (some might say pseudo-scientific) text be a complete fake? Where are the ‘COMPARATIVE STUDIES’ mentioned above? Could it be that VM is nothing more than a rip-off for gullible half-wits?

I really cannot imagine – after all, VM is even being taught at some universities! And one could never make all this up; that would be dishonest!!!

I hope my readers can point me to the proper science of VM and thus put my suspicions to rest.

142 Responses to Visceral manipulation…you couldn’t make it up

  • interesting!
    I just learnt that the AMERICAN PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSOCIATION teaches/endorses VM
    https://apta.expoplanner.com/index.cfm?do=expomap.sess&event_id=14&session_id=2290

    • I had never heard of VM when my doctor sent me to see a physical therapist out of desperation. I have a history of two c-sections, one very problematic, a gallbladder removal and, two years ago, a complete hysterectomy followed by an intestinal obstruction repair two weeks later, and another repair 24 hours later after I hemorrhaged about 40% of my blood into my gut. Recently, I was unable to eat without immediate abdominal swelling and pain, so was only eating a very small meal once every two to three days. It went on for 6 weeks, and all scans and labs showed nothing. It really seemed there was no solution and I wondered how long I could live that way. My doctor sent me to the PT and it seemed absurd that a PT could help me, but I went with no idea what she might do, since I was out of options. After one treatment, I had my first bowel movement without laxatives since my surgeries two years ago, and was eating small but normal meals by that evening (small out of fear on my part!) Mind you, I did not think for one moment that the treatment would be effective once I arrived and it was explained to me. I just went back for my second treatment yesterday and appear to be further improved, with more comfort in physical movement and flexibility. I can’t understand how this happened, frankly, and would have discounted VM and simply wouldn’t have gone to the PT had I known in advance what the protocol entailed. I’m no fan of homeopathy or iridology or such nonsense, but I don’t assume that all alternative approaches are ineffective. VM has had an extraordinary effect on me. Please research further.

      • @ eliza moriarty
         
        Your repeated reassurances in your comment, about having no prior belief in the method and so on, make one suspicious that this is just one more pseudo-anecdote as the ones that so often appear on discussion fora, put there because the subject contains certain keywords. It is very similar to such advertisements for magic cures, but of course I cannot verify that and there is no link to the wonderful magician who saved you.
        So let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater quite yet but have a look at the substance of your account as a bona fide one.
         
        Your experience can seem very real to you but if your comment is bona fide, it must be seen as one of a few a lucky strikes of a useless therapy. I will explain why.
        The problem with evidence from happy anecdotes is that we have no way of counting all the negative anecdotes that might be there and the positive ones may only constitute the few happy coincidences or more likely, misinterpretations due to the human tendency to fall for the post hoc fallacy.

        There is really no way we can support your belief that it was the “Visceral Manipulation” that contributed to your improvement.
        Of course, calm atmosphere, the wonderful effect of body contact and convincing reassurance of a self-confident believer in what he is doing, may well have lessened your anxiety, which is usually a very potent factor in a problem situation as the one you describe, where relaxation and reassurance helps a lot, at least symptomatically. It’s called the Placebo effect as you probably guessed.
        So…
        I am absolutely certain the VM was just coincidental and you improved from other causes.
        Manipulation of the abdomen and other body parts in the way “VM therapists” do has absolutely no anatomical or physiological possibility to have the effects on the problems they claim it can help.
         
        To be really honest and forthright, there is actually one small possibility that belly-fondling might have helped a little in your case. You mention being able to relieve your bowels and this seems to have triggered your improvement. It is quite possible that massage of your abdomen stimulated contractions in your intestines and colon and that is what triggered or at least helped a fortunate bowel emptying? But that’s it. Massaging the abdomen is an old home-remedy for constipation but not a generally very effective one. Nothing to build a whole therapy-system and a fancy institute on, is it?
         
        As a surgeon with decades of experience in abdominal surgery I can assure the audience with all my conviction, that “Visceral Manipulation” is pure baloney.
        As so many other pseudo-therapies it was concocted from fantasy by one man, Mr. Jean-Pierre Barral, quite recently in time.
        Mr. Barral is not a doctor. He calls himself D.O. among other fancy letter-titles, but that is not correct. Mr Barral is a French osteopath who has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to visceral anatomy and function. His different websites are full of delusional fantasies and nonsense about non-existent connections and interactions between organs and body parts.
        His education and experience as stated on his website, is nothing close to the real DO’s, which is an american title and whose education is in reality almost the same as MD. The D.O. title is borrowed feathers.
        There are many serious factual errors in Mr. Barral’s writings. Even barmy ideas about emotions hidden in organs!
         
        The claims Mr. Barral serves up about the effects and qualities of his belly-fondling-fantasy have no credibility. If it had, abdominal surgeons and gastroenterologists would have found these effects long ago. Why? Because we are fondling bellies of the sick and suffering practically every day and it would be impossible not to stumble upon such magic if it were there.
        Oh… what a happy world it would be if Mr Barral had been just a little bit right!

        • Mr Geir, I find the tone of your letter to be rather arrogant.
          To repeatedly describe visceral manipulation as ” belly fondling” is dismissive and superior.

          I had occasion to seek help for visceral pain this week from my body worker, who has experience in many techniques. After an emotional upset I felt tightness and tenderness underneath my right anterior rib cage, deep inside the soft tissue. My bodyworker, who had trained in this technique some 30 years ago, gently manipulated and rearranged near my gall bladder and returned my insides to a comfortable position after about 20 minutes. He explained that the gall bladder is a first line of defence for emotional traumas in the body, and it’s health is essential to good health and wellbeing. I have no doubt that this is true, and it is better to attend to such disturbances in a timely manner than to let them develop into more serious issues. I know that many people who have issues with gall stones and pain have these problems as a result of prolonged stress, and it is surely better to get visceral manipulation than to undergo surgery.
          The last thing I ever want is for a surgeon to cut into my body to try and repair back or neck or hip or shoulder pain as I have seen too many friends, elite sportspeople, who have had had such elective surgery who a few years down the track find themselves with more pain and problems than the original problem ever gave them, and the surgeons bear nil responsibility.
          Perhaps you should listen a little more sympathetically to the anecdotes that are told and learn that there is more than one way to cure chronic pain, and those therapists who choose to do so often have a far better understanding of their patients than surgeons do, because we are not anethetised on the massage table and do communicate very well.

          • this is priceless!!!

          • This is hysterical. I’ve been doing it wrong all these years!!
            I wonder why I didn’t think of this before. I have been taking out all those gallbladders when I could have done much better (for my economy that is).
            All my patients have of course been grateful and relieved and whatever but they never came back for more!
            I took out their gallbladder with the stones and that’s it. Call me arrogant but I have records to prove that I have been quite good at removing gallbladders 😉
            For the past decades we even have the advantage of doing the surgery laparoscopically, through tiny incisions so the patient goes home in the afternoon and is usually at work a couple of days later with only minor discomfort.
            Of course I could have made much more from each patient had I just give them a lot of smooth talking TLC and fondled their tummies with a serious expression in my face, while telling them how I was rearranging their anatomy and returning their insides to a comfortable position. I would of course tell them that the pain may get worse before it gets better again just in case the attack wasn’t going over so soon. The little dirty secret is that almost all gallstone attacks go over and get better by themselves over a short time. Can’t have the patients run to the hospital and get their bladders removed. Too much money at stake because soon they will need more rearranging of their internals as the problem is only temporarily relieved each time.
            I’ve been missing out all those years. I could have continued to get paid again and again by the same patient or at least till they really got into trouble and went running to the terrible hospitals where some patients even can die sometimes!
            I could also have expanded the business and gotten repeatedly paid by the one’s who don’t have gallstones but just feel tightness and tenderness underneath their right anterior rib cage after a bout of emotional upset or something like that. These are the best cases for internal rearranging because they are easiest to make better as their symptoms are entirely stress related. You can have such patients come back for more for decades if you’re lucky and you reinforce their gullibility at every visit by telling them how lucky they are coming to just the right person who REALLY knows what he is doing because he learned the tricks 30 years ago!

          • Björn

            I’m afraid you are doing it all wrong.

            You should take your lead from this Texas chiro:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dg0xEU8A44&feature=youtu.be&t=6m25s

            While pushing down on his customer’s (who flew in from London, apparently) abdomen, this guy says:

            …we’ve already got his stomach pulled down there and it seems to be staying down there pretty good this week.

            He then proceeds to use an electric sander on him…

            Perhaps instead of taking gallbladders out you should just be moving them down a bit?

            Of course, he doesn’t seem to have done much for the woman on crutches…

            No wonder no one takes chiros seriously.

          • I’m reminded of the old gag about the man who swalled a kilo of lead shot to rejig his intestines because his optician told him he suffered from ‘floating lights’. (Probably not funny outside UK English.)

          • @Alan Henness

            We’re in the wrong business. I’ve also done hundreds of reflux surgeries so I know how to deal with this. Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is quite a thankful operation when properly done.
            But as I said, you should never do anything definitive for your patients because then the patient remains happy and does not come back for more and you lose revenue.

            There certainly are several ways to skin a cat or in other words, take money from gullible people who have read too many lies on the internet. What an idiot ( I mean referring to the charlatan chiropractor)

        • Visceral Manipulation is only one part of Barral’s treatment approach…

          how about you spend some of your precious time to attend one of his course and see how you feel about it?

          • No, MY. Attending a course with Mr. Barral is not necessary. There is enough evidence about him easily accessible.
            Mr. Barral’s “invention” and promotion of VM as a therapy for anything is proof enough that he does not have a bleeding idea of how the body works or is put together. With due respect I will be mild and refrain from calling him a health-fraud. He is a, well meaning deluded amateur and should be called a health-fool.

