Visceral manipulation is a form of hands-on ("manual") therapy. It's a treatment to help your internal organs and nerves glide smoothly in your body.
Why Do You Care About Your Internal Organs Gliding Smoothly?
The tissue around your internal organs can become restricted, and this can cause pain. That pain can be felt near the restricted organs, or it can be felt at other places in the body, such as in the back or leg. This pain can persist over time.
Why do Organs Stop Gliding Smoothly?
Your organs are covered in connective tissue. Connective tissue is like a plastic baggie that holds each of your organs, but it's connected with all the other plastic baggies holding your other organs. That means your organs are connected to each other.
The connective tissue (plastic baggies) is also anchored to other nearby body parts, like your spine, to help hold all your organs in place when you move.
When everything is working well, your organs slide smoothly over each other when you move. The connective tissue allows them to move without discomfort.
Nerves run through your connective tissue and your organs. So changes or restrictions to connective tissue can aggravate those nerves, causing pain or discomfort.
Connective tissue restrictions can affect a particular organ, such as the bladder or large intestine. Or it can pull on the spine and cause back pain. It can also put pressure on a nerve and cause pain at the front of your thigh, knee pain, or sciatica (sciatica feels like sharp pain down the back of your leg).
What Causes Connective Tissue Restrictions?
Connective tissue restrictions can be caused by surgery. Surgery can create scar tissue when the connective tissue and the organs heal after being cut (a good reason to rethink that tummy tuck!). This can happen after recent surgery, but it is more common years after surgery.
For example, we have seen patients who, 10 years after surgery, suddenly start experiencing pain. The pain has built up over time, and then suddenly the connective tissue "gives". It's like a fan belt in a car suddenly breaking. Of course, the belt doesn't give for no reason. It gradually wears out over time and then one day it "gives" and breaks, like scarred connective tissue wearing over time.
In addition to surgery, connective tissue restrictions can also develop on their own. Usually they form gradually over time, from habitual postures or from inactivity.
Is Visceral Manipulation Right For You?
Visceral manipulation may help if you:
- are experiencing persistent pain in your abdomen, back or legs,
- have had surgery - recently or in the past, or
- think your posture or lack of movement/activity is affecting your organs.
And if you've tried other pain relief techniques and they don't seem to be working, visceral manipulation is another option.