Q & A: Is Fetal Curl In Water A Psoas Release?

Published by Liz Koch on December 30, 2009 in Question of the Month

Q: In your flicker photos (2009 Summer Retreat), there are several of women floating in water on their sides using pool flotation devices (noodles).  Is that a psoas release?

I floated in my pool one afternoon exactly in that manner long before I came to your work and had the most profound experience: As a firefighter I was struck with terrible chronic fatigue that kept me off work for 2 years. One day I simply got in my pool and just floated using my noodles and naturally came to the protective curled position.  Soon I was discovering that I would just “open up”, after a while and felt very peaceful…I “recovered” if you will. The best way I can describe it is that my body seemed to be recharging. Fast forward several months and I’m back to full duty and riding my beloved fire engine. There is no question that floating in that medium and it that manner was part of a healing response to my sympathetic system which was always turned on. I never understood what it was nor have I ever seen anyone do that until I came across your pictures. Thank You very much for your work.

A: Yes the fetal curl is a psoas release  position, and on a very deep level this fetal position or Primitive C also helps to resolve the sympathetic survival response. It is therefore useful for trauma protocol.  Fetal  is a very powerful position that we instinctively return to when we need to regain integrity within our core.  Notice how in some of the other pictures people eventually  uncurl to open fully to the medium of water. This natural opening cannot be forced but is a result of  a spontaneous resolution.

Water is an incredibly useful medium and it is why I offer a Psoas Retreat at Rio Caliente each year (please join me for my 2010 January Retreat & Application Course  – there are just a few spots left!). The source of water at Rio Caliente is a thermal underground volcanic lake.  This odorless mineral rich (no sulfur) water is nourishing to the nervous system.  Returning to water (our primordial source) refreshes and renews!

Cecilia Micallef
Posted on March 19th, 2013 | Permalink

Do you know if this is the same as a water therapy I’ve heard of called watsu?

Liz Koch
Posted on March 24th, 2013 | Permalink

Watsu is shiatsu in water and involves a practitioner. Unraveling in water is a playful way of unraveling tension patterns using fluid motion.

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