The Muscle of the Soul
Have you ever heard of your Psoas Muscle? This is the muscle that exists on the side of our vertebral column, extending down to the edge of the pelvis. It’s called the “muscle of the soul” because of how important it is to our bodies. The upper part, known as ‘psoas major,’ is what connects our upper body to our lower body, our inside to our outside, and our back to our front.
If you spend a majority of your time sitting, either in a car, plane or looking at a computer, you could be unknowingly locking up your hips. When this happens, we start experiencing stress and fear that we normally would not, which in turn clouds our ability to think, as well as our ability to function on a healthy level.
When we’re anxious, we’re easier to manipulate
It’s no secret that fear causes people to think irrationally. Advertising agencies, as well as the government, know this, and they use it to their advantage. Unfortunately, modern day lifestyles have become relatively stagnant while at the same time being incredibly fast-paced.
We’re constantly driving from one place to another and many of us do our jobs using computers, which leaves little time for physical activity.
This unhealthy combo is what is causing the buildup of stress in our bodies which never gets fully released.
Where is this stress stored? The Psoas
The psoas is the largest muscle in the body. Not only is it used for core stabilization, but it’s largely tied to our fight-or-flight reflex mechanism. This is the mechanism that tells us whether we should stand and fight, or high-tail it out of there. Our fight-or-flight reflex is what tells the body to release a ton of adrenaline so we can fight hard or escape quickly.
When these stressful responses occur, they produce stress hormones in the body which build up and get stored if we do not release them. If this happens regularly, we start to suffer from conditions like insomnia, anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and a depressed immune system.
“Because the psoas is so intimately involved in such basic physical and emotional reactions, a chronically tightened psoas continually signals your body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system. As you learn to approach the world without this chronic tension, psoas awareness can open the door to a more sensitive attunement to your body’s inner signals about safety and danger, and to a greater sense of inner peace,” says Liz Koch, author of The Psoas Book.
Methods of Healing
Healing the body of stress is done gradually and consistently, as there is no single method that will magically do it overnight. However, craniosacral therapy is one great tool we can utilize for relaxing ourselves into a parasympathetic state, which helps soothe the nervous system and melt away stress.
Another great way of healing the body is through yoga and meditation. Many people are unaware that yoga is one of the healthiest (and easiest) practices you can do every day, as it heals, rejuvenates and relaxes your entire being. Different yoga poses help relax different parts of the body, so you can find a series of postures designed specifically for healing, or you can build your own routine. Here is a list from Yoga International that might be helpful to those who are just starting.
Even just five to ten minutes of stretching out your ‘muscle of the soul’ will have a tremendous impact on your health and well-being. From being able to move more effectively to being less anxious and stressed out. But, you have to make the choice to do so, it will not happen without effort on your part. Look inward and decide that you want to help yourself as much as possible.
Source: Expanded Consciousness