          • …oh, and i forgot to mention. It has been my job for decades to know what manipulation of the viscera does and does not 😉

          • Im a therapist and I fully believe in the power of surgical intervention

            but the post-op complication from GI surgery could be severely affecting patients QOL… I believe that you also understand the consequence of the bad outcome of some surgeries. Lets say the adhesion in the abdomen… other than injection, what other options do you have? In this case, would the work of JPB applicable to those patients?

            I have only studied level 1 of JPB’s visceral manipulation course for 10 months, and I have quite a few successful cases to share already. Im not trying to show off or anything, I cannot improve patient’s organ function but I can somehow improve their QOL and I guess it is more relevant to patients…

            In your perspective, your job might be saving lives, but helping patients to gain their QOL is very important too…
            Theres a need of all healthcare professionals to exist, not to eliminate the others…

            Its only my two cents… and I just LOL from seeing you said about the Qi…
            A lot of things cannot be explained by current knowledge, like electromagnetism, how can you argue that the Qi is not a form of EM?
            I always keep my mind open and wont reject anything if I dont fully understand what it is… and yes, I believe in the existence of spirits and aliens too

          • @MY
            The most important thing when responding to posts is clearly to CTIRT (confuse the idiiots reading this) by using TLAs (three-letter abbreviations) so that you ROFL (roll on the floor laughing) when you see stuff from MY about QI about EM and JPB.
            Alternatively, you could contemplate writing words so that casual visitors to this blog don’t feel intimidated by posts that make no sense because they don’t have the faintest idea what all those abbreviations are supposed to mean.

          • Qi = a form of energy, often used in practicing Qigong or Shaolin martial art

            JBP = Jean pierre Barral

            EM = electromagnetism

            GI = gastrointestinal

            QOL = quality of life

            sorry for confusion

          • JWIT = just what I thought

          • Indeed, FrankO. MY’s comment is full of LFs and plain old BS.

            LF = Logical Fallacies

            BS = [No explanation required]

          • I honestly have no ideas why you guys are so against the other health professionals

            Sounds like the only option is operation, seems like theres no mistakes or post operative complication followed by it.. a lot of patients that youre seeing are the critical patients, how many others wouldve treated before seeing you?

            I dont know how much do you understand about Jean Pierre’s work, as the growing knowledge about the fascial connection and function, theres more and more explanation of how some of Jean Pierre’s actually make sense.
            Luigi Stecco is also teaching some fascial manipulation technique that can influence the viscera, belly fondling again?

            In this case, would you call chinese medicine is health fraud too? its all BS again?

          • I think this has to do with evidence: show us good evidence and we will consider it.

          • What ‘other health professionals’, MY?

          • @MY
            Yep, traditional Chinese medicine is nonsense (I assume that’s what you mean). Modern Chinese medicine is indistinguishable from Western medicine: the people of China are rapidly catching up.

          • Osteopaths and Chiropractors

          • @MY

            Why do you classify osteos and chiros as health professionals?

          • @Alan Henness
            Osteos and Chiros are ‘Health Professionals’ because a professional is someone who takes your money to provide a service. For those who, post hoc, feel their osteopath or chiropath has aided their health, then they are ‘good’ professionals. For those who experience absolutely nothing as a result of their treatment, they shrug and visit a homeopath or a naturopath instead. Any ‘path’ will do. Try a psychopath or a sociopath: not many advertise where you can find them, but they might provide a professional service you find beneficial as well.

          • That’s so witty, Alan! And so so clever!

            I love the way you set up your biting punch line with the “What ‘other health professionals’, MY?”. Absolutely brilliant! You must be so proud of yourself.

          • @MY
            As so many alternative practitioners, JP Barral is fantasising. He has no idea about the reality of what he is talking about and is simply making things up. He uses suggestion and confirmation bias to fulfill his grandiose delusions.
            Adhesions in the abdomen cannot be treated with external manipulation. All abdominal surgeons are trained in taking care of this problem, which is always done surgically. Nowadays we mostly do it laparoscopically, through small incisions, which is far less traumatic.
            Why do you believe what this man is saying and not the experts?

          • @jm

            You do seem to have an aversion to asking questions and thinking critically, don’t you?

          • Yeah Alan, that’s exactly it. Spot on! I’m sure you were genuinely wondering why osteos & chiros would be considered health professionals. Good grief.

          • I’ve just found a recent paper on the Internet about the effectiveness of visceral manipulation…

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25378096

            and another older one

            http://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2094553

            Just pointing this out from my experience, a lot of people stated that they can feel the visceral movement, this is not very true… Ive met some students at the course, they seriously got no ideas what they were doing and pretending that they were doing something…

            @Alan, I dont know how to communicate with you, you’ve heard or met some bad chiropractors or osteopaths doesnt mean they are all bad, if they dont considered as part of health professionals, what else can they be?
            I can also call surgeons are murderers who operated patients and patients died from post-op complication, how about that?

            @Dr Geir, Ive googled some of your detail, I respect your contribution to medical field but I dont like how you talk down about Jean Pierre Barral… he and his teams actually work closely with the surgeons too, if you can always give patients a second option, why not?

            This is one of my case
            My friend, a young male at the age of 28, Ive checked his body for fun with one of the Jean Pierre assessment technique, then I found a fascial restriction at his gallbladder region and told him he might need to get it checked up, obviously he wasnt believing in me.. until two weeks after, he had a big meal, and he got some pain at his upper abdomen under the xiphoid region (which he did get it many times previously but he thought it was the stretch of stomach), then a few days after he asked me about it, and I told him to get an ultrasound scan whenever he could, and a week after, the report shown a sludge formation with distension of his gallbladder… (I dont know how often you got a young gentlemen to check their gallbladder)
            Obviously I treated him for one session and he didnt complain of any pain after some big meals… (placebo effect I know)

            another lady with 15 years plus of chronic lower back pain, restricted at right kidney, tension extended to bladder, then I found out from her daughter that she had chronic urinary tract infection (the patient cant speak or fully understand english), treated her right kidney with some other manual therapies (she already had so many sessions of manual therapy before seeing me), after the third session she told me that she got “no pain”, and she was very happy according to her daughter, shes still seeing me for her chronic neck pain now but over two months she didnt have any recurrence of back pain and sleep very well (considering her back pain was constant and severely affected her sleep)

            one more, my receptionist’s mum…
            she got a right heel pain, assessment found she got very stiff medial subtalar joint, not able to perform eversion movement of calcaneus, then I found iliocecal value from the assessment, did a visceral manipulation treatment in 1 min, subtalar joint unlocked, by the way I was checking the reflexology chart, which shown the pain where she was experiencing was the point of iliocecal value…

            talking about some non-sense traditional medicine, I was doing some reflexology on my patient and she reported pain on her ipsilateral elbow while I was pressing her elbow reflex point on her foot (I self-studied reflexology myself, nothing to do with JP)

            Please spend some time to look into Jean Pierre Barral’s work

          • Bjorn –

            “Adhesions in the abdomen cannot be treated with external manipulation. All abdominal surgeons are trained in taking care of this problem, which is always done surgically.”

            You’re sure about that? Rather than taking your word for it, could you post a link?

          • Wow, jm. Thanks for that.

          • MY said:

            @Alan, I dont know how to communicate with you, you’ve heard or met some bad chiropractors or osteopaths doesnt mean they are all bad, if they dont considered as part of health professionals, what else can they be?

            Please just provide good evidence for what they do that makes them health professionals!

            Your receptionists’s mum? Seriously?

          • @Alan, they are at least treating some musculoskeletal conditions, so cant they be considered as health professionals?

            Yes, the receptionist’s mum, she told me after we finished the session, she used to see a very experienced osteopath for her chronic inflammation at her cecum region and the osteo fixed her iliocecal valve and her inflammation was recovered instead of continuously taking anti-inflammatory

          • MY said:

            @Alan, they are at least treating some musculoskeletal conditions, so cant they be considered as health professionals?

            Witch doctors and televangelists treat some musculoskeletal conditions. Does that make them health professionals?

            Yes, the receptionist’s mum, she told me after we finished the session, she used to see a very experienced osteopath for her chronic inflammation at her cecum region and the osteo fixed her iliocecal valve and her inflammation was recovered instead of continuously taking anti-inflammatory

            It’s an unverified and unverifiable anecdote, not good evidence. Do you understand the difference?

          • um… Ive also used the assessment technique called General listening and found 5 patients with liver listening… which all five of them got hep B… maybe coincidence…

            Two months ago, I’ve treated another lady with sharp pain at right kidney, which confirmed that she had kidney stone with scan and she had difficulty going to toilet for 2 days while she saw me… her intermittent sharp pain was ongoing as well, I only did an induction technique and her pain was disappeared immediately… note that I didnt really push into her abdomen, it was a really light contact… placebo effect?

          • Troll fodder
            I have really tried to break the habit of feeding the trolls, but “jm’s” latest blurb, which incidentally demonstrates her/his shortage of mental capacity, calls for a small-ish reply as it will also benefit “MY” who adamantly seems to believe in the silly belly-kneading made up by delusional pseudo-doctors who do/did not know even the basics of abdominal anatomy or pathology.
             
            Me?
            As “MY” seems to have discovered, I am a genuine surgeon with rather extended experience, frayed edges, chipped visors and a calloused and brawny compassion after more than thirty years of helping the sick and wounded. Simply click on my Gravatar and find my Linkedin pages. The listing is by the way missing some important recent work. I really have to get at updating it.
              
            MY?
            Why hide behind a pseudonym? Are you perhaps uncertain in your devotion?
            Tip: read up on “cognitive dissonance” and read Britt Marie Deegan Hermes’s blog. It might give you your own courage to find your way out of this mess like Mrs. Hermes bravely did.
             
