What is Visceral manipulation?
“Viscera” refers to the internal organs of the body such as the stomach, intestines, bladder, heart. Visceral manipulation (VM) is a gentle osteopathic manual therapy that helps your body release areas of limited mobility that cause pain and decreased overall function.
Often times, the viscera refer pain to the musculo-skeletal system causing chronic symptoms like shoulder, neck, lower back pain, constipation, incontinence or abdominal pain.
VM evaluates the entire body to find the source of symptoms. A trained visceral manipulation therapist uses their hands to feel altered or limited visceral motion and performs gentle techniques to work with your body to improve motion and restore health.
What can cause pain and organ dysfunction?
The body is comprised of bones, muscles, nerves, organs, blood vessels, skin and fascia. Most people are familiar with all of these except fascia. Fascia is a thin covering of connective tissue covering all of the muscles, bones, nerves and organs that helps things to move on each other and keep their shape as well as connects all parts of the body together.
Trauma, infections, surgery, sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, pregnancy are some of the situations that might cause an organ to lose its mobility allowing scar tissue to form and further limit mobility to any connected parts of the body. This altered movement will create chronic irritation in the effected tissues resulting in pain, functional and structural problems which might be seen in the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, urinary and digestive system.
Who created Visceral Manipulation?
Jean Pierre Barral is a French osteopath and physical therapist.
He started his career working in a hospital for lung patients and teaching college anatomy and physiology classes where he did many dissections.
Dr. Barral noted patterns between poor visceral mobility and tension lines in the body. He began to develop the visceral manipulation techniques based on his findings. He has treated
tens of thousands of patients and has trained a worldwide set of instructors who now teach his work throughout the world.
Conditions that VM can help with
Urinary urge/ incontinence
Unresolved musculoskeletal pain – back, neck, shoulder, hip, etc.
Hiatal hernia/ GERD