What is Visceral Manipulation?
Visceral Manipulation is the specific application of soft manual pressure that aims to encourage and improve the movement of the viscera (internal organs) and the surrounding tissues¹. Adhesions (scar tissue) cause the internal organs to stick together, instead of the normal smooth and slippery movement that is needed as your body moves around². Adhesions can result after infection, injury (trauma), surgery and radiation³. These adhesions restrict the normal mobility of the viscera, which can result in pain, dysfunction and disease. By very precise positioning and the use of specific techniques, visceral treatment aims to improve the movement, function and health of the viscera, and the surrounding connections.
What things do you treat with VM?
One example of how I use Visceral Manipulation is for treating babies with wind or reflux. By applying gentle pressure with my hands through baby's abdomen (the stomach area), I can feel tension in the intestines where wind is building up, and gently encourage the bowel to move and pass the wind (and often also a bowel movement). For reflux, there may be tension around the diaphragm or stomach⁴, which when gently eased with treatment can make it easier for baby to swallow, gulp less air, and keep milk down with more ease.
Another way Visceral Manipulation may be of benefit to you is for treating chronic pain⁵, especially pain that seems to be resistant to regular forms of manual therapy. For example, lower back pain that has been rubbed, stretched and exercised but still seems to persist. By working on the structures in the front of the spine, and not just the back, a better response to treatment may be achieved. The diaphragm, hip flexor muscles, liver, kidneys and intestines may all be potential culprits needing some form of intervention, giving you the relief you have been seeking.
Visceral Manipulation Training
Visceral Manipulation is a branch of training developed by French Osteopath Jean-Pierre Barral. Training is open to any professional health care worker, and courses are held around the world, with a strong focus on anatomy as the foundation underpinning every technique.
VM1 - Visceral Manipulation: Abdomen 1
VM2 - Visceral Manipulation: Abdomen 2
VM3 - Visceral Manipulation: The Pelvis
VM4 - Visceral Manipulation: The Thorax
VM5 - Manual Thermal Evaluation & Introduction to VisceroEmotional
"Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply, move harmoniously."
- Jean-Pierre Barral
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