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Visceral Manipulation

Imagine scar tissue or fascial restrictions around the lungs. Because of the pull of the adhesion, with every breath, the movement patterns of the nearby structures would be altered. This could shift rib motion creating pulls on the spine. These restrictions might then show up as mid-back and neck pain, as well as limited range of motion in the shoulder. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction - magnified by thousands of repetitions each day. This also explains how pain can often be far removed from the actual cause.  This treatment involves gentle mobilization of structures within the Cranium, Thorax, Abdomen, and Pelvis, to create change, sometimes quite dramatic, within the systemVisceral Emotional Release may also be used in these sessions to achieve a more complete level of healing. Elemental Manual Meridian Theory and Techniques (EMMT), a style of practice developed by founder, Nicole Keane, MS LMT, blends visceral manipulation with several other modalities that offers a much more supportive and gentle release of stored trauma than other modalities such as Somatic Experiencing. 

Most of the information below is an excerpt from the Barral Institute website. More information on Visceral Manipulation can be found at:

What is Visceral Manipulation?
"Viscera" relates to the internal organs of the body, such as the liver, kidneys and intestines. Visceral Manipulation is a gentle manual therapy that aids your body's ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction. 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. The VM therapist feels for altered or decreased motion within the viscera, as well as restrictive patterns throughout the body and then applies VM techniques. VM therapy re-establishes the body's ability to adapt and restore itself to health.

How do Organs Contribute to Pain and Dysfunction?
Your body is made up of many interrelated components such as bones, muscles, nerves, a thin connective tissue called fascia, as well as the internal organs (viscera). Your organs are in perpetual motion. When you breathe, walk and stretch, your organs move in your chest and abdomen. For example, when you take a breath, your kidneys move one inch; and with deep inhalation, they move 4 inches. In a day, they move a little over ½ mile. That's around 19,000 miles in a lifetime!

This movement of organs is transmitted through fascia to other structures of the body. When you are healthy, all the structures move with an interconnected fluidity. All of this movement is important as it influences activities throughout the body from the tiniest cellular pulsations to rhythmic contractions of the heart and blood flow. Optimum health relies on a harmonious relationship between the motions of the organs and other structures of the body.

There are many reasons for an organ to lose its mobility: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/delivery. When an organ is no longer freely mobile but is fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate. This disharmony creates fixed, abnormal points of tension and the chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems throughout the body – musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urinary, respiratory and digestive, to name a few.

Moreover, as in line with most Eastern medical philosophies, the viscera has the potential to store emotions from physical events or accidents, as well and emotional and psychological trauma.  Through Visceral Emotional Release, I am able to identify stored emotion in the body and help energetically and physically dissipate the long term effects of such holding patterns.   My specific approach to this style of treatment blends Japanese Meridian Therapy/ Toyo Hari practice, with the techniques I have learned through my long-term study with the Barral Institute. 

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