Oh the psoas…that mysterious muscle so difficult to visualize and relax, lying deep to the abdomen within the pelvic bowl. The psoas is an important muscle working as a spine stabilizer as well as a hip flexor in the proper initiation of walking, it joins the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the body, and it’s where walking meets breathing. How can one muscle encompass all these actions? Because of it’s fascial connections!
As a Bowenwork practitioner I’m looking at the body as one unit where everything is connected via myofascial meridians and delicately balanced via the many systems in our body (nervous system, digestive, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, etc) Bowenwork is a gentle yet powerfully effective cross fiber, soft tissue mobilization technique. A Bowenwork ‘move’ is slow and the pressure is gentle so it can stimulate stretch receptors on muscle fibers and mechnoreceptors on fascia which relay information about the state of tension to the nervous system and in turn the nervous system relaxes the muscle tension, shifting a client out of ‘fight, flight, freeze’ mode and into ‘rest, digest and repair’ mode.
So the psoas muscle is a link in the chain…one muscle within the deep front line (Check out Anatomy Trains by Thomas Meyers if you’re a body geek like me) The deep front line myofascial meridian connects the arches of our feet, inner thigh, pelvic floor, psoas, diaphragm, pericardium, scalene muscles of our neck to the muscles of our jaw. So just like pulling a thread on a sleeve of a sweater, a tight psoas can cause a variety of symptoms such as neck pain, collapsed arches, difficulty breathing , TMJ/jaw pain or pelvic floor issues i.e. incontinence. It’s all connected via the fascial lines. Many times I view my job as a Bowenwork practitioner as a fascia detective…you may be coming in with neck or foot pain but those areas are often times the victim and the psoas could be the culprit.
Seeing the body as a whole with it’s many connections is beautiful and awe inspiring. A Bowenwork mantra is Less is More…the body responds to this. In other words I don’t need to spend 60 minutes on your neck pain or lower back pain if I did my detective work right and find the most restricted part of the line is the psoas…release it, give the body time to heal itself and unwind the whole meridian and then comes long term relief of that neck pain. Awww the psoas.