Healthcare and Medicine Reference
Fig. 5.12 In the neck, the final 'X' of the Lateral Line consists of
the sternocleidomastoid muscle (especially the clavicular head) on
the outside with the splenius capitis muscle forming the other leg
Fig. 5.11 The abdominals form a large 'X' on the side of the
abdomen, and the intercostals.
outside, but the amount of change is limited (DVD ref:
Lateral Line, 41:00-43:42).
A hand from the outside can be a cue for clients to
help themselves by breathing the ribs open from the
inside. Do not neglect the lateral aspect of the upper
ribs, which can be reached by putting the flat of the
hand on the ribs with the fingertips into the armpit
between the pectoralis and latissimus muscles. By
sliding the hand gently into the armpit, you can reach
the side of the 2nd and 3rd ribs, either for direct manual
work or to bring awareness there for increased
movement in breathing (DVD ref: Deep Front Line,
To lengthen the splenius, have your client supine.
Support the occiput in one hand, and reach under the
occiput with the other hand to the side you wish to
affect. Grip your fingers against the bone just where the
mastoid process joins the occipital ridge, so that one fin-
gertip is just above the ridge, one just below. Slowly but
firmly bring the tissue back toward the midline, as the
client turns his head in time with you toward the side
you are working (DVD ref: Lateral Line, 57:55-59:06).
The Lateral Line and the shoulder
Clearly, the LL and the arms are related: the arms hang
off the side of the body, covering the lateral ribs and the
myofascia of the LL. Please note, though, that the LL
itself does not involve the shoulder girdle directly; in
the trunk it is a line of the axial skeleton. This is a con-
ceptual separation only - the tissues of the arm lines of
course blend right in to the tissues of the Lateral Line.
This conceptual separation has an important practical
aspect, however, because it is our contention that support
of the head is more properly accomplished as an entirely
axial event, so that the shoulders are absolutely free of
any role in supporting the head. The tensional balance
between the SCM and splenii is sufficient to accomplish
outer lateral support of the head, if the underlying struc-
ture of the ribs is in place.
There are a couple of Arm Line myofasciae, however,
that can get inadvertently caught up in what should
be the Lateral Line's job - balancing support of the
head. One of these is the levator scapulae, which con-
In the neck, from the ribs to the skull, the 'X' pattern
repeats itself, and once again the forward and up portion
lies deep to the backward and up portion (Fig. 5.12).
The splenius capitis, which originates on the spinous
processes of the lower cervicals and upper thoracics
and ends on the lateral border of the occiput and poste-
rior portion of the temporal bone, forms the back leg of
We have already addressed the sternocleidomastoid
(see Ch. 4 or DVD ref: Superficial Front Line, 46:58-52:45),
which can also be worked side-lying. We have noted that
this myofascial unit participa tes in the SFL as well, empha-
sizing the role of the LL in mediating between the SFL and
SBL and the connections among the lines: if the SFL is
pulled downward, the LL will be adversely affected.
The counterpart to the SCM in the LL is the splenius
capitis, which is more difficult to affect in this position.