“What should I do if I have pain around my mid back and ribs?”

Let’s go back to the reflexes to answer this question. The rib cage takes up a lot of space in the center of our bodies. It protects our vital organs, from down near the pelvis, into the spine, and up just above the clavicle.

When the mid back and the ribs are tight, we need to be asking ourselves, as with all muscular tension issues, which reflex might we be stuck in?

It’s possible that the Red Light reflex of protection, worry, and slouching is dominant.

In this reflex we are drawn inward: the chest sinks down, the head and face move forward, and the abdominals are constantly contracted. The abdominals and the pectoralis (chest) muscles contract towards the center.

What can happen when we habituate to this posture is that the back will co-contract to keep you in this position.

You may not sense this tightness in the front, but over time you will definitely sense tension and discomfort in your mid back!

One of our favorite Somatic Movement sequences for this situation is called “Improve Your Breathing with Somatics,” and it’s free on Youtube! Additionally, Arch and Flatten, the Flower, and the Washrag are among the many wonderful movements you can learn to de-habituate to the Red Light reflex.