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Amanda Coleman LMP
3400 Harbor Ave SW

Box 401 Suite 407

Seattle, WA 98126


Find a practitioner >Washington > Amanda Coleman > Articles > New Paths to the Core

New Paths to the core: Visceral Manipulation joins Soma

I’m very excited to introduce a new method of Structural Integration(Structural Integration, or SI, is the umbrella term for methods such as Soma, Hellerwork, and Rolfing that seek to balance and reorganize the body in the field of gravity). The method was shared with me by Jeffrey Burch, a Rolfer who has been using a method known as "Visceral Manipulation", a method he learned from Jean-Pierre Barral, a French osteopath.

Burch realized that he could use Visceral Manipulation, or VM, to achieve the same results of classic Structural Integration with more precision, less force and less discomfort than other techniques.

Less force and less discomfort has long been a goal of Soma work as an SI modality, so it fits in very nicely with my practice. VM allows me to assess and treat organs in the visceral/abdominal area, but is actually much broader in scope. I can use the assessment and treatment techniques to treat any structure of the body: membranes, blood vessels, nerves, bones, as well as pelvic and chest organs, and the brain!


Why work on these things? Beyond the fact that “it’s all connected”, there is much to be gained by being able to address root causes. This is another tenet of my practice that I am now able to pursue to a much deeper level. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’ve had pneumonia. The pleural membranes that surround and support the lungs become less elastic and can adhere to nearby structures as they heal from the inflammation. Now these membranes are suspended, via other membranes, from the vertebrae of the neck. With the membrane of the lung pleura less flexible, the vertebrae themselves now get pulled out of alignment with movement, leading to neck pain and decreased range of motion. These tensions can also affect the scalene muscles above the collarbones, causing them to impinge on the nerves running to the arms. A history of severe respiratory illness is a known risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injuries of the upper arm. Now you can understand why this is so.


By having a method that can work directly at the site of the original trauma, rather than only being able to work “farther down the compensation ladder” I can now address these underlying problems that have caused the fascia and musculature to get tight and restricted in the first place. In many areas, further work on the fascia is unnecessary, as the tissue simply “lets go” now that the bracing of the injured site is no longer required.


Those of you who have been to see me in the last 3 years have been getting a taste of the new work, and I’d love to hear your comments about the some of the changes. I’ve been extremely pleased so far in the change I’m seeing in people’s bodies. And if you’d like to check it out, or if you know someone who might benefit, come on over. This method is also easier to use outside of the 11 session process, enabling me to work with people with more limited time or budgets.



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