gastrointestinal relief

Commitment to Professional Growth

The therapists at Synergy are committed to advancing our level of care for the benefit of our patients.  Over the past year, our staff completed courses in the Myokinesthetic System of treatment, the use of Pilates for treating scoliosis, John Barnes Myofascial Release classes, and an Orthopedic Certification for one of our Physical Therapist Assistants.  We are pleased to announce that physical therapist, Mandy Etcheverry, recently completed the 6th and final module of the Visceral Manipulation core curriculum at the Barral Institute.  Visceral manipulation is a manual therapy that utilizes very gentle touch to restore normal mobility and motility to the organs of the body.  While most therapists are very familiar and quite skilled in the performance of joint and muscle mobilization, few therapists have had any exposure to the techniques of visceral manipulation.  It takes about 2-3 years to attend all 6 modules of the VM curriculum.  Each course typically lasts 3-5 days.  Following each course, you attend workshops to practice the recently gained skills and compare your competency to your peers.  These skills are then utilized in patient care for numerous conditions to provide pain relief and/or gastrointestinal relief by resolving organ dysfunction.  The completion of the six core courses of visceral manipulation (VM) represents the dedication that Ms. Etcheverry has to her profession and patients, and her commitment to personal growth.

What does visceral manipulation have to do with gastrointestinal relief?

As we stated earlier, the visceral manipulation curriculum (VM) is made up of 6 separate modules.  VM 1 and 2 focus on the abdomen, which includes anatomical and biomechanical study of the liver, kidneys, gall bladder, bile duct, pancreas, spleen, greater omentum, stomach, peritoneum, the intestines, and all associated suspensory tissues.  Students learn manual skills to locate, evaluate, and normalize primary areas of dysfunction within the abdominal cavity.   Practitioners are taught to examine the relationship of organs and structural or neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction.  Through intense, supervised, hands-on sessions, students learn specific techniques for locating and evaluating each organ, along with the effects and contradindications of each.

VM 3 advances the knowledge gained in VM1 and VM2 with study of the the relationship between functional and structural mechanics of the pelvis.  The organ systems of the pelvic cavity are evaluated and treated as necessary, including the integration of the pelvic organs with the complex ligament systems of that body region.  Techniques to differentiate between somatic and visceral causes for pelvic and low back problems are developed.

VM 4 explores the visceral fascia of the throat and thoracic cavity.  Like all previous classes, the anatomy, biomechanics and function of the organs are reviewed.  Techniques are learned to differentiate between somatic and visceral causes for thoracic and spinal problems.  Special focus on the pleura, lungs, pericardium, heart, mediastinum, thyroid, trachea, esophagus, sternum, rib cage and thoracic plexuses.

VM5 and VM6 review all of the material learned in VM1-VM4 as new techniques are learned for treating the cavities of the body.  Practitioners learn about the connection between emotions and dysfunctions in the body and methods to determine if emotion is 0%, 1%, or 100% of the problem. .  Students are further encouraged to discover the scientific understanding of body heat, and the clinical significance of changes in surface temperatures.  Using manual thermal evaluation, skills are developed to find restrictions and organ dysfunction in the body.  Therapists learn how to help the body discharge stored emotional energy with precision.  Practice working with energy loss, locating structural restrictions contributing to pain, and managing a therapeutic session.

What does this mean for our patients?

The skills obtained through this curriculum have elevated Ms. Etcheverry’s already high level care to that of an extraordinary, healing physical therapist.  Ms. Etcheverry’s services are available in our office 2-3 days weekly.  Rather than seeking gastrointestinal relief or relief of spine pain from expensive medications or procedures, we encourage you and your physician to consider visceral manipulation as a treatment.  We do not accept insurance payment for visceral manipulation due to the extensive education and cost required to accomplish this level of skill and the low level of reimbursement we receive from most insurances.  Before you let the cost of visceral manipulation services dissuade you from reading any further, there is something that should be pointed out.  Unlike typical physical therapy programs that require 2-3 visits per week, visceral manipulation is performed only 1x every 1-2 weeks.  Compared to the potential costs of hospitalization, medications, diagnostic exams, and medical services that may produce little results, the cost is quite economical.

A visceral manipulation session typically lasts up to an hour.  You should not expect a vigorous massage and your session may focus only on 1 part of the body.  Benefit is often experienced immediately.  Our patients have experienced gastrointestinal relief of constipation and diarrhea, improvements in digestion, neck and back pain relief, and improvement of overall health as noted by increased energy level, color, and vigor.  Please give us a call if you would like to learn more about this service and how it may benefit you and your condition.


Mandy Etcheverry, PT, MS

Mandy Etcheverry, PT, MS

Physical Therapist, Pilates for Rehabilitation, Visceral Manipulation

Mandy Etcheverry graduated with a dual degree in exercise science/cardiac rehabilitation from Ithaca College in 1997.  She continued her studies in the Netherlands where she graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy in 1999.  She has developed expertise in manual therapy in visceral manipulation and craniosacral therapy at the Upledger Institute.  Ms. Etcheverry is also an expert in movement analysis and restoration.  She completed the Stott Pilates advanced certification and is an avid instructor and educator in the Pilates method for rehabilitation.

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