Visceral Manipulation

ArianaMullinsBodywork2016-37What is Visceral Manipulation?

Visceral Manipulation is a gentle manual technique that aids your body’s ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction in your body. Visceral Manipulation, or VM, does not focus solely on the site of pain or dysfunction, but evaluates the entire body to find the source of the problem. As a VM therapist, I feel for altered or decreased motion within the internal organs, as well as restrictive patterns throughout the body. Then I apply Visceral Manipulation techniques to help restore normal movement and function. VM therapy helps the body make its own changes, to adapt and restore itself to health.


Mark came to me with a history of severe heartburn and reflux that he had been enduring “forever.” He began medicating with TUMS in college, and had been on acid blockers for decades.

As I went through his health history, he didn’t mention anything about shoulder pain– but on a hunch, I asked him if he happened to have left shoulder pain. He looked at me in surpise, and exclaimed, “YES! I have had left shoulder pain for as long as I have had reflux– but no one has asked me about it in the 25 years that I have been treated for it.” I explained that, many times, there is a simple mechanical cause for heartburn and reflux– it’s an elevated stomach position. This makes it hard for the stomach valves to work properly, and can cause stomach acid to spill out and upward. The elevated stomach also often causes chronic left shoulder pain that isn’t relieved by standard orthopedic treatments for shoulder pain.

After the first session of Visceral Manipulation, Mark’s inexplicable shoulder pain that had been plaguing him for years was gone, and what had been an every-meal Prilosec habit became just a once in a while occurrence. It’s amazing how simple manual techniques can help solve long-term issues!

What Does It Feel Like?

VM is a soft, hands-on manual therapy. Beneath the pain or diagnosis a client comes in with is a compensatory pattern created in the body with the root of the dysfunction often being far from where the pain is felt. Because of this, the practitioner looks for this pattern and the source, and treats the related tissues. The treatment is a gentle compression, mobilization and elongation (which can feel like lifting, pressing, or stretching) of the soft tissues. As the source of the problem is released, the symptoms will start to decrease as the body returns to greater health. This could take several days to occur after the Visceral Manipulation treatment.ArianaMullinsBodywork2016-36

Emotions are Stored in the Organs, and Visceral Manipulation Can Help

It is well documented that our emotions have a great impact on how our body functions, and this is greatly due to how receptive organs are to our feelings. Different emotions affect different organs. Emotional reactions can translate into simple spasms in the gallbladder to heartburn, vomiting, feeling faint, ulcers, and serious diseases. When the brain receives negative emotions it sends tension to the related organ, the organ then sends tension back to the brain resulting in a vicious cycle. Conversely, a physically damaged or imbalanced organ can stimulate emotional upset. VM can break this cycle, enhance the health of the organ, and restore emotional balance.

Ready to schedule a session? Click here.