            My views on Barral et al.?
            As a medical professional I consider deception (even unintentional) and fraud the worst crimes you can perpetrate against vulnerable patients suffering from sickness and injury and in need of genuine, expert help if it exists. There is no way I can respect make-believe medical practitioners, whether their actions are based on mental blocks, educational deficiencies and delusions of grandeur as is obvious in the case of Barral and his disciples, or on malicious intent, which is not the case with most quacks. My choice of words and expressions reflects my lack of respect and my unforgiving attitude in no uncertain manner, I hope. Whether you like it or not MY, Barral and anyone practicing and teaching VM has to be described in accordance with their merits.
            I do not despise these people, I feel pity for them but not as much as for their (also) fooled customers.
             
            Murderous surgeons?
            Calling surgeons “murderers” because cases do not always come out happily, is not only rude and immature, in many countries it is a criminal offense if directed at a given person without legal cause. If malpractice or negligence is suspected it is for proper expertise and authorities to decide what to call it.
            Of course there are surgeons whose love of surgery is not reciprocated and those who shouldn’t be trusted with cleaning the floor of the OR. But that does not say anything about whether VM is worth anything.
             
            Science of VM?
            I had a look at “MY’s” two references. The first article is hidden behind a paywall but information given in the abstract contradicts the conclusion. The results as written in the abstract do not support efficacy of VM and the conclusion is simply wrong as the difference after a year is not statistically significant. I guess this idiotic conclusion is due to wishful thinking along with total incompetence in statistical analysis.
            The second reference demonstrates the authors prowess in torturing rats and in wishful thinking. Even if they were right, which they have not demonstrated, the results would certainly not be applicable to larger animals like humans. I will not spend more effort on this unethical and incompetent research.
            The problem with research on VM is total lack of prior credibility/probability. VM is not remotely likely to deliver what the practitioners hope for such as releasing adhesions or fixing spinal problems. That is the reality. You can research VM till times end. You will only succeed in recording the noise of random chance modulated by wishful thinking, biased attitude, selective publishing, post hoc hypothesis building, mining for p-values and all the other problematic effects associated with incompetent research. Pseudo-evidence of this kind is what publication lists in alternative medicine are filled with.
            Anecdotal evidence of the kind “MY” has so exitedly provided several examples of is not applicable at all as we has previously been explained ad nauseam in this blog.
             
            Abdominal adhesions?
            Not all adhesions cause trouble and adhesions are a frequently overdiagnosed problem. Adhesions can seldom be diagnosed/confirmed without having a look inside the abdomen. They can absolutely not be diagnosed by petting or palpating the belly. After more than thirty years of assessing abdominal pains and problems, thousands of palpations and thousands of operations involving cutting adhesions, I simply know the textbooks are right and Barral et al. are devastatingly wrong.
            Further, abdominal symptoms naturally come and go without intervention of any kind. Also those caused by adhesions, even severe ones. We surgeons often give symptoms that may be caused by adhesions time to pass. Knowing when to go to the OR is part of the “art” of surgery. Soothing and reassuring approach always helps and is the bedside hallmark of any good surgeon.
             
            I am sorry to disappoint “MY” in his/her breathless delight re. her “success cases”. They are evident examples of problems that got better whether (s)he kneaded the belly “ad modum Barral” or not. The nonsense about being able to diagnose adhesions around the gallbladder etc. is a good example of wishful thinking, self-fooling and above all confirmation bias. Same regarding the purported hepatitis diagnoses.

            Treating adhesions…
            If you guys wish to read about symptomatic/problematic adhesions and their treatment, just Google the term “abdominal adhesions”. Most of what comes up is credible, easily understood material that corroborates the fact that the only real treatment modality for adhesions is surgical. Or as one of the first hits so succinctly puts it:

            Surgery is currently the only way to break adhesions that cause pain, intestinal obstruction, or fertility problems.

            They go on about the problems with operating on adhesions but don’t worry, most surgeons do an excellent job of it and minimally invasive, adhesion avoiding techniques can often be used.

            Why MY’s anecdotes?
            >Placebo?… Nah, not exactly. Tip: read up on the definition and application of placebo
            >Coincidence?… Oh yes definitely in many cases when the problem disappeared on its own as it would have even without the VM theatricals
            >Temporary effects of soothing, relaxation and reassuring attention?… Very definitely. Abdominal pain and functional GI problems are always[sic] negatively affected by stress and anxiety. Anything that alleviates such aggravating factors makes it better but does not cure the underlying problem. As i said, good surgeons use this effect all the time. This is not placebo by definition but is usually called “the placebo effect”. 
             
            EM and Qi?
            As for MY’s question further above regarding my statements about EM. My hobby interests happen to include the physics of electricity and electronics. I am even a fully certified HAM-operator.That gives me the right to claim that I can, as any physicist and electronics engineer etc. can, explain EM. I also know how to use it, detect it, measure it and know when it is hazardous and when not.
             
            Qi?… No, it is not EM. EM can be detected, measured, monitored and exactingly manipulated. Qi cannot be detected or measured, not any more than we can detect the presence of
            Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Qi is a useless figment of many people’s imagination.
             
            PS. I really have to practice writing shorter entries. But on the other hand I made this into a heap of short entries 😀

          • Alan

            “Wow, jm. Thanks for that.” No no, thanks for the witchcraft/televangelist comment. That’s Frankly hilarious.

          • Thanks for taking the time to write that, Björn.

            Looks like jm will continue to refuse to engage his brain and fail to address the issues.

          • Bjorn – the link you posted isn’t evidence. And it doesn’t reference any evidence.

            So I’ll ask again: are we supposed to take your word for it, or do you have evidence for your claim that “Adhesions in the abdomen cannot be treated with external manipulation. All abdominal surgeons are trained in taking care of this problem, which is always done surgically.”?

          • Alan – I’m surprised you weren’t asking for evidence of Bjorn’s claim that adhesions in the abdomen cannot be treated with external manipulation. Perhaps you can provide good evidence?

          • “jm” has yet again shown us that (s)he is by far not the sharpest knife in the drawer 😀

          • Alan – Indeed I am. The evidence Bjorn points to is a single sentence on a website. Are you now consisdering that evidence? I doubt it.

            Perhaps you could inform Bjorn about the parameters of proper evidence? You could just copy/paste from the many times you have done that for others. Or copy/paste from one of the many time Bjorn has. It should be simple enough, as Bjorn would not make a claim like that without proper evidence…since he would consider that deception or fraud.

          • @Dr. Geir
            Thank you so much for your detail reply…

            I will not question the effectiveness of a successful surgical intervention

            However, Ive got a question… when your patients went back to you with pain after a cholecystectomy or appendectomy after a few years, got nothing from MRI scan, what do you do to them? Because I deal with those patients a lot.

          • @jm,
            “Perhaps you could inform Björn about the parameters of proper evidence?”

            Is that the same “proper evidence” you provide in support of your skin-scraping, or is it more of your efforts at logical fallacies; in this case, Tu Quoque?

            You have been “found out”. No one takes you seriously, nor should they. No doubt, you are incensed your important and precious healthcare work is laughed at by seriously minded people, but who cares? Your escapades are laughable.

          • Frank –

            Can you show me some evidence that adhesions in the abdomen cannot be treated with external manipulation?

          • For those who are getting confused by the incessant pestering of someone calling him/herself “jm”, asking for evidence that something CANNOT be done.
            This is not how things work. One cannot prove or support negative, non-existent things or phenomena. One can only fail to prove or provide evidence for something that does not exist, like Santa Claus or an effect of external manipulation to the abdomen that releases or divides adhesions.
            Just try for yourself to come up with a method of proving that the Tooth Fairy does not exist. It can’t be done. You can only try to prove that it exists, and fail. But the important point is, that you do not have to spend time and money to try. It is so unlikely that it is almost proof in itself.
            The same applies to the question our irrational incognito friend “jm” keeps repeating above.
            Anyone who has ever performed or assisted in an operation where adhesions are seen and/or dealt with can, after seeing and feeling them and observing how they are treated, corroborate that there is no way this will ever be done manually from the outside of a closed abdomen. Not even in an anaesthetised patient. Manipulation strong enough to tear adhesions would hurt terribly on an awake subject. There would be tearing of the extremely sensitive peritoneal lining. There would be bleeding from the torn adhesions and there would be injury to adjacent tissues. With constant stretching over a long time, you can elongate adhesive tissue but that would both be impractical and useless anyway.

            I have provided tips for Googling for lots of readable material that is unanimous (the credible part of the net at least) in stating that the treatment of adhesions is surgical. I took an example.
            Another incognito poster “MY” has provided links to a few articles that proved useless in the context.
            How about jm come up with some evidence that VM is effective in treating adhesions?
             
            Well.. For those who haven’t been following this blog lately, “jm” is a character who has admitted to being a “Gua Sha practitioner” but does not have the courage to identify him/herself. Administering Gua Sha means (s)he injures people for money. Yes, not very far from cupping and acupuncture, only more dramatic visually. You can read a true explanation of this archaic nonsense on Wikipedia, along with pictures that are in no way exagerated. I know, I’ve seen a few real cases 🙂 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gua_sha
            Gua Sha is not only as ridiculous as Visceral Manipulation, it is harmful on top of it and may be hazardous in many ways.

          • Bjorn

            A simple “no” would have been great.

            You make the claim “Adhesions in the abdomen cannot be treated with external manipulation.” Adhesions are physical things in the physical world. Your tooth fairy example would apply if the claim was “adhesions don’t exist” or something like that.

            But your claim implies that there is proof that manual manipulation for adhesions was tested, measured, etc. and found ineffective. I’d like to know if and how that was done. So I asked you for a link.

            You could have said that we don’t know how to measure that, radiographs aren’t capable, etc etc, and maybe explained why it can’t be measured. Or you could have simply said no, there’s no evidence, it’s speculation based on years of experience. (which, based on your recent reply, is the case). That would have been great.

