Visceral Manipulation

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Visceral manipulation: what is it?

Our organs are often neglected as a source of problem when having treatment for pain or dysfunction in our bodies. But it is far too often that they can be a source or contributor to our issues. Our organs are so tightly packed inside us (particularly in our gut). They interact with one another and are dependent on sliding well across one another to work properly and without pain. All organs in our body move according to two factors: mobility and motility.

Mobility is the movement of an organ in response to the body’s voluntary movement or to movement of the diaphragm during breathing. Motility is the inherent motion of the organ itself (how it moves along its own axes).

If there is any fixation that restricts mobility or motility in an organ, this results in functional impairment of that organ and can also impact on how well the rest of our body’s systems work. For example, if the liver is not moving properly it can effect right shoulder movement and cause pain. If the small intestine is restricted, it can cause lower back pain. Mobility and motility can be disturbed when the organs have been exposed to surgery, infection or inflammation. It can also be disturbed when herniations are present (e.g. prolapse, hiatus hernia). Through mobilisation, these organs can be restored to their proper function and can be helped to move according to their proper mobility and motility.

What conditions can visceral manipulation help?

Depending on how experienced your therapist is will depend on what conditions they treat. Visceral manipulation can generally help with:

• Abdominal bloating, IBS, Crohn’s disease, SIBO, other gut disorders
• Pelvic pain disorders, endometriosis, pelvic congestion syndrome
• Prolapse, incontinence
• Hiatus hernia, stomach ptosis (sunken stomach), GORD
• Some lung and heart conditions

What should I feel during and after the treatment?

A therapist trained in visceral manipulation will assess you for where your visceral restrictions lie. During assessment, the therapist will do a general listen of the body by placing their hand on your head, which will guide them as to where your biggest issue is. They will then do a local listening placing their hand on the effected part of the body. Once they find the implicated organ they need to work on, they will work at reducing the restriction and improving the movement of that organ by performing gentle and precise movements with their hands. Occasionally the therapist will use your body movements to help improve the stretching and movement of the organs as well.

What should I expect from treatment?

Occasionally after the first session, there is a hyper-reaction to the treatment as the body is having difficulty adapting to the new stimulus. However, most times depending on what organ is treated, it can reduce pain and bloating, improve gut mobility, reduce reflux symptoms and create a feeling of general wellbeing.

How many treatments do I need?

Depending on the severity of your issue and response to treatment, sometimes it may take 1 or 2 treatments to see changes, sometimes several. If you think you would benefit from visceral manipulation, book in with Rachel! 

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