It is “just” My Psoas Muscle

It is “just” My Psoas Muscle

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Anni Dahms Owner of the retail chain ANNI’s VITAL SHOP. Nurse- & Health specialist, Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

I recently had one of my lives greatest eye-opening experiences.

My daughter sent me a photo, where she was partaking in an exercise run. It was the first time she was out running again after many years where she suffered from a terrible knee injury.

I was obviously happy for her and congratulated her, whilst I at the same wrote her that I would be just as happy as her, if I could walk without backpains.

She quickly returned my message with a short and slightly dry reply “perhaps it is your psoas muscle that is troubling you? If you want, then you can read about it on my website”.

At first I felt a bit embarrassed. As a trained nurse and educator in anatomy, could I not remember anything about a psoas muscle, even though I feel that I am fairly good at remembering the different muscles. As a bandage for my pride, I found that the name was packed into other different names when I found it in my anatomy book.

However, my curiosity was awakened, and I quickly went to her website
lindskinesiologi.dk and found her article on her blog.

There I found a simple and comprehensive description of the psoas muscle’s function as well as the troubles it can cause.

The Psoas muscle runs from the 12th thoracic vertebrae (T12) on both sides of the spine and down to the 5th lumbar vertebra, down through the pelvis and hip and attaches to the upper part of the femur (trochanter minor femoris). The structure of the muscle indicates that it connects the upper body with the lower. The psoas muscle is located deep within and has a large influence on many of our functions.

Now we are getting to my eye-opening experience, which I, from the bottom of my heart, wished I had known many years ago. Why have no one told me this before? Many people have been involved in my muscle function, but no one have told me about this particular muscle’s special function.

By following the muscle I found a large contributing cause for the issues I am struggling with and have been struggling with for many years.

A tight and inelastic psoas muscle can be tighter in one side than the other. My psoas muscle is tightest in my right side, possibly because I had a large piece of ligament removed from around my right hip when I was 12 years old.

Some of the problems, which I can recognize, are lower back pain, inward-facing feet, raised legs, that I find it difficult to rotate my hip outwardly, which makes my spine movement slightly impaired and bring knee pain.

I definitely feel the influence of the psoas muscle on my diaphragm, as it is also a contributing factor to my heart problems. My heart problems started with breathing issues – this is luckily over now. It can affect many other afflictions. You can read more about it on my daughter’s website and in addition she (Grethe) has just released a book “inspiration to strengthen the body’s self-healing powers”.

I acknowledge the causes of my tight psoas muscle, which primarily are:

Much of my work is done sitting down.

Stress, fear, and anxiety, as the psoas muscle is the first muscle we tighten when we experience the abovementioned states. Thereby the muscle is heavily affected by our emotions. This is the reason the psoas muscle is often referred to as the “muscle of the soul”.

People often ask worryingly, what is wrong when I proclaim my aching body as I get out of the chair. My answer is now: “IT IS JUST MY PSOAS MUSCLE!”.


Of other causes, is it worth
mentioning:

Over training and exercise such as running.

A poor diet, perhaps with sugary foods, too much alcohol, coffee, or other drinks and foods with caffeine. It stresses your body and thereby your psoas muscle.

The psoas muscle is involved in many other functions of the body, such as your kidneys, as the psoas muscle is, according to Chinese meridian theory, connected to the kidneys giving it an impact on the kidneys work conditions.

The kidneys have a great impact on our lifeforce, but it also bears influence on many other organs, such as bones, teeth, hair, and nails. Even brain matter and spinal fluid is affected by the kidneys.

The Diet 

To ensure that you have a healthy psoas muscle, it is imperative that you also have healthy dietary habits. It is great with good supplements, but your daily healthy diet is a fundamental building block.

Remove all sugary eating practices from your diet. Such a simple change can have a miraculous effect. I would personally recommend that you also remove all artificial sweeteners. They can trigger your sweet tooth. It is better to go “cold turkey” and in roughly two weeks your sweet tooth will have disappeared, and you will not understand why it tempted you before.

Eat plenty of ecological vegetables, such as carrots, celery, peppers in all colors, avocado, asparagus, and cucumber are all incredibly strengthening for your kidneys and adrenal glands. Broccoli, green beans, peas, artichoke, onions of all kinds, beads, mushrooms, potato, eggplant, types of kale, such as red, white, and green, cauliflower, and Chinese cabbage are all strengthening. 

