The triangle is one of the most stable and in the same time as most flexible structures in nature. It is not an accident that nature chose the triangle for both the stability and movement that ribs in our body need to manifest.
Each rib has toward its ‘head’ a triangle of synovial joints with attachments to the bodies of the vertebrae above, below and to the transverse process of the one below. These triangular attachments seem being little ‘elbows’ that can flex, extend and gracefully rotate this way and that.
Ribs 11th and 12th are called floating because their anterior ends don’t have skeletal attachments, their floating seems particularly relevant and poetic because their inner margins are a site for attachment of the ever-floating diaphragm moving on the wings of breath. As it comes more to the front, the diaphragm also attaches to the 10th through 6th ribs and the xiphoid process.
But the truth is that we are mostly water and so all the ribs float around all the internal organs, perpetually moving to the rhythms of breath and heartbeat.
Therapists don’t spend enough time with the ribs and their connections. The floating of the ribs is intimately connected with the sense of internal buoyancy that we need for vitality in our lives. So I give them kindly attention in my work.
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