The psoas muscle is a long muscle that starts at your lower back. It attaches the lower spinal vertebrae to the femur in the upper leg. It is responsible for the flexibility in your hips and upper legs. In addition, it balances your spinal cord. Thus, when the psoas is relaxed and functioning well, it enables good back health. However, if this muscle is contracted or stressed, it can affect your general health. Let’s take a look at how your psoas affects your health and energy levels.
Far-reaching Affects of the Psoas Muscle
Many believe that the psoas is the “muscle of the soul” because of its far-reaching impact on the body. Because it is a core stabilizing muscle, this muscle is responsible for much more than just keeping our spinal cord and hips in check.
Firstly, the psoas muscle is also connected to the diaphragm, therefore it directly affects our breathing. This, in turn, means it can impact fluctuations in our regular breathing patterns brought on by symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Furthermore, the psoas is also connected to the amygdala in the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for our biological flight-or-fight response. This is important because a continuously contracted psoas tricks the body into being in constant flight mode.
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When you’re in constant flight mode, your stress level and blood pressure rise rapidly. As a result, this introduces an influx of adrenaline into the body. Consequently, you will quickly drain your body’s energy levels, and it will be difficult to bring them back up again.
Finally, a contracted psoas can cause a significant amount of pain in the body. In fact, it can even result in chronic pain in the back or hips that can sometimes be debilitating. It shouldn’t be surprising that if the core muscle of your lower back is constantly contracted, it will affect all lower body movements. Thus, your ability to perform regular, everyday activities will also suffer.
Relaxed Psoas and Health
A relaxed psoas muscle is a sign of overall well-being and results in good levels of physical energy. When the psoas is comfortable, the thighs can extend fully. This allows you to move naturally and keeps the lower body limber. The ability to move and use your muscles in their natural, relaxed state reduces stress levels and benefits blood pressure. As a result, your overall health benefits.
In addition, when we relax our psoas muscle, we rejuvenate those natural energies in us that get depleted when we were in-flight mode. Remember, a contracted psoas is not the only source of stress in our lives. Therefore, practices, such as back care yoga and other stretches targeting the psoas, help us de-stress and feel more energetic.
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Finally, when the psoas muscle is relaxed, we are more likely to become grounded to the earth’s energies. Our ability to stay grounded has many healing effects, minimizing the effects of stress and disease.
The psoas muscle in the lower back significantly affects the body as a whole. By keeping our psoas muscle relaxed, we can achieve a significant level of general health and maintain high energy levels.
When you experience pain of any sort, it’s tempting to isolate it and look at the problem area for the cause. While this is a great place to start, it’s worth remembering that everything in the body is connected.
About the Author
Anne Keiley has suffered with back pain for many years, and in 2014 she added to that when she was diagnosed with multiple cervical herniated discs. Anne has managed to navigate a path through her chronic pain using natural medicine and techniques. She believes in finding and dealing with the root cause of pain wherever possible. You can read more of her articles on her blog, Free Your Spine.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Moreover, views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Awareness Junkie or its staff.