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The Power of Visceral Manipulation: Improving Digestive Function

Guest post by Dr. Miho Urisaka, PT, DPT, OCS

Many patients who come to see me for low back pain often have underlying chronic digestive issues that contribute to their musculoskeletal pain. I often use visceral manipulation to the mesentery as a technique that can help reduce their low back pain as well as alleviate symptoms of digestive dysfunction. 

The mesentery is a sheet of tissue that attaches the stomach and intestines to the abdominal wall. It is also responsible for providing blood supply and nerve innervation to these organs. When the mesentery becomes restricted, it can cause tension in the organs it attaches to, leading to symptoms such as bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain.

Visceral manipulation is a gentle manual therapy technique that aims to release these restrictions and improve the mobility of the organs. The technique involves the therapist using their hands to gently move and manipulate the organs and surrounding tissue. This can help to break up adhesions and scar tissue, which can cause the organs to become stuck in one position. By improving the mobility of the organs, blood flow and nerve function can be restored, leading to a reduction in symptoms.

Visceral manipulation can also be used to help improve the function of the gut by encouraging the movement of food through the intestines. This is known as peristalsis, and it is important for maintaining regular bowel movements.

Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, stress management and a healthy diet can also be beneficial for improving digestive function. Nutritional therapy can help to address underlying causes of digestive dysfunction, such as nutrient deficiencies or food sensitivities. Visceral manipulation can help to support these changes by improving the function of the gut and allowing for better absorption of nutrients.

A comprehensive approach that includes both nutritional therapy and visceral manipulation can provide the best results for digestive issues. It can help to reduce symptoms, improve the function of the gut and support the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, and overall, improve the results of nutritional therapy. If you are experiencing symptoms of digestive dysfunction, it may be worth incorporating visceral manipulation as part of your treatment plan.




Book an appointment with Miho who sees patients on select days at Blum Center for Health.

Contact info:

Orthopedic Movement Physical Therapy


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