• Kim Noyce

Psoas - Is it the key to everything?

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

This is fascinating muscle, attaches in the region of the T12 and lesser trochanter of the femur and it allows us to flex forward or in other words it contracts the thigh and torso towards each other and it allows us externally rotate the hips. It's part of a group of muscles commonly called the 'hip flexors' - which are the illacus - which sits inside the pelvic bowl and the psoas major. Combined they are called the Illiopsoas.

You can see both muscles on the right side of the pelvic bowl, the psoas major is highlighed and the illacus sits just beside it.

Without our illiopsoas we'd basically fall over because its one of the strongest muscles that connects our upper body to our lower body. It allows our body to move and flow freely.

So what happens when it ceases to function properly?

It can get itself involved in many issues in the body; anything from lack of core stability, backache, pelvic pain, hip and/or leg pain, SI joint pain and breathing problems - due to its proximity to the diaphragm.

Energetically the illiopsoas crosses through our pelvic bowl which is deemed the origin of energetic circulation. It passes through an area of emotion that we often refer to 'gut instincts' or 'butterflies in our tummy'. It pulls us into fetal position when we switch to flight, fight, fright element of our autonomic nervous system.


This image indicates, using red splashes, the trigger points in the body for the psoas major, you can imagine the pain you might feel in these areas. Shoulder, back, pelvis, hips, legs and organs in this area - diaphragm, bladder, bowel, pelvic floor.

During a treatment I routinely check the psoas major and frequently complete a treatment with a psoas major balance. Ensuring there is balance between the shoulder girdle and pelvis is key to pain free movement.

I frequently include a illiopsoas posture in my Restorative Yoga classes as they help to maintain flexibility and mobility in a muscle group that are fundamental to pain free movement.

Photograph below is of me doing a posture called Constructive Rest, I've altered it by placing the calves on a chair. This helps to relax the quads, hamstrings, adductors and gastrocs. You can do this with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor with the toes resting against a wall/skirting board. Click the photograph and you are taking to the full video on Facebook. Perfect posture to relax not just the illiopsoas but align the whole spine and pelvis and therefore relax muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Constructive Rest

At Complete Balance I use a number of Stress and Pain Management techniques which includes Sport and Remedial Massage, EMMETT Technique, Theraputic Massage, Indian Head Massage, Energy Healing, Restorative Yoga, Functional Yoga and Chair Yoga.

I frequently host workshops in my private studio.

Book in for a treatment and I can suggest stress and pain management techniques you can take home and include as part of daily routine.

Book your balance at Complete Balance, Worthing, West Sussex.

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