What is Visceral Osteopathy?
Viscera simply means organs and visceral osteopathy is a treatment aimed at assisting optimal function of the organs within the abdominal, pelvic and thoracic cavities.
The organs are suspended within the body cavities by fascial and connective tissue structures, including ligaments and the peritoneum which is a membrane that connects and supports the internal organs within the abdominal cavity. The organs are attached to each other or other areas of body, such as the diaphragm or the spine, by these structures. Additionally, these structures contain blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and nerves which are vital to the organs for the supply of nutrients, elimination of wastes and feedback to the brain.
Visceral osteopathic treatment is sometimes likened to stomach massage or abdominal massage, though uses more specific application of techniques. It utilises gentle visceral manipulation of the soft tissue structures to aid circulation, lymphatic flow and nervous system function which help to modulate the digestive process and help improve mobility and motion of the viscera. It aims to alleviate dysfunctional points of tension and encourage optimal function.
Furthermore, visceral osteopathic treatment is used within the context of general osteopathic treatment to ensure a whole-body approach where this may be relevant to the individual patient’s problem. In the same way that an osteopath assesses musculoskeletal issues, the viscera and their associated structures area also assessed by the osteopath to enable best treatment plan.
How can Visceral Osteopathic Treatment be of benefit?
Digestive issues are a common complaint within the general population. Individuals who experience digestive problems may experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, altered bowel motion, heartburn and reflux, belching, gas and general discomfort to name a few. It is always a good idea to visit your GP if you are experiencing any of these symptoms regularly to rule out any potential cause.
Visceral osteopathic treatment may be of benefit to people who are experiencing digestive complaints or discomfort within the body cavities. It may also be useful for encouraging general well-being.
In addition to hands on treatment, advice is also shared on how you may improve certain lifestyle habits to aid in achieving greater gut health.