Like most of you, I’ve been watching the Olympics and as I watched, I remembered a previous Summer Olympics and watching the start of the Women’s Marathon. I noticed something in the body language of one of the front runners and said to my friends, “That runner has asthma; look at her neck.” My friends chuckled and then the announcer talking about the runner I pointed out said that she suffered from asthma.
“How did you know?’ asked my surprised friends. Her SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternocleidomastoid_muscle was very pronounced. Instead of using her primary muscles of inspiration, her diaphragm, the external intercostals and the sternocostalis; she was using an accessory one. http://skeletalmuscularsystem.suite101.com/article.cfm/muscles_of_inspiration It was causing her rib cage to be higher in position on her torso and more barrel shaped: a classic visual for asthma patients
In my Applied Kinesiology practice, I see a number of patients with breathing problems. To a person they all have problems using their diaphragm muscle properly, they use small muscles higher up in the chest and shoulders creating a “barrel-shaped” chest. And many have problems w/ their intercostal muscles and the up of down movement of the ribs; their rib joints don’t move properly therefore not allowing the movement of the chest.
Tightness and/or weakness is also found in the Pectoralis major & minor, SCM and the Serratus anterior as well as other accessory muscles. With applied kinesiology, I can use golgi tendon and muscle spindle reflexes to re-set the muscles and use neuro-lymphatic & neuro-vascular points to flush toxics out of the muscles. Chiropractic manipulation of the thoracic spine and the articulations of the rib joints to both the vertebrae and the sternum are also important to check.
Working on all these aspects causes the bio-mechanics of the chest to work better and breathing is freed up.
Of course causes of both bronchial and lung and general inflammation need to be found and worked on via nutrition and lifestyle changes; but that is another blog.
And by the way, though they usually do not need it, I always warn my patients to no matter how well their breathing feels, to always carry an inhaler, just in case.
© 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto