Do You Hold Your Stress In Your Psoas?


When you hear fitness people talk about the core, what comes to mind? In almost every fitness or exercise commercial or advertisement there is some reference to it. However, no one really explains what they’re actually talking about. It’s taken for granted that people have a good understanding of what their “core” is.

When you actually think about it, the word “core” could mean any number of things. But, the general understanding is that it’s something, a structure perhaps, located deep in your body.

If that’s the case, why do personal trainers and fitness buffs refer to the abdominals when talking about a “core workout”? The abdominal muscles, while located wrapped around the midsection of each person’s body, is not actually at the center or core of the body.

Your Psoas Is At The Core

Thinking about this particular word may bring to mind the center part of an apple. An apple core, if you would.

You get to the apple core by taking away most of the apple and all of the meat that surrounds the core. When you’re done, you’re left with a very skinny piece of the fruit that is made up of the dense fleshy parts of the apple that surrounds the seeds or the heart of the apple.

I would suggest that our “core” is deeper than most people think and that the Psoas muscle plays a part in it. For a little deeper (no pun intended), understanding of this concept, let’s look at this article:

Holding Your Tension In Your Core

Much of the tension we store occurs in our muscles, one of them being the psoas muscle. This can result in an ugly downward spiral that becomes a source of anxiety and stress in and of itself.

The psoas muscle is the largest muscle in our bodies, running through the entirety of our trunk.

“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,” explains Liz Koch in her book, The Psoas Book. “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.”

A huge part of taking on a healthier lifestyle is commitment to daily practice that continuously works to heal, replenish, and relax you. A variety of yoga poses, for instance, can help you to release this stress, anxiety, and fear that gets built up within the psoas muscle.

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The article gets into the metsphysics of how our bodies work and how stress may influence our musculo-skeletal system. If you feel that you deal with a lot of stress during they day and don’t get much physical activity, if may do some good to explore ways to reduce it that don’t require medications or a trip to the doctor.


For more information on causes of back pain see this page.

Physical Therapist

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