What is Visceral Manipulation?
Have you heard of Visceral Manipulation?
Visceral manipulation (VM) is a therapeutic technique used in osteopathy and certain forms of bodywork to address imbalances and restrictions in the internal organs, connective tissues, and related structures within the body. Organs have their own natural movements and mobility which can be affected by trauma, surgery, inflammation, or chronic stress. When the organs lose their mobility or become restricted, it may lead to pain, dysfunction, and a range of health issues.
During a VM session, a trained practitioner applies specific, gentle pressure and manipulations to release restrictions and improve the function and mobility of the organs. The goal is to restore the natural movement and balance within the visceral system, which, in turn, can have positive effects on other structures and systems in the body.
Visceral manipulation can help the body in various ways:
- Improve organ function, leading to better digestion, elimination, and overall organ health.
- Alleviate pain related to organ dysfunction or referred pain from the internal organs.
- Enhance musculoskeletal function by addressing organ mobility.
- Support nervous system function with a positive impact on essential bodily functions.
- Promote overall well-being by helping the body achieve a state of better balance and health.
Some conditions considered suitable for visceral manipulation include:
- Digestive Disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloating, and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Chronic Back Pain: Sometimes, chronic back pain can be related to visceral restrictions or referred pain from internal organs.
- Pelvic Pain from conditions like pelvic congestion syndrome or endometriosis which may involve restrictions in the pelvic organs.
- Post-Surgical Adhesions: After surgery, scar tissue and adhesions can form, leading to restrictions and discomfort.
- Reproductive Issues such as fertility problems or menstrual irregularities, by improving pelvic organ function.
- Respiratory Conditions: In cases where breathing difficulties are connected to restrictions in the thoracic cavity or the diaphragm.
- Headaches and Migraines related to visceral restrictions and referred pain.
- Stress and Tension: Visceral manipulation may aid in promoting relaxation and reducing the impact of stress on the body.
Is visceral manipulation a type of massage? Not entirely.
VM is typically incorporated within a craniosacral therapy session or medical massage session. It involves a range of very gentle manual techniques aimed at assessing and improving the mobility and function of the internal organs and may include:
- Palpation: The practitioner uses their hands to assess the movement and motility of the organs by gently feeling for restrictions, tension, and abnormal patterns of movement.
- Diaphragmatic Release: The diaphragm plays a crucial role in respiration and separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities. Releasing tension in the diaphragm can help improve its movement and support respiratory function.
- Myofascial Unwinding: Following the body’s natural patterns of movement and allowing the tissues to “unwind” and release tension.
- Listening Techniques: Practitioners use their hands to “listen” to the body, feeling for subtle cues and responses to the treatment.
- Additionally: Soft Tissue Mobilization, Specific Organ Manipulation, Visceral Articulation and Manual Traction may all be used in a VM session.
It’s important to emphasize that visceral manipulation requires specialized training to perform these techniques. Attempting to perform visceral manipulation without proper training can be potentially harmful and may not yield the desired therapeutic effects. Consult with a doctor or licensed massage therapist.