Monday 1 December 2014

Our Core .... Strong, Weak or ..... Tight?

Is our "Core" strong, weak or ..... Tight?

What is our Core?  Think about the apple core!  It is deep inside the apple and is rigid and stiff and holds the apple's pips, and the apple develops from the core outwards.  Our core is very similar, except that instead of it being stiff it is strong, juicy and resilient. For non vegetarians it is the "fillet" in our body called the Psoas Muscles, the best and most tender piece of steak one buys from the butcher!!  They lie deep inside the body and attach from the mid-part of our spine down and through our sitting bones pass over our hip joints to connect to the inside of our thigh bones.

These muscles play a large role in keeping our spine upright, like the guy ropes of  a circus tent and unlike the rest of our muscles they rely on our autonomous nervous system to function, ie, we cannot flex or stretch them at will like our biceps and triceps in our arms or hamstrings/quadriceps muscles in our thighs.  Yet they play a constant role in our walking and stretching actions, although we are unaware of them.  Healthy actions from our internal organs rely largely on the space created by our Psoas muscles, depending if they are tight or relaxed.

In the Fitness Industry the Core Muscles are encouraged to be strengthened in order to protect our back.  But do we ever stop and wonder what our core muscles actually are?  We are encouraged to strengthen our major abdominal and back muscles, but have we any idea exactly what is going on inside of us as we perform set and mainly linear exercises?  Do we follow the design of our muscles which are of a spiralling shape and fluid nature?  Are we causing more harm to our core muscles by strengthening them and therefore creating an even tighter external corset around an already tight core, when we ought to seek methods to let go rather than hold in, and creating a softer, fluid and supple body.  By changing our approach to HOW we exercise, we could look forward to enhancing our activities/sports, and to a pain-free and flexible ageing process

A huge factor connected to our Psoas Muscles is that they work in conjunction with the kidneys above which lie the adrenal glands, and are in charge of our "Fear, Flight, Freeze" reflex.

As Human Beings it is almost our birthright to suffer trauma at some point in our lives, which can set a pattern within us from birth onwards.  For survival's sake we allow this trauma to sit deeply within us without it ever discharging.  Throughout our life whatever causes us anxiety, tension or stress impacts our core, causing it to get tighter as we age, and pulling on our spine making us lean forward as time goes on and distorting the rest of our body.

How does it release?  Cats and dogs for example they shake naturally to diffuse whatever stress they may have experienced and get on with their lives, we don't do this as we have been conditioned not to over the centuries, therefore trauma, stress, tension accumulates in our core muscles causing us to overreact to any form of stressful stimulus.  This has become a natural pattern for survival's sake in our world.

Some amazing pioneers ( David Bercelli, founder of Trauma Release Exercises, and Liz Koch, have devised methods to trigger off our natural shaking mechanism in order to diffuse the deeply held-in energy within our core, which causes the body to shake uncontrollably for a while, leaving one exhilarated, and re-energised, and astounded at re-discovering an ability we all possess as Human Beings, that of our own internal energy field.  This allows us to become more "present in the moment"!

Various medical conditions are known to be alleviated by releasing The Psoas Muscles:   menstrual cramps, muscular aches and pains (ie. Fibromyalgia), post traumatic stress disorders, stress, tension, anxiety, anger.