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Visceral Manipulation

What is Viscera?

Viscera refers to the organs and their soft tissue membranes. Viscera have slippery surfaces and are attached to the walls of body cavities and the spine by ligaments. Whenever you move the organs in your body must also move. The internal organs must allow your trunk to bend and twist and your diaphragm to move during breathing. Adhesions and tensions can alter or restrict these movements and stress your organs.

If your viscera is not able to move properly it may create stiffness or pain elsewhere in your body. If you can hear creaks and feel pain on normal movement this is a sign that you are at risk. The longer this continues, the greater the strain on your body.

Visceral Restrictions

You can see visceral restrictions reflected in your posture. When an organ can no longer move normally it sets up abnormal points of tension that your body must now move around. This can happen gradually and it may only be when someone tells you that you are no longer standing straight that you notice.   

When you have tension in the front of your body it makes you bend forward. When the tension is to one side it makes you twist toward that side. There is a saying in Visceral Osteopathy that "the body hugs the lesion".  This means that a person will look as if they are trying to wrap themselves around the tense area.

Why Does it Happen?

There are many ways that Visceral restrictions can happen: 

  • After surgery as your wound heals it can form tight scarred areas. The scarring can be deep, and as it takes months or even a year to form, it often goes unnoticed. 
  • Bacterial or viral infections such as pneumonia or influenza ("flu") can damage organs and membranes at a cellular level. Patients are often surprised during treatment to feel sensations that they remember from when they were ill a long time ago. 
  • Viscera can be injured if your body suffers trauma, such as a car crash. The shock from the seatbelt can travel through your chest and be felt in the stomach, heart and left kidney.
  • You may have been born with a damaged organ or a condition such as scleroderma. Even though that condition may be untreatable it is usually possible to treat other areas to improve your general health and help you to compensate more easily.

To learn how visceral restrictions are treated please click on the following link:  

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