The Hum of Your Sternum

Here is another installment from my ever-so-unfinished-yet-deeply-beloved project BODY CARDS:

A Healing Hand, mixed media art journal entry by Courtney Putnam.

A Healing Hand, mixed media art journal entry by Courtney Putnam.

Location: In the center of the chest and articulates with the clavicle bones and first seven pairs of ribs.

Function: The sternum, or breastbone, serves to protect the heart, lungs, and main blood vessels from physical damage.

Unique Fact: During cardiac surgery, the sternum is sometimes cut open to gain access to the heart.

Associated Chakra: Heart (4th Chakra)

The strong sternum bone provides a layer of protection for those all-important ingredients of your body: your lungs and heart and major blood vessels. On an emotional level, the breastbone is often a place where we place our hand when we are moved or in some way affected emotionally. It is here on our chest where we can feel our own (or another person’s) heartbeat and the rhythm of our breathing. The sternum bone can feel like a powerful center for connecting with our own feelings or the feelings of others, for it is here where we often feel love and affection for another. And during our grief process, our heart chakra often emits a tremendous amount of energy as we feel our losses deeply.

The Sternum Card appears to remind you that your heart is always protected. It reminds you that you can feel deeply and you will not crumble into a million pieces. If you have been resisting your body’s call to feel love, grief, joy, or sadness, this may be time to take the risk and let the emotions come. When we hold our emotions tightly in our chest, we trap them there to live constricted, unexpressed lives. When we hold in our feelings, we may feel tightness in our chests and lack of full breath. It can feel like a risk to feel deeply, but the message of the sternum is that of safety and protection.  And showing your emotions to another can feel exposing and intense. But it can also be profoundly satisfying and freeing. What feelings are pulsing in your chest at your sternum, waiting to be released? Place your hand on your breastbone, feel the powerful pulse of your heart, and ask yourself what emotions are ready to become known.

Try this:

  • Place a rose quartz stone right on your sternum.  Feel it’s soothing energy calm your heart and connect you to your breath.
  • Thymus thumping (also called the Thymus Tap).  In a Waltz beat (one-two-three, one-two-three), tap your sternum. Your thymus glad resides right beneath your sternum and by activating it through tapping, you help boost your immune system.  You’ll notice this exercise awakens the heart and lungs, too, and it also makes you feel stronger, more resilient. I like the image of Tarzan when doing the Thymus Tap. Certainly Tarzan knew what he was doing when pounding his chest before embarking on some strenuous feat!

About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
This entry was posted in art, Chakras, grief and loss, healing, inspiration, life lessons, personal growth, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Hum of Your Sternum

  1. Pingback: clouds & granite | Eco Nut

  2. greg says:

    Thank you for this! I hope it’s OK, but i linked to your post in my blog since it hit home for what I was writing about… ~ Greg

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