Why is the Psoas the Muscle of the Soul?
This article is largely written by Danielle Prohom Olson, inspired by David Bercelli's teachings on trauma and tension release and complemented with my own experience and teachings with the Good Vibrations in workshop training and personal use.
The psoas muscle is the deepest muscle in the human body, affecting our structural balance, muscle integrity, flexibility, strength, joint mobility and organ function.
Originating on both sides of the spinal column, the psoas spans each of the 5 lumbar vertebrae on the side of the 12th thoracic vertebra (T12). From there it runs down through the lower abdomen, the pelvis and ends at the upper end of the femur (thigh bone).
The psoas is the only muscle that connects the spine to the legs. It is responsible for our upright posture and enables us to lift our legs when walking. A healthy psoas stabilises the spine and, supported by the trunk, it forms a kind of support for the vital organs of the lower abdomen.
The psoas is connected to the diaphragm by fasciae that can trigger both the breathing reflex and an anxiety reflex, because the psoas is directly connected to the reptilian brain, the oldest part of the brain stem and spinal cord. Long before language or the higher organizational capacity of the cortex developed, the reptilian brain, known for its survival instinct, maintained essential core functions.
Our fast-paced modern lifestyle (with a constant rush of adrenaline and cortisol to our sympathetic nervous system) causes chronic triggering and tightening of the psoas - literally making us ready to run or fight. The muscle power of the psoa helps to get into action - or to curl up like a ball for protection.
If we constantly - usually unconsciously - tense the psoas due to stress or tension, the muscle can eventually trigger a variety of painful conditions such as back pain, back pain, sciatica, disc problems, spondylosis, scoliosis, hip degeneration, knee pain, menstrual problems, infertility and digestive problems, depression, anxiety and anxiety.
A tense psoas not only causes structural problems, it also constricts the organs, puts pressure on the nerves, hinders the flow of movement and impairs diaphragmatic breathing.
In fact, the psoas is so directly involved in the basic physical and emotional reactions that a chronically tense psoas continuously signals danger to the body. At some point, the adrenal glands and the immune system can become exhausted.
This situation is aggravated by many things in our modern lifestyle, from car seats to constricting clothing, from chairs to shoes, which affect our posture, alter the natural movements and thereby make our psoas tense.
The first step in maintaining a healthy psoas is to reduce unnecessary tension and stress. But in order to "work" with the psoas, you should not try to control the muscles. Neurogenic trembling, as our body naturally does, as in all mammals, as trauma and tension discharge in the body as a resource, is a simple and deep method to increase our capacities.
A relaxed psoas is a sign of playful and creative expression. Instead of a cramped psoas, always ready to run or fight, the relaxed and supple psoas is ready to stretch and open up to dance. A relaxed psoas allows the front of the thighs to be stretched and the legs to move independently of the pelvis. It also allows a free and complete straightening of the torso and an opening of the heart.
By discharging the psoas, not a willful stretching, but a neurogenic, innately tremor available to all living mammals, and thus releasing the body from stored tensions, we free up vital energies in our body again. Within the Taoist tradition the psoas is called the seat or muscle of the soul, it surrounds the lower "Dan Tien" (abdomen, the "Hara"), the main energy centre of the body. A flexible and strong psoas allows subtle energies to flow through the bones, muscles, nerves and joints.
The psoas, infused with energy, reconnects us to the earth. Our "Window of Tolerance", our ability to accept and release what we encounter in our life, increases with every vibration.
Workshop "Good Vibrations" Release of Tension and Trauma on a physical and auric level to free not just your physical body.
Whether you had the opportunity to experience safe tremors or not, it doesn’t matter. If you would like to learn how to use this easy self-help technique safely on your own and get a deepter understanding of the connection between emotions and the body and learn that safety is a skill you can learn and even teach your children and grandchildren, then enroll in this online class!
and get a deeper understanding, I’m offering this workshop which consists of 4 online meetings, once weekly, 60-90min. each.
Thursdays in August in English 6 pm German Time 60 to 90 min each: 100 Euros for all 4 sessions.
What you'll get:
After the workshop you’ll be able to self induce the tremors in a safe and controlled way and will know how to self-regulate. You will get a "tool-box" of simple to-go tools to soothen your body in a controlled, easy-to-remember fashion. You will have basic knowledge of embodiment, trauma with a big T and a small t as well. You will love your body even more due to your understand of its innate intelligence and capacity.
What you will learn:
Different ways of grounding and how to get back into the here and now in case you experience intense emotions/reactions while/after doing neurogenic tremors but also for any other situations in life,
The nervous system, your lifeguard,
Different states of trauma, why they get stuck in our body and why it’s so important to release them,
The Psoas, why it’s called "The muscle of the soul" and why TRE is one of the best techniques to release and loosen it up,
How to recognise cues of overwhelm, dissociation, flooding
The Polyvagal theory in a nutshell,