Gastrointestinal visceral manipulation, also known as visceral manipulation, is a set of manual techniques typical of osteopathy to improve the condition of the organs and glands of the abdominal cavity, including stomach, intestines, kidneys and liver.
How visceral manipulation works
Gastrointestinal visceral manipulation includes fascial massages on the connective tissue and muscular tunic of the intestine, as well as manipulations on the various organs, to free up their mobility.
Furthermore, it also works on the diaphragms (respiratory and pelvic) to restore the right intra-abdominal pressure, both by perfecting circulation, lymphatic drainage and elimination of toxins, and by decreasing swelling and stomach pains.
Visceral manipulation is a part of osteopathy, which is often associated only with musculoskeletal manipulation.
When to undertake visceral manipulation
Visceral massage is particularly indicated in case of:
- abdominal swelling;
- constipation or diarrhea;
- irritable bowel;
- principles of hiatus hernia;
- referred viscero-somatic pains;
- neurovegetative imbalance (sleeping difficulty, daytime sleepiness, nocturnal bruxism, hyperactivation during the week with pain and symptoms at the weekend or during breaks, etc.);
- psychosomatic visceral dysfunctions (despite a healthy lifestyle there are intestinal problems).
Benefits of visceral massage
Visceral massage has the following benefits:
- improves peristalsis (and therefore constipation and/or diarrhea),
- improves digestion,
- reduces swelling (lightness, flat stomach effect),
- increases diaphragmatic breathing,
- balances abdominal pressure,
- improves circulation to the buttocks (in women),
- improves venous return of the lower limbs,
- reduces menstrual pain,
- improves incontinence management,
- relieves lumbar and dorsal back pain and neck pain,
- helps in case of difficulty in conception (eliminates circulatory causes),
- improves mood.
Visceral osteopathic massage session
The duration of the session is 30-45 minutes and is divided into:
- patient history;
- palpatory tests of the quadrants of the abdomen, palpation from global to specific;
- abdominal preparation techniques on the rectus abdominis and on the diaphragm;
For whom it is appropriate
Visceral massage is indicated for alterations in the function of the gastrointestinal tract, or in the presence of painful disorders, as a complement to classical medicine.
Pain and swelling, menstrual pain, reflux, irritable bowel.
Non-invasive – manual soft tissue manipulation/therapy.
Sessions and frequency
Minimum 5 sessions; more in case of specific pathologies.
In the 12 hours following treatment, avoid considerable physical effort. Strictly follow the instructions provided by your osteopath. Wear sportswear and come to your appointment on an empty stomach.
Image team led by Prof. Carlo Tremolada performs gastrointestinal visceral manipulation in Milan.
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