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  • Chris Mullins

Intro to respiration and the ribcage

Updated: Nov 16

This video discusses 3 main assumptions:


1) We need to breathe.


2) Muscles contract and relax in groups and chains along a spectrum (governed by the nervous system).


3) Tissues adapt to use over time


Breathing is taken for granted. It's just something we do, and is often thought of as fixed, unchangeable until death.


Nothing could be further from the truth. We can, and do, alter the way we breathe, largely subconsciously.


Breathing is governed many things, including but not limited to:


- Neuromuscular processes (i.e driven by the nervous system)

- Musculoskeletal structures (i.e. constrained/controlled/restricted by muscles, bones, and other tissues/fluids of the body)

- Chemical processes (i.e. gas exchange)


The ribs are meant to be very pliable, creating fluid movement and allowing for full excursion during respiration. Through habits and lifestyle we can lose this pliability, but it can be retrained--through intelligent programming and conscious effort--to become unconscious once again.


I often hear from new clients, "I didn't know the ribs were supposed to move." The first step is awareness of what is possible.


I hope this video provides a layman's starting point for the basics of rib cage and respiratory mechanics.




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