Optimum health relies on a harmonious relationship between the motions of the organs and other structures of the body. When an organ is no longer freely mobile but is fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate. Strains in the connective tissue of the viscera can result from surgical scars, adhesions, illness, posture or injury. Tension patterns form through the fascial network deep within the body, creating a cascade of effects far from their sources for which the body will have to compensate. This compensation 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.
Visceral Manipulation is used to locate and solve problems throughout the body. It encourages your own natural mechanisms to improve the functioning of your organs, dissipate the negative effects of stress, enhance mobility of the musculoskeletal system through the connective tissue attachments, and influence general metabolism. Using anatomical knowledge together with skilled hands, the therapist is able to determine which structures the body is most concerned with at the time of examination, which may or may not be where the person is experiencing symptoms, but where the core or primary tension is located that is causing the symptoms. Owing to the precise nature of visceral manipulation, this therapy is very effective at locating and treating the primary cause of pain or dysfunction.
Visceral Manipulation is based on the specific placement of soft manual forces to encourage the normal mobility, tone and motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body. Harmony and health exist when motion is free and excursion is full – when motion is not labored, overexcited, depressed, or conflicting with neighboring structures and their mobility. Therapists using Visceral Manipulation assess the dynamic functional actions as well as the somatic structures that perform individual activities. Due to the delicate and often highly reactive nature of the visceral tissues, gentle force precisely directed reaps the greatest results. The treatment is through gentle compression, mobilization, and elongation of the tissues. The therapist may make deep contact with the body, but this contact should not be invasive and only rarely be painful. Visceral manipulation is applicable in most clinical settings as it bridges the needs of various patient populations, and is performed by a wide variety of healthcare professionals. These include osteopathic practitioners, allopathic practitioners, doctors of chiropractic, doctors of Oriental medicine, naturopathic practitioners, physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, and other professionals licensed in bodywork.
Patients seek out visceral manipulation for a variety of disorders that affect the body's systems. These include:
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