"The purpose of Visceral Manipulation is to recreate, harmonize and increase proprioceptive communication in the body to enhance its internal mechanism for better health."
- Jean-Pierre Barral, D.O
What is Visceral Manipulation?
"Viscera" relates to the internal organs of the body such as the liver, kidneys, intestines, etc.
Visceral Manipulation, or VM, is a manual therapy consisting of gentle, specifically placed manual forces that aids your body's ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction. It does not solely focus on the site of pain and dysfunction but evaluates the entire body to find the source of the problem.
Our bodies need movement to be healthy. This same principle applies to every structure in our bodies including the viscera. For an organ to be healthy and have an optimal function there needs to be motion.
"No one argues with the wine tester who, by using his palate, can tell us the characteristic of a wine -- its region, its vineyard or even its vintage. The education of touch can go at least as far."
- Jean-Pierre Barral, D.O
How many sessions does it take and what does it feel like?
As each person's situation is different, the number of visits will vary. Many people experience significant improvement within three to five therapy sessions; others may require additional treatment. You and Ana will develop a plan based on your needs and how your body responds to treatment.
Visceral Manipulation is a soft, hands-on manual therapy. The treatment feels like a gentle compression, mobilization, and elongation of the soft tissues. As the source of the problem is treated, the symptoms will start to decrease.
Emotions are Stored in the Organs
It is well documented that our emotions have a great impact on how our body functions, and this is largely due to how receptive organs are to our feelings.
If your stomach has ever been in knots due to anxiety, you understand. Emotional reactions can translate into heartburn, spasms in the gallbladder, vomiting, feeling faint, ulcers, and serious diseases. When the brain receives negative emotions it sends tension to the related organ, the organ then sends tension back to the brain resulting in a vicious cycle. Conversely, a physically damaged or imbalanced organ can stimulate an emotional reaction. VM can break this cycle, enhance the health of the organ, and restore emotional balance.
How Do Organs Contribute to Pain and Dysfunction?
Your body is made up of many interrelated components – bones, muscles, nerves, a thin connective tissue called fascia, as well as internal organs (viscera). Your organs are in perpetual motion. When you breathe, walk and stretch, your organs move in your chest and abdomen. For example, when you inhale normally (and your lungs expand), your kidneys move one inch. Comparatively, when you take a deep breath, your kidneys move four inches.
This movement of organs is transmitted through fascia to other structures of the body. When you are healthy, all the structures move with fluidity. This movement is important as it influences activities throughout the body from the tiniest cellular pulsations to rhythmic contractions of the heart. Optimum health relies on this harmonious relationship.
Organs lose mobility due to physical trauma, surgery, inflammation, lifestyle, infection, toxins, diet, posture and/or emotional stress.
When an organ is restricted and fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate. Lack of mobility will create abnormal points of tension and irritation. This can cause functional and structural problems throughout the body.
Imagine scar tissue in the abdominal area. Every breath requires movement of the belly but the scar tissue alters the normal motion. The side-effects of the scar tissue are magnified by thousands of repetitions (breaths) each day. This could shift the spine, which may result in mid-back pain or limited shoulder mobility. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction.
Treatment for a wide range of symptoms, including:
Post-operative scar tissue pain
Lower back pain and sciatica
GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Emotional Issues
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Want to see if Visceral Mobilization is appropriate for you?