The effect of visceral manipulation on Diastasis Recti – with commentary by Tom Myers

Editor’s note: Tom Myers is commenting on this article from the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy (JBMT), titled The effect of visceral manipulation on Diastatis Recti Abdominis (DRA) by Brandi Kirk and Teresa Elliot-Burke 

I am happy to see JBMT recognizing the role of visceral manipulation in treating lumbopelvic pain and the after-effects of birth. All the exercise regimes are helpful to restore proper tone around the abdomen – I especially respect the work of Diane Lee and also, on a more accessible level, Katy Bowman in this regard. Less attention has been paid to the organs behind the abdominal wall. Normally these organs swing freely from the back and diaphragm, but can, in cases of surgical intervention or merely a difficult birth, or a prior history of endometriosis, develop adhesions between the oran fasciae and the peritoneal membrane on the back of the transversus abdominis.

The exercise component would then come into the treatment plan once the adhesions are loosened. I doubt that Visceral Manipulation can do much to restore proper tone, which is a factor in almost all diastasis cases. But the reverse is also true: an all-exercise program that leaves the visceral adhesions (if they are there) in place will not succeed in getting the new mother out of pain or back to full function. Include, include, include.