Perhaps the greatest benefit to using the aerial hammock for inverting is the pressure it puts on the hip flexors; namely the psoas major muscle. The psoas (pronounced so-as) is responsible for a host of maladies we face today. My teacher calls it the “Godfather Muscle”, because you know with many pain problems, it is involved, but since this muscle is so deep, it’s hard to trace the pain back to the muscle. This hip flexor helps lift the knee when we walk, so if you are sitting a lot, it is most likely tight, as it’s natural resting place is in a shortened space. The psoas also laterally rotates the hip, (turns the feet out), as well as adducts the hip (squeeze the knees together). This hip flexor also contributes the tilting of the pelvis and flexing the spine. Here are some of the ways a shortened psoas affects the body…..
- Tension and pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, pelvis, or groin
- Lower back spasms
- Snapping hip syndrome
- Radiating pain down the leg
- Lumbar disc problems
- Functional leg length discrepancy
- Idiopathic scoliosis
- Instability in the core of the body
- Limited flexibility in the lower back
Unlike other inversion methods the hammock wraps around this muscle, encouraging it to release it’s daily grip on the body. One recent client had been in a car accident a year ago, and was having reoccurring pain in her neck, and shooting pains down her leg. Within 1 month of practicing aerial hammock all of that disappeared. I also know of some clients with reoccurring back pain, and say the practice of aerial hammock is the only one that releases the back pain.
Also described as our “fight or flight” muscle a tightened psoas has far reaching effects up to our head, and down to our toes. The imbalances in this muscle can cause knee, hip, problems, as well as slow digestion, even effecting the internal organs of the body. It’s well within our reach to release it’s grip of holding on our body.
See you upside down!