Visceral Manipulation

Releasing Restrictions that Limit Health

Understanding Visceral Manipulation

The body’s internal organs (viscera) are soft and need to move freely inside the body to function properly. Overworked or damaged organs cannot perform at their peak – often developing adhesions and scar tissue which makes them less pliable. Inflammation in the body contributes to the loss of organ mobility. Some of the reasons for this inflammation include: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture, emotional upsets and pregnancy/delivery. Regardless of the cause – when an organ is no longer freely mobile – it can fix to another structure, forcing the body to compensate. This in turn causes structural problems throughout the body and sets up a pattern for pain.

Visceral Manipulation (VM), a combination of functional medical medicine and ancient traditional therapy, uses deep organ massage techniques to help correct and improve the function of the viscera – internal organs.  This delicate balance is achieved by normalising mechanical, vascular and neurological dysfunctions and correcting the impaired fascia (connective tissue) surrounding the organs. Healthy fascia is fluid and mobile and needs to be able to slide and glide. Any restriction, or adhesion, no matter how small, will cause functional impairment of the related organ. The consequent modification of the organ’s motion, repeated thousands of times daily, can bring about significant changes to the organ and structures along the related fascial (connective tissue) line.

These specifically placed techniques help initiate and restore inherent organ movement by increasing proprioceptive communication within the body. Treatment occurs through compression, mobilisation and elongation of the tissues.

VM does not focus solely on the site of pain or dysfunction, but evaluates the entire body to find the source of the problem. This is because pain can often be far removed from the actual cause. For example scar tissue on the lungs can cause spinal restrictions that show up as mid-back neck paint, as well as limited motion in the shoulder.

What VM Treats

  • Acute disorders
  • Concussion, whiplash and seatbelt injuries
  • Chest or abdominal sports injuries
  • Musculoskeletal disorders:
    • Chronic spinal dysfunction
    • Headaches and migraines
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Peripheral joint pain
    • Sciatic pain
  • Digestive disorders:
    • Bloating
    • Constipation
    • Reflux
  • Pelvic health:
    • Chronic pelvic pain
    • Bladder incontinence
    • Dysmenorrhea
    • Referred testicular pain
  • Pain related to post-operative & post infection scar tissue
  • Emotional Issues:
    • Anxiety and depression
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What To Expect

When compensatory patterns are created in the body – the source of the dysfunction is often far from where the pain is felt.  During the 1 hour session we will establish the source of the pain and go on to address and improve organ mobility with abdominal massage, which combines gentle compression, deep strokes, mobilisation and elongation of the soft tissues.  For some the treatment can be uncomfortable while it lasts, but in most cases relief of the symptoms and pain will start to decrease as the body returns to greater health. VM has also been shown to strengthen the body’s resistance to disease – yet another benefit of this treatment. As each person’s situation is different, the number of treatments you need will vary depending on how your body responds. You will need to undress for this treatment. As with all our treatments – we will tailor and combine treatment modalities to get the best result.

Learn more about new ways of restoring health with physiotherapy and musculoskeletal medicine when you visit our blog.


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