Your illiopsoas are an incredibly important group of muscles in your body. They make it possible for you to walk, run, bike, get out of bed, stand or do any form of movement that involves raising up, or bending or flexing at the hip. These muscles are made up of psoas major and illiacus, major hip flexors, which join your upper and lower spine, and your legs to your spine.
In a previous blog we talked about how sitting for long hours can weaken these muscles or result in a tight psoas. A short or tight iliopsoas can result in externally rotated legs and feet and create pain in the low or mid back, SI joint, hip, groin, thigh, knee, or any combination. It can even result in bulging discs.
A happy psoas, means a healthier, happier body. “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,” according to Liz Koch, author of The Psoas Book.
In her book, she goes on to say that “The Psoas is a messenger of the central nervous system. In some spiritual philosophies, it is referred to as the muscle of the soul. The psoas’ proximity to the lumbar plexus and abdominal organs, has also led many others to suggest that the health of the iliopsoas may be essential for proper functioning of “the kidneys, adrenals, digestion and effective metabolism in the reproductive system.” The psoas supports your internal organs and works like a pump to let blood and lymph be pushed in and out of your cells. The muscles of your illiopsoas, not only help you structurally and support your internal organs, they even affect your psychological well-being by helping you to breathe easily and assist in proper functioning of your diaphragm.
Luckily getting relief and releasing the psoas muscles can be easy. From body work, to changing how you sit, to exercise all can provide relief. The Whole Body Vibration (WBV) machines that we have in our studio target the pelvic floor and bowl, specifically strengthening all these muscles. Standing on the WBV machines for 20 minutes every other day will strengthen, tone and release tension in most of the muscles in your body. Come on in for a free demo on these amazing machines.
Additionally, body work is an amazing tool to access your psoas and release it. Both Tara or Esther know how to release a cranky psoas. Next time you book a massage, ask for psoas help you’ll be amazed to find it may be tight and how much better and grounded you feel after it releases.
For some fun chair-based exercises with psoas expert, Liz Koch, check out her video below:
Susan McLaughlin, a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor and orthopedic dysfunctions offers several tools on her website and via YouTube: