Osteopathic Visceral Manipulation Treatment
Published on May 10, 2023

Osteopathic Visceral Manipulation is a manual therapy that treats organs and their surrounding connective tissues.  Sometimes our organs and surrounding tissue can be in pain, discomfort or is not working at their optimal level. When having treatment, the goal of the practitioner/ therapist is to assess and treat the motility (how well the organ functions and does its job) and mobility (how well is the organ(s) able to move freely within its space). With this gentle therapy we are encouraging motion within our bodies such as organs and through the structure of bones joints and musculature that may have restrictions.

The therapist will perform techniques that will allow them to feel and listen to how well the skeletal body moves and how well the organ moves and functions. In most cases these systems refer and relate to one another through the nervous and circulatory systems.

Depending on the assessment visceral manipulation can be its own treatment lasting 2- 30 minutes or in combination with other treatments such as osteopathy, registered massage therapy and physiotherapy. It is typically done directly over the skin in relation to the organ that is being treated, for example to treat the stomach hands are usually over the abdomen and if treating the lungs hands maybe placed over the ribs and chest area. All of this is to be done within the comfort level of the patient/client.

How does a person know when they need visceral manipulation? Some people don’t know. Sometimes you can have organ pain and or discomfort, but it also can feel that you have pain in another area being referred from an organ. Someone might feel that they have back pain which could be a referral pattern from an organ causing the back pain or maybe there is digestive issue such as constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux and skin problems to name a few, could be coming from the digestive or other specific organs. In some circumstances it may not be the viscera itself, but it could be the nerves that supply the organ its instructions on how to perform its function, or its blood supply going into the organ to keep the organ healthy and alive and blood supply leaving to help with inflammation.

Once the practitioner/ therapist has been assessed and treated, they will have an osteopathy treatment plan to address possible visceral upset at the time and or put together a plan over several sessions. In some cases, it might be in the persons best interest to have a maintenance program to feel healthy and make sure all systems are working at their best capacity.

There is no system in the body that works solely on its own. We are complex dynamic unit of functions, and any kind of treatment will directly or indirectly affect all body parts. Treating other areas and not specifically treating viscera still has an impact on the area and its systems, including the nervous system to help decrease stress which has increased benefits to the body.

If you are looking to have an Osteopathic Visceral Manipulation treatment, please click here to book your appointment. 

Thank you and take care,

Shawna Cleland

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