Rib Massage for Breathing and Other Benefits (Massage Monday #565)

Last week, I showed you how to massage your diaphragm so you can breathe deeper. Other muscles that are important for breathing are rib muscles. This week I’m going to show you how to massage your rib muscles called intercostals.

Intercostals are the muscles between the ribs. They are three-layered and the external or outer intercostals help the ribs to expand upward when you breathe in and the internal or inner intercostals contracts the ribs downward when you breathe out. 

When these muscles are tight, it limits the chest expansion and it becomes harder to breathe deeply. 

Besides breathing, having the tight rib muscles can limit you in turning your torso or raising your arm, cause lower back pain, and make you look thicker. See, if you have leaner rib muscles, you can contract your rib cage better and you will look thinner.

Starting from right under the clavicle, massage the intercostals along the ribs with two or three fingers. Go sideways, up and down and in circles in small sections. You may find a sore spot or very sore spot right away.

I would start with one area between the ribs and get to know your body but if you get used to it you can cover more areas between the ribs with multiple fingers at the same time.

The intercostal muscles are buried underneath other muscles such as pectoral muscles and breasts so you can’t access and massage all the parts. 

When you go down to the breast area, massage the intercostals next to the sternum or breast bone and massage the ribs on the other side of the breast where you can access.

When you massage along the ribs, you are massaging other muscles on top as well which is a good thing.

If you can’t feel the ribs, no worries. You can use the heel of your palm to rub and loosen the side of your ribs.

Repeat on the other side.

Since you can’t access all the parts, add the intercostal stretch by bending sideways as you breathe out holding the elbow or wrist.  And twisting your torso as you breathe out. Repeat on the other side. 

Massage Monday #565 Rib Muscles Massage http://bit.ly/mm-565