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Services: Visceral Manipulation

New Visceral Manipulation and Viscero-Emotional work with Wilson Shook, LMP

visceral manipulation

Over the past few years, I have increasingly made Visceral Manipulation
<http://www.barralinstitute.com/therapies/index.php> the core of my approach to the body.  I believe that working with the organs and their associated structures is the surest way to encourage whole-body healing, and to achieve lasting benefits from our work together.  By assisting the body in working through its internalized responses to physical and emotional trauma, illness, surgery, or hereditary challenges, VM works with the often neglected root causes of chronic injury, structural imbalance and dysfunction.



I have spent a great deal of time studying this work, and have made a conscientious effort to integrate it into my practice, even with folks who may not have specifically sought it out or knew of its existence.  More often than not, when someone comes to see me for run-of-the-mill neck or back pain, or work-related injury, and I introduce the idea of working with the viscera, I see a lightbulb turn on for them, and a whole range of connections and possibilities open up that they didn’t even know could be helped by a manual therapy approach.  I have been honored and humbled to work safely and productively with trauma and the residual effects of injuries, illnesses, and surgeries that folks have carried around with them for their whole lives.  Any of these experiences leaves its mark on the body, and can show up in unexpected ways even years down the line – the goal of Visceral Manipulation is not to erase these experiences, but to help the body restore its ability to compensate efficiently when it has gotten too far off balance.  A skilled VM practitioner can accurately and quickly identify the structures involved, and work with gentle, precise techniques to release tension, improve function and lighten the emotional load of the tissues.



Most recently, I traveled to Denver for a course with physical therapist Gail Wetzler <http://www.iahp.com/GailWetzler/> called “Manual Thermal
Evaluation and Intro to Viscero-Emotional”.  Manual Thermal Evaluation refers to a technique of using the hand to feel for radiation off the body (the hand is held a few inches from the skin).  Different intensities and kinds of radiation indicate the condition of the underlying organs, bones, vasculature, nervous tissue, etc.  My instructor compared MTE to using a stud finder on your wall – though with quite a bit more nuance.  (I have been unsuccessful so far at finding wall studs by MTE, but I will keep trying).  I *have* however found MTE especially helpful in differentiating different sorts of restriction in the tissues – not just determining where the problem is, but whether it primarily structural, functional or emotional.  The answer to this question helps me choose the best approach, and MTE is a quick and non-invasive tool for making that assessment.


The other aspect of the class deals with the emotional content of visceral restrictions.  Most people are aware on some level that emotions can be stored in the body, not just the brain (and not just the heart, either). Particular organs may respond to stress or other stimuli in ways that mimic dysfunction in the organ, even though there may be nothing otherwise wrong with it.  Likewise, physical experiences often trigger distinct memories or emotions.  These kinds of reactions may indicate a viscero-emotional restriction.  Treating it effectively requires a different approach than if the problem were strictly structural or functional.  Again, the goal is not to eliminate these memories, but to support the body’s ability to cope in ways that don’t cause additional difficulty.


In addition to the manual techniques that many of you are already familiar with from our sessions, viscero-emotional work involves working with the brain – similar in some ways to cranio-sacral work – establishing a physical and energetic connection from the brain, down through the body to the targeted organ, and working to release the restriction with a series of gentle cranial techniques.  The sequence takes about 10-15 minutes, so it can be incorporated easily into a session.  Introducing these techniques into my work has been interesting and rewarding, to say the least!

Visceral Manipulation can be scheduled during any of Wilson's available slots, and is generally covered by insurance if your insurance otherwise covers massage.  Please see http://unioncenterforhealing.com/yourfirstvisit/insurance.html to learn more about billing insurance.  Appointments may be scheduled here: https://unioncenterforhealing.fullslate.com/services/2929 or by calling the center.