I’ve been seeing a lot of people in my practice this cold season who come in complaining of a cough they’ve had for several weeks even though their cold is gone. I hear almost the same sentence each time ” don’t worry I’m not still sick. It’s just this cough won’t go away.”
The first thing I tell them is “Don’t worry. Even if you were still sick this is the perfect place to be. Receiving craniosacral therapy will give your immune system the boost it needs to get you through it sooner.” The next thing I say is ” About that cough, let’s look at your lungs.”
One of the techniques I use in my practice is called Visceral Manipulation. This method of manual therapy allows me to work directly with the internal organs of the body. In the case of the persistent and lingering cough, we’re going to work with the lungs and the bronchi.
This is where most people want to know how I’m going to get to their lungs which are deep in the body cavity. Using palpation skills and knowledge of anatomy, I use techniques which help me locate the lung and its support structures. Once I’ve got the lung I feel for the motion it has available. In a healthy lung we would feel a nice fluid coordinated motion of the lung and bronchi. This has not been the case in those I’ve treated that complain of a lingering cough. What I’ve found instead are fixations within the lungs and bronchi and sometimes up into the trachea(windpipe) and the esophagus.
“Life is movement, rhythm, exchange and perpetual adaptation to new situations, assimilation and rejection, and defense.” When our visceral (organ) system looses its ability to move freely, the body is forced to compensate for this situation. This can lead to a functional problem and eventually, if the compensation is inadequate, to a structural problem.
Back to our cough. Without adequate motion the organs of respiration can not do their job; coughs become unproductive, they linger on and are re-triggered by the very act of breathing. Treatment has consisted of stimulating the lung, bronchi, trachea and support structures in order to restore primary physiological motion. The result: clients report easier fuller breaths, less coughing almost immediately, or a more productive cough which allows the body to finish what it needs to. Clients have also reported that their cough is usually gone with in the week, sometimes sooner.
If you are someone you know can’t seem to shake their cold or cough, check out the benefits that visceral manipulation can offer before you take that next round of antibiotics. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective this therapy is!