Friday, June 10, 2011


Most of us, one way or another experience pain. As an advocate of Manual Medicine, we refer that as "somatic pain". The term somatic relates to a body part and it can be on the environment. For 15 yrs that I almost lived in the hospital because of my mom's misconceptions on health, I had my little hypothesis that I'm bound with the doctors rigid protocols in terms of assessment and treatment. My id would scream at the back of my head "Hey, I know you feel maybe they missed on something they need to know that might point the whole puzzle about what's going on ".

2 yrs ago, I had the chance to learn something I could possibly incorporate with my practice in Physical Therapy. Most of us during our moments in clinical education, are bounded with what was written in the book (classical presentation, signs and symptoms, precipitating factors). In the real clinical world, it was always different one way or another. My favorite example; low back pain. There can be a lot of factors leading to that problem. It can be secondary to ligamentous strain, herniated disc, muscle imbalance, articulatory and sometimes the most subtle among these classical patterns, restricted organ. Yes, because at the level of the lumbar area has a pool of sympathetic ganglions and afferent pathways connected to the viscera. Any disruption of membrane in the viscera can also mimic symptoms of low back pain.  

Our visceral organs also encompass certain emotions that we kept for a reason. Negative emotions give signals to the viscera, which in turn causing it to contract as a form of body defense. Such contractions will lead to restriction later on affecting various organs in our body, referring pain to our shoulders, back, hip and groin.

Palpation on the viscera should not be painful, but if there is a tinge of sensation occur, possible cause is slight organ distention secondary to membrane restriction. If not well treated, it will arise on different abdominal problems like Crohns Disease, Diverticulitis to name a few. The following are the negative emotions connecting to specific organ of affectation:

HEART = remorse, duplicity, deceit, guilt, timidity, irritability

LUNGS = invalidated, smothered, bereavement

LIVER, GALL BLADDER = anger, irritability, jealousy, envy

STOMACH = worry, anxiety, emotional tension

SPLEEN = anxiety, worry, depression

COLON = deep anxiety, worry and insecurity 

KIDNEY = fear, fright, shock

Clinical Study was made in 1992 in Santa Ana, California by Gail Wetzler P.T on the effectiveness of Visceral Manipulation on Low Back Spinal Dysfunction. 30 subjects (28 females, 2 males) undergone VM treatment with age ranges 24-62 years. 53% have a history of abdominal surgery. They were treated for 3 months and noted a drop of 4-6 from their original pain scale compared to no VM. Increase in LB ROM was also noted. The study concluded that lowback spinal dysfunction can also be resolve by Visceral Manipulation.

While some researchers are crunching up some numbers on the usual gold standards. I invite other clinicians to be defiant  and be aware of other science that could be useful in the revolution of the Medical Arena and preserve mankind.


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