Let’s talk about psoas major. In all of our SMRT hip classes, I tell the therapists attending that psoas is a victim of many things and a perpetrator of very little. Yet, massage therapists, when we think of abdominal work are focused mainly on psoas. In part this is because we do not know much to do with the rest of the abdominal wall.
Treating psoas directly without treating the other abdominal muscles can have a detrimental effect on hip balances and pain patterns. Consider that it may not be our main hip flexor. Instead, that tension in psoas major may be caused more by lumbar spine imbalances and tension in the respiratory diaphragm. Also, that issues in the lumbar spine (such as disc degeneration) cause shortening to the psoas muscle. This cannot be undone or lengthened.
Because of the interaction between psoas major and the respiratory diaphragm (the lumbar tendons of psoas major blend into the crus of the diaphragm) and the combining of fibers with iliacus (which may be the stronger hip flexor of the two muscles), it is pulled into a shortened state by patterning that effects tension balances in either the respiratory diaphragm or iliacus.
When we think of treating psoas, we need to know what could be effecting it. As well as whether or not it is a good idea to treat the muscle directly. SMRT allows us to treat psoas major remotely without putting direct pressure on the muscle. Additionally, SMRT therapists typically do not treat psoas alone. During the SMRT: hips, lower back, & abdomen class we teach therapists to treat the respiratory diaphragm, iliacus, and every muscle in the abdominal wall. As one of our therapists put it, “I never knew there was so much that could be done in the belly!! And that it could feel so damn good!!”
Register now for Full Circle’s SMRT: hips, lower back, & abdomen class in Fort Worth, TX from March 15-17, 2019