            And since you brought it up yet again…based on years of experience, I know that you should do a little more research into gua sha. The “few real cases…” and a wikipedia page can (and did) lead you to some bizarre, inaccurate conclusions that are quite deceiving. I don’t think you’re committing the “worst crime you can perpetrate against vulnerable patients suffering from sickness and injury”…but you certainly are claiming knowledge where you have none. Which is still deceptive. Or fraud. Or whatever you want to call it.

          • @Geir

            Guasha, also known as Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation(IASTM), is very effective technique in reducing the formation of fascial adhesion after surgery or injury.

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924602/

          • “jm” keeps proving that (s)he is uneducable. Income bringing woo certainly muddles the mind.
             
            @MY
            The article you reference is not at all about Gua Sha. It is about a special type of instrumental massage.
            The article describes a small, non-blinded study done by enthusiasts in this trademarked proprietary “technique” called the Graston technique(R) and is obviously designed and performed to advocate this commercial product. It lacks a very important declaration (at least in the web version) regarding conflict of interest. It also lacks information on submission and approval dates, which may shed light on the review process. This indicates that the journal is probably of lesser standard. A proper review should have demanded that the study be classified as a pilot due to its limited scope and absence of bias limiting elements such as blinding or sham procedure.
            The authors go into great lengths at intellectualising this proprietary therapy, which is really nothing more than thorough massage using patented tools to exert the massaging effect.
            17 Baseball players got what is probably a great massage, 17 did not (the “controls”). Guess which of them felt better right after and not surprisingly display a slightly (ca. 5 to 11 degrees) better range of motion. I got great massage the other day at my gym and was much more mobile afterwards. A no-brainer, really.
            Part of the improvement may in addition well have been (are very likely to have been, actually) due to a range of bias effects like the observer bias, cheerleader effect, confirmation bias etc… This is a good example of worthless research, done on purpose to promote a commercial product.
            Oh… and I also believe (a proper statistician would have to confirm this) that they used the wrong type of statistical method to calculate the likelihood that the difference between the groups may have been due to chance.
             
            If I am not mistaken, the Graston(R) instrumentation is not supposed to produce any visible injury (like GS) but of course, overenthusiastic massaging can cause deep bruising and bleeding. A Graston(R) practitioner who left such injuries would probably not be in business for long because the receiver would not be performing well afterwards.
            Gua Sha is a prescientific, archaic practice of instrumental scraping of the skin with a semi-sharp edge (coin, spoon, special porcelain instrument etc…) producing bleeding into the superficial layers of the skin. This leaves marks like in the photo on the wikipedia page I linked to previously.
            The medically ignorant quacks who think this helps for disease and ailments and take money for fooling others (like the “jm” character), even claim that the marks do not appear if there is no problem underneath. The ideomotor effect causes the practitioner to unwittingly exert different forces, which is why they sometimes make stronger marks and sometimes weaker, according to their mindset at the time.
            The only effect of this kind of scraping is to produce ugly, lightly tender or even sore marks that take a while to disappear.
            There are two main perils to this injury, thankfully not so common.
            One is that trying to cure/heal patients with such nonsense may delay proper attendance to serious medical problems, like in the case of appendicitis that I have previously described. The other effect that may prove dangerous is that if the bruising is very extensive and other health problems interact, the release of breakdown products of blood that is literally scraped out of the bloodstream will need to be washed out by the kidneys. These products can in certain circumstances prove toxic for the kidneys and this may prove too much for the kidneys which may be seriously damaged.
            As with VM, Gua Sha is extremely unlikely to have beneficial effects (confirmation of this claim can be found by reading and comprehending thick textbooks on physiology, nephrology, pathology, histology etc.) as the make-believe medical amateurs who practice it claim. Given that it can in some cases be dangerous and no physiological or other reason for its benefit can be found, it should be considered bodily assault to fool people into buying or receiving injury-causing woo of this kind under the pretense of health-advantage.

          • Bjorn

            Funny you should mention uneducable…I see you still haven’t done your homework. Seriously, you should try it, just so you can understand how hilarious your explanations are. Be sure to Bjorn-splain gua sha to them, particularly the ideomotor effect part (still make me smile every time you post that). And, let me know if you think they’re lightening up on pressure where no marks are coming up. Or digging deeper…trying…to make something…anything…appear…*

            And please, if it’s not too much trouble…I’d love to see a video.

            After your session, go back and re-read Edzard’s gua sha post. If you can make it through the whole post without smiling, or laughing…I’ll buy you lunch. I’ll buy you dinner if you can re-read your own comments on that thread without laughing out loud.

            Oh, I probably told you this before, but just in case you’re frightened – the biggest danger with gua sha is that some of the tools are choking hazards. Seriously. Kids get scraped a lot when they’re getting a cold.
            _________

            * Good practice is to follow the path of the markings, to be sure you’ve got everything. Generally, practitioners will increase pressure where markings stop coming up – to make sure they aren’t missing something. So really, when you go for your session…you might want to keep your ideomotor effect theory to yourself :).

          • @Geir

            Looks like the only option is Surgery… it must’ve shown 100% success rate and supported with any published paper with perfect study design.

            So sad that I didnt study medicine and become a surgeon.. I wouldve helped so many people rather than ripping them off by applying all these useless treatments

            To be honest, Im going to give up trying and at the same time, Im very glad that you have spent some of your precious time to rely to me, you really got me thinking what I have to do next… I will not give up visceral manipulation, I will continue to treat my patients and apply visceral manipulation whenever its appropriate and beneficial! Hopefully assisting in researches of visceral manipulation

            @jm
            Maybe you should give up trying… and study a little bit of the fascial system with the lastest researches

          • Indeed it’s only one part of Barral’s “approaches”.

            I have joined a course with him in England at an institute of a Ph.D. !! and me lying on the table Barral put his hand gliding along the top of my head and said “You have had a trauma being around 16 to 18 years old.” That’s the way how he creates impressed clients.

            I mean who else doesn’t have had a “trauma” in these age?

            This was the turning point on my way being a supressed European Osteopathic Manipulator at those times.

            From now on I was questioning the history of European osteopathic manipulators and what I have learned so far. It was a way painful disillusionment becaus for all of my about 4000 hours of training and practicals I have spend a huge amount of money and lifetime which I could have used for better things.

            The next point that hit me was at ESO in Maidstone, joining a course in “osteopathy in obstetrics” as part of a B.Sc. (ost) program. A French osteopathic teacher (French D.O.) was fired after we as students refused to listen to her.

            She (French D.O.) started with telling us about Tarot cards and how we should use them to find out a patient’s family history by also palpating the patient’s pelvic floor.
            According to her (French D.O.) every corner of the pelvic floor should be related to the patient’s parents grandperents a.s.o. and that happened in studies for B.Sc. !!! Because of our !!! pressure to the school she was fired! but stiil it is a big brach in French D.O.’s “Visceral Osteopathy”.

            Then I started to dive into literature and found the reason for such storytelling.

            Barral took over the hypothesis of Upledger’s Craniosacral Therapy about a so called “permanent embryologic rotation of the brain” during lifetime which one should be able to palpate through the skull !!! and put it for his own hypothesis of a permant recapitulation of such embryologic rotation of the inner organs which an osteopathic manipulater has to find out to support to regain health.

            He combined such storytelling with techniques shown in the book of the old French gynecologist Henri Stapfer who was a fellow of Thure Brandt Massage. In his book this physician developes the method to move the inner organs away from the womb to prevent pressure on it (to prevent hysterectomy which was common in medicine in those times in cases of “hysteria”. So Stapfer was against such surgical procedures to “resolve” psychological problems of women, that’s the good side related to history of medicine).

            So manually repositionating the uterus lifting the liver lifting the kidneys was the base which by Weischenk & Barral was completed with emptying the gallbladder turning the liver repositionating the pancreas treating the artoa twisting the heart (through the thorax !!! ) and so on. All of this stupidity is part of B.Sc. and M.Sc. osteopathic training all over Europe ( England, France, Austria, Switzerland, in Italy you might receive a Dr. osteopatia for that !! )

            I turned to read more about osteopathic physicians in the States and found that their training mowadays is totally different from such esoteric pseudoscience in Europe and Canada.

            Accidentially few of those fully licensed osteopathic physicians of the States started to write letters to me after having read my webside asking me what training such European or Commomwealth osteopathic manipulatirs might receive and they were very asthonished about the facts and the reality and the differences to their own medical training nowadays becoming fully licensed physicians in all departments of modern medicine.

            A stopped to work for the board and left the German Osteopathic Association.

        • Hi Bjorn

          After your most recent comments, I scrolled up and read this post. A couple of questions for you.
          You say that belly fondling might have helped, old home-remedy, etc. So why would eliza’s doc not have done that, as a matter of course?

          You say “…fondling bellies of the sick and suffering practically every day and it would be impossible not to stumble upon such magic if it were there” Actually, it was stumbled upon a couple thousand years ago. The magic of belly fondling is pretty well documented in Celsus’s De Medicina. Are modern physicians not familiar with De Medicina? Is it considered outdated witchcraft or something?

          Seems odd that eliza’s doc wouldn’t take the 10 minutes to do some belly fondling.

          • Some ankle sprains with massive bruising might fail patient’s kidneys

          • Ah!. We have a superior authority on medicine among us! More clever than any modern expert because (s)he has discovered the truly reliable and practical source of medical science, written already in the first century.

            Pathetic

          • So basically, you’re saying that eliza’s relief could have been a result of belly fondling. But eliza’s doc should not belly fondle because…it’s old?

            I think we have different definitions of pathetic.

          • .. and I think “jm” has serious problems with comprehending simple facts and logic.

          • “.. and I think “jm” has serious problems with comprehending simple facts and logic.”

