Organ therapy

‘’Life is motion, and motion is life.’’ Goes a saying by an osteopath, and founder of the visceral manipulation techniques amongst other,  Jean-Pierre Barral,D.O.

All our organs move. They move at different speeds, at different times and in various directions and they also move from various external forces, for example the push and pull of the diaphragm in regular breathing.

The pelvic organs’ mobility, as an example, are dependent a lot on diaphragmatic movement, but they also depend on the movement that comes from our bladder, rectum and urinary system as they fill up and evacuate. All these motions cause pressure changes within our pelvic cage that are necessary for the health and function of the organs.

The pelvic organs mobility also depends a lot on our leg activity. We can’t forget that when we walk and move, all our organs require to as well. They need to be able to glide and slide over each other, in relation to all the tissues around them.

Another example are the kidneys. In normal activity, a kidney needs to move about one to four inches down during deep inhalation, but it also needs to rotate as well! If we take a deeper look at the right kidney anatomically, it has a direct connection to the liver, a part of the duodenum and the colon. On its back side it articulates with the diaphragm, and tendons of a deep abdominal, the psoas and quadratus lumborum muscles. Given a restriction in the kidney’s ability to slide down and up, we can imagine how all these structures could be affected and how it over-time may be the cause of spasms in these muscles and other structures they’re connected to.

In fact, people with low back pain find great relief in release of these muscles. From its nerve relations, those people may also be presenting with lower limb pain, particularly in the knee and/or right shoulder irritation. The symptoms are highly dependent on the position of the kidneys, whether they hang higher or lower. However, if the problem solely lies in the kidney’s mobility, it does very little to solve the real problem when we treat just the muscular restrictions. For optimal health, a treatment of both is best, but the key is to also assess properly whether a restriction is caused primarily by an organ’s fixation, or whether it is has started as a skeletal or muscular issue.

This is just one example of the wonders of our insides and the reason why our anatomy is so important when it comes to treatment of any being holistically.

How do our organs lose mobility?

There are many systems responsible for organs mobility as we’ve mentioned previously, such as diaphragmatic movement, intra-thoracic pressures that are very important in keeping the organs lifted up in our belly, ligaments and even abdominal muscle tones.

Reasons that could impair organ mobility may be from physical trauma and injury, sedentary lifestyle, inadequate nutrition, infection, genetic predispositions and even emotional stress (psycho-somatic disorders). When an organ is healthy, it moves in a specific movement pattern, much like a joint movement that we measure as optimal when it reaches a certain range of motion and is coupled by the correct muscle activation. However, due to for any of the reasons above, organs too can lose some or all this motion.

In extreme organ imbalances, this could affect its actual function and it may react with either overflow or blockage, e.g. constipation or diarrhea if we speak about the colon and/or intestines.

Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean we can’t treat it

{Visceral manipulation} enables the organs to regain and improve lost or impaired mobility. It’s done using precise pressure and movement after a special analysis of the body to find where the visceral fixations are that may have been leading to their problems. It’s as important to treat these fixations as it is to treat skeletal restrictions such as tightness in a joint or block in the spine. Organ restrictions also irritate some nerves causing spasms in related muscles or other neighboring organs. They may also irritate vascular structures disrupting blood supply and impairing function further.

When trauma is more physical and we are able to see its effect, such as a fracture wound, healing scar, muscle spasm and so on, we forget that there is a whole other element which we cannot see, that is the secret messages relayed to the organs.

There are other therapies that influence organ mobility positively, such as specific breathing exercises, acupuncture, reflex locomotion, homeopathy and for prevention it’s important to keep a balanced lifestyle of movement exercise and a healthy diet that promote the well-being your joints and muscles, and your organs.

Mgr. Farah Droubi