This muscle originates at the sternum and medial third of the clavicle inserts into the mastoid process of the skull. The sternocleidomastoid is possibly the most influential neck muscle to influence the cervical vertebrae.  This muscle also associates tension during extended amounts of sitting coupled with continuous stress.  It will generally be responsible for drawing the neck into a protracted position when it is over stimulated. 

Since it also is responsible for turning the neck, it can also be highly inhibitory in transverse rotation of the cervical spine.   Although the direct problem in terms of rotational neck dysfunction at the neck will be oriented by the sternocleidomastoid, the origin of cervical dysfunction will be based in thoracic structural integrity.  With all things said, a good release of the Sternocleidomastoid can go a very long way. The release of the sternocleidomastoid can be one of the most rewarding in terms of immediate stress relief.  

Since they carry such a high influence on neck tension, releasing them will prove to be very important in the process of developing a neural adaptability to stress. The optimal place to apply pressure when doing this MFR technique will usually be right underneath the jaw.  Since there is so much activity that happens in that region in terms of stress tension, it will be a crucial area to put much of the focus on.  This region of musculature will tend to be very dense and it may require a little more pressure to penetrate through some of the density.


The most dense point of tension in the Sternocleidomastoid can usually be found in the upper regions on the anterior and lateral portions of the neck. This release like the Scalenes is meant to be passive, so be sure to limit the pressure you place upon this region. This area can be a bit dense so it might take up to 5-10 minutes to release.