            What do you expect from someone who thinks scraping a person’s skin with a stick to cause bruising is a healthcare regimen?

          • Frank

            It’s so true – that sciency stuff is way beyond me. I guess I’m just stuck with the “evidence” of palpating tissue changes after scraping, feedback from clients, and consistent reproducible effects. I should definitely go the way of Bjorn, and deduce the facts based on pictures and Wikipedia, rather than what’s right in front of me. THAT would be better science, and better treatment. When dealing with a “therapy” that focuses on soft tissue – espicially the most superficial soft tissue – pictures are logically more accurate than palpation and feedback.

            I’m sure that Bjorn is right – regardless of my perception and the perception of clients, it’s probably the ideomotor effect that results in the lack of markings. Since this phenomena has been documented for thousands of years…and across all cultures…maybe it has something to do with the tool. Maybe the tool emits some sort of magical field, that causes bruises not to act like bruises and tissue not to act like tissue.

            Ah, the mystical power of the scraping tool – manipulating minds and physiology since the beginning of writing. Best to analyze it from a distance…lest you fall under the influence of the devious device. (Plus, you avoid the choking hazard.)

            The logic of knowing that belly fondling could possibly help eliza (according to Bjorn’s earlier comment…and of course common sense) but not doing it, escapes me as well. It might not help…so better not to try. Why waste 10 minutes on something that may or may not bring eliza some relief? That 10 minutes could be better spent helping patients feel better.

          • Sigh… Here we go again. Let’s make it simple. Poor “jm” does not understand this but the readers may enjoy a bit of organised thinking:

            http://www.csicop.org/si/show/why_bogus_therapies_seem_to_work/

          • You continue to crack me up Bjorn. You have the tenacity of a born again christian. Ah well. I wish I had your level of superstition.

            But back to the belly fondling. So that you don’t have to scroll all the way up there, here’s what you said:

            “To be really honest and forthright, there is actually one small possibility that belly-fondling might have helped a little in your case. You mention being able to relieve your bowels and this seems to have triggered your improvement. It is quite possible that massage of your abdomen stimulated contractions in your intestines and colon and that is what triggered or at least helped a fortunate bowel emptying? But that’s it. Massaging the abdomen is an old home-remedy for constipation but not a generally very effective one. Nothing to build a whole therapy-system and a fancy institute on, is it?”

            And I totally agree with you – sometimes, belly fondling is just the ticket. So why wouldn’t eliza’s doc spend the 10 minutes? Better things to do than possibly helping the patient?

        • I am always suspicious when people say “I am absolutely confident”. I do not know if you’ve heard that confidence is an indication of a very limited mind.

          • @victoria
            errm… Who, in this long and almost unfathomable thread, has used the phrase “I am absolutely confident”? I searched on the page for the words ‘abolutely confident’ and only your comment came up.

          • @ victoria on Monday 16 May 2016 at 00:42

            “I am always suspicious when people say “I am absolutely confident”. I do not know if you’ve heard that confidence is an indication of a very limited mind.”

            I am also suspicious when people leave specious, sweeping generalisations without providing any information about their concerns. Science can give you “absolute confidence” about some matters, such as when they become theories, and also give you notion that an idea/s may not be fixed and subject to further research.

            As Frank Odds points out, you are the only person to have used the term and I wonder why?

        • You say “belly fondling” is an old remedy for constipation. Therefore, one may get relief from it?
          I think you just shot yourself in the foot?
          What if this belly fondling IS visceral manipulation. Does it then matter if people stumbled onto it BEFORE you started talking about it?

          • Do you have a point Mr/Mrs/Miss Pylori? Your comment is not contributing to the understanding of VM.

            Perhaps you missed the fact that this thread is not about semantics but about whether the type of belly fondling theatricals invented (not discovered) and developed into a commercial service by the osteopath Jean-Pierre Barral, can possibly have any[!] of the therapeutic potentials advertised.
            I happen to know the abdomen intimately and have spent more than three decades fondling and fixing all kinds of ailments, many of which are listed in this ludicrous list below.
            Now wouldn’t it be likely that surgeons and gastroenterologists and others who spend their professional lives examining and treating abdominal ailments, would during decades and centuries not have discovered at least a few of the fantastical fondling methods promoted by this purported genius and they would have found its way into modern medical practice??
            No, VM is what in some parts of the English speaking world called “pure baloney” and Mr. Barral, knowingly or not is nothing less than a charlatan.
            Just like DD Palmer, John Upledger, Hongchi Xiao , Tom Tam, Thomas Ambrose Bowen and all the other impostors who have invented their own theatrical act to satisfy their vanity and fleece the gullible.

            Here’s an excerpt from the web of the “Barral Institute”:


            Visceral Manipulation (VM) was developed by world-renowned French Osteopath and Physical Therapist Jean-Pierre Barral. Comparative studies found Visceral Manipulation beneficial for various disorders.

            Acute Disorders
            Whiplash
            Seatbelt Injuries
            Chest or Abdominal Sports Injuries
            Concussion
            Traumatic Brain Injuries

            Digestive Disorders
            Bloating and Constipation
            Nausea and Acid Reflux
            GERD
            Swallowing Dysfunctions

            Women’s and Men’s Health Issues
            Chronic Pelvic Pain
            Endometriosis
            Fibroids and Cysts
            Dysmenorrhea
            Bladder Incontinence
            Prostate Dysfunction
            Referred Testicular Pain
            Effects of Menopause

            Musculoskeletal Disorders
            Somatic-Visceral Interactions
            Chronic Spinal Dysfunction
            Headaches and Migraines
            Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
            Peripheral Joint Pain
            Sciatica

            Pain Related to
            Post-operative Scar Tissue
            Post-infection Scar Tissue
            Autonomic Mechanisms

            Pediatric Issues
            Constipation and Gastritis
            Persistent Vomiting
            Vesicoureteral Reflux
            Infant Colic

            Emotional Issues
            Anxiety and Depression
            Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

            …followed by a lengthy, ludicrous word sallad that may certainly fool many medically ignorant and gullible.

            Is it likely that any of these problem areas can be affected by prodding and palpating the abdomen? I say far from it.

          • Bjorn,
            To answer this:
            Now wouldn’t it be likely that surgeons and gastroenterologists and others who spend their professional lives examining and treating abdominal ailments, would during decades and centuries not have discovered at least a few of the fantastical fondling methods promoted by this purported genius and they would have found its way into modern medical practice??

            Nah, not really.
            I think you would need to know where to look first.

            A few years ago a dr would empty a patient of half the blood supply and call it a day.
            As stupid as that sounds-
            -today will seem equally stupid in future.

            Not invested in Barral being legit or not (you guys can argue that one until you are blue in the face, and perhaps Do need a dr)

            However, medicine has to concede that there is a missing link with the cns.

            ANYTHING that explores cns and organs, or body as a whole has to be tolerated and in fact promoted in some ways.
            Otherwise it will drown underneath “latest yoga weightloss program”
            Or “low fat paleo biome”

            Now, you kids get along now!
            Picture its may 17.

          • @ H. Pylori
            You are not making any coherent sense.

          • Hi again,
            Ok, I will explain. Hard, because I have slight language barrier and sometimes translation is less than perfect. My apologies.
            The meaning of all forums has to be to collect data. The meaning of all therapies aimed at healing the body is also data. For you, the data tells something important.
            “It doesnt work”
            Or
            “Will NEVER work”
            But that is important data!
            Try something else! Otherwise you keep trying to fit the square through the circle
            This is very important information?
            Another piece of data for you.

            You have a beautyful way of speaking medical English.
            In my opinion it is too “LOUD”. It takes the focus away from what you are saying, and makes us wonder about why you are acting this way. If it is repressed anger, please take up golf because you are an important part of discussion.

            I agree with most things you say, but I will say it again.
            CSN has a part in this. This is why there is effect in manipulation, not the “fondling” itself. If you do not acknowledge this – you will continue looking at a three dimentional problem from a two dimentional perspective.

            Two examples:
            What would you say to people who have been helped with
            Trigeminal neuralgia
            And
            Erectional dysfunction
            through VM?

            Probably you would say
            Placebo
            Coincidence
            Bogus, etc.

            Instead, voice your opinion with CLASS and DIGNITY(more effective) There are people reading, that have all kinds of pasts and are fully capable to think for themselves.

            If you think you know it all – you have nothing left to learn.

            I hope that this translates well.
            All the best. Keep writing.

          • Hi again,
Ok, I will explain. Hard, because I have slight language barrier and sometimes translation is less than perfect. My apologies.

            Your English is not the problem here. If you think you need to express yourself more securely you can also write in Norwegian, both Bokmål and Nynorsk I will understand. Or any of the other Nordic languages except Finnish. Also German, French, Italian, Spanish may help.

            
The meaning of all forums has to be to collect data. The meaning of all therapies aimed at healing the body is also data.

            You’re not making any sense here. We use organised trials and experiments to collect data, not blogs and web discussions or uncontrolled therapy practices. Data is not just anything someone says on the internet. Data is not what Mr. Barral claims on his website. Data is not the story of how someone’s erectile dysfunction got better after Mr. Barral kneaded his tummy.

            For you, the data tells something important.
“It doesnt work”
Or
“Will NEVER work”
But that is important data!
Try something else! Otherwise you keep trying to fit the square through the circle
This is very important information?
Another piece of data for you.

            Again words without intelligible meaning. You seem to be mistakenly assuming how I would interpret information but this comes out as incoherent babble.

            You have a beautyful way of speaking medical English.

            Thank you, I should know after almost forty years of reading, writing and speaking medical English – but irrelevant flattery will not impress on many readers of this blog

            
In my opinion it is too “LOUD”. It takes the focus away from what you are saying, and makes us wonder about why you are acting this way.

