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Fascial Release TechniquesNeck PainShoulders

NEW Technique For: Tight Pec Minor, Soft Tissue Arm Pain, Better Venous Return, Lymph Drainage, Shoulder Pain and More

By December 16, 2019 5 Comments

In this video I’m demoing a technique using ONLY YOUR HANDS to release your chest and armpit area. Specifically, we’re going after the fascia of your pec minor, pec major, maybe some serratus anterior superior and other muscle groups. 

What’s important to know about the REGION you’re going after is this:

Your armpit has a ton of lymph nodes. Venous return (deoxygenated blood coming from your arms back to your heart) may be impacted the most in the armpit area, both the anterior and rear armpits. Please check out my lat and rear deltoid technique if you want to do a COMPLETE opening of this area for venous flow that is a perfect compliment to this chest technique. 

Reasons you might want to try this technique:

  • You have arm or shoulder pain in the soft tissue
  • You have elbow, shoulder or neck pain
  • You suspect you have poor blood circulation in your upper body
  • You want to maximize your detox efficiency (the armpit is FULL of lymph nodes)
  • You don’t have a foam roller or ball to do the other chest techniques (all you need are your HANDS for this one)
  • You have heart issues. I’m no doctor, and this isn’t meant to be advice about whatever condition you may be experiencing, but I suspect there is a correlation between fascial restriction in the upper body, and specifically in this one area, and heart issues (maybe even heart attacks….but again, this is just a theory and I’m inviting you to be your own citizen scientist. Please see a doctor if that’s what you really need).
  • You want to rule this area in or out for tightness, and if it is tight (even if you’re not in pain or experiencing any of the above) use this technique to OPTIMIZE. 

TIPS to get the BEST result using this technique:

  1. Finding the right spot or the right “grab” on this technique may take time. Be patient, and continue “hunting” for the best spot, or the best use of your hand grab of the tissue before thinking this technique isn’t for you. 
  2. Try using your middle finger to get into the rib and armpit area, towards but underneath your boob (ladies) or underneath the shelf of your chest. 
  3. Your THUMB is a stabilizing force during this technique. It’s not meant to grab as much as your fingers, it’s simply helping out to stabilize tissue on the opposite side from where the work is being done. 
  4. Move SLOWLY. 
  5. Use your whole arm to perform this stretch. Try staying bent at the elbow. Try straightening your arm. Use forward movement (elbow coming in front of you) to “load” the fascia into your armpit area and your fingers, and then slowly stretch it by moving backwards or behind you. 
  6. There are at least 4-6 inches of tissue you could explore here, depending on your height, build, sex and musculature. Aim to cover the area from just below the crease of your shoulder meeting your armpit all the way towards the bottom of your boob/chest, in your rib area. 
  7. For each spot you find, spend 30-40 seconds loading and stretching, grabbing and moving. 
  8. If you get SORE the next day – this is normal. When using a tool such as your own hand, this is bound to happen. While I don’t love it, and normally I advocate NOT getting sore, in this case don’t consider it a bad thing. It’s a less than ideal byproduct of doing this technique, but something I’m totally ok with for the payoff (results). 

Give this a try and share your experience in the comments section below! I’d love to hear how this goes for you. 

5 Comments

  • joni says:

    This was absolute worse therapy I had initially post fusion and pec minor and horacic outlet surgeries. It took 3 therapist to hold me down. Years later I have learned to do much of this myself. Great reminder for self care!

  • Teresa says:

    Thanks for the help this one fixed my angry neck.

  • Melissa Hokes says:

    Thank you for this video. I am going to try this technique because this area on my left side is the single most painful area in my body. I’m always trying to find ways to release those muscles.

  • Michael Moritz says:

    Thank you, Elisha! This is much like Rossiter stretches, via Ida Rolf, however, you are sharing your discoveries as you go, which makes you, in my mind, a great teacher, so thank you for that! This did release some range and decreased pain in elevating the right arm. I am slowly going through your material. I’ve worked on quads and calf muscles with good success.

  • Kate Murphy says:

    Thanks, Elisha! Just worked on this, and already feel relief, after the discomfort of the actual techniques. Thanks for always being so informative, in describing what to look for; what to avoid; how things should feel; potential side effects; and as always, the purpose and benefits of these techniques!

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