Visceral Manipulation Calms the Chaos in Your Body
Many of us subscribe to the John Wayne-esque “brush yourself off and keep on going, cowboy” mentality. Resilience is an admirable trait, but know that ignoring either physical or emotional trauma and pushing forward before restoring balance may only cause your problems to return with a vengeance–and an even greater disruption to your life.
You may not be familiar with a therapy called Visceral Manipulation, but it may be the answer to your specific health complaint.
Identifying the Chaos in Your Body
Physically, your body is a network of connected structures like muscles, ligaments and fascia (a “web” of tissue that covers your whole body from head to toes). Suppose you work at a computer all day long. Depending on the posture you keep while working, some muscles shorten and others lengthen to keep your body upright and to support that big bowling ball at the top (your head). Day after day, your body’s structures work to maintain balance and compensate for your bad posture. As a result, you may feel pain in your neck, shoulders and/or lower back.
Your body’s intelligence also protects you from emotional traumas through a process called “cellular memory”, where every emotion creates a “track” in the brain. Every strong emotion is discharged to and lodged in a specific organ that is related to that type of emotional energy. Your body compensates for emotional imbalance in much the same way as physical imbalance. And if you doubt that emotions affect your body physically, notice how you feel after interacting with a “draining” individual!
The longer you wait to correct physical and emotional imbalances that cause pain and/or dysfunction, the more complex the “compensation cascade” your body has to put in effect, which will progressively affect more organs and expend more vital energy. You can see how this compensation cascade can explain the “mystery” conditions you may have experienced, but fail to find solutions for–you might be looking in the wrong place! For example, if you have a migraine, the source may not be just a physical trauma, but a symptom of the body compensating for injuries, misalignments and restrictions in other areas.
Why does the body react like this? Why does striving for balance create chaos in the body? To comprehend the body’s true state of harmony, we must go back to the beginning.
Understanding True Balance: Back to the Beginning
During embryonic development (while growing in the mother’s uterus), a fertilized egg divides and sub-divides many times, forming three super-imposed layers from which all the organs and systems of the body derivate: the endoderm (inner layer), the mesoderm (middle layer), and the ectoderm (outer layer).
Each layer is continuously combining, associating and interacting with the other layers in a natural rhythm, with an amazing degree of cell specialization (into the different kinds of tissues, like bone, cartilage, blood vessel, muscles, skin, hair, etc.) and organization (into different tissues and functional systems), until all the organs are in their proper position.
During embryological formation, our organs follow a pathway of migration, unfolding from midline/center to the sides of the body. Throughout our lives, all the organs remember this pattern of embryologic migration and move in a rocking fashion at a speed of approximately 7 cycles per minute, a movement called motility. Motility is the Visceral Rhythm or the Rhythm of Life that was acquired during embryological development and migration of the tissues away from and back to midline/center.
The Chaos Explained
You can now see why we say that everything is connected in the body. Due to the continuity of fibers throughout the body, any kind of tension (a disruption to the balance of the Visceral Rhythm) is transmitted to the whole. If one organ underperforms, it causes an overload in the other members of the system.
Since the fascial network (body-wide web of tissue) surrounds every structure in the body, any kind of stressor (like toxins, viruses, emotions and traumas) may create thickenings (adhesions and scars) of the fascia between the organs, restricting normal movement and function.
The body “hugs” or contains these lesions because it does not want more movement to happen in the area of irritation. This creates rigid and abnormal points of tension that the body needs to move around (what you feel when you experience “knots” in your shoulders). The body’s process of isolating an injury is what causes the pain and dysfunction we feel–part of the chaos.
What is Visceral Manipulation and How Does It Restore Balance?
Visceral Manipulation could be the answer to the many physical and emotional concerns you may have not been able to find a satisfactory resolution for. Visceral Manipulation is a gentle and precise form of manual therapy developed by distinguished French osteopathic physician and physical therapist, Jean Pierre-Barral. Visceral Manipulation helps the body restore its balance and frees it from pain, restriction and dysfunction.
Research and multiple comparative studies around the world have shown that Visceral Manipulation is beneficial in the treatment of many disorders, including but not limited to:
Chest or Abdominal Sports Injuries
|Digestive Disorders||Bloating and Constipation Nausea and Acid Reflux GERD
|Women’s and Men’s Health Issues||Chronic Pelvic Pain Endometriosis
Fibroids and Cysts Dysmenorrhea
Bladder Incontinence Prostate Dysfunction Referred Testicular Pain Effects of Menopause
|Emotional Issues||Anxiety and Depression
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Chronic Spinal Dysfunction
|Musculoskeletal Disorders||Headaches and Migraines
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Peripheral Joint Pain
|Pediatric Issues||Constipation and Gastritis
|Pain Related to||Post-operative Scar Tissue
Post-infection Scar Tissue
The Visceral Manipulation Healing Process
During a session, a trained visceral manipulation therapist will find the area where the body is dealing with the greatest struggle and energy expenditure. Your therapist then applies specific, gentle force/touch to areas of abnormal function, looking to “wake up a little something” in the body. This helps the body “remember” how an injury or trauma disrupted the normal pattern of organ migration and function. The body can then make the necessary corrections to release its restrictions and recover its healing ability again. Free from restriction, the body resumes function in synchrony with the Visceral Rhythm and begins to heal.
Being a dynamic entity that is always changing and adjusting itself to keep balance (homeostasis), the body has been incredibly programmed by the Creator to perform self- healing and regenerating functions; however, if stress, toxicity or trauma cause a decrease in free mobility and functionality, it is important to receive adequate evaluation and prompt treatment.
Restoring balance and proper alignment as well as freeing restrictions are some of the most important steps you can take in helping your body fully utilize its amazing healing abilities. Visceral Manipulation is a very safe, gentle, precise and extremely effective technique for early detection and correction of impairments that could later lead to severe pathology and loss of function and vitality. It stands out among many wonderful therapies as particularly suited to achieve the dynamic balance your body needs to function in the most optimal ways.
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This post was written by Dr. Claudia Chica