            If you interpret what I say as harsh and outraged you are correct. Most people of ordinary intellect and education would also be outraged to see someone pretending to know how to cure serious diseases with kneading the belly. Mr. Barral may be well meaning but he is a delusional fool.

            If it is repressed anger, please take up golf because you are an important part of discussion.

            Pompous, patronising rudeness does not affect me, it is however an unflattering revelation of your own disposition.

            I agree with most things you say, but I will say it again.
CSN has a part in this. This is why there is effect in manipulation, not the “fondling” itself. If you do not acknowledge this – you will continue looking at a three dimentional problem from a two dimentional perspective.

            I assume that by “CSN” you mean CNS, i.e. the ‘Central Nervous System’. If you knew anything about basic anatomy and medicine you would have written ‘ANS’. Try figuring that one out for yourself – you really need to learn some basic anatomy and physiology if you wish to be taken seriously in a discussion like this.

            Two examples:
What would you say to people who have been helped with
Trigeminal neuralgia
And
Erectional dysfunction
through VM?
            Probably you would say
Placebo
Coincidence
Bogus, etc.

            No, I would say: TN and ED are examples of conditions that very often improve with time without any intervention. There is no anatomical, physiological or other reason why VM would or could affect them and there is no proof that it does either. Anecdotes of such improvement following VM do not prove anything other than such conditions often improve by themselves. There is no reason to attribute improvement to “Visceral manipulation”.

            Instead, voice your opinion with CLASS and DIGNITY(more effective) There are people reading, that have all kinds of pasts and are fully capable to think for themselves.
            If you think you know it all – you have nothing left to learn.

            Again, a self-important and patronising tone is not getting you anywhere.
            It is quite evident you have no medical education. Whatever education, skills or knowledge you may have acquired has seemingly not led to much in the form of analytical abilities or rational thinking processes.
            We are discussing whether VM has any therapeutic worth. You, Mr. Barral himself or anyone else have not provided any evidence thereof, only useless anecdotes, misapplied attempts at science and grandiose but unsubstantiated claims.
            If you wish to continue this discussion you will have to start contributing something more than unsubstantiated, pompous claims that you know better than we.

            I hope that this translates well.
All the best. Keep writing.

            You are actually coming through loud and clear with your English.
            What you have written hitherto has told us you know absolutely nothing of worth about even the most basic anatomy, physiology or medicine. And it tells us that you have foolishly fallen for the grandiose delusional fantasies of a French osteopath who mistakenly thinks he found a therapeutic method.

          • Hello Sir,
            I am so sorry. I will not write again. Never ment to offend you. Sentence about golf was ment in jokingly fashion only. Very hard to express humour from japanese standpoint.

            Your name was very similar to former college who was norwegian, therefore I tried to make joke from that nation.(17 may is national day)
            I thought at first you could be him, but since you post with picture I see you are much better looking.

            I did not make you understand clearly. I do not believe in Barral. I think that beyond all marketing and more importantly, pre-barral there is something of value. I will explain further.

            Not disputing importance of having correct trials with independent conductors and large sample sizes, and more. I agree 100% with you. Again, sorry for not being clear. My apologies.

            When I say data, I do not mean it in the sense of “correctness”. I mean that every entry into this discussion is data for the reader. I have read it from beginning to end. I was very sad to see that people stopped expressing themselves, and that it ended with your entry. My opinion is that some of them stopped because of reaction to your posts. At least several claimed that this was the case. I wanted to achieve more discussion. My aim was to offer you advice on how to have a continuance of entries because I thought this was of interest to you as well. Was not ment as critisism. Never ment to offend. I am very sorry for this!

            To me, it makes no difference if they claim to get help from “belly fondling”(highly humourous). As an observer I can disregard and read the next one. Peoples collected opinion is a collection of data that interest me.

            I will not write again. Language is not adequate. I must again complement you on all knowledge and the numerous of speech you have. Truly impressive!

            My division is neuro muscular activity. I understand now that this forum is more about debate than it is about learning together. I am sorry for any offence to you or any reader.

            I would like to say that part of our division is concerned with the interplay of organ, muscle, and and how stimulation gives neurofeedback through electrodes.
            Sometimes, through reading about vm, people get same results as we have achieved. Very interesting for us!

            Again, I must apologise for anger caused, and all missunderstanding. All the best.

        • I can assure you, Barral knows anatomy. You obviously know nothing about Jean Pierre Barral!

        • Dr geir

          Given that I have never had the therapy I have no relationship positively or negatively but I must admit you come off as a pompous arrogant man with a belief that your opinion is the only opinion that could possibly be correct. As an educated man I find that a shame. Medicine itself is built on years of people calling certain theories or practices poppycock as there was no evidence to suggest otherwise and yet many people years later found the evidence to support the practices or theories?!?! Many doctors go into medicine to help people and make a difference and if a visceral manipulation gives someone relief psychosomatic or not until you have definitive evidence I’d be more accepting of others views, and perhaps grateful that people are finding relief from their ailments. Simply just because your a surgeon doesn’t mean you know all there is to know about health and medicine? Or you would not I presume have got better or learnt what you now know . Such a bizarre and aggressive view that I felt bound to share my own. Regards

  • Speaking of visceral & manipulation what is known about the University of Bridgeport Chiropractic College being owned/controlled by the Unification church commonly known as the Moonies. There is a history there and am curious of the current status.

    • Some recent discussion on that here:
      http://chirotalk.proboards.com/thread/2993

      Quote
      “This isn’t in their admissions materials but Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Moonies cult how owned the University of Bridgeport and its College of Chiropractic since 1992.”

      And an interesting archived article here:
      http://web.archive.org/web/20050207031435/http://www.theness.com/articles/moonietakeover-nejs0201.html

      Quote:
      ” UB has become a center for alternative and unproven pseudo-medical propaganda. It was the first U.S. university to officially create a College of Chiropractic. In the fall of 1996, the new school of Naturopathy was opened. Both of these systems are embraced by Moon and his cult…”

      • Well, Wode, I don’t know how they work it in Denmark, but here in the U.S. many universities are owned by religious organizations and they work out just fine. They are very good institutions of higher learning.

        The University of Bridgeport is a highly respected university in Connecticut and is a valuable member of the Bridgeport community. It has to meet all the standards and be accredited by all the local, regional, state and national accrediting organizations. All chiropractic doctors study 5000 hours and meet all standards and requirements, pass clinic, state and national boards like any other chiropractic university in order to get their doctorate degree. That’s why it is highly risky for physical therapists to do spinal manipulation as they only take weekend seminars once or twice a year and then go to work on Monday to practice what they paid for. Not a good idea as practically all are not doctors. I do recognize that they do lots of good work in their trade. Many chiropractic doctors give them jobs and work together.

        Of course, if you don’t like Koreans, that’s another issue that likely needs some handling.

        • universities owned by religious organisations are by definition not independent.

          • SkepticProf wrote: “All chiropractic doctors study 5000 hours and meet all standards and requirements, pass clinic, state and national boards like any other chiropractic university in order to get their doctorate degree. That’s why it is highly risky for physical therapists to do spinal manipulation as they only take weekend seminars once or twice a year and then go to work on Monday to practice what they paid for. Not a good idea as practically all are not doctors.”

            Change is a-comin’…

            QUOTE
            “…if chiropractic fails to specialize in an appropriate manner, there may be no justification for the existence of chiropractic when there are an adequate number of physical therapists providing manipulative therapy. Many physical therapists are now using manipulation/mobilization techniques. Of the 209 physical therapy programs in the US, 111 now offer Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degrees. Some of these programs have been opened to qualified chiropractors. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “…Physical therapy, by 2020, will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy and who may be board-certified specialists. Consumers will have direct access to physical therapists in all environments for patient/client management, prevention, and wellness services. Physical therapists will be practitioners of choice in patients’/clients’ health networks and will hold all privileges of autonomous practice…” It matters little who does spinal manipulative therapy as long as it is appropriate and evidence-based. There can be cooperation between chiropractors and other practitioners of manual therapy if everyone works under the common denominator of science and if treatment methods are standardized. Subluxation-based chiropractors whose goal is to improve health by removing nerve interference may use any one of a variety of esoteric techniques, making cooperation difficult or impossible.”

            Ref: http://jmmtonline.com/documents/HomolaV14N2E.pdf

            That, to me, looks like consumers will soon be turning to physiotherapists rather than chiropractors (in the US at least where you are a chiropractic professor) unless there is serious reform within chiropractic.

            SkepticProf wrote: “Of course, if you don’t like Koreans, that’s another issue that likely needs some handling.”

            I don’t have a problem with Koreans (except for cult leaders and North Korean dictators), however it would appear that chiropractors do…
            http://www.ebm-first.com/chiropractic/latest-news/1967-south-koreas-medical-professionals-crack-down-on-chiropractors-.html

          • Of course. Naturally when you were at Exeter you spoke out and campaigned vociferously against the military and corporate funding, therewith agenda-setting towards military (i.e: killing) applications for research in science. Of course you did because you are a HERO Edzard! Thank you so much for your incredible independence and total and utter lack of any smidgeon of bias whatsoever.

      • It certainly looks like Bridgeport University has benefited from significant money from the Moonies’ organisations.

        They currently say on their website:

        Significant financial support from the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), a non-profit organization of academicians dedicated to world peace through education, enabled the University of Bridgeport to continue its programs in the aftermath of great challenges for both the University and the City of Bridgeport.

        It seems clear that the PWPA is a Moonie organisation and their website has several references to the Unification Church. The PWPA say:

        Today PWPA-USA, which also housed the PWPA International office from 1983-2000, publishes the International Journal on World Peace and has an affiliation with the University of Bridgeport.

        …so it looks like this relationship is ongoing, not just historical.

        RationalWiki says of the PWPA:

        The Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) was founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial leader of the Unification Church[1][2] as part of the Unification Movement[3].

