Casey's Blog

Heartburn, Acid Reflux and Manual Therapy

Mar 12, 2021

The cardiac sphincter is the (mostly) one-way valve between the esophagus (tube that goes from mouth to belly) and the stomach. It should let air up in the form of burps and vomit up when necessary, but all other times it should remain a one-way valve.

The stomach is a hostile environment filled with stomach acid, which has a pH of 1 or 2, making it nearly as acidic as battery acid, which has a pH of 0. One magnificent thing about the stomach is the thick layer of mucous and mucous secreting cells along the inner wall, that protects the rest of the muscley organ from this searing fluid that is necessary to liquify your food for digestion. The esophagus doesn't possess this special layer, so when stomach acid creeps into the esophagus, it burns this food tube that lives in your chest (hence, the name heartburn.) When this happens occasionally, it's not a massive concern but when it's consistent, lasting days, weeks, months or even years, we've got a problem.

The medical and pharmaceutical industry recommends neutralizing the stomach acid or reducing how much stomach acid is made, both of which have considerable repercussions on food digestion and absorption and systemic physiological issues can ensue.

Our bones, vessels, organs and muscles live in an endless body wide web of connective tissue called fascia. The fascia between our organs are called ligaments. There is an abundance of ligaments in and around the stomach, esophagus and diaphragm that can pull any of those structures out of a functional position, leaving the cardiac sphincter in a position of stress. It may function sometimes, based on how much pressure is in your abdomen or stomach or based on postural stress or movements, like lying down or trunk rotation. Regardless, when we ease the tension on the ligaments and surrounding structures and manage the resting pressure in the abdomen, we can alter the cardiac sphincter’s function, making acid reflux a thing of the past.

This blog is not meant to replace medical advice. Speak to your doctor if you experience acid reflux and discuss medical and alternative therapies.'

Much love, Casey