Visceral Manipulation

This is a cool, personal story I have to share because I feel like many people could relate to it. And it’s just fascinating to continuously learn how connected our body really is. Those of you that have been following me for a while know that my passion for visceral (organ) manipulation stems from personal experience. Which is why I incorporate it into my physical therapy practice. I met Maureen Phifer from Natural Health & Wellness at a local Denver event and then because of our shared love for gut health we did a treatment trade. She tried the visceral mobility, loving the effects that it had on her entire system. And I tried colonics!

I have to say the idea of it made me a little weary because it’s hard to envision the process. But the science behind it makes sense and talking to Maureen made it easy to say yes. Maureen made the entire experience comfortable, giving privacy and as much information about the process as  I wanted. I highly recommend her for her expertise, professionalism, and healing attitude. I will spare the other details of my experience so you don’t have to hear about my poop:)

I want to back up and say that for about 6 years now I’ve noticed that the right side of my spine/ribcage is always locked up. Mobility & adjustments are usually a temporary fix. Gut mobility seems to help the most and I can always feel stiffness in my abdomen on the right side (which was where my original problem was with gluten). The weirdest thing I found out once I started CrossFit 6 years ago was that the right side of my abdomen/hip flexor would cramp/weaken during high intensity workouts (so all of them haha).  Talk about frustrating. I remember 2 years ago doing toes 2 bar in the open, only being able to hit my left foot to the bar and not my right. True story it was ugly.

Back to the colonic experience. The second I was back in my car I felt the most amazing adjustment in the right side of my thoracic spine. Something I had never felt before. I was suddenly able to breathe better. And move better. My analysis: my large intestine was not moving in a healthy way to allow my spine and ribcage to release. See the image below to see how close the large intestine (larger tube looking thing that ends at the anus) is the the ribcage and spine. So the stiffness in my large intestine was causing stiffness in the surrounding tissue and not allowing muscles like my abdominals and psoas to function properly during exercise. And you can see how close it all is to the diaphragm which lies right underneath the bottom of the ribcage. So by clearing out some of my large intestine I was able to get some normal movement in my gut allowing my body to return to a more normal resting position! So cool. This is why I love the human body.


This is just another thing to ponder if you’re struggling with mobility issues that keep coming back no matter how hard you work on it. Maybe colonics is worth a shot, in addition to some visceral mobilization. If you want more info on visceral mobilization check out this website (great review of research here: VM and NM Research Summaries). I’m constantly learning that health and wellness come from a multitude of expertise. Especially if you’re looking to have it in the long run. Which is why I love meeting people like Maureen to be able to refer to so we can have a multidisciplinary approach of health for our patients. Nobody knows it all or should know it all, so why not work together with like minded professionals:)

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