Manual Therapy for the Abdominal Wall allows practitioners to review how everything interplays within the myofascial system and apply specific techniques. These techniques include how to assess the tissue for mobility, how to treat tissues that are restricted in the abdominal wall, and how to treat scar tissue. How do we help somebody who can’t lay flat because their abdominal wall has become restricted for so long because of possible pain? Possibly due to surgery. Possibly due to fear. How do we help those patients get back to function?
Over the past 10 plus years of teaching the pelvic series with Herman & Wallace, Tina Allen noticed that for some of the participants there was a gap in confidence in palpation skills and treatment techniques applied to the pelvic floor region. For most, it’s confidence in where they are and what they are feeling on the patient. Manual Therapy for the Abdominal Wall came out of wanting to fill that gap. This course is really about taking some of those skills and then applying them to the abdominal wall.
Abdominal pain can arise from many origins including abdominal scars, endometriosis, IC/PBS, and abdominal wall restrictions that impact pelvic girdle dysfunction. An older study, back in 2007 by Geoff Harding focused on back, chest, and abdominal pain and whether it was spinal referred pain and employed manual therapy as part of his treatments for his case studies. Harding found that “More specific treatment of the origin of the pain may then include manual therapy, including mobilization (gentle rhythmic movement), … applied to the affected segment can be very effective in reducing movement restriction – and pain. These simple treatments were used in all three case studies to good effect.” (1)
This research was supported by Rice et al. in 2013 when their research on non-surgical treatment of adhesion-related small bowel obstructions showed that “those patients who underwent the manual therapy demonstrated increased range of motion … and an early return to normal activities of daily living simply enhanced the benefits.” (2) Manual therapy has no recovery time and allows patients to recover and participate in daily activities while promoting the return of normal tissue function, range of motion, and increased blood flow.
Tina Allen explains that manual therapy is about “asking for permission to touch and using our hands to help the patient integrate into their system again. The patient may not realize that they’ve been holding, that there is tension or rigidity in the tissues.” Tina continues to share that “for me, manual therapy fits in to help folks realize, or feel, what’s happening in their body again. And then allowing them to make that change. I use manual therapy to allow a patient to move better. To become more aware in their body.” The full interview with Tina can be viewed below or on the Herman & Wallace YouTube Channel.
Manual Therapy for the Abdominal Wall is a beginner-level class and is filled with practitioners just beginning their pelvic floor journey through experienced clinicians taking the course to learn something new. The techniques instructed by Tina Allen are immediately applicable in the clinic. Course dates for 2022 include: