Our powerful diaphragm is like a piston driving our breath. It attaches to the inner circle of our ribcage, and lowers to draw our inhales into our bodies. When we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes upwards.
Like all muscles, the diaphragm can get tight, especially where it attaches to the ribs. Other vulnerable spots in the diaphragm are the spaces where nerves, arteries, blood vessels, and the esophagus pass through the muscle. A strong, supple diaphragm allows for easy flow.
This Massage Moment will show you how to massage the touchable part of your diaphragm, gently and patiently releasing tension as you breathe.
It is important that it feels comfortable. A kind and understanding conversation with our bodies invites change. Listen to your body. Be patient. Move slowly.
What does the diaphragm do?
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to massage your diaphragm for easier breathing:
- Place your hands on the sides of your lower ribs.
- With your finger pads, follow the edge of the ribs around the corner. Softly touch underneath your ribs with the pads of your fingertips. This is the front edge of your diaphragm.
- Keep your pressure steady. Slowly curl your torso forward. Allow your finger pads to naturally slide underneath your ribs. They are not going deep: just a half an inch or so. Keep your finger pads soft. Allow them to sink into the tissue.
- Roll back up. Release your pressure. Breathe.
- Bring your inhale down into your belly. Feel your belly rise and fall with your breath, sensing the full range of your diaphragm.
For the complete program on how to give yourself a wonderfully relaxing, full body self massage, check out our Whole Body Transformation.