Neural Manipulation



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.

Hands-on Manual Therapy developed in clinical practice by French Osteopath and Physical Therapist Jean-Pierre Barral, in collaboration with French Osteopath Alain Croibier, that re-establishes the body's ability to adapt and restore itself to greater health.

"Neural" refers to the nervous system of the body, which includes the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. This delicate system is the communication highway throughout the body. Neural Manipulation identifies local nerve restrictions and fixations, and re-establishes communication in the body, improving its ability to adapt and restore itself to optimal health.

We are all too aware that muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones can be injured and cause pain but unless it is really obvious we don’t seem to consider our nerves being painful. Nerves communicate pain and other sensations from nerve endings in tissues to the spinal cord and then to the sensory part of the brain, but they can become a source of pain when they are compressed as this impairs their mobility and also reduces their blood supply.

Nerve pain is often described as aching, burning or tingly. Pain can be described as travelling, shooting or moving. The pain is often felt in a different location to where the actual nerve injury or problem is located.

Nerves are very blood thirsty tissues (the nervous system takes around 20% of the oxygen from our blood even though it accounts for only 2% of our body mass) and when this blood flow is impaired they hurt. Some compression or entrapment occurs to a small degree naturally as nerves have to pass over and tunnel through and around other structures, often around large joints. Muscle stiffness will tend to pull on the nerves due to their connections with each other and after injury, when tissues are temporarily swollen or perhaps permanently thickened or scarred, this adds to the likelihood of nerve sensitivity. Nerve sensitivity can cause associate cramping, spasm or high tone in surrounding muscles, sensations of pins and needles or numbness and even impaired muscle function depending on what kind of nerve fibres are affected.

A nerve functions correctly when it is able to move freely within its surroundings. Nerves can become "fixed", or dysfunctional, due to many reasons: physical trauma, surgeries, sendentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/delivery. When "fixed," a nerve cannot glide and/or stretch as the body moves, causing sensitivity, pain, and reduced optimal health.

Pain around the Achilles tendon can actually be irritation of the tibial nerve as it passes through a narrow tunnel at the back of the ankle rather than pain from the tendon itself. The sural nerve also sits along the outside the Achilles tendon before passing along the outside of the heel and outside of the foot and can mimic Achilles tendon pain, often after ankle sprains.

The plantar nerves in the sole of the foot can also cause pain here as well as towards the inside of the heel and is often wrongly diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. We often see people who are complaining of on-going pain in the sole of the foot who have been seen by lots of different people with varying attempts at treating the “plantar fascia” rather than the plantar nerves.

When nerve fixation occurs, the body compensates elsewhere, creating wider spread restriction, tension and chronic irritation that can affect the musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urinary, respiratory, reproductive and digestive systems. Neural Manipulation identifies and 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, resolves the more comprehensive (global) dysfunctional patterns.

With fixation smaller nerve sections can harden. They feel like buds and are very sensitive or painful to the touch. Such "Nerve Buds" are an indication of an intraneural interference, an overload of physiological pressure points or a local fibrosis. Nerve buds can be released very quickly, sometimes within one therapy session.


The release of sensitive nerve buds can have a favorable effect on the functioning of the corresponding visceral organs. The neural manipulation is involved in all body functions and without neural control certain visceral activity cannot be maintained. The stimulation of nerves is processed centrally and reported back to the body as feedback. This sequence of responses functions providing no interference (fixation) is present.

Often functional nerve lesions develop after neurotropic diseases (like herpes zoster) or as a result of posture imbalances. More frequently they derive from mechanical forces and energies: friction, pressure (compression) or traction forces (stretch), all of which affect the nerves. To bring about lesions, a trauma does not have to be severe. Often, it is a matter of repetitive micro-traumas. For example, a non-physiological movement, a harmless sprain, faulty posture or muscle contractions.