The other day I was watching an interview of Steve Maxwell, a 63 year old, former fighter, fitness coach/trainer and functional movement guru. I find his ideas and techniques simple and effective. He is also mentioned in Christopher McDougall’s recent book, “Natural Born Heroes”.
During the interview, he mentioned Dr. John Kirsch and his book, “Shoulder Pain? The Solution and Prevention” and how this doctor found that something as simple as hanging was effective in helping heal and prevent problems… WHAT!?!?! That sounded interesting!
After looking up “shoulder hanging” on Google, I found a video and more interesting information.
Many times in the massage room, I have clients with pain, mobility issues and/or restrictions related to shoulders and sometimes it goes up into the neck. There can be several things going on, but if the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade are tight and restricting movement, that can be the source of numerous problems.
There are nerves and blood vessels that flow between the rib cage and shoulder joint. If muscles are tight or posture is poor, these can be impinged and pain will result, not to mention lack of circulation of toxins out and nutrients in.
In experimenting with hanging, my own experience has been that I feel like the shoulders have opened up and there is less pain in the area injured several years ago. Massage work also causes me to be in a shoulders forward position, much like working on a computer. Stretching the muscles in the chest area helps relieve the tension and strain on the muscles of the upper back.
I would encourage you to be gentle and begin with the doorway stretch. DO NOT BEGIN HANGING WITHOUT SUPPORT! Go to the local school and use the monkey bars and keeping your feet on the ground, just lower yourself slowly and feel what is going on in the shoulders. Watch the video before you go out and try this!
I would love to hear some feed back on your experience.