What is Visceral Manipulation?
A gentle manual therapy that releases restrictions surrounding the organs/viscera, addressing pain and dysfunction throughout the body
How does it work?
“Viscera” refers to the internal organs of the body. VM, or Visceral Manipulation, is a gentle manual therapy that releases restrictions in the fascia or connective tissues surrounding the organs.
VM focuses on not only the site of pain/dysfunction, but it evaluates the entire body to find the source of the problem.
Treatment is provided were the altered or decreased motion is found within the viscera, as well as in patterns throughout the body.
How can Visceral Manipulation help me?
Your body consists of many interrelated components- bones, muscles, nerves, fascia (connective tissue), and organs. Your organs are in a perpetual state of motion: as you breathe, walk, move, your organs move within your chest, abdomen, and pelvis. For example, when you take a breath, your kidneys move one inch, and with a deep inhalation, they move 4 inches. In one day, they move over ½ mile total. That’s around 19,000 miles in a lifetime.
The movement of these organs, through the intricate web of connective tissue, is transmitted to other structures of the body. When you are healthy, all the structures move with fluidity. This movement is extremely important, as it influences activities throughout the body.
Organs lose mobility due to physical trauma, surgery, lifestyle, infection, pollution, diet, posture, pregnancy, and more. Since there are fascial connections between the organs and other structures of the body, then when there is decreased mobility or restrictions around an organ, the body is forced to compensate. This creates abnormal tension and chronic irritation as well as structural dysfunction within the body.
Imagine scar tissue surrounding the lungs. Every breath requires movement but due to the scar tissue, the abnormal tension from the fascia surrounding the lungs can cause rib movement, shifts in the spine causing neck and mid-back pain, as well as limited shoulder movement. Releasing those restrictions can have a domino effect in terms of restoring normal alignment and relieving pain. The cause of pain in the body can often be caused by a tissue deep within the body, far from the site of the pain.
How did VM begin?
Jean-Pierre Barral is an Osteopath and Physical Therapist from France. He became first interested in the biomechanics of the viscera while working at the Lung & Disease Hospital in Grenoble, France with Dr. Armaud, a recognized specialist in lung diseases and a master of cadaver dissection.
Barral witnessed and recognized the patterns of stress in the tissues of cadavers that aligned with the biomechanics in living subjects. Barral’s clinical work led to the development of this therapy which focuses on the internal organs, their fascial environment and the potential influence on the overall body’s physiology and function.
Emotions and the Organs
It is well documented that our emotions have a significant impact on how our body functions. Our organs are very receptive to our feelings and emotions. Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as other Eastern medical bodies have acknowledged this for centuries.
Different emotions affect different organs. For example, emotional reactions can cause simple spasms in the gallbladder, heartburn, vomiting, ulcers, and more. The brain recognizes these emotional reactions and in turn, sends signals the related organ which result in tension, and that tension is received as a constant feedback loop to the brain. Conversely, a physically damaged or imbalanced organ can stimulate emotional upset. VM can break the viscous cycle, enhance the functional health of the organ system, and improve emotional balance.
What can VM help?
Women's & Men's Health Issues
Chronic pelvic pain
Pediatric Health Issues
Post-Operative Scar Tissue Pain
Whiplash & Neck Injuries
Headaches & Migraines
Anxiety & Depression