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A Note on Visceral Osteopathy

Dear patients, let me explain what visceral osteopathy is and more importantly how it can help you.

What is it ?

Viscera are the large internal organs of the body collectively, especially those in the abdominal cavity. Basically we are talking about you chest, tummy and pelvis organs here.

Why visceral osteopathy ?

Osteopathy is about diagnosing, finding the links between all our structures, tracing the problem down to its origin and by addressing that, dealing with the problem for good.

As you know, organs are the structures that are essential to our body function. The lungs to breathe, the heart to pump the blood, your liver to cleanse the blood, the intestines to digest, assimilate and extract from our food the energy we constantly need for our cells, etc.

Without going to deep into anatomy, you know that we have a skeleton, which in its primary role gives an internal, solid, yet mobile frame for our organs and muscles to attach onto.

This means that all our internal structures have a ligamentous or membranous (fascial) attachment to our skeleton. Of course they will also be provided with a nerve supply and vessel supply (arteries an veins).

Our body is a unit and though it seems our “tummy” or abdominal organs are in a different sphere they obey to the same principals of connectivity.

Let me take a few common examples to relate this to our every day life.

1: A Somato-Emotional link

We have all heard about Psycho-somatism. We know it is a physical expression of an emotional stress. For example, stress leading to stomach acidity and shoulder muscular tension.

In this way we all have experienced the effect of our emotions on our tummy. It manifests itself differently in each of us and rarely becomes a permanent condition although it can, IBS being a good example.

So there is a connection between our brain and our body. Information sent one way needs a feedback mechanism to alert the sending organ, in this case the brain, for good or bad reception. Meaning we have in-coming fibers from our organs coming back to our brain.

That’s how visceral manipulations of specific organs and their attachments have a direct connection with our brain. Hence how visceral osteopathic technics will have a gentle and progressive calming effect on your overall wellbeing by using these Somato-emotional links.

During these sessions, it often happens that intense, deeply stored emotions make their way back to the surface and patients experience a strong emotional release. It is important to be able to deal with these emotions so talking them through will help you settle to a peaceful place.

2: The Stress-Stomach-Shoulder pattern.

- Stress tends to increase acid secretion in the stomach. Progressively, the stomach folds into a protective muscular tension, meaning that it will pull on its attachment. Consequently, the sensitive nerves will constantly fire back at the spinal level where the stomach nerves come from (T5-T9), irritating your spine between your shoulder blades.

-Progressively the left lower ribs (6-10) and their respective vertebras will see their range of motion decrease. The inter-costal muscles as well as the diaphragm (breathing muscle) will tense up. The lower part of the lung will be impaired and breathing on this left side will shift superiorly asking some accessory muscles to kick in into the breathing process. These muscles (the scalenes) join the two first ribs to the cervical spine (the neck) and tend to reduce its function, which, if amplified becomes painful.

-Eventually, the left upper ribs will lose their mobility, and the left shoulder will shift up and anteriorly, change the normal biomechanics creating a “lesional chain pattern” and becoming painful.

This is how a stressful life and an imbalanced diet can end up with you suffering from a sore neck, shoulder and mid-back.

How can I help you?

Well first and foremost by IDENTIFYING the pattern, diagnosing the chain of events that have linked up to cause you to present such a complaint.

Once we have made these links we can start looking at the big picture and tackle the issue at each level. Surely the cause of stress should be reduced. Nutrition should be addressed.

Then, I can work directly on your stomach by applying gentle stretches and release techniques along all its attachments and connections. These will stop your stomach firing back to your spine and will allow us to carry on by releasing your diaphragm, mobilizing your rib cage, adjusting the neurologically linked vertebras and freeing your neck.

The interesting part here is that if we don’t work on the stomach first, and we focus where your symptoms might be, neck or shoulder for example, we will help you for a few days, or weeks maybe, but it will come back. By tackling it’s visceral origin we give you a chance to resolve the problem for good.

Boniface is a French registered osteopath who graduated from the European School of Osteopathy. Boniface works closely with the KX personal training and therapist team and continues to develop his different fields of expertise in Integrated Osteopathy, Sports Injuries, Pregnancy Care and New Born Care (Cranio-Sacral Osteopathy).
• Integrated Osteopathy
• Structural Techniques
• Visceral Osteopathy
• Cranio-Sacral Osteopathy
• Sports Injuries
The cost of an Initial 60 min appointment with Boniface is £120.

Health, Osteopathy

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