Our Osteopath Angela Clee recently participated in a Neural Manipulation workshop (NM1), offered by The Barral Institute, a manual therapy developed by French Osteopaths Jean-Pierre Barral and Alain Croibier.
What is Neural Manipulation?
The Barral Institue defines Neural Manipulation as:
1: “light-touch hands-on treatment that releases local nerve restrictions while at the same time examines the effect these local fixations have on the rest of the body, and by accessing this relationship, changes the more comprehensive (global) dysfunctional patterns”
2: “enhances proper functioning of the nervous system - one of the communication highways throughout the body”.
A nerve needs to be able to move freely within its surrounding structures to function correctly. Sometimes, nerves can become restricted or “fixed” and when this happens they lose their ability to move freely or glide. This results in increased pressure inside and around the nerve, which can lead to fibrotic changes inside the nerve, and impaired nerve flow and conductivity. The consequences of having increased pressure on nerves can include pain, dysfunction in surrounding tissues and joints, muscle tension/cramping, restriction of movement, organ dysfunction. Pain and stiffness may also be felt far from where the restriction is due to the body’s attempts to adapt and compensate for it.
Neural Manipulation examines the mechanical relationships between the cranium/spine to the dura and neural elements. It uses very light, specific touch and passive movements to assess and treat the membranes and connective tissues in the nervous system to improve mobility and thus allow for optimal nerve flow and function.
Who can benefit from Neural Manipulation?
A wide range of conditions can be helped with Neural Manipulation, including: lower back pain and sciatica, headaches and migraines, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, joint pain and stiffness, post-operative scar tissue pain, thoracic outlet syndrome, neuralgia and neuritis, tendinitis, sprains and traumatic injuries, concussions and whiplash.
The benefits of Neural Manipulation extend beyond helping just at the site of pain, but can help globally for better functioning of the whole body. Reduction of pain, postural improvement, mobility and co-ordination are all potential benefits!