Practice 37 – Rib Cage relief for the neck

Rib Cage Relief – The Ultimate Hack for Getting Into Your Neck Muscles!

We are going to look at how keeping your neck still, but moving your Rib Cage, particularly in Frontal Plane, can still give your neck a deep and strong stretch, releasing it without having to move your neck at all. This is particularly helpful if your neck is sore.  Sometimes moving a sore area to try to release it creates a vicious cycle of inflammation and is simply aggravating the problem more.

The top of your ribcage is like a see-saw. Were you able to get Frontal Plane movement in your Rib Cage in Module 4?  If so, this is what we are going to use, however, we want your focus of feeling to be on the sensation and attachments in your neck and at the base of your skull.

Again, it is important to remember to not get your shoulder joints to do this movement.  You want the movement to come from your spine and sternum, at the centre of your chest.

1. Look in the mirror at your clavicles and find the horizontal lines that connects with the top of your arm to the dip at the bottom of the front of your neck

2. During this practice, we want the line of the two clavicles, to move like a see-saw.  We do not want the shoulder joint to hunch up into the neck.  You have already done this in practice 23.

3. Next, as in the diagrams above, practice keeping your eyes on the horizon, but allowing the top of your ribcage to sink sideways

4. Can you feel the deep stretch into your neck, without you moving your neck at all?

5. Repeat this on both sides a few times, and check in a mirror whether you are able to do this without your clavicle bone hunching up, instead of it moving through space as your rib cage sinks sideways

6. To help the movement, you can have the intention of the finger tips on the downwards side, actively pointing down as if wanting to touch the floor

7. Now add in to this, that on the side where your ribcage is sinking down, start moving your ear in frontal plane away for that shoulder.  This will give you an even deeper opening in that side of your neck.

8. Repeat this on the other side

9. Where do you feel restrictions?  What feels good? What feels like you need to be careful?  Do not overstretch.  Simply work around the edge of your range of movement.