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What is Visceral Manipulation?

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 3 August 2018
What is Visceral Manipulation?

Visceral manipulation is a manual therapy concerned with mobility restrictions of the abdominal organs (viscera) and the surrounding network of the connective tissue (fascias, omenta, mesantery, etc).

It has been used under different names since the ancient times, as part of different healing traditions Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Massage Therapy, folk medicine etc.

Modern visceral manipulation, currently used throughout North America and Europe, has been conceptualized by French physiotherapist and osteopath Jean Pierre Barral. It is based on thorough knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics and interrelations among different body parts and systems. It's gaining popularity in addressing a variety of ailments, including musculoskeletal pain.

Visceral Manipulation Therapy

Visceral manipulation therapy is usually used in conjunction with other modalities like joint mobilization or exercises. Since it addresses fascial restrictions within the pelvis and abdominal cavity, which may contribute to the symptoms within the musculoskeletal system, visceral manipulation is often found to be "a missing element" in the treatment of chronic conditions that are slow to improve or unresponsive to other treatment modalities alone.

Examples of conditions effectively treated with visceral manipulation therapy includes pelvic floor muscles dysfunction, chronic low back, neck and shoulder pain, breathing restrictions and bad posture, among others.  It also helps improve digestive issues i.e. IBS and address restrictions caused by scars after c-section or other abdominal surgeries.

What is Involved in Visceral Manipulation Treatment?

Visceral manipulation treatment is conducted through the clothes with the patient resting comfortably on the treatment table. Occasionally, part of the abdomen may need to be exposed to examine the skin, which is always done within a patient's comfort level.

The practitioner uses a very light touch on the abdomen, lower ribs and/or lower back area, and if needed the patient may be asked to move the arms or legs in the specific direction or take a deep breath to facilitate the release. The successful visceral manipulation treatment allows for noticeable decrease in symptoms and frequently leaves the patient feeling "lighter" or having better mobility in general.

If you would like to see if visceral manipulation therapy would help in your recovery, please contact us to book an appointment with our osteopath Janusz Wawro.

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Douglas Stoddard is a sports medicine physician and is the Medical Director of the Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute (SEMI). After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sports Medicine. He is also a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine and has his focussed practice designation in Sport Medicine from the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Stoddard is a consultant to the Canadian Military and has consulted with well over 30,000 unique patients in his career. Dr. Stoddard is constantly searching for new and promising therapies to help SEMI patients, and is responsible for developing the RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy Program. He is married and the proud father of two boys, is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: Lower body Treatment options


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