Shoulder Burden Meltdown References: Acupressure’s Potent Points. By Michael Reed Gach Atlas of Skeletal Muscles. By Judith & Robert Stone Maria KalimaOrtho-Bionomy; A path to Self-Care. By Luann Overmyer
High Hip Assessment• Find the lateral most top of pelvis. Find the midline of the side body. Place your thumbs in at a right angle and notice which hip is higher. It helps to use your belly button as a guide and imagine a straight line from one thumb to the other. Is the line level?
Q.L. Release• -Lay on your side with the high hip up towards the ceiling; knees are bent. Place a pillow under your head. Make sure that your head shoulders and hips are in line. Don’t let your upper body curl in.• - Place a stool or chair behind you. Gently roll back and place your top calf on the seat of the chair behind you. Let your top elbow slide back. Let your upper buttock fall back towards the floor but don’t actually touch the floor.• - Relax here for 1-2 minutes breathing deep into your belly.• (Overmyer, p.46)
Assess Hip Rotation• Hip Rotation: Place thumbs perpendicular to the top of the pelvis at the mid-point of the side body. Then run your forefinger down the ridge of the pelvis until you reach a small boney crest or bump called the A.S.I.S. (anterior superior iliac spine.) Notice if one hip is rotated forward (anterior rotation) or back (posterior rotation).
Find the hip rotation indicator points and notice if they are tender. Work with the most tender hip first.
Correction for Posterior Hip Rotation• Lie on your belly and bring the knee of the knee out to the side like a frog. Make certain it is a comfortable position. Lay here relaxed & breathing into the belly for 1-2 mins.• (Overmyer, p.38)
Correction for a Anterior Hip Rotation• Come to the corner of the bed with the rotated side closest to the bed. Come forward so the top of your thigh is on the bed and keep your shoulders over your hips. Make sure this position is comfortable. Relax here breathing into your belly for 30 seconds-1 min.• (Overmyer p.39)
Side Saddle Somatics• Sit side saddle with knees pointing to the front (you may place a folded blanket or pillow under the front thigh and hip). Place your hands on your hips. Rock your tail bone to the back wall Inhale. Exhale: tuck your tailbone under. Repeat 10-12 times moving with your breath!• Place your hand on your side thigh. Inhale: roll your thigh down so that your fingers roll down toward the ground. Exhale: return to starting position. Repeat 10-12 times.• Repeat both exercises on the other side.• March in place slowly 10 time (Maria Kalima)
Tennis Ball Massage between your Shoulder Blades• Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place a tennis ball on each side of the spine at the lowest angel of your shoulder blades (where a lady’s bra strap would be). Make sure your tennis balls do not press directly on the spine but on the muscles along the side. Take four deep breaths and relax down into the balls. Raise your hands up to the sky directly above your face. Cross your arms over your chest touching opposite shoulders. Your elbows are pointing up to the ceiling but your arms are heavy and relaxed. Take for deep belly breaths here. Bring your hands to your hips. As you inhale arc your arms up over your face and reach for the back wall. Let your knuckles rest on the floor above your head (you may need to bend your elbows to allow this to happen comfortably). AS you exhale swim your arms out to the side and down to your hips. Swim your arms up over your face and then down to your hips like this 3 more times, and then reverse it. Once again reach your arms toward the sky just above your face. Cross the other arm in front and touch opposite elbows. Take four deep breaths here. Next scoot your hips toward your heals and roll the tennis balls about 1-2 inches up toward your head, so they are in a new spot between your shoulder blades. Complete the above sequence on this new spot. Continue this swimming sequence until you get to the tops of your shoulders.
Tennis Ball Massage on the Rotator Cuff• Lie on your back and place a tennis ball in the middle of each shoulder blade (try to get on the meaty muscle rather that the more boney bits). Raise your hands to the sky just above your face and do 4 slow wrist circles in each direction. Let your fingers move as if you were playing a harp. Next bend your elbows and do 4 really big wrist circles in each direction. Bring your arms out wide to the side with your palms up and bend your elbows (like a cactus). Rest here for 5 deep breaths. Then remove the balls from under your shoulders.
