Visceral manipulation is manual work with our organs, to restore and promote correct movement and function. Working with our organs is beneficial for several reasons. The general health and proper functioning of our organs is dependant on their free, unrestricted movement. Part of our organ mobility comes from our breath, our overall body movement and our emotional health.
When we breathe, our diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle that divides our chest from our abdomen, moves down and up with each inhale and exhale. Full breaths mean the diaphragm descends completely, moving and massaging the organs, and then allows them to move back into place as we exhale. Shallow breathing means incomplete descension or the diaphragm, and therefore less movement for our organs. Over time, reduced movement results in adhesion and mobility becomes less available; this results in sluggish function of the organs themselves, and restriction webs out to other areas of the body. This can be felt as a pull or pain in an area distant from the organ, such as the lower or middle back, shoulder or leg. Our overall body movement contributes to our organ health by providing regular compression and lengthening, creating a pumping action that keeps fluids circulating, as well as continuously preventing the formation of adhesions. Sedentary lifestyle- too much time spent sitting, and often with incorrect posture- interferes with proper breathing, and compresses the organs, as well providing too little movement. Visceral manipulation therapy helps to free the organs from their restrictions and to restore correct movement and function.
When considering our mind-body connection, patterns emerge that show connections between particular emotions and organs. For example, stress and anxiety are strongly associated with our stomach, whereas depression is connected more so with our liver. Bladder issues can be associated with control in our lives, while uterus concerns connect with our deep needs for safety and security. In conjunction with emotional awareness and care, visceral manipulation can help to break the self-perpetuating cycle of organ restriction and emotional concerns.