Visceral Manipulation is the hands-on therapy with the specific goal of encouraging normal movement and tone both within and between the internal organs, their connective tissues, and other structures of the body where normal motion has been impaired. The ultimate goal is to all the body to self-correct, leading to improved health and optimal body function.
How Does It Work?
Your nervous system simply is categorized in 3 parts — the Brain, the Spinal Cord, and the Peripheral Nerves. Each part has its precise role in everything you do and everything your body does for you.
There is a 2-way information highway that is in constant communication to determine and direct what needs to be ‘done.’ In order to perform this work, all of the nerves must maintain a high level of nutrition, which is delivered via the blood supply carrying oxygen and many other nutrients. Nerves also have to be free to move (and glide) as we move or they would ultimately tear.
So, when a nerve becomes ‘stuck’ as a result of physical trauma, surgery, infection, inflammation, dehydration, sedentary lifestyle, chronically poor posture, pregnancy, etc., two things can happen:
- It can become fixated (less or ‘non’ mobile)
- The circulation source is impaired in some way
Both of these often co-exist and as a result send an ‘alarm’ to other parts of the body asking it for protection so that additional compromise can be avoided. These helpful responses are known as compensations and they occur in such a way as to likely create problems in other structures (muscle, bone, fascia, organs, etc.).
Since these compensations occur over time, they create layers of dysfunction making it challenging to identify and treat each one including the ‘source’ problem. Furthermore, current medical testing is not sensitive enough to identify these traumatized areas.
A very simple analogy would be walking with a small pebble in your shoe. You can walk, but it is uncomfortable so you find a way to ‘walk’ on the outside of your foot to avoid the pebble. If this continued over time, you would have overstretched ligaments and tendons, overworked some muscles (while others grew weaker), place undo tension on nerves and vessels and ultimately pain would be created in the foot, the ankle, knee, low back and possibly to the head and neck.
The solution here, of course, is to remove said pebble, but the ‘injured’ / irritated tissues must now also be restored. This scenario is not different than the many compensations your body is capable of doing, but the body is much more subtle and crafty in how it accomplishes these ‘protections.’
This is where the gentle manipulation of nerve and vascular tissue prove invaluable to resolve symptoms that were created by compensation patterns. Restriction/s can be felt and precisely identified as a nerve and/or vessel that no longer moves or behaves in a normal way. Treatment is performed very specifically to the affected structure eliminating the ‘fixation’ thus allowing normal movement and function to return.
With these nerves and vessels working normally now the compensations created to protect them are no longer needed and they also dissipate. Range of motion improves, pain is reduced, and other body systems that were affected can begin to be less compromised.