Michelle Tsujimoto

Musculoskeletal Therapist



  • About Visceral Manipulation

    [VISCERA:  The organs of the body…Lungs, Heart, Brain, Digestive System, Reproductive System*, Urinary System*]


    Visceral Manipulation is an Osteopath-developed technique based on the specific placement of gentle manual forces to encourage the normal mobility, tone and motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body.


    Please note, treatment of the Reproductive and Urinary Systems is all external.






    The term “Manipulation” in the realm of bodywork is often thought of as being a quick, strong and vigorous manoeuvre to a structure (particularly joints) however in this case, “Manipulation” is a very specific, gentle movement and mobilisation of tissues because organs, blood vessels and nerves are easily irritated by strong and vigorous pressures.

    Foundations of Anatomy & Physiology. Ross & Wilson.

  • more on the visceral system

    It must be remembered that dysfunction and restriction around the organs is usually referred to the muscles and joints, and can be mistaken as problems of the muscles and joints. For example, it can be seen from this medical chart that Liver, Stomach, Heart and Gall Bladder problems* are referred as pain to the neck and shoulder regions; and the Kidneys refer pain to the low back and hip regions… Therefore, treating only the neck and shoulder will only provide temporary relief; or even aggravate the neck and shoulder symptoms if the pain is actually from an over-worked Liver!

    *“Problems” with the organs do not necessarily mean a disease (which would be treated by a Medical Doctor). An organ usually goes through a long state of ill-health and dysfunction BEFORE it becomes diseased. For example Gall Bladder stones…these are seen to develop over quite a period of time: starting as ‘sludge’ (basically a thickening of bile), then ‘gravel’ (granules developing), then increasing to ‘stones’.

    It is only when one of these stones that is too large to pass through the tiny duct, that acute pain is felt, and medical intervention is required; but there are usually subtle signs that the Gall Bladder is struggling to function properly…shoulder and neck pain and discomfort (see the Visceral Pain Referral Chart above) which doesn’t really improve with standard treatment, headaches, nausea with eating, and avoiding certain foods because they don’t “sit right”.

    Why might a Gall Bladder struggle?…One of the reasons could be that it lacks space from poor posture: the Gall Bladder sits below the diaphragm and tucked behind the ribs. A slouching posture compresses the abdominal organs, making their job much harder. In the case of the Gall bladder, its job is to store bile (a digestive juice) until it is needed, and then it ejects the bile into the tiny bile duct to go to the small intestine to help break fats down.

    A long history of poor posture has a very detrimental effect on the organs! A good Musculoskeletal Therapist is not just thinking about the aching back and neck; and the aesthetics with treating poor posture, for there is a much bigger and deeper domino effect going on on the inside of the body.

    Visceral Pain Referral Chart

    Miller-Keane Encyclopaedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health

  • how can an organ become restricted?


    Just like the musculoskeletal system, organs have ligaments and connective tissues that support and hold structures in the right place, but at the same time allow mobility. These connective tissues can become injured in overt incidents such as whiplash, car accidents, heavy falls etc; surgery; and internal infections which cause inflammation and scarring. The affected tissues become shortened, thickened and lack elasticity, preventing the full movement that organs need; and restricting the blood flow in and out of the organs. This results in a struggle for the organ to function properly. Also, a great many of the organs are directly attached to the skeleton, so a restricted organ causes restriction in the movement of the skeleton.



    For further information on Visceral Manipulation please visit :








    Foundations of Anatomy & Physiology. Ross & Wilson.

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