You should also include wonderful ecological fruits that contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. You can also preferably drink the juice from half a lemon mixed into a glass of lukewarm water in the morning on an empty stomach. It is detoxifying and strengthening. Other good fruits could be oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit that gets all the toxins out of the system and strengthens the immune system. Berries of all kinds are also great, remember gooseberries, pineapple, bananas, peaches, apricots, perhaps dried, grapes, raisins, dates, apples, and pears.

You may want to supplement with nuts and seeds of all kinds, such as coconut, hazelnut, brazil nuts, cashew, pistachio, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and pine nuts.

When it comes to meats, it is best to go light, such as chicken or turkey, perhaps a bit of veal and lamb. You can preferably eat plenty of fresh fish, such as plaice, flounder, trout, fresh cod roe, and of course the fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines etc.

Avoid too much alcohol and coffee, instead consume delicious herbal teas, such as green tea, perhaps with stinging nettles. Stinging nettle is rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and manganese as well as vitamin-A and C and it contains protein. Remember to drink enough clean water, dehydration can also contribute to pains.

Dietary Supplements

  • As per usual I recommend that you take a quality vitamin/mineral supplement. It might be a good idea to take Longo Vital. It was originally “invented” by the now diseased doctor and enthusiast Flemming Nørgaard. I believe Longo Vital is especially good for tired muscles, because it, besides containing vitamins, also contains six carefully selected herbs.
  • It is a good idea to drink apple cider vinegar. It strengthens the heart, provides energy, and it is alkaline. Many people who are in pain tend to form too much acid.
  • Take a supplement of ginger. Ginger counteracts joint pain, aching and stiff muscles, and can often lessen your discomfort if you have knee pain.
  • Curcumin, which most people call turmeric when it is bought as a supplement, is a strong anti-inflammatory pain inhibitor.
  • You can advantageously take Boswellia together with curcumin, even in the same product. The two herbs have been shown to have a synergetic effect on joint and muscle pain.
  • MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a substance that reduces inflammation and joint pain.
  • Together with your vitamins and other supplements it would be good if you also took a supplement of omega 3, which is available both in liquid and capsule form. These supplements are also available for vegetarians and vegans as there are options made from algae. Omega 3 is mildly pain reducing.
  • Make sure that you get plenty of protein. Muscles use protein, but if your psoas muscle is tight, then it might be hard for the muscle to absorb enough protein, so it might be a good idea with an easily absorbable supplement of protein powder.
  • If your pains in the psoas muscle are stress related, then it might be a good idea with an extra supplement of vitamin-C, as stress increases the body’s usage of vitamin-C.
  • Ashwagandha can contribute to counteract stress and anxiety.
  • Bacopa has for many years been used in ayurvedic medicine. It can help combat anxiety and stress, and can help you increase concentration.

Tips

There are many easy and effective yoga exercises on my daughter’s blog. They are easy to approach without any previous knowledge or experience. Grethe can be contacted on +45 29 79 00 19 or by email info@lindskinesiologi.dk

You can also find the exercises on the internet with varying degrees of difficulty.

How long you have to spend daily performing the exercises, depend greatly on how inflexible you are and what your daily schedule looks like, but I recommend that you do the exercises every day. Even 10 minutes can be a great help. If you are sitting most of the day, then you might consider introducing a schedule along the lines of every 45 minutes you get up to do some stretching exercises.

Be mindful of how you run your life. Avoid all forms of stress. Be mindful both mentally and physically on improving the function of your psoas muscle.

Be conscious about the fact that the body’s cells remember everything that has happened in your life, as well as what is going on right now in terms of joy, sorrow, negative thought patterns etc.

Your psoas muscle is affected by fear, anxiety, and stress. Feelings we all know to some extent, some perhaps more than others. The media is especially good at feeding us with anxiety and fear.

Greet every day with joy, I know it is often difficult. We have to be allowed to feel sorrow and anger but do remember that joy and gratefulness are your best companions. Practice holding your attention on the wonderful experiences that are part of your every day. Find your laughter. Suddenly you will experience that the positive joyful thought pattern fills more in your every day and that life is wonderful.

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