Visceral manipulation is another type of manual therapy that also uses light touch; however, this work is concerned with the mobility, tone and tissue motion of the organs, membranes, fascia and ligaments in cases where there may be restrictions contributing to pain and tension. Restrictions in the connective tissue of the viscera may result from a variety of issues, such as infections, direct trauma, surgical scars, diet, environmental toxins, or emotional stress. These restrictions often cause a cumulative effect in the body, causing abnormal points of tension that the body then has to compensate for, which can lead to both functional and structural issues.
Similar to the philosophy of craniosacral therapy, when disease or dysfunction occurs in one part of the body, it often affects the whole body. For example, an adhesion around the sigmoid colon after surgery or injury stresses the normal physiologic motion of nearby structures; this restriction could cause ovarian immobility, which could then cause ovarian dysfunction, including cysts, and with time, may develop dysfunctional relationships with other structures in the body.
Some common conditions that benefit from visceral manipulation include:
- Bloating and constipation
- Problems with digesting food
- Nausea and Acid Reflux
- Irregular periods and menstrual pain
- Chronic low back pain