The word visceral means the soft internal organ of the body, and manipulation means to handle and move a body part. Based on this I can say that visceral manipulation is hands-on therapy with the specific goal of encouraging normal movement between the internal organs, their connective tissue and other structures of the body.
Visceral manipulation is based on the premise that movement is essential for life and any restriction will affect our health. Movement is transmitted between the organs and other structures of the body through a thin layer of connective tissue called fascia, which is the tissue that connects every structure of the body. When there is a fascial restriction in one place, the pain and symptoms can arise in other areas of the body.
There are many factors that can cause visceral restrictions such as infections, trauma, eating habits, history of surgery, inflammatory conditions within the abdominal-pelvic cavity, stress, poor posture and even pregnancies. That being said, the purpose of visceral manipulation is to find and resolve tensions and restrictions in tissues around the organs and restore normal motion.
Throughout each session the Osteopathic Practitioner will feel where the tensions are in your body, and focus on the most prominent restriction. The process might involve working with an organ or its surrounding tissues, and then the practitioner will check how the tissues are responding to treatment in order to find your precise pathway to health.
Nowadays we know that 80% of all musculoskeletal problems have a visceral component, making visceral manipulation an excellent technique to treat any pain or conditions related to the organ itself.