Back & Rib Pain
Knee & Foot
VM assists functional and structural
imbalances throughout the body including musculoskeletal, vascular,
nervous, urogenital, respiratory, digestive and lymphatic
dysfunction. It evaluates and treats the dynamics of motion and
suspension in relation to organs, membranes, fascia and ligaments.
VM increases proprioceptive communication within the body, thereby
revitalizing a person and relieving symptoms of pain, dysfunction,
and poor posture.
An integrative approach to evaluation
and treatment of a patient requires assessment of the structural
relationships between the viscera, and their fascial or ligamentous
attachments to the musculoskeletal system. Strains in the connective
tissue of the viscera can result from surgical scars, adhesions,
illness, posture or injury. Tension patterns form through the
fascial network deep within the body, creating a cascade of effects
far from their sources for which the body will have to compensate.
This creates fixed, abnormal points of tension that the body must
move around, and this chronic irritation gives way to functional and
Imagine an adhesion around the lungs.
It would create a modified axis that demands abnormal accommodations
from nearby body structures. For example, the adhesion could alter
rib motion, which could then create imbalanced forces on the
vertebral column and, with time, possibly develop a dysfunctional
relationship with other structures. This scenario highlights just
one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction -
magnified by thousands of repetitions each day.
There are definite links between
somatic structures, such as the muscles and joints, the sympathetic
nervous system, the visceral organs, the spinal cord and the brain.
For example, the sinuvertebral nerves innervate the intervertebral
disks and have direct connections with the sympathetic nervous
system, which innervates the visceral organs. The sinuvertebral
nerves and sympathetic nervous system are linked to the spinal cord,
which has connections with the brain. In this way someone with
chronic pain can have irritations and facilitated areas not only in
the musculoskeletal system (including joints, muscles, fascia, and
disks) but also the visceral organs and their connective tissues
(including the liver, stomach, gallbladder, intestines and adrenal
glands), the peripheral nervous system, the sympathetic nervous
system and even the spinal cord and brain.
Thanks to the dedicated work of
Jean-Pierre Barral, a Physiotherapist (RPT) and Osteopath (DO),
healthcare practitioners today can use the rhythmic motions of the
visceral system as important therapeutic tools.
Barral's clinical work with the
viscera led to his development of a form of manual therapy that
focuses on the internal organs, their environment and the potential
influence on many structural and physiological dysfunctions. The
term he coined for this therapy was Visceral Manipulation.
Visceral Manipulation relies on the
palpation of normal and abnormal forces within the body. By using
specific techniques, therapists can evaluate how abnormal forces
interplay, overlap and affect the normal body forces at work. The
goal is to help the body's normal forces remove abnormal effects,
whatever their sources. Those effects can be global, encompassing
many areas of bodily function.
How Does Visceral Manipulation Help
Visceral Manipulation is used to
locate and solve problems throughout the body. It encourages your
own natural mechanisms to improve the functioning of your organs,
dissipate the negative effects of stress, enhance mobility of the
musculoskeletal system through the connective tissue attachments,
and influence general metabolism. Today, a wide variety of
healthcare professionals perform Visceral Manipulation.
Practitioners include osteopathic physicians, allopathic physicians,
doctors of chiropractic, doctors of Oriental medicine, naturopathic
physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage
therapists and other licensed body workers.
How is Visceral Manipulation
Visceral Manipulation is based on the
specific placement of soft manual forces to encourage the normal
mobility, tone and motion of the viscera and their connective
tissues. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the
functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function
within, and the structural integrity of the entire body.
Harmony and health exist when motion
is free and excursion is full - when motion is not labored,
overexcited, depressed, or conflicting with neighboring structures
and their mobility. Therapists using Visceral Manipulation assess
the dynamic functional actions as well as the somatic structures
that perform individual activities. They also evaluate the quality
of the somatic structures and their functions in relation to an
overall harmonious pattern, with motion serving as the gauge for
Due to the delicate and often highly
reactive nature of the visceral tissues, gentle force precisely
directed reaps the greatest results. As with other methods of
manipulation that affect the body deeply, Visceral Manipulation
works only to assist the forces already at work. Because of that,
trained therapists can be sure of benefiting the body rather than
adding further injury or disorganization.
Meet Our Staff
Lance Hendricks, M.P.T.
Kelli Richardson, P.T.