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How do you explain Visceral Manipulation?

Explaining visceral manipulation to friends and family can be challenging, especially if you don't fully understand it yourself. Today we will start by defining visceral manipulation before diving into "easy to digest" ways to explain it to others. Because ultimately, it is a lot more than a belly massage and we want to help spread an accurate understanding!

So what really is visceral manipulation (VM)?

The Barral Institute defines visceral manipulation as, "a gentle manual therapy that assesses the structural relationships between the viscera (organs), and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to the various systems in the body."

It "assists functional and structural imbalances throughout the body including musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urogenital, respiratory, digestive, eliminatory, neuroendocrine and lymphatic dysfunction."

Visceral Manipulation is organ-specific fascial mobilization and is based on the premise that free movement within the body is vital, and thus any restriction will adversely affect health.

What VM is not...

Visceral manipulation is not a massage of the belly or even a massage of the organs. It is not a general intervention to help improve how you feel. Instead it is a very targeted and specific set of techniques used to address very specific dysfunctions within the body to allow for healing. Providers are detail oriented and are constantly taking various aspects of anatomy into consideration when treating certain structures or organs.

It also is not an aggressive re-alignment of your internal systems. We do not work to put organs back in place using significant force. Rather, we gently work to restore mobility and balance within the body to stimulate a self correcting or self healing environment.

VM is not a generic "one size fits all" treatment strategy. We use an integrative approach to evaluation and treatment of each patient which requires assessment of the structural relationships between the viscera, and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to the musculoskeletal system. Our evaluation and treatment approaches are unique and individualized to each individual based on their medical history, current complaints, and body needs.

So...what are the key points to help explain VM to others?

Visceral manipulation is:

A gentle and specific manual therapy technique

Used to improve organ mobility and function

Helps restore functional and structural balance to create positive changes in your health and wellbeing

No matter what you're struggling with, visceral manipulation plays a crucial role in your body’s ability to recover and heal. If you have any questions about how visceral manipulation can specifically help you, please reach out!