Back in May I took a course called Neural Manipulation, which focuses directly on treating the nerves that supply our muscles and skin. It was actually the third level in a group of 4 weekend- long courses, set up by the Barral Institute, that I’ve been attending over the last few years.

The previous class explored the nerves of the upper body and arms, and this recent one explored the nerves of the lower body including legs. We learned to perform specific assessment, tests, and treatments for the regions of the body so we can determine which tissues to treat and with which method.

Nerves are actually very stretchy, and when they are healthy, they don’t mind stretching longitudinally, but they don’t like being crushed or snared. Like many other of our body’s tissues, they can become caught up and restricted in scar tissue or in progressively thickened and adhered fascia, which can limit their effectiveness making us lose strength, co-ordination, and often cause pain in areas where the nerve has been “pinched”.

During these 3 day classes, the students all practice the techniques on each other, which sounds great, but this therapy can be really potent, so too much can turn out to be detrimental. Even therapists need to go to their own therapists after taking these courses!

However, after the second day, I noticed a subtle change in my body when walking up a flight of stairs. I had been so used to my left leg feeling slightly heavier and having to work harder to keep up with the right one.  But after the second day of classes where we practiced treating the lumbar plexus and femoral nerve, climbing up the stairs seemed more effortless – my left leg can now keep up with my right and the benefits of that day have lasted the whole time.

Since that course in May I have included Neural Manipulation in quite a few of my treatments, often with success. Like the Visceral Manipulation technique, my hands are light and specific when performing Neural Manipulation.

You may feel an echo of the referred pain you had felt or a slight tingling sensation, but the treatment itself is not painful, and successful treatment results in the subtle release of the tissues surrounding the nerve and the nerve is then permitted to slide and glide and freely do its thing! The brain and its nerves are like the boss of the body – if they’re happy, everybody’s happy!