I often come across clients who present with a range of different conditions, including poor posture, digestion and emotional issues.
The Psoas muscle can be impacted by each of these factors and therefore the relationship is often misunderstood
In order to understand these complex relationships better we should start with a basic understanding of the muscle itself. The Psoas muscle is a large muscle that measures approximately 16 inches long, it lies on both sides of the lumber spine and attaches at the level of the T12 and each side of the five lumbar vertebrae. It is the muscle that is responsible for linking the rib cage and truck to the lower legs. It is often referred to as ‘ilipsoas’ as it attaches with the iliacus muscle that lies on the inside of the pelvis. So if the Psoas muscle is tight (shortened), this will affect the function at our hips.
The Psoas muscle is basically a hip flexor, it contract or shortens, it stretches and lengthens depending of the environment in which it is subjected too. If you sit in a chair at the computer your Psoas muscle shortens, and the muscles that lie along the back of your spine (the erector spinea group) lengthen.
The Psoas is often referred to as guide wire that stabilises the spine, like the ropes of a tent, and we all know that the tent is better if upright.
The Psoas muscle is responsible for walking as it responds to subtle shifts of gravity through the trunk and then the legs simply follow.
The Psoas is also a hydraulic pump. It creates movement that pushes fluids in and out of our cells. It is important for arterial blood flow to our legs and feet.
If the Psoas muscle is shortened it affects all body postures. One example is; if one side of the Psoas muscle is shortened it may cause one leg to shorten.
There a many reasons why a persons Psoas muscle may be compromised, it be caused by an accident or a compensation pattern the body has taken, it may also be a result of tension in our bodies or our emotional state.
If the body goes into fight and flight mode the Psoas muscle takes on a contracted (shortened) posture to protect the vital organs.
This is such a complex muscle that I could talk about it for days, but know we need to start to look at the health of the Psoas and what we can do to help.
I always recommend to clients first to start with Diaphragmatic Breathing so they lean to calm down the vital systems of the body which will have a major impact on the health of the Psoas,
When they can undertake this style of breathing I like them to understand how their body feels lying face up on the ground, can they let the tension release from the hips, spine, shoulders and neck.
It’s defiantly worth the time to understand this amazing muscle.