Visceral Manipulation (VM)
“Viscera" relates to the internal organs of the body, which are in perpetual motion. When you breathe, walk and stretch, your organs move in your chest and abdomen. For example, when you take a breath, your kidneys move one inch; and with deep inhalation, they move 4 inches. In a day, they move a little over ½ mile. That's around 19,000 miles in a lifetime! There are many reasons for an organ to lose its mobility: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/delivery.
When an organ is no longer freely mobile but is fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate. This disharmony creates fixed, abnormal points of tension and the chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems throughout the body – musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urinary, respiratory and digestive, to name a few. Imagine scar tissue around the lungs. Because of the pull of the adhesion, with every breath, the movement patterns of the nearby structures would be altered. This could shift rib motion creating pulls on the spine. These restrictions might then show up as mid-back and neck pain, as well as limited motion in the shoulder. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction - magnified by thousands of repetitions each day. This also explains how pain can often be far removed from the actual cause.
Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a manual therapy consisting of gentle, specifically placed manual forces that aid your body's ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction. VM does not focus solely on the site of pain or dysfunction, but evaluates the entire body to find the source of the problem. The VM therapist feels for altered or decreased motion within the viscera, as well as restrictive patterns throughout the body and then applies VM techniques. VM therapy re-establishes the body's ability to adapt and restore itself to health. This delicate manual therapy is often cited as a missing link in the treatment of recurring musculoskeletal pain, postural distortions and biomechanical dysfunction.