Visceral Manipulation has been described as ”organ-specific myofascial release”.
Myofascial release is a kind of a cross between a type of stretching and a type of massage.
Massaging muscles makes sense to us…mobilising joints to help movement seems self-explanatory…but ‘’massaging’’ internal organs? This one needs further explanation!
Quite often I have a patient who has some restriction in movement I suspect is coming more from a restriction near their organs, rather than their joints or muscles being responsible.
In this case, there is a restriction in the movement of the connective tissue that surrounds their internal organs; in other words, a ‘’tightness’’ that makes it harder for the area to stretch, or harder for it to move freely without ‘’tugging’’ what it’s attached to. This can sometimes result in unexplained pains that can’t be explained by medical testing.
This can then cause the muscles around the area to get jumpy and grumpy! This results in muscle tension and pain, which is often assumed to be the source of the symptoms – but isn’t! Having the muscles treated ends up giving only short-term relief, if that.
So, what is needed is gentle manual therapy to these connective tissue restrictions. This is where Visceral Manipulation comes in! This is easiest described to my patients as a kind of ‘’static massage’’ or gentle ‘’tissue stretch’’. It’s like stretching muscles – except it’s not muscles, but rather connective tissue that’s being stretched, oh so gently!