Visceral Mobilizations for Sexual Function in Men

By Shannon Strauch, PTA, STMT-1 on 1/15/2024

visceral mob

Visceral mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves the gentle manipulation of the internal organs to improve their mobility and function.

The internal organs in the human body are covered and protected by a membranous structure known as the visceral or serous membranes. These membranes are part of the larger serous membrane system that lines various body cavities and covers the organs within them. The two main types of serous membranes are the parietal and visceral layers.

  1. Parietal Layer:

    This layer lines the walls of the body cavities. For example, the parietal peritoneum lines the abdominal cavity, the parietal pleura lines the thoracic cavity, and the parietal pericardium lines the pericardial cavity around the heart.

  2. Visceral Layer:

    This layer covers the organs within the body cavities. For instance, the visceral peritoneum covers the abdominal organs, the visceral pleura covers the lungs, and the visceral pericardium covers the heart.

Between the parietal and visceral layers, there is a small space called the serous cavity. This cavity contains a lubricating fluid known as serous fluid, which helps reduce friction between the layers, allowing smooth movement of organs within the cavities.

These membranes play a crucial role in protecting and allowing the proper function of internal organs. When these membranes get stuck or sticky, the normal degree of movement that should be occurring in your organs gets disrupted. By releasing tension and restrictions, Visceral Mobilization or Manipulation can help alleviate symptoms such as pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, constipation, and sexual dysfunction.

For example, the liver, intestines, and the left kidney are closely related to the urogenital system. Restrictions in any of these areas can cause pelvic pain or pelvic congestion, especially of the prostate, affecting both urinary and sexual function. Post-prostectomy men can experience a shortening of the penis due to removal of part of the urethra, which can cause painful erections. Constipation putting pressure on the bladder and anterior wall of the male pelvic floor can also cause sexual issues, such as erectile dysfunction.

Performing Visceral work also has an effect on the nervous system, often times making mobilizations or manipulations of other areas more tolerance due to the down-training of the nervous system.

Visceral manipulation pelvic floor therapy involves a variety of techniques to address the specific needs of each patient. These may include manual manipulation of the pelvic organs, soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, and stretching exercises. This combination can provide a more comprehensive approach to treating pelvic floor dysfunction, as each modality targets different aspects of pelvic floor health

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