        In 1992, following the longest faculty strike in United States academic history, the University of Bridgeport agreed to an arrangement with the Professors World Peace Academy whereby the university would be subsidized by PWPA in exchange for control of the university. The initial agreement was for $50 million, and a majority of board members were to be PWPA members.[5] The next University of Bridgeport president was PWPA president and holocaust theologian Richard Rubenstein (from 1995-1999),[6] and subsequently former U.S. Unification Church president Neil Albert Salonen (2000-present).[7][8]

        That would seem to be pretty definite.

        However, Blue Wode and I have been asking chiropractor Prof Stephen Perle of Bridgeport about funding on Twitter. He said:

        The PWPA donated money. I believe they got funding from Unification Church. But we haven’t gotten money for years

        So it’s not entirely clear whether the Moonies have given up funding them or not or what control they had or still have.

        • “Change is a’comin”
          Your belief, Blue Wode, that fizzeos in the U.S. are spending more time and money getting proper doctorate degrees so they can take over the chiropractic world once and for all isn’t turning out that way.

          After 10 years, 99% of fizzeos don’t have a DPT and are not doctors of any kind. 100% of chiropractic doctors have doctorate degrees, even though you folks here don’t like it.

          According to the DPTs in my area, with whom we all work together,they are more interested in taking turf from the physiatrists who are PTs with an MD degree. The DPTs want to treat pain with saline trigger point injections, prolotherapy and steroid epidural injections which are popular with pain clinics owned by anesthesiologists.

          The new DPTs have school loans to repay and can increase their back-end business with these lucrative services. A bottle of steroids cost $100, but they can get 20 or more shots out of a bottle at $125+ per procedure, so their return on investment is very high. While they take a few courses in manipulation, it just isn’t high on their radar at the lower reimbursement. Just sayin’ what they told me.

          PTs can’t shake their drug dependence with the medical world if they want to earn a salary. If they want continuing referrals from the orthopedics to pay off the loans, they have to stick with the sick care/ drug-based/ pain roots of the AMA. Just the opposite of the drugless, chiropractic health care model that millions happily seek out!

          So you will have a long wait for the DPTs to come and deliver you to Eden. Sorry, Blue Wode.

    • Thanks, Preston. Of course one has nothing to do with the other. I thought you were the anti-chiropractor expert having written several “books” on the topic. Asking this just seems odd.

  • Visceral osteopathy and osteopathic management of conditions with visceral involvement is part of ‘Osteopathic Science’ in Victoria University (Australia) , with a learning that on successful completion of the unit, students will be expected to be able to “assess and manage common visceral conditions amenable to osteopathic treatment”.

    Required reading includes Visceral Manipulation, a text written by VM’s founder, JP Barral.

    Courses run by The Barral Institute Australia attract professional development hours for both registered and unregistered practitioners .

    • Sorry to say but this extended Thure Brandt Massage which in France was modified two times. First time it was modified by the gynecologist Henri Stapfer who declared that just repositioning the womb without any manual lifting the inner organs above is frustrating and senseless (he was against hysterectomy to prevent “hysteria”). All of this nonsense including all of those “visceral techniques” was only part of medicine for a short time in 19th to 20th century and thrown out.

      In the 1970/80ties Barral & Weischenk reactivated all this nonsense and comleted it with emtying the gallbladder repositioning aorta heart pancreas a.s.o. and mixed it up with Upledger’s Craniosacral-Therapy explanation of a lifetime-permanently-recapitulating embryologic rotation of the brain and putting such nonsense for the viscera too.

      There is no evedence to all of that. I can’t believe how long I have taken this brainwashing before I decided to quit my work for the board of German Osteopathic Association and left it because they won’t change never ever the teaching programs for B.Sc. / M.Sc. all over in Europe and Commonwealth (Australia Canada a.s.o. to becoma a licensed osteopathic manual practitioner.

    • @Osteopathie Praxis… (also referring to your comment 14 September 2017 at 09:04)

      The information you are supplying is most interesting. To me, the activities that have been described here are so ridiculous that one wonders if these people are either psychotic, perverse or both.
      You seem to have first hand knowledge and experience as an apostate of osteopathy. I hope you will write a book about the subject.
      I am sure professor Ernst will consider giving you a hand if you asked him for assistance with such an enterprise.
      Another apostate of alternative nonsense that you should get to know if you have not already, is Britt-Marie Hermes: https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/
      The world needs more of this.

  • Sounds like heavy petting?! No thanks, I have a wife.

  • One wonders how practitioners advocating and practicing visceral manipulation or similar techniques like ‘cranial’ navigate their way around ‘informed consent’. Should such practices be considered ‘experimental’ and subject to appropriate ethical requirements? Once on the very fringe of usual practice, they are now advocated in tertiary institutions where student contact time is considered a valuable and carefully managed learning resource. By what reasoning therefore, do they find their way into professional masters curriculum at a tertiary level and why are they classified and accepted as professional ‘development’?

    • Right the problem is that such B.Sc. (ost) and M.Sc. (ost) now have permit to teach other health care professionals e.g midwives or physiotherapists in their B.Sc. and M.Sc. programs and nobody will stop this. More and more departments of gynecology of German hospitals start to send pregnant women and women after giving birth or after surgery to osteopathic manual practitioners for treatment of “adhesions” a.s.o. Mostly the midwives do so.

      That’s the fact by now. All of this has reached a stage which Homoeopathy never achieved B.Sc and M.Sc. so who or what is the trojanic horse of pseudoscience in universities nowadays? Homoeopathy? The answer is very easy.

  • Follow up to my original question. Are there any Moonies teaching at Bridgeport Chiropractic College?

  • And religious organizations vs. cults owning educational facilities, does it make any difference?

  • The comments seem to be getting away from the point….can anyone detail the science/studies supporting Visceral manipulation/osteopathy? I would like to know if there is any?

  • One of the estudies :Treatment of Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Visceral Osteopathy: Short-Term and Long-Term Results of a Randomized Trial.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23981319/

    • what treatment did the control group have?
      who was blinded in that study?

    • I found it interesting that the study claims “This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.” yet it doesn’t include a conflict of interest statement: First red flag of…

      “OBJECTIVE: According to the low efficiency of available drugs in irritable bowel syndrome, a growing interest in alternative therapies is observed.”: Second red flag of…

      “The aim of this study was to apply a robust methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of visceral osteopathy for irritable bowel syndrome.”: Third and confirmatory red flag of…

      Indeed, there is a dire lack of indication that the study made an attempt to test visceral osteopathy against its null hypothesis and plenty of indication that the study was attempting so show visceral osteopathy in a positive light.

  • Yeah, bloody… Frogs, er, Aussies. Er. Usual bloody Cochrane bollocks. Touching tummies, yeuch. Perverts. That’s just wifey (back in the day anyway). Soooo biassed. Has to be.

    Thanks for straightening that out. guys.

  • For more than thirty years I have been prodding and palpating tummies as part of my work as a gastrointestinal surgeon. It never occurred to me that this very important diagnostic clinical procedure could be a form of therapy.
    Surely the tummies get better all the time after our kneading and prodding. Maybe it isn’t just because of the usual spontaneous healing, medicines or surgery? Maybe there’s something to it!

    By the way… I got a great idea:
    It just occurred to me that I can start a chain of mini-clinics that provide my own special therapeutic intervention, Crena-therapy™. I see before me in the future, such a mini-clinic on every other city corner. Training the providers is very easy as the technique is a natural part of everyone’s life. Our dog even does it with his mouth!
    There is massive (anecdotal) evidence for the wonderful relief by this simple method. The other day I even happened (discretely of course) to do this to myself and shortly thereafter I won a small sum on a lottery ticket. So it may even be economically beneficial.
    Millions of people have become better from anything from influenza to infertility after caressing their crena ani.
    You do not need to be suffering from morgellons or migraines to feel good after a hearty backdoor rub. Just think of the possibilities. Scratching one’s backside is for some reason not accepted in public and certainly not to ask someone to do it for you. Itching at t
    Just think about it… When the need arises, which often happens in a crowded street, one could just jump into the nearest Crena-Clinic™ and get immediate and healing relief by a professional under clinical conditions?

    Slogan: Crena-therapy™ gets your Qi’s going 😉

    • Lol! – Thanks for allowing my comments through. Sounds like you’re onto a winner there Bjorn. Really surprised you’ve never once used that fertile imagination in the course of your work tho’. Genuinely. That the many kinds of touch may have an effect – some essential to our development, others destructive, some productive, isn’t such a stretch. Many areas backed up by your young careerist academics (selected for conformity) who (they’ve found) hold the key to truth and certainty in all all areas, too.

      Just thought it was funny how you all lost interest when that Cochrane study came up. No hint nor thought of an apology to Barral, whose life’s work of study, teaching, treatment and (yes) imagination was found so easy to completely and utterly dismiss.

      Also quite funny (and perhaps instructive) how manual interventions may all be reduced to a grope by you medics.

      BTW – ‘gets your Qi’s going’? Shouldn’t that be ‘Qis’?

  • I went to a physical therapist in California for treatment for problems caused by arthritic changes in my cervical and thoracic spine. During the intake interview I mentioned that I was having trouble with acid reflux. The therapist claimed that he could diagnose organ dysfunction via palpating the area above the organs. He went on to state that upon examination that my pyloric sphincter was rotating in the wrong direction and he claimed that after a bit of gentle massage that he had returned it to normal function.

    I asked my GI doctor about the claim and he just laughed saying that the PT should publish as he would be the first to achieve such a transformation. A bit of googling led me to a book touting Visceral Manipulation that included a paragraph about the claim that organs have a clockwise or counter clockwise rotation and it referred to Barre.

    On the Barre website I found a link to find therapists that use his technique and all of the PTs and my local clinic were on the list. The PT I saw has traditional training as well and I’ll ask him to restrict his therapy to evidence-based methods.

