Tag Archives: Visceral

Gail Wetzler PT, DPT, EDO, BI-D

Reshma and Miriam first met Gail when they attended her Gynecologic Visceral Manipulation class sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in 2005.  She has been a teacher, mentor and friend ever since.  Gail is a leader and innovator in the development of new courses for women’s health, manual diagnostics, visceral/structural disorders and integrative therapies for animal health.   She teaches these courses for the American Physical Therapy Association, The Upledger Institute and Equinology.  She is the Curriculum Director for the newly developed Barral Institute of Education Research and Manual Therapy.  She also is currently the co-developer of the new MSAR (Masters of Science in Animal Rehab) at Western University. 

She established her private practice in 1979.  Her fields of study include osteopathic manual techniques, exercise physiology, women’s health, functional assessment, movement analysis, laser/modalities, psychoneurobiology, nutrition/digestive dysfunctions, anatomy, animal rehabilitation and integrated manual therapy.

While Gail loves to talk about physical therapy and all of the new exciting concepts that are improving people’s lives, she is equally passionate about the animals in her life.   She loves her new 12-acre ranch in Denver and was able to relocate her two horses when she moved from California.  She and her husband are happy to be near their children and grandchildren.   She is in the process of setting up a “menagerie.”  She now has dogs, cats, and goats, in addition to her horses and humans, so she can enjoy her whole family!

A 1973 graduate from Long Beach State University, Gail gained her orthopedic, acute and administrative background at Hoag Hospital Physical Therapy Department as outpatient clinical supervisor.

Publications include chapters in the following books: Diseases of the Temporomandibular Apparatus by Douglas Morgan, D.D.S., William Hall, M.D. and S. James Vamvas, D.D.S., Visceral Manipulation and Low Back Pain (IFOMT) and Therapeutic Management of Incontinence and Pelvic Pain by J. Laycock, PhD, FCSP and J. Haslam, MCSP, SRP.

Gail’s research includes: “The Effect of Functional Integration on TMJ Disorders”, with Dr. Mark Reese, “The Visceral Relationship to Low Back Pain”, with Dr. Stanley Paris and “The Effects of Manual Therapy on the Brain”, with Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Jean Pierre Barral, and Dr. Alain Crobier.

Visceral Mobilization

People don’t think of their internal organs, or viscera, much within the context of physical therapy, however visceral mobility is vital for comfortable and smooth functional mobility. Our viscera are protected by the ribcage and muscular abdominal wall.  They are held in place by a system of ligaments and are contained within a fluid filled sack called the peritoneum.  The viscera need to be able to slide and glide over each other to allow movement of the diaphragm during breathing.  When we inhale, the powerful diaphragm muscle moves down.   The liver, stomach and other organs need to slide down out of the way when the diaphragm descends to allow the lungs to fill with air.  When we exhale, the diaphragm and internal organs slide back up.  Restoring, or improving, visceral mobility is important for normal body function.  If the viscera loose mobility because of disease, inflammation or postural restriction, the result can be pain, decreased functional mobility or decreased organ function.  Luckily, manual therapy to restore visceral mobility is comfortable and effective.  Think about visceral mobility next time you reach to pick something up off of the floor.  If your organs couldn’t slide and glide over each other, you wouldn’t be able to bend to reach the floor or breathe easily.