• Working SMRT on the Axillary

    Posted on January 5, 2018 by Full Circle in Anatomy, Back & Spine, bodywork, Head & Neck, massage therapy, Questions and Answers, Ribs, Sinus Trouble, SMRT, Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique.

    Relieving Chest Pressure the SMRT Way

    I had some SMRT work done yesterday. I got sick on December 3rd. It was a strong virus that attacked my sinuses first, quickly traveled into my throat, and eventually landed in my lungs. By the fourth day, the cough began and I coughed until my entire body hurt. After two and a half weeks of feeling awful and coughing, with no sign of the symptoms easing, I thought it might have developed into a bacterial infection, so I went to the doctor. She thought this was correct and gave me antibiotics.

    By yesterday, I felt much better, but still had a lingering cough and tension in my chest. The cough was sudden and felt like a push of air coming quickly out of my lungs. This would lead to a coughing fit. I knew that the ultimate issue was in my right axilla. But I could not get to all the areas affected in an effective way.

    SMRT Positioning

    Jena began our session yesterday by working on my neck. Very quickly she said, “this right side feels like the vertebrae are split.” I said, “they are, the lower cervicals are being pulled inferior toward the scar in my axilla, while the upper cervicals are pulled toward the tension in my jaw and the muscles of my tongue.” So, using SMRT positioning she moved the lower cervical vertebrae inferior with her left hand while using her right hand to move my upper arm into medial rotation, which moved it t0ward the scar as well.

    “Bring your left thumb in and move my first rib inferior.” I said. She placed her thumb in the superior aspect of my shoulder, anterior to upper trapezius. Then pushed my first rib inferior while maintaining the inferior movement at the transverse processes of the lower cervical vertebrae. “Now bring the acromion and the lateral clavicle superior.”. She shifted her right hand superior moving my lateral shoulder toward my head while maintaining the medial rotation of the upper arm.

    There was one last thing needed. “And then I’m just going to do this.” I said as I took my left fingers and placed them on the transverse processes of upper cervical vertebrae and moved them superior. My entire body melted in that moment. All the tension left and all I wanted was for her to hold all these positions for as long as possible. Layer by layer the tension floated away. I let go of the upper cervical vertebrae eventually and relaxed into what was happening in my shoulder.

    No More Coughing!

    After releasing this position, Jena went directly to my axilla and worked the axillary muscles, the ribs, and my scar. As she worked the tension in my shoulder and neck continued to ease. I took note of the fact that I was not fighting the need to cough. When she went back up to reassess my neck, I noticed that my scalene muscles did not hurt anymore (they had been wicked tender when she began). My anterior scalene was being pulled in two directions by my pattern. The tension in anterior scalene, along with the pattern in my cervical vertebrae, was irritating the phrenic nerve on my right side. It exited the spinal cord and traveled along the neck and into the chest on its way to the diaphragm. And it was all caused by the lower cervical vertebrae and the first rib being pulled inferior toward the tension in my axilla. Thank you Jena!!

    Let us teach you how to safely and effectively work with the axilla by registering for SMRT: shoulder, axilla, ribcage, & upper back in Fort Worth, TX from March 9-11, 2018. Register now!