Visceral osteopathy is a part of general manual osteopathy that focuses more on digestion problems. Digestive conditions that osteopathy can help include (but are not limited to) irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, constipation, flatulence, and indigestion.
There are two types of visceral osteopathic treatments. One of them is helping to stabilizing the digestive organs; the other one is trying to create normal movement of the digestive organs along with stabilizing them in place. Normal movements of organs are vital. All organs are required to exhibit certain movements as part of their own function, so any restriction in their movements is dangerous and often accompanied by pain. One of the worst consequences of having restricted movements in smooth muscle tissue is that the associated organ might stop working. For example, the small intestine works best when there is no restriction in its movement and the smooth muscle cells can work properly. Otherwise, the small intestine would not work, so digestion might cease there. However, when there is no restriction of movement, contraction of smooth muscle is normal. This is why regular and synchronized movements are predictable and as a result, digestion of food is the outcome.
Stabilizing the organs in their position means manipulating the ligaments that hold our organs in their places. There are several ligaments that hold our organs in each direction. This is why for example, if we are lying down all of our visceral organs does not go in one direction. Some disorders or swelling may prevent a specific ligament dedicated to a digestive organ from doing its proper work, and that is why we might feel pain in our digestive tract.
We have thus far observed how mobilization of organs can be beneficial for movement of organs and stabilizing them in their places. In addition, with mobilization of the organs and having pressure and deep tissue manipulation, all the blood and oxygen will come to the site of pain, thus providing benefit for the gastro-intestinal tract, gut mobility and the healing process.
Because osteopathy has a holistic approach, having a broad and complete history taken along with a physical examination is really essential. Some problems in our bodies might have ambiguous pain elsewhere. For instance, particular shoulder pain or upper back pain can be a consequence of visceral organs’ conditions, such as hiatus hernia or gall bladder problems. That is why when you see an osteopath s/he might ask to examine other parts of your body and not exactly where you said you have pain.
Osteopathic manipulation has significant positive response in getting rid of restriction in organs. In addition to your practitioner, you, as a person who wants to help himself/herself, may need to do some exercises and change your nutritional diet as well.
Sufferers who have tried visceral osteopathy and follow good nutritional advice, plus do their recommended exercises daily, have the highest rate of satisfaction and improvement among other digestive problem patients.