Roast Turkey Release for 12th Rib and Diaphragm• Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place a pillow under your hips but keep it bellow your waistline. Bring your knees toward your armpits. Keep your elbows on the floor and rest your knees on your hands. Keep your arms and legs relaxed as you breathe deep in this position for 1-2 minutes. (Overmyer, pp.117-118)
Supported Spinal Twist Thoracic Release• Lay on your side with your knees bent and a pillow at your back. Slowly twist back and rest your top arm on the pillow palm down. Rest here for at least one minute breathing deeply. (Overmyer, p.116)
Thoracic Disc Fluffer• Sit in a chair, and cross your arms over your chest. Drop your chin to your chest and feel the sensations in your upper back. Focus your awareness on your upper back (between your shoulder blades) and initiate a VERY Gentle bouncing from your thoracic spine. As you softly bounce your head will slowly drop closer to your lap. Make sure you are initiating the bounce from your upper back not from your neck or head. Slowly roll as far forward as comfort will allow. Then begin to SLOWLY roll up to sitting one vertebra at a time while continuing to bounce softly. (Overmyer, pp. 105-106)
1st Rib Release• Sit in a chair with one knee bent (or stand facing a shelf that is shoulder height). Bend your elbow and rest it on your knee (or shelf). Using only 10-20% of your strength, initiate a push from your elbow into your knee. Press for 10 seconds while visualizing the elbow pushing down through the hard surface. After 10 seconds release the pressure and allow your arm to drop by your side. Then slowly raise your elbow directly out to your side (perpendicular to your torso) and press your elbow into the wall to compress the shoulder joint. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds and then release. (Overmyer, pp142-143)
Alternative 1st Rib Release• Place a soft pillow or thick blanket over the back of a chair. Sit sideways on the chair and hang the affected arm over the back of the chair so your arm pit rests on the pillow. Reach the affected hand down toward the floor using the rib muscles to assist. The pillow will provide resistance. Continue reaching down for 10 seconds and then release. Stand up and allow the arm to passively drop toward the ground. Next bend your elbow and raise your arm out to the side, level with your shoulder, and gently lean in to the wall. Relax the muscles in your neck and shoulder, and hold this compression for 10-30 seconds. (Overmyer, p.144)
Rib Release at the Sternum• Feel for tender points where your ribs meet your breastbone (sternum). Hold the point with the hand on the opposite side. Slowly drop your chin toward the point and cross the same side arm in front of you to create a hollow or cave around the tender point. Find the position that causes the point to soften and become less tender and hold here for at least 10-20 seconds. (Overmyer, p.145)
Release for Shoulder Point 1 (the memory point)• Find Shoulder Point 1 and if it is tender do the following release. Stand facing the wall. Bring the affected forearm in front of your face with your elbow on the wall. Gently lean into it creating compression from the elbow to the shoulder. Hold for 10-20 seconds and then release. (Overmyer, p.161)
Shoulder Point 2 Release• Feel if there is any tenderness on Shoulder Point 2, which is the sideways “V” where the bones meet on top of your shoulder. To release this point stand with the wall at your side. Raise your elbow to shoulder height (at a 90 degree angle to your torso) and gently lean into the wall. Feel the slight compression from elbow to your shoulder and relax all the muscles in your neck and shoulder. Hold here for 10-30 seconds. *This is most effective when combined with the 1st Rib Release.* (Overmyer, pp162-163)
Shoulder Point 3 Release: The Chicken Wing• Shoulder point 3 is located under the boney ridge at the top edge of the shoulder blade (spine of the scapula). Stand with your back to the wall and bend your elbow straight back (like a chicken wing). Keep your torso straight and lean your elbow into the wall to create a gentle compression toward the shoulder joint. Relax all the muscles in your neck and shoulder and hold here for 10-30 seconds. (Overmyer, p164)
Shoulder Point 4 Release: The Turkey Wing• Shoulder Point 4 is located in the middle of the scapula. If you placed your thumb and forefinger at the “V” at the base of the shoulder blade this point would be midway between them. Stand with your back to the wall and bend your elbow back and a little out to the side. Lean your torso back into the wall to create a slight compression towards the shoulder joint. Relax all the muscles in your neck and shoulder and hold this for 10-30 seconds. (Overmyer, pp.164-165)
Shoulder Point 5 Release• Shoulder point 5 is a series of points along either side of the back of your armpit crease. Lie on your back on a bed or couch near the edge and drop your arm down toward the floor. Let your palm face up to the ceiling and hang here completely relaxed for 1 minute. (IF there is any discomfort or strain place a pillow under your hand or elbow for support). (Overmyer, p166)
Shoulder Point 6 Release• Shoulder point 6 is located in the belly of the deltoid muscle (just where the edge of a short sleeve would be). This point corresponds to pain when the arm lifts out to the side and is often the last spot to recover in regards to shoulder injuries (so be patient and consistent).• Sit with the affected arm next to a table. Place your elbow on the table with your palm facing forward and up. Gently lean into your elbow to compress the shoulder joint and hold for 10-30 seconds. (Overmyer, pp166-167)
