The psoas (pronounced SO-as) muscles are the most important muscles in the body. And we know this is a huge claim, but they truly does so much for you, both mentally and physically. Also known as the muscle of the soul, the psoas muscles connect on both sides of your spine, and insert at the thigh bones. Go ahead and place your fingers at the front of your hip bones. The fleshy part that connects your hips to your torso is the psoas muscle. And it may seem thick and rope-like to you. In this article, we’ll go over psoas muscle relaxation techniques. And we’ll describe the benefits of doing this, as well.
How Do The Psoas Muscles Work?
These long, fibrous muscles control how your body moves. No matter if you’re running, walking, dancing, riding a bike, or even sitting on the couch, these muscles are working. Essentially, the psoas muscles stabilize your spine. And when they’re weak or tight, this can affect your posture and your muscle making abilities.
The psoas muscles are the deepest muscles in your body. They are a huge part of your core muscles, as they connect your torso to your legs. Basically, they allow you to bend your chest towards your legs. And they’re the power behind moving your body forward, as with running or walking. In addition, these muscles support your organs, and allow for blood and lymph fluids to push in and out of your cells.
When these muscles are weak or tight, this can affect your physical state. You may had bad posture, which can cause a great amount of pain. If you sit all day, these muscles can become chronically tight. And it can affect the entire area of your hips and your back. Usually, when you experience random back pains, it’s due to these muscles being weak or tight.
Psoas Muscles And Relaxation
Your psoas muscles do a lot for your body. And this includes the state of your psychological well-being. In particular, the psoas muscles control the fight or flight response in your body. Basically, when you’re under stress, your psoas contracts and becomes tight. This is connected to how you breathe when you’re stressed. Usually breathing becomes shallow and fast when you’re stressed. And since the psoas muscles are connected to the diaphragm via tendons, your breath and psoas muscles are directly impacted by one another. In general, there are two ways to relax the psoas muscles:
Breath control – this is a great place to start no matter if you have weak or tight psoas muscles. Your breath is a direct connection to your psychological well-being. And, in fact, you can change your well-being by controlling the breath. So, how do you breathe for the best impact? Set up your body so you are comfortable and feeling no tension. Some people can sit on the floor, while others find lying down works best. You’ll want to breathe air in through your nose. And make sure to fill up completely, without creating tension in your chest or belly. Your belly should enlarge as your diaphragm fills and pushes downward. And as you breathe out through your nose, you should completely let go of the breath. You should also work towards relaxing your muscles while exhaling.
Physical relaxation of the muscles – another direct way to reach relaxation of the psoas muscles is to set up your body so they can relax. One of the best poses for this is called constructive rest pose (CRP). Most people find lying on the bed or on the floor helps their psoas muscles relax. However, most people also find that they need a little more support when in this position. Due to the nature of our workplace, most of us sit all day long. This eventually shortens the psoas muscles.
So, when you’re lying down, you’ll want to bend the knees and place the feet flat on the ground/bed. Your feet should be hip-width distance apart, and you’ll want to rest your knees together. Another more supportive way to do is to place a pillow or a rolled up blanket under your knees. This ensures there’s no tension in the legs, so you can relax that deep inner core much easier.
Other Ways To Relax The Psoas:
- Ask a chiropractor/physical therapist if your psoas are tight or weak
- If they’re weak, work on strengthening and relaxing
- If they’re tight, work on relaxing and stretching
- Add support to your work chair and car seat – check out lumbar support products at the store
- Take it easy with your exercise routines
- Get a professional massage
- Do others things to de-stress your mind, i.e. take baths, drink caffeine-free tea, and make sure to have a positive mindset