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Visceral Massage: Massage Therapy for Your Internal Organs

Internal Organ Massage for Pain Relief

Most of your internal organs are muscular tubes or muscular sacs. Internal organs have involuntary muscle, aka smooth muscle. You can't voluntarily control them, but muscular organs can hold tension, just like skeletal muscle. Muscular organs include: small intestine, large intestine, stomach, bladder, gall bladder, heart, spleen, uterus. Tension in the viscera (internal organs) can cause abdominal pain, back pain, hip/leg pain, migraines, or pain anywhere. Trigger points can form in the tense muscle fibers, creating tension and/or referred pain in any other part of the body.

Non-muscular organs can become hardened. Internal organs can form adhesions: small fibers that abnormally attach structures that should be separate.

The liver is often hardened and adhered to the respiratory diaphragm. Releasing the adhesions allows the diaphragm to move more easily, so breathing deepens. Liver function may improve as well. The liver and gall bladder can have trigger points that refer pain to the neck and shoulders.

Massage
Massage of the liver

Non-muscular organs (kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas) can became hardened. This probably inhibits blood flow. Organs can form trigger points, referring pain and/or tension elsewhere. Viscera can became stuck together (adhesions), inhibiting their movements. They can become stuck to the diaphragm, ribs, pelvis, and spine. Organs are supposed to slide up/down with each breath, getting a little massage each time you breathe. Tense, hardened, glued- together viscera cement you into postural distortion: upper body stooped forward, low back deeply curved, one shoulder pulled down, etc.

How Visceral Massage is Done

Abdominal muscles are massaged first, until they're relaxed enough to permit massage of the organs. Viscera are then massaged to relieve tension, and to gradually separate adhesions. No sudden movements are used. Lying with your knees and hips bent creates slack in the abdominal muscles, allowing deeper treatment.

Visible Results of Visceral Massage

You'll see in a mirror the distortion in your posture before, and the improvement after. Knock-knees and bow-legs usually become straighter. Protruding abdomens (pot-bellies) flatten. The low back flattens. Your pelvis becomes less tipped forward. The body lengthens. The chest lifts. You'll breathe deeper.

How Did My Internal Organs Get So Tense?

Caffeine makes every muscle in your body tense, including the involuntary muscles in the viscera.
Negative emotions and emotional tension make the viscera become tense.
Food allergies can make the viscera tense and/or hardened. Alcohol and other drugs and toxins make the liver become hardened.
Infections and parasites can make gut tense. Sitting for many hours, especially in bad chairs, can worsen abdominal tension.
Sit-ups, crunches and other abdominal exercises can make the internal organs become tense.
Trauma (accidents, injuries, surgeries) creates tension in the viscera. Even if it's not an injury to the abdomen; the internal organs often become tense after injuries to other parts of the body.
Adhesions Immobility, injury, and inflammation can result in adhesions: layers of tissue becoming glued together. Surgery can create adhesions and scar tissue.

Terminology

Adhesions
Abnormal fibrous attachment of bodily tissues, most common in the abdomen.
Involuntary muscle
Contracts without conscious control; smooth muscle, found in walls of blood vessels and internal organs (except heart: cardiac muscle).
Thorax
Portion of the trunk between the neck and the diaphragm.
Viscera
Internal organs of the abdomen and thorax; guts; innards.
Voluntary muscle
Muscle that can be controlled voluntarily. Striated muscle. Skeletal muscle; attaches to bones via tendons.

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