The Psoas tends to be associated with back pain, and for some people, receiving deep therapeutic massage to this muscle can be beneficial to relieving chronic patterns of tension.
There is a popular blog entry by an Australian Physiotherapist being shared across social media this week regarding the dangers releasing the Psoas muscles from untrained professionals. You can read it here:
Ashiatsu and Ashi-Thai techniques can very effectively massage the Psoas in a non-invasive, safe manner.
The great thing about the massage therapists who train in Ashiatsu DeepFeet Bar Therapy is: they never once actually touch the Psoas, but it is still indirectly affected, which directly affects the source of many peoples pain! Our technique does not work in the abdomen for exactly all the reasons stated by Anthony Lo in his PhysioDetective blog post… (make sure and read it for a great anatomy review and reminder on how dangerous misdirected deep pressure can be) but we do recognize and address the fascial connections of Psoas Major, Iliacus (aka Iliopsoas … even though Psoas and Iliacus aren’t acutely 1 muscle, they are 2, it’s kind of cheating to blend their names together!) and Psoas Minor (if you have it!)
Our Ashiatsu classes won’t teach students to stand on the abdomen.
How do we massage it then? Well, between our 4 available classes, it’s addressed in subtle ways without physically being manipulated- and we see amazing results with no pokey pain inflicted onto our clients. We may pin its tendon, push on all angles of the Ilia or sacral bones, stretch its muscle belly deep within your belly, articulate each vertebre and move any ribs that it anteriorly attatches to….. there’s tons of ways to stick it to this Psoas muscle without stompin’ on it!
We’ve touched on how an Ashiatsu Therapist can make your tenderloin muscle tender in our own previous blog entry here, and if you’ve ever received an Ashi-Thai session, our “Flying Psoas” stretch probably gave you the mobility and space you’ve needed in that area all year!
We agree with the author of this viral blog entry, that PROFESSIONAL TRAINING is of the essence when it comes not just to massaging Psoas, but it’s key to providing ANY bodywork. Don’t just let anyone plop a foot on your belly – there’s no need to use a foot directly on there, especially when it’s hard enough for an inexperienced massage therapist to decipher the different tissues in that area with hands! Our Certified Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapists will not massage your belly with feet, but we will work smartly to keep Psoas as the focus when needed…. err, kneaded?
For you barefoot massage therapists out there, we hope this article sheds light on the dangers of using your feet too aggressively and working beyond the training you received in class.
Sooo… guess what?
The abdominal muscles and organs will receive painless treatment throughout the Ashiatsu or Ashi-Thai session in ways you can comfortably relax into!
If you’d like to become an excellent barefoot massage therapist and learn how to impact common tissue issues with a broad-based pressure, then consider Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy from a DeepFeet trainer. Go sign up for your BarefootBar Massage training, and start with Ashiatsu in Barefoot Basics class, and you’ll get amazing protocols to help your clients ease out of common chronic pain patterns – whether it be for back, hip, shoulder or neck issues. When you are trained in all levels, you’ll find how to blend deep tissue techniques in with the sports massage style of passive stretching – ALL WITH YOUR FEET!
(This post was inspired by PhysioDetective.com’s post written by Anthony Lo, make sure to read it via SERIOUS WARNING – If you do any releases to your Psoas or Abs, you MUST READ THIS.)
Ashiatsu Deepfeet Bar Therapy® is the leader in Continuing Education for Massage Therapists nationwide. Our method of deep tissue barefoot Swedish massage using an over head support system has improved the quality of life for many massage therapists around the world. Learn more at www.deepfeet.com.