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48 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 1 6 Proper function of the breathing mechanism depends on the mobility of all sides of the rib cage and the abdominal cavity, as well as coordinated activation of the diaphragm and associated breathing muscles. Rigidity or obstruction of movement in the expansion or recoil movement of the thoracic cavity, or that of the abdominal cavity, can impede normal breath. Additionally, postural deviations that limit thoracic or abdominal mobility in any direction may also be restrictive. Ensuring mobility of both cavities in all directions maximizes breathing efficiency and reduces stress on the diaphragm and the associated respiration muscles. Christy Cael is a licensed massage therapist, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and instructor at the Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage in Olympia, Washington. Her private practice focuses on injury treatment, biomechanical analysis, craniosacral therapy, and massage for clients with neurological issues. She is the author of Functional Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Palpation for Manual Therapists (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009). Contact her at Facilitating Breath Positioning: client supine. 1. Standing at the client's side, place both hands on the client's anterior chest (A). 2. Instruct the client to breathe deeply into the chest as you gently and firmly press posteriorly and inferiorly. Repeat several times. 3. Place one hand on each side of the lower rib cage (B). 4. Instruct the client to breathe deeply into the abdomen and sides as you gently and firmly squeeze the rib cage medially. FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY Client Homework—Cat/Cow Pose 1. Start on your hands and knees with your palms flat. Align your wrists and elbows directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. 2. To perform the cat pose, exhale and round your spine toward the ceiling as you relax your head, allowing your chin to drop toward your chest. 3. Focus on spreading your ribs apart as you round your back. 4. Reverse to cow pose as you inhale, allowing your back to sag while you lift your head and open your ribs and chest. 5. Repeat the sequence, alternating between cat and cow with your breath. A B

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