The last couple of weeks in JoyRide, we’ve been focusing on the dome of the diaphragm in our movement work. You can gather information about where the dome of the diaphragm sits by locating the widest part of your ribcage. If you are lying on the ground, it’s also the place that you will feel the most contact pressure with the ground.
In the parasympathetic system, the dome of the diaphragm sits higher in the thoracic cavity and maintains a stable relationship with the bottom of the armpit. It also tells us where the bottom of the lungs and heart rest, and consequently their position in this space also.
Despite many conversations around posture centering on muscles and bones, it’s actually organs, fascia and our internal pressure systems that are primarily responsible for postural stability and support.
When the diaphragm sits high, the lungs and the heart sit higher in the chest cavity also, with the upper most part of the lungs sitting above the first rib in the lower part of the neck, just below the thyroid. In this way, the position of the lungs not only stabilizes the cervical vertebrae but adds pressure to the deep front line of fascia, causing it to increase its tone.
When the lungs stretch and move down and the diaphragm drops, pressure is then placed in the upper thoracic, causing it to bulge out behind. This is more often addressed with prompts to strengthen the muscles in between the shoulder blades and lengthen those at the front of the body- an outside in approach- rather than considering organ position as the primary reason our structure is arranging itself the way it is.
And what decides where and how things are placed at any one moment in time?
Your nervous system.