Myofascial, Craniosacral, Visceral Manipulation and Treatment

We view the treatment of the myofascial, craniosacral, and visceral systems as a whole body approach. The goal is to restore the body’s equilibrium in each of the systems, resulting in optimal function of the body. Your therapist will encourage you to become aware of the sensations occurring in your body before, during, and after treatment. You will be encouraged to allow your body to unwind or naturally move as the fascial tissues are released.

Expression of emotions experienced during or after your treatment session is also encouraged. Often with the release of emotions, the restrictions in the system will also release, resulting in pain relief.

Amy Molzen-Stuke working with a patient

Myofascial Release (MFR)

Myofascial release (MFR) is a hands-on approach of evaluating and treating facial restrictions. Fascia is connective tissue that is continuous from head to toe covering every bone, muscle, organ, nerve, artery, and vein in the body. It connects all parts of the body. Myofascial tissue normally has a very high water content which allows it and the tissue it surrounds to move freely. When we experience trauma, such as a fall, surgery, or other insult to the body, the water content reduces significantly and the fascia becomes tight and restricted. The result is increased tension/load on other systems in the body, such as the muscles and nerves, causing pain in areas of the body that may be far away from the original site of injury. By applying gentle sustained pressure and stretches to the fascial restriction, it releases the tissue and improves its water content. The result is decreased pain and improved mobility.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST)

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle hands on technique to restore normal position and motion of the bones of the skull, spine and sacrum, and to restore cerebrospinal fluid flow.

The body’s craniosacral system includes the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the cranium (head) to the sacrum (tailbone). The cerebrospinal fluid circulates through the brain and spinal cord at a rate of 6 to 12 cycles per minute and is called the craniosacral rhythm. This craniosacral rhythm can be felt through gentle touch and can lead the therapist to restrictions in the body. Restrictions in the membranes of this system can affect the central nervous system and other systems in the body.

Contracture in the soft tissues at the skull and spinal cord can restrict the flow in the craniosacral system. CST uses the craniosacral rhythm and system as a guide to correct restrictions and to facilitate optimal craniosacral function to. The result is improvement in pain and function.

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral manipulation is a technique focusing on gentle mobilization of internal organs and their fascial connections to promote synchronized movement between the organs and structures. Viscera are the soft internal organs of the body (such as the liver and bladder). These organs have a natural rhythm and motion and are intended to move in harmony with each other. When organs are out of synchronicity with other organs and tissues, it not only affects the optimal performance of the organ itself, but it also affects the surrounding tissue that is connected to the organ through the fascial system. This can lead to pain in areas far from the area in the body where the organ lies.

By using visceral manipulation, our physical therapists can improve mobility of the connective tissue to help improve organ mobility and function. This can result in decreased pain in areas of the body affected by the organ and promote the body’s natural healing process.

Our Treatment Philosophy

All patients receive a thorough musculoskeletal evaluation that includes assessment of your posture, muscle imbalances, biomechanics, and joint mobility to identify areas contributing to your symptoms.

We specialize in manual therapy, which is a hands-on approach combining traditional physical therapy techniques of joint mobilization, muscle energy, and soft tissue mobilization with myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, and visceral manipulation. The goal of manual therapy is to optimize tissue and joint mobility to facilitate an optimal healing environment for the body.

An individualized therapeutic exercise program will be given based on problems identified in the evaluation and treatment sessions. This may include exercises to address muscular imbalances of strength, stability, and/or flexibility. Education in posture and body mechanics will also be given to reduce daily tissue stress throughout the body along with home self treatment techniques to assist in pain management.