The Box Tie Position

Box Ties are popular with rope enthusiasts.  (For examples see: Bolero Box Tie, Box Tie with 101 Techniques, Gote Shibari, Karada Box Tie, Cross-Chest Box Tie.)

However, there are important things to understand about this position.  It is not something everyone can just do, so it is important to test that this position can be safely maintained by your partner before tying them into it!

This position by itself, even with no rope involved, may pose a risk of nerve compression on some people or if tied too tightly. Nerve compression is a dangerous situation that can result in long-term or permanent injury if not managed carefully.

See the links above and in the tutorial below for more details on how to manage this risk.

If testing does show that you/your partner may experience nerve compression, and you want to be able to do so, there are things you can do to work toward it!

A combination of yoga for the shoulders and arms (see Stretching for Box Ties) and a practice of “nerve gliding” can help build toward the ability to do this.  For nerve gliding, look for videos from a licensed physical therapist, like these on radial, median and ulnar nerve gliding.

As with all ties, it is good practice to test that your bottom can be in your planned position comfortably without rope before tying in that position for any length of time.  So, have your partner assume a good box tie position:

If your partner is unable to do assume this position safely and you both want them to be able to do so in the future, this is something they can work toward.  A combination of yoga for the shoulders and arms (see Stretching for Box Ties) and a practice of “nerve gliding” can help build toward the ability to do this.  For nerve gliding, look for videos from a licensed physical therapist, like these on radial, median and ulnar nerve gliding.

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