Q & A: Can Awareness Heal My Psoas?

Published by Liz Koch on October 11, 2007 in Question of the Month

Q:  If the psoas is part of the reptilian or subconscious brain, as you allude to in your recent book review (found in the quarterly newsletter) and can not be controlled why do you offer exercises and techniques in The Psoas Book for releasing, toning and lengthening the psoas? Should I be confused?

A: As part of the reptilian brain (or brain stem), the psoas muscle is expressive of the central nervous system.  Just as breathing and organ functioning are part of the autonomic nervous system, so too the survival responses, of which the psoas is part, continues to function whether awake or asleep – aware or unconscious.  But just as our heart is influenced by what we think, how we express our emotions or the choices we make, so too the psoas is influenced by our intentional awareness.  Thus I call my work with the psoas - Core Awareness! 

To work with the psoas is not to try to control the muscle, but to cultivate the awareness necessary for sensing its messages.  This involves making a conscious choice to become somatically aware. 

 The first step towards experiencing toning and lengthening of the healthy functioning psoas is  “releasing” unnecessary tension; another step is to open to the expressive possibilities of the iliopsoas outside our culturally accepted functioning (driving cars, sitting at desks, exercising in linear patterns). 

PS: I wrote the original Psoas Book over 26 years ago and although it provides very helpful information, my continuing explorations with the psoas innovates new ways of understanding this most amazing muscle! 



tammy swink
Posted on December 28th, 2007 | Permalink

This is all very interesting to me. I have recently takena graduate course in Integrative Medicine. I am a school nurse. I was diagnosed with significant scoliosis, treated with a boston brace, with no resolution of scoliosis, but I am aware of proper body dynamics.

My 20 year old daughter is seeking specialzed orthopedic care for bilateral hip pain, while playing Division 3 fideld hockey at Ithaca College. I am wondering if my genes may have predisposed her to her pain even though she does not have scoliosis.

Is there a more recent version of your original Psoas book?

Thank you for this web site.
Tammy Swink

Posted on December 29th, 2007 | Permalink

I just ordered the book from the website, and hope that this information will help in my healing. I have been working with physical therapy, and now pilates over the past 18 months. Is it common that pain in the hip, groin and low back may be caused by the psoas problem, especially when sitting for long periods of time? I did do the simple relaxation technique, and it works, but is not lasting. Thanks.

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