What Is Visceral Mobilization (VM)?
Viscera refers to our body’s organs. These organs have fascial connections to the bony frame and to each other, thus having an influence throughout the body. You may have pain or dysfunction in one area, ie. the right shoulder, but restriction of the connective tissue around the liver may, and is often the culprit in this case. A thorough evaluation of movement patterns and mobility of structures will help determine the primary area of restriction that needs releasing.
Visceral mobilization is a gentle, hands-on manual treatment method used to release tension and restriction in these fascial connections and ligaments, restoring mobility in the system as a whole. There are many reasons for an organ’s fascial system to lose its mobility: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/delivery. Visceral Mobilization Therapy can help alleviate pain, dysfunction and restore movement.
How Do Organs Contribute to Pain and Dysfunction?
Your body is made up of many interrelated components such as bones, muscles, nerves, a thin connective tissue called fascia, as well as the internal organs (viscera). Your organs are in perpetual motion. When you breathe, walk and stretch, your organs move in your chest and abdomen. For example, when you take a breath, your kidneys move one inch; and with deep inhalation, they move 4 inches. In a day, they move a little over ½ mile. That's around 19,000 miles in a lifetime!
This movement of organs is transmitted through fascia to other structures of the body. When you are healthy, all the structures move with an interconnected fluidity. All of this movement is important as it influences activities throughout the body from the tiniest cellular pulsations to rhythmic contractions of the heart and blood flow. Optimum health relies on a harmonious relationship between the motions of the organs and other structures of the body.
There are many reasons for an organ to lose its mobility: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/delivery. When an organ is no longer freely mobile but is fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate. This disharmony 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.
Imagine scar tissue around the lungs. Because of the pull of the adhesion, with every breath, the movement patterns of the nearby structures would be altered. This could shift rib motion creating pulls on the spine. These restrictions might then show up as mid-back and neck pain, as well as limited motion in the shoulder. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction - magnified by thousands of repetitions each day. This also explains how pain can often be far removed from the actual cause.
- For more information on Visceral manipulation please access the patient information tab on www.barralinstitute.com.
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