I wrote about a recent (short) hospitalization due to old surgeries and a web of scar tissue from them. My naturopath recommended that I get something called "visceral manipulation" from one of her Bastyr University colleagues, Dr. Victoria Sucher.
Visceral manipulation has been practiced since the dawn of medicine and was developed by Dr. Jean-Pierre Barral, an osteopath, who noticed the relationship fascia has to dysfunction in the body. Visceral manipulation is in fact a gentle form of bodywork to release the fascia that surrounds and protects our vital organs or viscera.
When organs cannot move freely within protective facia, circulation becomes restricted and dysfunction and pain can result, often in areas far removed from the source.
In my case, surgical adhesions in the area where my appendix ruptured, at least 2 years before anyone diagnosed me with a ruptured appendix, are apparently particularly bad. I was told that these adhesions were likely contributing to chronic tension in my right leg and were also contributing to my right shoulder being subtly pulled in, toward my rib cage.
The prescription? Visceral manipulation sessions (15-40 minutes in duration) twice a month for several months. Sigh. I'm committed to doing the whole series as prevention but it does take a real investment on my part (no insurance coverage and a fair bit of driving, at least until I find a practitioner who is closer).
My friend, Gino Giglio, who has studied light touch massage therapies such as cranial sacral and visceral manipulation, had this to say:
Visceral manipulation is well worth the effort. I have studied several levels.
All the internals have motion, orbits, paths and some spiral rotation. Your naturopath no doubt explained all this to you. If those glidings of fascial casings are inhibited in any way, eventually such dysfunction will take its toll.
As you must have noticed, the vogue 'tune' now is that 80% of your immune system in in your gut. And there's more to the gut than that, as Dr. Michael Gershon tells us in his The Second Brain.
Good idea to free-up as much inherent movement as possible, so the body is not forced into permanent compensatory movement patterns. The flow gotta go on. Or else.
Wise words. If any of my readers live in South Florida or Manhattan, Gino practices in both cities. He is a gifted bodyworker, very intuitive, and highly-trained (having spent time at the Upledger Institute among others). Drop a line if you want me to introduce you.
Meanwhile, as such a disembodied culture, with ridiculous amounts of stress, bodywork is one of those genuinely kind gifts we can give to ourselves. I hope you get some "time on the table" some time soon!