Viscera means organs and Visceral Osteopathy is a treatment that may be used to manage and support complaints of the digestive system by addressing the soft tissues and organs of the thoracic and abdominopelvic cavities. It it similar to abdominal massage or "stomach" massage but utilises techniques that are more specific.
Visceral osteopathic treatment utilises specific gentle visceral manipulation of the soft tissue structures to aid circulation, lymphatic flow and nervous system function which help to modulate the digestive process and help improve mobility and motion of the viscera. Furthermore, visceral osteopathic treatment is used within the context of general osteopathic treatment to ensure a whole-body approach where this may be relevant to the individual patient’s problem. In the same way that an osteopath assesses musculoskeletal issues, the viscera and their associated structures area also assessed by the osteopath to enable best treatment plan. The body functions as a unit which is why is why taking a whole-body approach is important.
Visceral Osteopathy along with other abdominal massage techniques may also potentially benefit individual's general health and well-being through deep relaxation, aiding feelings of stress.
Osteopathy is form of manual therapy that believes that an optimal musculoskeletal system is integral to the physiological health processes of the body and vice versa. The founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, coined this, ‘structure governs function’, which is one of the four osteopathic principles. Therefore a ‘whole’ body approach is the focus of an osteopathic treatment to help restore ideal health.
An osteopath will always do their best to address the cause of complaint, which may not always originate in the location of pain. Therefore, a thorough case history and examination is a vital part of the treatment process to be able to come to a working diagnosis and therefore implement the best course of treatment for everyone.