What is Visceral Manipulation and how can it help you and your body?
Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a manual therapy, applied gently, designed to help the body when there is pain and dysfunction.
The organs in the body can cause this pain and dysfunction. They are interrelated components, so every time you move – walking, breathing, stretching – your organs move. If an organ loses its mobility, the body is forced to compensate, because where the organ is fixed to another part of the body, this then causes disharmony.
Perpetual Motion and Loss of Mobility
Movement is not always something externally obvious, such as standing, sitting, walking or running. The body’s internal organs are in a state of perpetual motion.
For example, when you breath, the organs in your chest and abdomen move, but so do your kidneys.
The body is constantly communicating with itself. But what happens if something disrupts this communication?
When you are healthy, the body’s interconnectedness means that everything moves together smoothly, as it should. However, if an organ loses its mobility, then this can disrupt this interconnected movement.
The result is that the body then experiences areas of abnormal tension, interrupting its natural rhythms and creating structural and functional problems.
Various things can cause an organ to lose its mobility. It might be down to physical trauma, surgery, or simply lifestyle. There can be long-term effects from a poor diet or lack of exercise.
How Small Things Make a Big Difference
If you imagine your body as a complex piece of machinery, where each component depends on but also influences other components around it, then this is why even small areas of dysfunction can have wider reaching consequences.
The point is that the body, while being made up of multiple organs, also performs as a single, whole organism.
The quality of this performance depends on the different organs all playing their part, or, putting it another way, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Functions affected by disruption can include musculoskeletal, respiratory, nervous, digestive and vascular.
How VM Works
In visceral manipulation therapy, the practitioner gently feels for areas of altered or decreased motion within the viscera – the internal organs – and for signs that the body’s motion is restricted in any way.
This is through carefully placed, hands-on manual therapy.
It is a kind of detective work. Beneath the pain the person is feeling will be a pattern created in the body to compensate for an organ’s loss of mobility. Therefore, the source of the dysfunction may be some distance from where the pain is being felt.
VM treatment involves a gentle mobilisation, stretching and compression of the body’s soft tissues to release the source of the problem.
Eventually, as the body returns to better health, the symptoms will start to decrease. This may be some days after the treatment.
The number of sessions it takes to achieve these results will vary according to the specific condition of each person being treated.
Ultimately, though, the object of VM is to get the body to communicate with itself properly once more, and to restore the natural rhythm of its inter-dependencies.
Could VM Help You?
Visceral manipulation can help with a great many conditions and symptoms, including: chronic musculoskeletal pain; headaches and migraines; repetitive strain injury; whiplash; knee, hip and other joint pain; back pain; incontinence; crohn’ disease and digestive disorders; PTSD; anxiety and depression.