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  • Pectoralis Release Experience

    While I was on vacation in Seattle, WA recently, I taught a four hour class at Northwest Academy, the school we hope to hold a class in at the end of October. I wanted to give the students a protocol they could incorporate into their regular massage and use, but not too much because we only had four hours (I don’t know if I accomplished this latter piece, I always want to give more than time allows for). One of the releases I taught was for pectoralis minor. While walking around, I reached down and touched Jen’s right pec minor muscle. Jen was on the table. Her partner, Shae, said to me, “it’s definitely better than it was.” “Yeah”, I said, but it wasn’t where I would have wanted it to be, so I reached down and said, “let’s try this.” I placed my left hand under Jen’s right scapula, moved it around the ribcage (superior and anterior), and then compressed inferior. I placed my right fist on the lateral side of Jen’s right ribcage at about ribs 5 and 6, and arced the ribs superior and anterior. This brought both of my hands toward the anterior upper chest and moved the upper ribcage posterior, as if collapsing the chest. I held this for about 30 seconds, released, repalpated, and invited Shae to do the same. The difference in tension was so dramatic that Shae got very excited, at which point Jen began saying, “do it on the other side, do it on the other side!” repeatedly. Shae did as instructed and Jen reported feeling “much better.” For me the most dramatic feature of that is that I have had therapists beat up on my pec minor (because as a larger breasted woman, it tends to be adhered to my ribcage), causing me intense pain for several minutes, and not getting a quarter of the release Jen and I got in 30 seconds with no pain.

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