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Osteopathy for Digestive Health: How to Balance the Gut Naturally

Often overlooked, digestive health is in fact a critical factor in your overall well-being. Many people suffer from digestive problems, ranging from common issues like acid reflux to more complex conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

In this article, we will explore the connection between osteopathy and digestive health, focusing on how Visceral Osteopathy can be a natural and effective solution for those suffering with digestive problems.

What is digestive health?

When we talk about ‘digestive health’ we’re talking about your digestive system and how it affects the rest of your body and day-to-day health. Your digestive system turns the food you eat into the simpler forms your body needs to absorb, like glucose, protein, amino acids, or fatty acids. It breaks these foods down, absorbing the nutrients, producing energy, and then gets rid of what it doesn’t need.

If your digestion system isn’t healthy, it might not be absorbing the right nutrients or the amount of nutrients it needs. It can also lead to symptoms of stomach pain from diarrhoea or constipation, weight changes, irregularities in blood sugar levels, and imbalances in the gut biome.

Types of digestive problems

Digestive problems can manifest in various ways, affecting everyone slightly differently. Some common digestive issues include:

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

IBS is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder, with symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. It affects millions of people worldwide (10-15% of people suffer with IBS across the world) and can significantly impact their quality of life.

IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

IBD encompasses chronic inflammatory conditions of the GI tract, with two primary forms: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions involve inflammation and damage to the digestive tract lining.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, causing symptoms like heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain.

Dietary Intolerances

Certain individuals may experience digestive issues due to dietary intolerances, such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity.

What is Visceral Osteopathy?

Visceral Osteopathy is a branch of osteopathy that focuses on the manipulation and balancing of the internal organs, with the belief that imbalances in the visceral system can contribute to various health issues, including digestive problems.

The primary goal of Visceral Osteopathy is to improve the function and mobility of the internal organs. Osteopaths specialising in this field use gentle, hands-on techniques to release tension, improve blood flow, and promote overall organ health.

Can Visceral Osteopathy help with digestive problems?

Visceral Osteopathy operates on the idea that the body functions as a holistic unit, and disruptions in one area can impact the entire system. Osteopaths specialising in visceral techniques use gentle and precise manipulations to address restrictions and imbalances within the internal organs. By enhancing the mobility and function of the organs, Visceral Osteopathy restores balance to the digestive system.

Can Osteopaths help IBS?

Studies have shown a potential link between osteopathy and IBS relief. The National Library of Medicine claimed ‘Osteopathic therapy is a promising alternative in the treatment of patients with IBS’ with 68% of IBS patients treated with osteopathy reporting ‘definite overall improvement’ with a further 27% showing ‘slight improvement’

1. Releasing tension

Osteopaths use gentle, hands-on techniques to identify and release tension in the fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds and supports organs. Tension in the fascia can contribute to restrictions and hinder the normal movement of organs, affecting digestive function.

2. Improved organ mobility

The manipulation techniques used by Osteopaths aim to improve the mobility of internal organs. Improved organ mobility can positively impact their function, helping to alleviate issues related to digestion and promoting overall organ health.

3. Enhanced blood flow

By addressing restrictions and improving mobility, Visceral Osteopathy can enhance blood flow to the internal organs. Improved blood circulation ensures that organs receive a proper supply of oxygen and nutrients, contributing to their optimal function.

4. Addressing specific conditions

For conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, and certain cases of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Visceral Osteopathy can provide targeted treatments. The gentle manipulations can address specific issues related to these conditions, potentially reducing symptoms and improving overall well-being.

5. Complementary support for medical treatments

Visceral Osteopathy is often used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medical treatments. While it may not be a standalone solution for certain digestive conditions, it can provide additional support and contribute to a more comprehensive approach to healthcare.

6. Managing stress-related digestive issues

Stress can significantly impact digestive health. Visceral Osteopathy’s focus on relaxation and balancing the nervous system may be particularly beneficial for individuals whose digestive problems are influenced by stress.

In conclusion, the connection between osteopathy and digestive health, particularly through Visceral Osteopathy, offers a promising avenue for those seeking non-medical solutions to digestive problems. Research shows the potential effectiveness of osteopathic treatments, making them a suitable option for patients looking to address the root causes of their digestive issues.

If you are struggling with digestive problems, schedule a consultation with our experienced osteopath today to begin your journey towards a healthier, balanced gut.

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