Beloved Friends, I hope life is delivering all the resources you need to meet the joys and challenges of each day. If this is not so, I hope this self myofascial release practice provides you some relief, a moment of tender loving self care.
This practice will address pain, tension, discomfort, or tenderness in the area of the chest… specifically targeting the pectoralis major muscle region and all the connective tissue weaving through this part of the upper body.
The pectoralis region is associated with our heart energy center; so in addition to relieving some of the density in the tissue – you may also feel a sense of energetic freedom in the heart.
The image that goes along with this post gives you a good visual of positioning, but I am going to walk you through it here as well…
What you need: Timer + preferably a 3.75 inch therapeutic medicine ball. If you don’t have a ball this size, you can use a tennis ball or smaller sized medicine ball but build up the floor underneath it with some small towels. This will help to create a more targeted pressure on the tissue of the chest.
*Please note: if you have had any recent surgery to this area it may be best to skip this practice. And always, if something does not feel “right” or there is intense pain vs mild discomfort when practicing, refrain from working directly in the affected area.
Step by step instructions:
*Set your timer for 7 minutes .
*Lie on your belly.
*Place the medicine ball on the inside of the right side of sternum on the soft tissue; approximately an inch above the nipple line (but situated as close to the inner border of the sternum as you can).
*Turn your head to one side.
*Close your eyes, or softly gaze toward the floor; facilitating more sensitivity to the feelings in the body.
*Breath deeply to invite a greater sense of relaxation.
*When this beginning point starts to soften underneath the medicine ball; move the pressure of the ball outward away from the sternum toward the front of the shoulder, in small increments. You may have this process of — softening, moving, waiting, softening, moving, waiting — several times before you actually get to the front of the shoulder.
*It is important to note that sometimes the body will intuitively want to move after a release (eg: shake, writhe, or simply stretch/contract, etc) give your body some integration time and space to do this as well if it happens organically. However, there is no need to “make it” happen if it doesn’t; stillness is great too.
*Once your timer goes off for the first side, take a moment before moving forward. Then repeat the same steps on the left side of the chest.
Once you have spent seven minutes on each side — give yourself a minute or two to rest and notice how you feel.
Take some deep breaths and scan the body to take note of any pain/sensation in any other part of your body. If you notice something, make a mental note — as this is an indicator that those other parts will need some attention next time you practice.
As always, please feel free to comment here, email, or private message me on my social media pages with any questions you might have or to share a bit about how this practice went for you. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.