“Visceral” relates to the internal organs of the body, such as the liver, kidneys and intestines.
“Manipulation” means “to mobilise” where the therapists use their hands to feel and nudge the organs to a more ideal state or positions.
The most common question is: “What does my organ have to do with the back/leg/arm pain I am feeling?”
The explanation is as such: Your body is made up of many components such as bones, muscles, nerves, skin, blood vessels and our organs. All these structures fit together nicely like a well-oiled machine. These structures are also in perpetual motion relative to each other. For example, when we breathe, the ribs need to raise up and down and the lungs need to expand and contract within the lung cavity. Or when we bend forward, the stomach need to move slightly aside to allow the movement to take place.
When you are in a healthy state, all the various structure move and fit together harmoniously. Just like how a joint can become stiff with bad posture or injury, the rest of the structures ie organs can lose their mobility when we experience traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/child birth.
These micro injuries can cause adhesion or restrictions of the organs to each other or to the surrounding structures, ie the stomach does not move when you bend forward, instead the stomach now poses a restriction to trunk movement. This movement restriction may painful, but the body may perceive the pain to be from the back instead
During visceral manipulation, the physiotherapist will feel for altered or decreased motion within the viscera and then applies the VM techniques. The aim of VM therapy is to re-establishes the body’s ability to adapt and restore itself to health.