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November 20, 2006

A Week For The Psoas

I have tension patterns that spring up in waves in my clients. Low back complaints and neck cricks have been common complaints as our weather in north Alabama fluctuates. Interestingly the tie for low back symptoms have been in the sacroiliac joint and the psoas.

I don't know if it is standard protocol for schools to teach massage of the psoas, but mine did. Access to the psoas is through the abdomen. Care must be taken not to traumatize the tender tissues of the small intestine so "soft hands" is a must until contact with the psoas is made. One way to insure that you are on your client's psoas is to get them to bend their knee slightly. The psoas will pop up to greet you. Psoas work is generally uncomfortable for most people because it is a strong muscle that takes a lot of abuse from postural distortions.

The caudal aspect of the psoas is hardest to make contact with through the body because it lies so deep. For that reason, I like to "hook up" my other hand with the origin at the low back just under the ribcage (which is where clients usually tell you where the pain is). I like this because it mimics a craniosacral hold and reminds me to soften my hands accordingly. Holding and waiting while my top hand gently lengthens muscle fibers and tight areas in the psoas usually results in a palpable softening of the psoas in the lumbar region.

Please do not try this in your practice without adequate training. There are many vulnerable structures in this area and the psoas is also an emotionally loaded muscle that needs gentle care.


Posted by linda at November 20, 2006 3:34 AM

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