Do you want to sleep better? Do you want to be less stressed? And be happier naturally? Then it’s time you knew about the “muscle of the soul” known as the Psoas muscle (pronounced so-as).
We all know that depression, anxiety and fear resides inside our minds. But it may also be in the deepest muscle of our bodies as well. This is why, relieving Psoas muscle pain can be secret to a happier and healthier life.
The psoas is responsible for balancing and stabilizing your body. The muscle runs from the hip bone, keeps your body upright and helps in moving. It also helps with –
- Structural balance
- Muscular integrity
- Joint movement
- Range of motion
It ensures that the organs in the abdominal area function effectively. The psoas muscle directly connects the lower half of the body to the upper half of the body. This just goes to show how important this muscle is and why you should know about it.
What is the psoas muscle?
“While working with my psoas, I discovered I had released years of back pain and emotional distress which awoke within me a deep sense of pleasure. I became passionate that people should know what an extraordinary role the psoas plays in recovering health and gaining a sense of wholeness.” – Liz Koch
This core-stabilizing muscle found near your hip bone is perhaps the most crucial muscle in the body. You wouldn’t be able to stand upright without this important muscle group. Being the only muscle which connects your spine to your legs, the Psoas are the primary connectors which are responsible for letting you lift your legs up to walk. When functioning properly, this muscle helps to stabilize your spine and offers necessary support through your torso. It creates a shelf for all your vital organs present in the core.
Your psoas muscles allow you to run, cycle, lift weights, practice yoga, dance and even relax on your couch. Comprised of both fast and slow twitching muscles, it could lead to several pains and aches in the body, like lower back pain, when overstretched, overused or tight. Various types of movements can strain this muscle like externally rotating your leg while extended (martial arts or ballet) or twisting your waist while standing firm with your feet or even excessive ab crunches or sit ups. However, as it’s complexity is still mysterious to many experts, most of the time we are wrongly diagnosed for Psoas muscle pain and it’s treatment.
The ‘soul muscle’
Did you know the Psoas muscle may be related to your mental, emotional and physical well being? According to studies, this mysterious deepest muscle in your muscular system may very well be linked to your mood and happiness apart from just your mobility.
Author of The Psoas Book, Liz Koch says –
“The psoas literally embodies our deepest urge for survival, and more profoundly, our elemental desire to flourish… It is much more than simply a muscle, it can be perceived as the guardian or spokesperson of Dan Tien, Hara, or what is commonly referred to as your ‘gut intuition’. In some spiritual philosophies, the psoas is referred to as ‘the muscle of the soul’.”
So there just might be a lot more to this muscle than meets the eye. It is also connected with your diaphragm through fascia or connective tissue, where physical manifestation of anxiety and fear reflex mostly occurs. The author also believes the psoas muscle is directly connected with the spinal cord that leads to the reptilian brain, which is the most ancient part of your brain stem. It is responsible for our fight or flight response but not related to thinking.
Koch, who has studied the psoas for over 40 years, says –
“Long before the spoken word or the organizing capacity of the cortex developed, the reptilian brain, known for its survival instincts, maintained our essential core functioning.”
Hence, when the psoas muscle becomes tense, your reptilian brain is also affected and may become tense as well. This can lead to a feeling of anxiety and misery.
“The psoas is so intimately involved in such basic physical and emotional reactions, that a chronically tightened psoas continually signals your body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system.” – Liz Koch
It is also believed that this muscle can greatly help you in connecting with the present moment and being mindful, particularly when you stretch it out and release tension from your body.