Our Treatments

Visceral Osteopathic Technique (VOT)

Dr Bramati-Castellarin uses visceral osteopathic techniques in a holistic manner, aiming to re-establish good health. These techniques are low-invasive and may be used in all age groups. To book an assessment please call 0207 792 4499 or use our online booking service.


The awareness of visceral Osteopathic treatment is not yet widely spread. Some people are aware that Psychological stresses may potentially threaten GI homeostasis by affecting the gut-brain axis, consequently becoming a precursor of functional GI diseases, such as IBDs and IBS. Konturek et al. (2011) state that several areas of gut physiology could be affected by stress, including gut mobility, GI secretion, gut permeability, blood flow in the gut mucosa, and visceral sensitivity. These factors were also implicated in a study on the effects of stress on functional dyspepsia, where the authors suggested that psychological distress is directly linked to GI symptoms (Aro et al., 2009). According to Blomhoff et al. (2001), the co-morbidity of the GI system and anxiety has a direct effect on severity and duration of IBS symptoms, possibly explaining the mind and body relationship. Blomhoff et al. (2001), showed that increased activity in the gut-brain axis affects the ENS and the CNS nerve receptors and it seems that phobic anxiety hyper-activates the visceral frontal region of the cortex influencing IBS symptomatology (Blomhoff et al., 2001). The gut-brain axis has also been proposed in a recent study where depression-like symptoms were induced in mice. According to Park et al. (2013), symptoms of depression alter both colonic motor activity and the microbial profile, most likely via the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.

Visceral osteopathy is used to optimise blood and lymphatic supply to the internal organs. The viscera are a collection of organs in the abdominal cavity that generally respond to the internal physiological motion guided by the involuntary movement of the diaphragm in respiration; the internal motility of the viscera such as peristaltic movement; cardiac movement and blood and lymph circulation; and via skeletal movement such as walking, running or exercising (Barral and Mercier, 2006, Barral and Mercier, 2007, Stone, 1999). This motion and motility and the influence on the viscera is constantly present throughout life.

A recent study on the effectiveness of visceral osteopathic techniques (VOTs) was performed on IBS patients with positive results. Attali et al. (2013) considered 31 IBS patients in a randomized cross-over placebo controlled study. The qualitative effects of depression, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal distension and abdominal pain using visual analogue scales (VAS), and rectal sensitivity using a distension balloon, before and after treatment were evaluated. The treatment group received general visceral osteopathy sessions as well as locally applied techniques in specifically sensitive areas of the abdomen and gentle manipulation to the sacral area. The placebo group received treatment in the same areas of the abdomen with a light, non-therapeutic, pressure. The authors reported that VOT ameliorates diarrhoea, abdominal distension and pain as well as rectal sensitivity. The positive effects of the therapy were long lasting and the symptom scores continued to be low at one year follow-up with no further treatment Attali et al. (2013).


Aro, P., Talley, N. J., Ronkainen, J., Storskrubb, T., Vieth, M., Johansson, S. E., . . . Agreus, L. (2009). Anxiety is associated with uninvestigated and functional dyspepsia (Rome III criteria) in a Swedish population-based study. Gastroenterology, 137(1), 94-100. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2009.03.039

Attali, T. V., Bouchoucha, M., & Benamouzig, R. (2013). Treatment of refractory irritable bowel syndrome with visceral osteopathy: short-term and long-term results of a randomized trial. J Dig Dis, 14(12), 654-661. doi:10.1111/1751-2980.12098

Barral, J., & Mercier, P. (2006). Visceral Manipulation (Revised Edition): Eastland Press.

Blomhoff, S., Spetalen, S., Jacobsen, M. B., & Malt, U. F. (2001). Phobic anxiety changes the function of brain-gut axis in irritable bowel syndrome. Psychosom Med, 63(6), 959-965.

Bove, G. M., & Chapelle, S. L. (2012). Visceral mobilization can lyse and prevent peritoneal adhesions in a rat model. J Bodyw Mov Ther, 16(1), 76-82. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2011.02.004

Chapelle, S. L., & Bove, G. M. (2013). Visceral massage reduces postoperative ileus in a rat model. J Bodyw Mov Ther, 17(1), 83-88. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2012.05.004

Hundscheid, H. W., Pepels, M. J., Engels, L. G., & Loffeld, R. J. (2007). Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with osteopathy: results of a randomized controlled pilot study. J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 22(9), 1394-1398. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1746.2006.04741.x

Konturek, P. C., Brzozowski, T., & Konturek, S. J. (2011). Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. J Physiol Pharmacol, 62(6), 591-599.

Park, A. J., Collins, J., Blennerhassett, P. A., Ghia, J. E., Verdu, E. F., Bercik, P., & Collins, S. M. (2013). Altered colonic function and microbiota profile in a mouse model of chronic depression. Neurogastroenterol Motil. doi:10.1111/nmo.12153

Text Extracted from Dr Ioná Bramati-Castellarin PhD Thesis entitled:

‘Effectiveness of visceral osteopathic treatment on Gastrointestinal Indicators and behaviour patterns in autistic children; using questionnaire and biochemical markers to measure outcomes.’

Copyright © 2014 – IBCcare – Dr Ioná Bramati-Castellarin

All rights reserved

We are happy to share the original article published in the Daily Mail this week, regarding IBC Care’s approach to VOT.  The title is quite misleading and the detail around obtaining a flat belly is not factually correct – something we are now addressing with the Mail directly.   We hope you find the main thrust of this feature engaging and informative however, and will share the new version once it goes live.
Sincerely IBC Care Communications 
Osteopathy in Pregnancy

Osteopathic treatment may help the body to adapt and make the pregnancy much more comfortable.

Osteopathy for Children

Osteopathic treatment using the cranial approach is very gentle, safe and effective in the treatment of babies and children.

Visceral Osteopathic Technique (VOT)

IBC Care uses visceral osteopathic techniques in a holistic manner, aiming to re-establish good health. These techniques are low-invasive and may be used in all age groups.

IBC Care offers general osteopathy, visceral osteopathy, osteopathic care for pregnant women & children as well as Naturopathic Treatment - Functional Medicine Approach.

  • Hours and Services
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    Pre-treatment online consultation (compulsory prior to the first Face-to-Face consultation) – Monday & Wednesday: 2pm – 6pm

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