Have you thought lately of your ribcage? If you examine your self-image as it pertains to your ribs, you may notice movement or you may perceive your ribs as solid structure.
A little anatomy background:
Most of us learned that the ribcage is there to protect our internal organs from injury. While they certainly do provide this function, this explanation maybe contributes to the self-perception that your ribs are solid and non-moving. In reality, the ribs actually have quite a lot of mobility availability to them, thanks to the cartilaginous joints connecting individual ribs to the spine in back and the sternum in front. When the spine moves, there should be small movements at each joint. Also, there are muscles connecting one rib to the next rib, above and below, to allow lots of movement, not unlike the movement of an old and fun toy, the Slinky. When you come to understand the movements of the ribs, you discover how ribs that can open and expand as well as close and compress, allow for a freer moving torso. Back, neck, shoulders, and breath mobility and flexibility all depend on cooperatively moving ribs. So, if you'd like more ease in your back, neck, and shoulders, keep reading!
Can you feel your ribs moving right now?? Let's add some kinesthetic feedback using our hands to see if that helps you FEEL your ribs moving.
Here we go: Reach under your armpits, letting your hands spread and rest on the side and front of your ribcage. Close your eyes to help you tune into inner sensations. In this position, breathe normally and notice if you can feel the expanding and lifting of the ribs as you inhale, and a compressing and downward movement of your ribs as you exhale. As your lungs fill with air, if the ribs allow, they will expand in the upward direction, downward, and outward in all directions.
And, ALWAYS take time for the PAUSE
The pause is when your body has time to integrate the new information brought by your movement and attention, allowing muscles and fascia to find length and softness.
Come to rest, center your weight over your sit bones, rest your hands on your lap, feet flat on the floor, eyes gently closed.
Now simply "listen", being an observer to the subtle movements happening in your torso as you sit and rest here. Notice, can you feel movement in your ribs? Do you they expand up and out in front of you? How about behind you? How about out to the sides, under your armpits. Hopefully you feel some more spaciousness and relaxation in your torso. And maybe even a little invigorated and ready to move comfortably through the rest of your day!
:) See you soon.