Category Archives: Pain Relief

strange shoulders (3) ribs

The entire arm rests on the ribcage

the shoulder girdle is only attached to the sternum

Your two arms are more attached to each other than they are to the rest of the body.This is either a terrifying or very liberating thought.

Your arms were designed to work in concert with your rib cage…

I like the term concert because sometimes the ribs and thoracic units have the same melody and purpose. Sometimes one takes the high note and the other takes the low note and harmonize, sometimes one is supposed to just take a rest and let the others carry the movement… and if a small instrument lets say a piccolo (or muscle) is too tight, too loud, off key, sharp and piercing is disruptive to the whole movement, well that’s a concert I don’t want to listen to.[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B00SFVPINK” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”” width=”333″]

In strange shoulders (4) I will explain why I dislike the term rib cage and prefer the term rib slinky, but the image lets you see how unattached the shoulder blade is to the body. it is capable anatomically of many motions, many angles, many resting positions based on gravity and posture and usage.  Any one of those three corners can go up, down, inside, outside, rotate, be adhered to the tissues that connect to the rib cage underneath them,  Resting position can be affected by the fit and style of bra a woman choses to wear, how heavy items are that are routinely carried, by bulking up of muscles anywhere around the joint.

Going back to Wolfe, Davis, and Starling , the bones, connective tissue and blood supply to the entire area are affected by usage, and by default, non usage.   A shoulder can have just as much pain or dysfunction caused by a weak, poorly initiated muscle as it has from a muscle in spasm so strong that it has shut off its own blood supply…..and all the time, it, they rest on the ribs whose movement or lack thereof affects the function of the shoulder.

Want to try a new shoulder exercise? close your eyes and breathe…. feel the connection. Breathe deep sitting, standing, in a recliner, in your bed, lying on your stomach…. discover the magic of how breathing can change your shoulders.


strange shoulders…. (1)

I have been fascinated by shoulders for a long time.   I have two of them one has had chronic problems and when I went for diagnostic testing and the only offer I got was “surgery to clean it up in there” but with assurance my arm wouldn’t fall off if I worked on it myself, I revisited anatomy, what I was taught in school,  and my own dyslexic interpretations of pictures and explorations I’ve done on my own.

  1. Most people have no idea where the only bone on bone connection of the arm to the body is, I’ve surveyed clients, colleagues, and friends and less than one in fifty responses are even close….. think about it …. the answer will be in strange shoulders… (2)
  2. Shoulders are very connected to the pelvic girdle and most shoulder rehab programs I’ve participated in when I worked in PT totally ignored the pelvic and lumbar vertebral origins of the Latissimus dorsi [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B017AYJLXK” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”” width=”333″]
  3. In swimmers, this muscle is seen in the front and is what some call the ‘flying squirrel muscle’….0…1c.1.64.img..1.17.1674.3iVJ1fAAv58#imgrc=2SdJugHTY_3zsM%3A
  4. In my experience, when people with shoulder problems do not realize how their arms are connected to their backs and simply do arm exercises, the likelihood of of full, painfree motion is reduced.


When was the last time you crawled?

Most people stop crawling when they learn to walk. walking is faster. Parents brag on their kids  who get up and walk at early ages. The term crawl tends to have negative implications, slow, inefficient, leading impatient impulsive frustrating behaviors, when in actuality, crawling is an important step in development. The predictable sequential patterns in which infants progress from womb behaviors to functional adult patterns has many small steps that affect brain function, co-ordination, even the ability to read. It follows after any event or disease that impacts a person’s ability to function physically   a rehab program that at least visits steps such as eye tracking, rolling over, stretching in hands and knees, exploring quadruped weight shifting, finding balance in the kneeling position practicing getting up and down from floor or at least the bed, would be a good idea.

Chronic back pain will frequently respond well to crawling and other quadruped activities. Muscle imbalance helps perpetuate pain. Working muscles in an alternate gravitational plain allows and encourages a change in the diagonal pulls of the muscles, encourages lymphatic drainage away from the front side of the back bone, allows abdominal contents to shift positions in the pelvic cavity, stimulates neurological processing, and encourages proper reciprocal integration of movements between the shoulder girdle and the pelvis.

There are studies that suggest school aged children with reading and concentration difficulties would benefit by game play that included hands and knees mat work. Crawling helps develop co-ordination because it calls for diagonally oriented muscles to kick in and to get  pelvic girdles and shoulder girdles to separate themselves from the expansive capabilities of the ribs while maintaining a separate movement path that leads to the base of the spine and eye control

Several yoga poses travel through these same plains, the rewards of Pilates regimens is that the short postural muscles of the torso get to work in a tight reciprocal  pattern, and several therapy programs encourage weight bearing in alternate positions. For many persons even taking a short time to lie on their bellies in preparation for crawling is just what the doctor ordered.. Massage or bodywork are not usually done in a quadruped position but can be profoundly effective in re-balancing a person’s center of gravity. So go on, get four on the floor…

Get in touch with your inner pre-toddler and re-learn how to crawl in a way that improves your walk




Magnets: the Kindergarten Theory

When I suggest someone apply magnets like band-aids I get the same looks I got the day I was at a new job, bumped into a  wall and said “that’ll leave a bruise” and my co-worker told me to put a magnet on it.   I let her paper-tape a magnet to my arm and left it on overnight like she asked and in the morning I saw the purple of a bruise peeking out from under the tape, but I left it on in deference to my new found friend.  I went in to work and she had the joy of removing the tape and magnet. There with a clear definition of the magnet’s shape was my bruise. The part that lie outside of the magnet’s presence, was normal bruise color. but under where the magnet had been was the yellow green colors that usually accompany a 3-4 day old bruise.   I was hooked.

My theory is that after an injury a magnet acts like a kindergarten teacher.  Cellular nutrition happens because of ionic transfer the influence of electrons positively charged and negatively charged particles with specific jobs. Where there is a traumatic injury  cellular chaos ensues as blood escapes the confines of it’s vessels and clean-up must occur.  I believe the presence of a magnet  helps the body to organize the chaos so that all of the particles face one side up, either positive or negative and the system can sort out what it need and find it more easily.

I used to scoff at magnets for healing, now I keep several sizes on hand because they make me (and my friends) work better.

Pain Relief


“You’ve got it. Get used to it” Summarizes the parting advice given when a medical professional has run out of ideas, or you have run out of insurance coverage or money.  I believe there is always hope and have been able to help numerous persons eliminate or control pain generated from several sources.

I ‘do’ manual therapies but have studied many subjects and have found several ways of helping others ‘get their lives back’  This forum is to share ideas, brainstorm, and make the world a better place one body at a time.