Today for a change of pace we are going to have a brief anatomy lesson. Sounds like fun don’t it!
I took Human Anatomy & Physiology I a few years ago as a pre-requisite for a program I ended up not going for. I learned a lot, though sadly I have also forgotten a lot too. But one of the things I have not forgotten is the xiphoid process.
Sounds pretty fancy, huh? It sounds like some alien process that goes on within our cells that gives us life! I hate to break it to you, but your xiphoid process is not converting carbs into energy or metabolizing your food. Your xiphoid process is a the small bone (technically it’s cartilage) at the bottom of your sternum, or breast bone.
Poke yourself in the middle of your chest, and follow the breast bone down between your ribs and at the end of it is your xiphoid process! If you’ve ever taken a CPR class before you’ve probably heard of it, but maybe not by name. When doing chest compressions for CPR you want to be above (closer to your head) about a few inches from the xiphoid process to avoid lung punctures. You see, if you started doing heavy chest compressions on someone over their xiphoid process you would probably break it off and it could easily puncture their lung.
The xiphoid process may not serve a chemical function in your body, but it is still important! Your 8-10th ribs are not attached to your sternum directly, but are instead attached by cartilage to your xiphoid process and the bottom of your sternum. Without your xiphoid process your ribs would have to be reattached higher up.
And that is pretty much all that I know about the xiphoid process. Hope you learned something today!