Tom Myers & Liz Koch: A Psoas Conversation Part I

Published by Liz Koch on December 10, 2010 in Podcasts

Tom Myers author of Anatomy Trains and Liz Koch author of The Psoas Book air their professional perspectives on working with the Psoas. Both Tom & Liz have extensive personal and professional experience working with the Psoas. Having trained with Ida Rolf in the 70’s, Tom Myers comes to this discussion with an extensive hands-on approach, while somatic educator Liz Koch brings her 30 years of somatic explorations as validation for avoiding direct palpation of the core muscle. This conversation enlightens their mutual understanding of the Psoas and highlights the thinking behind why their approaches differ.


More information about Tom Myers and Anatomy Trains can be found at

Posted on December 11th, 2010 | Permalink

What a great discussion. You both brought great views and insight to your craft and how they relate to the Psoas. I took some notes… Thanks!

Kris Knight
Posted on December 12th, 2010 | Permalink

Sure wish you could get transcript made of this. I have dialup, so this won’t work for me unless I go elsewhere. HOpefully I can get somewhere soon to hear this. Thanks for making it available to us! I do LOTS of work with the psoas muscle in people; huge change by working with it.

Joan Hedstrom
Posted on December 12th, 2010 | Permalink

Fascinating. Thank you for posting this!

kim masters
Posted on December 12th, 2010 | Permalink

brilliant. thank you.

very glad you appeared be resolving your disagreement towards the end re: ‘manipulation’ and to touch or not to touch, as it sounded to me like you were both essentially coming from the same place. Applying one’s own awareness — however it may be facilitated, whether it be thro the field, words, thro touch — is what healing is all about. And touch is not necessarily manipulative or invasive.

Jo Ann Jones
Posted on December 13th, 2010 | Permalink

Dear Liz,
The conversation between yourself and Tom Myers was a gift-as a ‘psoas researcher’, I found it extremely engaging to hear both viewpoints merge (in a sense), with total respect for what the psoas can do as a connecting point. Your specializations do not contradict, but support each other in many ways. There is always much to learn, especially in resolving trauma, THANK YOU both for your insights and explorations, and the clarity on manipulation, touch, response of the midline, and many other dynamic issues…
JSJones, author, Anatomy of Exercise & Movement

Posted on December 13th, 2010 | Permalink

this was luscious. Thank you for discussing something so interesting and visceral. Big Smiles, brie

Karin Edwards Wagner, Certified Rolfer
Posted on December 14th, 2010 | Permalink

This is a very interesting discussion. I like the idea that the psoas is like the tongue, a different type of muscle entirely. It seems appropriate too, since they are both part of Tom’s “Deep Front Line.” That makes me curious if any other bits of that line are non-standard muscle as well.

Sara Firman
Posted on December 20th, 2010 | Permalink

Thanks Liz for bringing Tom into a really engaging dialog that extended well into our concept of what the body is and the value of imagery in doing that. It seems clear that the body does respond differently according to the language with which we speak to it and our view of its own innate healing capacity.

Liz’s persistence with ‘evoking a climate of safety’ seems key to me and it is something that my own modality (water) really helps enhance.

I was also interested in the discussion of shaking and flowing (or undulation) and would enjoy further thoughts on what these are and the differences between them. The possibility of becoming (culturally) ‘addicted to shaking’ or ‘drunk on trauma’ seems a valid one.

Christie Tonks
Posted on January 12th, 2011 | Permalink

Thank you Liz and Tom for the passionate and evocative discussion. Having been lucky enough to have experienced one of Liz’s psoas retreats in the UK and been an avid follower of Toms anatomy trains concept by attending some of James Earls workshops it was quite an exciting experience to listen to a merging of your opinions. Once was not enough and it leaves me with a hunger and enthusiasm to learn so much more.

Steve Kramer
Posted on January 13th, 2011 | Permalink

Intriguing discussion. Most important facet is the ever evolving ways to get a person to heal. There is no one path to health and the concepts expressed here are very valuable

12-hr psoas workshop announcement « En Pointe Pilates
Posted on January 14th, 2011 | Permalink

[...] I’m excited to announce that Liz Koch, author of the underground treasure ‘The Psoas Book’ is coming to Toronto to share a 12-hr workshop on everyone’s favourite muscle at the end of April.   As ‘Core’ training gets more and more popular, if you are an avid student or seasoned teacher – the insights in this book are practice altering- and will profoundly influence your relationship with the psoas on and off the mat.  I’m personally excited to learn what other tricks and treats Liz will bring, that I in turn can offer up to my own private clients and groups.  As a side note -if you’re a Tom Myers/Kinesis fan – she has released an audio interview between herself and Tom here. [...]

Jeff Martens
Posted on February 7th, 2011 | Permalink

Thank you for such a fertile conversation – the heart of it for me was toward the end where the ‘masculine’ aspect of touching and intervention is contrasted with the ‘flowering’ that occurs from the sensing of a supportive and ripe environment. As someone who approaches the psoas and its related fear/thriving potential (manifesting as abhinivesha, or literally ’self’ preservation (survival) vs. living) I see that it is the union of these two archetypal energies, masculine and feminine, where integration or healing or wholeness or synthesis occurs. So whether the flowering happens with a gentle caress of awareness or the ‘resolution’ happens with the softest physical caress, it is still in the uniting of thinking and feeling, Being and Doing, acting and non-acting, that we move beyond duality-based constriction and really begin to thrive.

Liz Koch
Posted on February 14th, 2011 | Permalink

You are welcome Jeff! Thanks for commenting. I agree with the archetypal energies AND I find one cannot gently caress the Psoas directly – it is at the core of another human organism. One can do so respectfully and powerfully by focusing on the ankle/foot, gently touching of the skin, rocking of the leg… but the every act of going so deep within another human organism elicits a primitive response that requires the Psoas to behave instinctively. To try and bypass this response is not useful in my opinion and potentially can do more harm. Therefore the point of my suggestion is that less is more, indirect more direct, and that when it comes to the Psoas resolution comes from within not from without.

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