The Therapeutic Value of Visceral Manipulation
Taken from the website http://www.barralinstitute.com
Visceral Manipulation (VM) was developed by world-renowned French Osteopath and Physical Therapist Jean-Pierre Barral. Comparative studies found Visceral Manipulation beneficial for the following various disorders:
Chest or Abdominal Sports Injuries
Bloating and Constipation
Nausea and Acid Reflux
Women's and Men's Health Issues
Chronic Pelvic Pain
Fibroids and Cysts
Referred Testicular Pain
Effects of Menopause
Anxiety and Depression
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Chronic Spinal Dysfunction
Headaches and Migraines
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Peripheral Joint Pain
Pain Related to
Post-operative Scar Tissue
Post-infection Scar Tissue
Constipation and Gastritis
VM assists functional and structural imbalances throughout the body including musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urogenital, respiratory, digestive, and lymphatic dysfunction. It evaluates and treats the dynamics of motion and suspension in relation to organs, membranes, fascia, and ligaments. VM increases proprioceptive communication within the body, thereby revitalizing a person and relieving symptoms of pain, dysfunction, and poor posture.
An integrative approach to evaluation and treatment of a patient requires assessment of the structural relationships between the viscera, and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to the musculoskeletal system. 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 creates fixed, abnormal points of tension that the body must move around, and this chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems.
Imagine an adhesion around the lungs. It would create a modified axis that demands abnormal accommodations from nearby body structures. For example, the adhesion could alter rib motion, which could then create imbalanced forces on the vertebral column and, with time, possibly develop a dysfunctional relationship with other structures. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction - magnified by thousands of repetitions each day.
There are definite links between somatic structures, such as the muscles and joints, the sympathetic nervous system, the visceral organs, the spinal cord, and the brain. For example, the sinuvertebral nerves innervate the intervertebral disks and have direct connections with the sympathetic nervous system, which innervates the visceral organs. The sinuvertebral nerves and sympathetic nervous system are linked to the spinal cord, which has connections with the brain. In this way someone with chronic pain can have irritations and facilitated areas not only in the musculoskeletal system (including joints, muscles, fascia, and disks) but also the visceral organs and their connective tissues (including the liver, stomach, gallbladder, intestines, and adrenal glands), the peripheral nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system, and even the spinal cord and brain.
Thanks to the dedicated work of Jean-Pierre Barral, a physiotherapist (RPT) and osteopath (DO), healthcare practitioners today can use the rhythmic motions of the visceral system as important therapeutic tools.
Barral's clinical work with the viscera led to his development of a form of manual therapy that focuses on the internal organs, their environment, and the potential influence on many structural and physiological dysfunctions. The term he coined for this therapy was ‘Visceral Manipulation.’
Visceral Manipulation relies on the palpation of normal and abnormal forces within the body. By using specific techniques, therapists can evaluate how abnormal forces interplay, overlap, and affect the normal body forces at work. The goal is to help the body's normal forces remove abnormal effects, whatever their sources. Those effects can be global, encompassing many areas of bodily function.
HOW DOES VISCERAL MANIPULATION HELP YOU?
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. Today, a wide variety of healthcare professionals perform Visceral Manipulation. Practitioners include osteopathic physicians, allopathic physicians, doctors of chiropractic, doctors of Oriental medicine, naturopathic physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, and other licensed body workers.
Information obtained at http://www.barralinstitute.com
Image credit: Getty, WebMD 2012 http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/ss/slideshow-low-back-pain-overview
Jessica Jensen LMT CST
231 Kentucky Ave. Suite 220
Jessica Jensen has been applying Visceral Manipulation to her treatment plans since 2007. Through this technique she has been able to help many of her clients.