It’s time to properly learn how to breathe! You probably think you know how to already, but your rib cage might have a different answer.
If you have knots and tightness between your shoulder blades and in your neck, you likely:
1) are not breathing properly.
2) have bad posture.
The root cause of shoulder and neck pain actually comes from holding tension in your rib cage, specifically the costals. The costals are a cartilage inside of your ribs that are responsible for expanding and contracting the rib cage when you breathe. If they aren’t being engaged (through breathing), other muscles like the neck and shoulder will start to take over from them.
Over time, as your rib cage tighten up, your breathe will become more shallow and the muscles that are compensating for them will get tighter and tighter. Not only does this create knots and tension, but you might also notice unwarranted anxiety and feeling like you can’t take a full breath.
To combat this, I recommend trying some breathing exercises that will help strengthen your ribs, the coastals, and your respiratory system.
The breath work:
Either sitting up or lying down, take a deep breath in. Focus on expanding the rib cage out into your back and through your chest. Let your collar bone relax and shoulders relax.
When you exhale, contract your rib cage.
Repeat this 10-20x.
It’s going to feel different. It’s going to feel like work. Keep doing it.
As you’re doing this work, you’re taking the first step towards melting away knots from those tight areas, giving your rib cage a nice stretch, and calming your nervous system.
The hardest part will be getting used to doing this when you’re sitting at your desk or walking around the grocery store, but it will be worth it.