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Visceral Manipulation

What is Visceral Manipulation?

Visceral Manipulation is a hands-on therapy with the specific goal of promoting normal tone and movement both within and between the internal organs, their connective tissues, and other structures of the body where normal motion has been impaired. Additionally, other factors affecting the body may be addressed, such as tension in the fascia, nerves, and blood vessels.

The ultimate goals of Visceral Manipulation are:

  • reestablish the body's ability to adapt and restore itself to health

  • find and resolve tensions in tissues and thereby restore normal motion to them

  • allow the body to self-correct, leading to improved health and optimal body function

Philosophy of Visceral Manipulation

The hypothesis ​put forward by Jean-Pierre Barral is that an organ or vicera in good health has normal physiologic motion. This motion is interdependent because of the serous membranes enveloping the organs, and the fascia, ligaments, and other living tissues which bind it to the rest of the body. All viscera should function properly without any restrictions. Any fixation or adhesion to another structure, no matter how small, implies functional impairment of the organ. The consequent modification of it's motion, repeated thousand of times daily in the body, can bring about significant changes, both to the organ itself and to related structures. The main concept of this work is that through visceral manipulation it is possible to bring about an improvement in function by restoring some measure of natural organ motion.

How can Visceral Manipulation help resolve my symptoms?

In Visceral Manipulation approach a practitioner will aim to find the start of the tension pattern in your body and help normalize that area which may resolve a number of problems caused by the restriction. Visceral Manipulation is about your practitioner "listening", feeling, and following your tissue to help your body gently unwind and release tension. 

The goal of treatment is to to allow the restricted structure to move and glide easily with its surrounding tissues and allow it to regain its smooth intrinsic motion known as motility. Visceral Manipulation is very much about allowing your body to heal itself and simply offering it a helping hand along the way.

How soon can I expect to see improvements?

Each patient is unique, so this time frame can vary greatly. Research shows that depending on the severity of your condition, it takes from 2 weeks to a few months of treatment to improve symptoms of pain and tension. We most often request a frequency of 2-3 times a week for 12 total visits. That is why our office staff will ask you to schedule all 12 of your sessions before starting therapy. If you need more than 12 sessions, your therapist will discuss this with you after you have completed 12 visits and you will decide together whether continuing with therapy would benefit you or not. If so, your therapist will reevaluate you and send a progress note to your physician requesting an extension.

What are the credentials of my Visceral Manipulation physical therapist?

Visceral Manipulation physical therapists have been trained in visceral manipulation treatment techniques through the Barral Institute and are by our state license legally allowed and qualified to perform these procedures.

All licensed physical therapists have had to apply and be selected to attend Physical Therapy school. It is a very competitive process and only those will the highest grades and best potential are selected. Doctors of physical therapy have invested a minimum of 7 years into their undergraduate and graduate training at universities. Once they graduate, they have to sit for a State Board Exam and pass to receive their license to practice. In order to keep their license active, they must dedicate a certain number of hours to continuing education each year.

At Anchor Physical Therapy we also require that therapists attend multiple post-graduate continuing education courses every year to stay up to date with latest research and continuously enhance their treatment skills in order to achieve the best possible treatment outcomes for our patients.

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