What is Visceral Manipulation?
Visceral manipulation focuses on the connection between stress, environment, emotion, and memory with internal organs. Just like bones, muscles, and other tissues in the body the internal organs (viscera) move when you move, walk, etc.. For example, when you breathe your kidneys move about 2.5 cm, with a deep breath move 10 cm; in a day they can move almost 1 km! The movement of the viscera is transferred to the fascia (sheets of connective tissue that encloses and separate muscles and organs) and other parts in the body. In healthy individuals everything moves fluidly but can still need help to stay mobile. Optimal health relies on a balanced relationship between viscera motion and structures of the body. Basically the ability of your organs to move around inside you makes you healthy.
There are many reasons for decreased mobility of organs:
- direct trauma
- repetitive motion
- sedentary lifestyle (sitting at a desk all day)
- environmental toxins (smoke, dust)
- emotional stress
- poor posture
If the organs are not moving well it can cause fixation which the body has to compensate for. This imbalance causes tension and irritation allowing for functional and structural problems throughout the body- musculoskeletal, urinary, digestive, respiratory, vascular, etc. Visceral Manipulation increases the mobility of your organs.
How does Visceral Manipulation Work
Visceral manipulation is applied to your organs by gentle and specifically placed massage to encourage body to release restrictions that cause dysfunction and pain. Each organ has a connection and relationship to structural parts of the body based on different patterns. This helps the body to restore normal motion of the viscera after treatment because our bodies are self-healing.
An example of this is scar tissue around the lungs. Scar tissue will pull the connection it has with the lungs which changes the movement of structures nearby with every breathe. It could be shifting rib motion producing a pull on the spine. The result might cause mid-back and neck pain and possible decreased shoulder motion. This is just one scenario of many possibilities caused by daily repetitions and shows that the cause can be far from the source.
Conditions that visceral manipulation can help with
- Digestive disorders
- Constipation and bloating
- Urinary incontinence
- Nausea and acid reflux
- Post-operative/infectious scar tissue
Call Stonetown Chiropractic and Wellness Centre to book a free consultation or schedule an appointment with our Manual Osteopath.
Written by Rachel Hickey, Stonetown Chiropractic’s Manual Osteopath