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What Does Psoas Release Feel Like? Physical & Emotional Relief

The Psoas muscle can hold a lot of physical and emotional pain in the body, and releasing it can be therapeutic on many levels. Here is what Psoas release feels like.


What Does Psoas Release Feel Like - Physical 

Lower Back Pain Relief

It is no secret that the Psoas muscle is a major contributor to lower back pain when tight. After releasing tension in the Psoas muscle, you can feel immense relief from nagging lower back pain - especially lower back pain that stems from excess sitting.

Hip Flexor Pain Relief

Psoas can also cause pain and discomfort in the upper thigh/hip flexor region. Successful Psoas release can reduce or eliminate hip flexor pain just as thoroughly as lower back pain.

Improved Walking Comfort

A tight, angry Psoas muscle makes walking, jogging, and anything gait-related uncomfortable. The reason for this is as a hip flexor muscle, the Psoas is stretched during the back stride of walking and running. When you release the Psoas muscle, you will feel much more range of motion and comfort in this portion of walking and running.

Deeper Breathing

Psoas tension can restrict the diaphragm's depth during deep breaths. The act of Psoas release involves deep breathing, but you may notice a sustained deeper ability to belly breathe after successful Psoas release.


Regardless of your Psoas situation, deep belly breathing gently massages the Psoas muscle. When done slowly, diligently, and intentionally deep breathing alone can promote Psoas release. I talked with expert Cat Matlock in an interview about this subject here: Trigger Points & What Psoas Release Feels Like.

Psoas Muscle Pain Chart

Psoas Muscle Pain Chart [1]


What Does Psoas Release Feel Like - Emotional/Trauma

The more you can open the Psoas and other flexion muscles, the lighter you tend to feel.

Trauma Relief

The Psoas - like other "flexion" areas including the pectorals, palms, abs, and other hip flexors - tightens and holds tension in times of extreme trauma. These muscles physically curl you up into the fetal position (think closed fist, protecting vital areas, curled up, "gunshot reaction contractions") in their most extreme contraction, and this can happen during traumatic events.

The crazy thing about flexion muscles is that muscles remember trauma. Tension can hold for decades. If you suffered traumatic events where your body reflexed into flexed positions (whether physically or mentally), you may still be holding unrealized tension in these muscles. Successful release of the Psoas can contribute to the successful release of trauma-triggered tension held in the Psoas muscle.

Stress Relief

Similar to trauma relief, although on a less intense but longer timeline, the Psoas muscle can hold stress.

To illustrate this in more depth - every muscle fiber within a muscle is innervated by a motor neuron. A muscle as a whole can have thousands of these innervations. When under extreme stress, our flexion motor neuron patterns can activate (contract) to brace for fight or flight - and they can maintain innervation (contraction) until they are released.

Our body can sustain contraction of a number of muscle fibers for a very long time, and if sustained long enough the muscle will get stiff and tight - holding tension and pain in the body.

By this mechanism, pain that started emotional can turn physical - and Psoas is a primary player. After releasing the Psoas you can feel immense relief from the stress that caused Psoas tension in the first place, whether conscious or unconscious.

Improved Body Language & Confidence

Psoas release can feel like a quick fix for open body language.

The Psoas is a flexion muscle. Attractive body language and posture have loose, not-tight flexion muscles.

Just like tight pecs and rounded shoulders, Psoas tension is protective and subconsciously trying to hide you from the world.

An open Psoas, just like open pecs and confident posture - exposes you to the world in a confident, "here I am", open body-language way.


What Does Psoas Release Feel Like - My Experience

I stumbled across the Psoas in 2018 trying to fix my chronic lower back pain. I was all messed up from decades of hockey, manual labor jobs, trying to be a CrossFit athlete, and no attention paid to the health of my muscles and joints.

What Does Psoas Release Feel Like Reddit

Psoas Muscle

I quickly learned that Psoas release can help relieve lower back pain. So I tried, first with the Pso Rite tool, then balls, and eventually the tool I designed - the QL Claw.

You see, shortly after I successfully released my Psoas muscle, I realized it wasn't the whole picture. Other muscles contribute to a ton of lower back pain, stress, and tension when tight - and Psoas is just 1 of 5.

That is why I designed the QL Claw, to be the total solution to relieving tension in the lower back, hips, and glutes releasing all 5 major muscles.

Here are a few crucial muscles QL Claw can release in addition to Psoas:


How To Release The Psoas Muscle

Deep Tissue Massage

The best way to release the Psoas muscle is with physical, manual massage. When done correctly, massage will break up all of the knots, trigger points, and angry muscle tissue holding stress, tension, and pain.

Deep tissue massage can be done by the hands of a professional in a clinic, or at home with a ball or Psoas release tool like QL Claw.

Deep Belly Breathing

Deep belly breaths can also lubricate and massage the Psoas into relaxation. This also physiologically lets your body and Psoas know it is safe to relax, release, unwind, and calm down.


As coined by the famous back doctor Stuart McGill, walking is nature's lubricant. Walking slides the joints and muscles (including Psoas) in and around the lower back in a healthy, hydrating fashion.


Stretching can help you feel Psoas release, but more often than not it is too hard to stretch the Psoas without massage first. If you try stretching and feel you just can't get anywhere, you may need to massage to break up the tissue first - this is especially true if you have had Psoas tension for years. (Read more about psoas stretch.)


Psoas Muscle Release Tool

Here is our Psoas release tool QL Claw in action - follow the links to see what it feels like for yourself:

Psoas Release Placement - What Psoas Release Feels Like

What Does Psoas Release Feel Like

Psoas Release (Tutorial)



After Learning What Psoas Release Feels Like

Psoas release can feel incredible, and I hope you try the exercises above to experience some of the benefits. Beyond Psoas release, there are a few things you can do to remain pain-free with a healthy lower back and Psoas long term:

Regular Walks: Take breaks between long hours of sitting to prevent your Psoas from staying shortened and tense. Walking is nature's lubricant.

Strengthening: Lower back strengthening exercises are a great way to promote function and resilience in the lower back region.

Stretching: Mobility (range of motion) gives the body so much capacity for movement. Stretch the Psoas and surrounding areas to go on the offense against Psoas tension and give your body the most physical capability possible.




[1] Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.

[2] Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.

comment 1 comment

Michelle calendar_today

Hi I had Bowen therapy a week ago to release psoas and a week later I feel sick and feeling a dull throbbing on both lower back and each side of my groin . I have taken pain killer and rested is this normal when should I feel better or be worried . I have had a lot of stress last year .

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