Shoulder Point 7 Release• Shoulder point 7 is located on the front of the upper arm, on the humerus bone itself, and next to the armpit crease.• Stand facing a wall. Place the thumb of the opposite hand on shoulder point 7, and grasp the muscles of the upper arm. Gently roll the skin and muscle in toward the armpit. Continue to hold the muscle, bend the affected arm’s elbow and raise it across your face. Then turn the hand toward your face. Maintain this position as you lean the elbow of the affected arm against the wall. Hold here for 10-30 seconds.• Then step away from the wall for the Hitchhiker exercise. From this release position use a hitchhiking movement from the thumb of the affected arm and bring it across your face while the arm holding shoulder point 7 resists this movement. Allow the upper arm to gradually and smoothly roll through the resistance of your grasp. Then relax your arms down. (Overmyer, pp168-69)
Shoulder Point 8 Release• Shoulder point 8 is located on the outer edge of the shoulder joint, in the notch where your collar bone and shoulder blade meet.• Stand with the affected side next to a wall. Bend your elbow and raise your arm out to the side above shoulder height. Lean your elbow into the wall to create a slight compression towards the shoulder joint and hold for 10- 30 seconds. (Overmyer, p170)
Cross pull: Release for Front Arm Indicator Points (good for tenderness here or poor circulation)• Grasp the elbow on the affected side and slowly pull your affected arm across your body, making a cave around the points to ease tenderness. Once you find the spot then release the pull and rest here. Keep the crossed arm relaxed. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds. (Overmyer, p.179)
Door jam Stretch• Place a palm on each side of the door jam so your elbows are at shoulder height. Then lean forward and feel the stretch through the chest and shoulders. Feel free to experiment with raising your arms higher or lower to get the stretch that feels best for you.
Wall Stretches for the Shoulder and Pectoralis Minor• Stand with a corner or doorjam at your side. Bend your elbow to a 90 degree angle but keep it touching your side. Without bending your wrist, place your palm flat against the corner. Slowly turn your torso away from the wall and feel the stretch deep in your shoulder.• Stand with the wall to your side. Place your palm on the wall with your arm straight out at shoulder height. Gently turn your body away from the wall and feel this stretch in the front of your shoulder and down your arm.
Elbows• Elbow Indicator Points• The elbow indicator points are located at the heads of the humerus, radius, and ulna. Check for tenderness in these points on both sides of the arm just above and below the elbow. You may also find tenderness in the tissue between the bones. (Overmyer, p.186)• Releasing Elbow Tender Points• Focus on one tender spot at a time. Bend the elbow and rest it on a table so your hand is in the air. Place the other hand on the tender point you’re working with. Rotate your forearm Slowly in one direction and then the other. Notice which direction relieves the tenderness and hold there. With your opposite hand compress the forearm towards the elbow joint and hold for 10-30 seconds. (Overmyer, pp.186-87)
Wrist Release: Flexion/ Extension• Place your elbow on the table with your hand up. Flex your wrist by bending the palm toward your wrist, and then extend your wrist by bending your knuckles toward you’re your forearm noticing which position is easiest or most comfortable. With your wrist in the position of ease use the other hand to gently compress from your hand toward your wrist. Hold for 10 seconds. (Overmyer, p.190)
Wrist Release: Lateral Bend• Laterally bend the wrist bringing your thumb toward your wrist and then go the opposite way, bending your pinky toward your wrist. Find the position of greatest ease and with the other hand gently compress from the hand toward the wrist. Hold for 10 seconds. (Overmyer, p191)
Tender Points in the Hand• Use your thumb and explore the opposite palm for tender points. If you find one, curl the hand around the tender point, and squeeze the palm, bringing your thumb in toward your pinky. Hold the squeeze for 10-30 seconds and release. Recheck to see if there is improvement. (This can be combined with the acupressure points in the hand). (Overmyer, p.196)
Release for the Base of the Thumb• Check for tender points at the base of the thumb. Slowly rotate your thumb and move it toward or away from your palm to find the position where the tenderness subsides. Then grasp the thumb and gently compress it toward the base of the thumb and hold for 10-30 seconds. (Overmyer, p.201)
Finger Release• If a finger does not like to bend, then hold it straight and with the other hand apply resistance to the finger as you attempt to bend it. Hold for 10 seconds then release. Use the other hand to passively bend that finger for the follow through.• Rotating Fingers and Thumbs• Release each finger and it’s joints by twisting each bone to where it feels most comfortable and then compressing it down for 10-30 seconds. Sometimes one bone rotates one direction but the bone below the joint likes to go the opposite direction, so check each finger bone. (Overmyer, p.200)