Fig. 4: Freeing the KID Jingjin at the Psoas
The following myofascial release technique, called Freeing the KID Jingjin at the Psoas,(Fig. 4) can be used for bilateral shortening; however, the technique really shines when working with unilateral imbalances. The goal of the technique is to integrate the movement of the right and left sides to achieve a more even tone and balanced position.
Let’s look at some simple instructions that involve accessing the psoas with the hands in the region of GB 27. We will also look at the movement the patient will be actively performing while you are manipulating the psoas.
With the patient supine, knees flexed and feet on the table, the practitioner slowly sinks bilaterally into GB 27 and directs the fingers medially following the edge of the iliacus to contact the psoas muscle.
- The patient slowly lifts one foot while pressing the other into the table. Then, the patient slowly alternates sides. The rhythm should be that of slow walking.
- The practitioner follows this movement and adjusts and modifies the pressure to facilitate a reduction of tension at fibrotic areas in the psoas.
That is enough to get started with the technique, but with access to the psoas you can use this muscle as a lever, almost like a puppet string, to balance the movement in the lumbar spine and hip. You might notice that one side of the psoas is very narrow and pulled more towards the midline, while the other is wider and more lateral. This will be the case with spinal bends and rotations. While the patient is performing this movement, you can gently mobilize the narrower medial psoas in a lateral direction and the more lateral one in a medial direction.
You might also take note as the patient presses one foot into the table and lifts the other, with one hand pulled down (on the pressing side) while the other is pulled up (on the lifting side). Does this feel even? You can nudge and encourage this movement if it feels sluggish on one side or the other. This will nudge and encourage the swaying in the spine that occurs with normal walking.