    Harriet Hall on the Science Based Medicine site wrote about VM in 2012 and drew many comments from therapists who were aghast that a subsidiary of the American Physical Therapy Association had endorsed VM.

  • Can this help heal diastasis recti caused by pregnancy?

  • Does the addition of visceral manipulation alter outcomes for patients with low back pain? A randomized placebo controlled trial.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25378096

    Not very promising.

  • https://populusnovo.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/kaspirovskis.jpg
    Character that appeared on Soviet TV screens around the time of Gorbatshev. Also very interested in adhesions, only he promised to make them dissipate just by glaring at you from the screen.
    Attitude of Soviet Union towards Sciences was not flawless (take, for example Genetics), but it seemed this state cared about literacy of its citizens. But maybe just seemed, because disintegration of the state, after all, is no reason to start believing in quacks.

  • Did someone say Qi isn’t real. Spend 20 years practicing Kung Fu, and your opinion will change. Just because you do not understand something, and are unwilling to put in the time and training to develop the skill, doesn’t negate its existence.

    • Hey Jaster,
      Discussing this in here is a bad idea, since we are living in an scientific evidence based world, everything needed to be scientific… we can’t even explain how life begins, so don’t even bothered…

      I’ve seen so many qigong masters, so I definitely know what you’re talking about…

      Oh by the way Mr. geir, those patients that I treated with UNSCIENTIFIC BELLY FIDDLING did not have any recurrence still…

      • Oh My!
        You don’t say? You actually cured someone of something using “visceral manipulation”? How utterly exciting. Can you please give us references to your records and research evidence of this. I cannot find anything in the usual databases.

        The contact information to the Nobel committee can be found here:
        http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_organizations/nobelmedia/nobelprize_org/
        Give them a call. I am quite sure they will be very interested to have you present the evidence of your fantastic therapeutic successes.
        Please tell us what they said.

        • Bjorn, I checked your usual databases – and you’re right. Wikipedia, YouTube, and the first page and a half of Google were not very helpful.

          I haven’t checked JK Rowling – but I’ll take your word for it that there’s nothing there either.

        • I have been a practicing physical therapist for 33 years working in pain management, orthopedics, and sports medicine. Our payors have been demanding evidence based practice and best practices for the past 10 years. This requires some research preferably multicenter double blind studies. Unfortunately, there have been some wild claims to fame by Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Massage Therapists, and Allopathic Healers. I would remind everyone in this thread about the power of placebo effect e.g. A double blind study was performed using 2 groups. Minoxidil was put on the scalp of one group and saline (salt water) on the other. Thirty % of the saline group grew hair. As a matter of ethical principle, one should not take vulnerable patient’s money performing unproven techiques. I have found nothing to indicate that VM is more than what Bjorn describes: a soft tissue technique that feels good, relieves anxiety, and creates a temporary Autonomic Response. Many of the techniqes we currently perform, “Do the Same Thing” including massage, spinal mobilization/high velocity low amplitude manipulation, manual trigger point release, Myofascial release, positional release, IASTM, neuroprobe electrical stimulation, and Dry Needling. There is nothing wrong with that, but call a spade a spade. Don’t be fooled by the mystical BS that floats around to try and set you apart from your other collegues. VM falls into that category with some of the stuff coming out of the Upledger Institute i.e. Craniosacral Therapy. We can manipulate skin, subcutaneous, fascial, muscular, and joints. I’m sorry, but our professions have limitations. We don’t have super powers. We cannot manipulate organs nor can we feel cranial surture movement holding on to someone’s feet as they claim (especially since they fuse). Call it what is? Bjorn is right!

          • You are wrong! He is wrong! Sorry.

            There is significant science that defies your experience. Unfortunately this knowledge is not being dispersed effectively through out many healthcare professions. You can find it though.

          • then show it to us!

  • Thirty % of the saline group grew hair.

    Most scholars studying the placebo phenomenon have come to the conclusion that most of the observed effect in such studies is due to the “got better anyway effect” i.e. regression to the mean. See for example David Colquhoun’s essay here

  • Wow, I came here looking for a solid scientific take on visceral manipulation, but most of you (Bjorn especially) take such a mean spirited and condescending tone that I can’t stand to read further. If your aim is to put people down, well done. If your aim is actually to counter the spread of misinformation and help people, I suggest you revise your tactics. And I pity any patients of Bjorn’s if his bedside manner is as lacking as his general social skills as displayed on this thread.

    • Thank you Andrea for the compliments, I am flattered. As Edzard’s law states, you are not doing your job properly if the subjects of your criticism i.e. the quacks like you.
      Sarcasm can seem harsh and hurtful at times, at least for those it is directed at, but it is a necessary tool for countering the fraudulent application of make-believe medicine like “visceral manipulation”, which is nothing but advanced swindle. I realise its perpetrators practitioners believe in it but that is their problem. They are fooling their customers anyway.

      If in your quest (for confirmation of your own belief?), you happen to find the scientific take on “visceral manipulation”, please let us know. I promise I will meet it with reason and valid arguments from science and real world knowledge and to keep the sarcasm at bay.
      Meanwhile, we who are dealing with real medical/surgical problems are obliged to use whatever works and good manners are part of that. My patients seem to like my application manners.

      • Bjorn Geir.

        The most up to date SCIENTIFIC research on connective tissue completely disproves all the rididulous banter you have spent two years debating on this thread maybe you should spend more time studying and less time yapping.

        You should look up the french surgeon Jean Claude Guimbertiea.

        I would love to sit here and waste my time doing research for you, that you clearly are to lazy to do yourself, but I prefer to help educate the open minded, intelligent folk who don’t think they know everything. Socrates was a wise man.

        http://www.myofascialreleasebrisbane.com.au/new-facts-from-the-fascia-research-and-biotensegrity-congresses-of-september-2015/

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160125185041.htm

        Two links above to get you started. The 6th international congress on fascia that took place in Washington D.C. this past year has a lot of science you should pay heed to.

        Hope you can open your mind as the science is not on your side.

        • The most up to date SCIENTIFIC research on connective tissue completely disproves all the rididulous banter you have spent two years debating on this thread maybe you should spend more time studying and less time yapping.

          Maybe so. What exactly did Björn Geir say about connective tissue that is completely disproved by your links?

        • @Stacey Dillree
          Such an unbalanced and belligerent comment should not warrant a response, but I always like to think people should be given at least one chance.
          It would have helped if before you demonstrated your ignorance in public, you had checked whether your arguments and references were in any way relevant to the subject. They are not.
          Before you try to bash me again, please make sure to familiarise yourself with what it is that Jean-Pierre Barral is selling and how it is in no way relevant to what you are going on about.
          You are welcome to try to convince me that I am wrong but if you continue in this disparaging manner I will not respond.

          To quote Ali ibn Abi Talib: “Silence is the best reply to a fool.”

  • I had a therapist do visceral mobilization on my abdomen whilst i was sitting a fairly long time ago. A very strange thing happened where I felt i was almost passing out but more like i was being sucked into a hole momentarily.. its hard to explain. i then cried uncontrollably for a few minutes without feeling sad. it changed my life in that i experienced the world differently afterwards in so many ways.. again hard to explain. none the less it was real. so until somebody can explain what happened in scientific language i prefer to keep my mind open to the possibilities that laying your hands onto a body can have profound effects. call it what you will. good luck to those who practice visceral mobilization, it can change lives.

  • Keep studying my friend. Maybe in a decade or two, you will recognize the intricate connections of the body and how important they are for vitality, function and performance.
    Until then…. keep throwing stones

    @Bjorn… i too, generally choose silence with these linear thinkers… but… today was different!!

    • EVEN IF WE WERE ‘INEAR THINKERS’ I IT WOULD BE A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN A NOTORIOUS BULLSHITTER!
      From Jason’s website:
      Currently Studying the SomaTherapy and the SomaTraining programs with world renowned Osteopath and Medical Doctor, Guy Voyer. Better Outcomes via superior Anatomy and Biomechanics! See Curriculum Vitae for details. Myofascial stretching, ELDOAs (self decoaptation exercises for discs and joints), Treatment of the Fascia, Pumping of the Joints. GuyVoyer.com.

      • I notice he performs and promotes all kinds of “IV infusions.” Probably uses curcumin too.

        He also has a store where he sells the usual detox bullsh!t and supplements.

        Bloody quack.

  • Right the problem is that such B.Sc. (ost) and M.Sc. (ost) now have permit to teach visceral manipulation to other health care professionals e.g midwives or physiotherapists in their B.Sc. and M.Sc. programs and nobody will stop this.

    More and more departments of gynecology of German hospitals start to send pregnant women and women after giving birth or after surgery to osteopathic manual practitioners for treatment of “adhesions” and “for soft tissue visceral manipulation” a.s.o. Mostly the midwives do so.

    That’s the fact by now. All of this has reached a stage which Homoeopathy never achieved they sell and achieve B.Sc and M.Sc. for this.

    So who or what is the trojanic horse of pseudoscience in universities nowadays? Homoeopathy or something worse? The answer is very easy.

  • European physicians created their own standard EROP
    http://www.daao.info/de/ueber-daao/erop/
    to call themselves “osteopaths”. There must be a lot of training in “visceral osteopathy” and “cranial osteopathy” to achieve their “title”.

    What does this mean? Are those physicians scientists? Does quackery become science? What’s behind the discussion to prohibit the German Heilpraktiker without touching “alternative medicine”?

    In Germany the market with “alternative medicine” is about 20 to 25 billions euros per year. It looks like prohibiting the German Heilpraktiker by not prohibiting the doctors to do “alternative medicine” will just transfer the whole billions into their pocket (see the EROP “osteopathic visceral and craniosacral standard for European physicians” above).

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