This caught my eye, @CarolynA, For you or any well-versed body health people, can you explain muscle shut down to me? Is it triggered by stress? How does it get undone?
I ask because (1) I’m curious and (2) my PT lady last year said it’s as if my entire right side of my body shut down due to stress. I have piriformis issues on my right side and am still doing all of the relevant exercises and stretches. My rib cage tends to lock up during stress which makes it hard to breathe. My diaphragm was stuck in my ribs when I started PT last year. My sports medicine doctor told me that all of my problems with my right hip (and sometimes right knee due to the right hip) will be solved if I learn to “squeeze me buttcheeks”. He said it like 10 times during my visit. So how do I always squeeze my buttcheeks for stability yet keep my ribcage loose for proper breathing? All of this simultaneous contracting and relaxing is beyond me.
Try this as a preparatory step: stand comfortably with feet parallel and hip distance apart. Lightly engage your quadriceps, keep your abs relaxed, and drop your bottom down slightly as if you were sitting on a bar stool. In yoga, lenghtening the spine like this opens up the back body and lets you keep your sternum lifted for more breath capacity. Hope that helps a bit.
So if this simple maneuver makes several ribs and my sternum pop in a few places…I’m going to take that as a good sign? Everything cracks and pops on me these days. I make so much noise getting up out of bed, I feel like my age should be in “dog years” or “cat years”.