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  • Writer's pictureEduardo Picasso

Visceral Osteopathy and the importance of the liver


The liver has an average weight of 1500 g, it is located in the upper right part of the abdomen, below the diaphragm, it secretes bile essential for the digestion of fats, it also has many other functions, storage of vitamins and detoxification function. Dorsalgia (pain in the middle back) and cervicalgia (neck pain) are common and are caused by liver dysfunction. It is important to be clear that we speak of liver dysfunction from an osteopathic point of view: we refer to dysfunction as loss of mobility, not liver disease. These dysfunctions frequently have an origin in poor nutrition and negative emotions, more specifically anger or rage (this has been corroborated by Chinese medicine thousands of years ago, and osteopaths can corroborate it through palpation). The loss of mobility of the liver interferes with the balance of the organism through mechanical relationships (the tissue that surrounds the liver “pulls” other structures) and through reflex relationships (distant pain due to irritation or nerve overload). MECHANICAL RELATIONS: The liver is surrounded by a fibrous membrane, called Glisson's capsule, which connects it upwards with the diaphragm (inspiratory muscle) and downwards with the peritoneum (a large bag of fibrous tissue that surrounds all the abdominal viscera). Through the connective tissue, these tensions are transmitted both upwards and downwards, generating mechanical imbalances. REFLECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS: The phrenic nerve innervates the fibrous membrane that surrounds the liver (glisson's capsule); This nerve arises from the cervical spine (neck area), and can reflexively generate cervicalgia (neck pain). The phrenic nerve also innervates the capsule of the shoulder joint, and can cause pain in them. For all of the above, the visceral approach is fundamental within osteopathic treatment, since the organs and their tissues can generate dysfunctions and imbalances in the body system.

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