Alternative MethodsConventional Methods

January 18

Do our muscles have emotional memory?

Reading time 3 min.

Recently, I have heard a lot on the idea of the psoas being able to harbour trapped emotion. Forgive me if my view is a little tongue in cheek but if you’ve watched our webinars, you’ll already understand how I look at things a bit differently.

If muscles were people, then the psoas would be the head of the football team, rugby team or cheer squad. Vacuous and emotionally stunted, whilst looking great. Muscles in general have one thing to do which is contract and relax. They are brilliantly equipped with their own cells and motor units and each muscle is considered an individual organ. What they are not capable of is memory. Although the idea of cellular transference and cellular memory is a thing, muscles themselves are power houses and I don’t believe in any idea of ‘muscle memory.’

Instead, what is clear is that nerves that are myelinated, having laid down fatty schwann cells, will transfer information faster via a process of it jumping over spaces, nodes of Ranvier, created by the myelination of the nerve. This jumping is called saltatory conduction after the Italian saltatore – to jump. Myelination of nerves comes about as a result of learning something. The more you do something the better you get at it, not because the muscles have learned anything, but because the nerve endings that deliver the information from the brain have become finely tuned to the job required, be it playing a trumpet or juggling chainsaws.

The area around the psoas is a hugely loaded area from many respects and the psoas fits in within a chain of other structures to do a job. The central location of this area being around the solar plexus suggests that it would be a central point for emotional responses based around the autonomic nervous system. This is an area that will need to have rapid response in the case of sympathetic nervous system responses, with the pancreas being involved in triggering hormones to release energy and for the digestive system to restrict blood supply and so forth. The psoas just happens to be there.

However, I do feel strongly that as highly emotional beings we don’t primarily respond mentally to our emotional input but instead go to the physical as an initial response. We don’t think angry, we feel angry, we feel sad, we feel stressed and so forth. Our language expresses this perfectly. Our thought processes come along and we start to think our feelings. For most people this is the problem and one of my workshops called Emotional Stiffness, discusses the idea of us being physical and emotional beings before being mental and thinking beings. What does ‘angry’ look like?

It’s not hard for us to look at someone else and say that they look angry, sad or stressed. As well as their behaviour there are physical signals being given that alert us to the emotional and, by extension, mental state of an individual. We use these senses all the time with ourselves and with others without being conscious as to what our physical form is doing to reflect or represent our emotional state. We have trained ourselves into these physical states since early childhood. We know what angry feels like in our body and we know what to do with our body when this feeling arises. As well as the physiological changes that we know about and can measure in the sympathetic nervous system such as heart rate, breathing, blood flow and so forth, we will have learned to adopt a physical position. It’s a go to that will happen every time the emotion, whatever it might be, is triggered. Learned behaviour is a training as sure as weightlifting or yoga is a training and we will lay down connective tissues around our muscles that will support this and allow us to adopt that position when we feel the input that directs the feeling.

If we have spent many years being angry, depressed and so forth, we will also have trained our physical form into an instantly familiar pattern that will reflect our emotional state. In time the physical state becomes inseparable from the emotional state and one potentially drives the other. The cycle is indivisible unless it is recognised. We might spend a lot of time with our therapist, recognising our patterns, understanding our behaviour, recognising our triggers and dealing with our behaviours, but if our physical behavioural patterns are strongly embedded, then just by moving into a certain position could have the potential to move us into the familiar emotional state that we are trying to step away from.

My aim in my workshops is to help people to start to recognise where in their bodies they experience emotional triggers and what happens to their body as a response. It’s a combination of movement and mindfulness that encourages people to assimilate recognise and where possible allow and welcome their feelings as manifesting in a physical form and then to avoid moving into a mental space that then just spirals downwards.

The bottom line is that it’s physiologically implausible to suggest that one muscle or even a collection of muscles for that matter, can ‘store’ memories. What they can do is respond to and easily move into a position that is familiar. Focussing on one muscle or structure is never either useful or correct and the idea of individual muscle function is a contradiction in terms. I believe that building integrated understanding of how we affect and influence our function from a physical, emotional, social and mental perspective and create imbalances in health and ill health, allows us to make much smaller and more manageable steps towards addressing dysfunction or imbalance.


Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Emotional Stress Release
$800 USD
Retreat( India): Connect With Your Inner Wisdom 1st to 4th Sept

Join us for an immersive experience anchored amidst the beauty and tranquillity of Kasar Devi, Almora, India

1st Sept’22 ( Thursday) - 4th Sept 2022 ( Sunday …

Psychic Reading
$80 USD
I will do oracle and tarot card readings

I will do oracle & tarot card reading in any area of your life. You will get answer from the Angelic, Elemental, Faerie or Galactic realms. I will share wi…

Wisdom Realms
Natal Astrology
$15 USD
15 min reading of SOUL structure

[SOUL STRUCTURE]Each soul has own structure,and knowing it means to have unlimited access to inner energy. This readings are telling about your talents and str…

Ksenia Jdanova
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Ask a Question?

Supportive reflection of a current question that you would like clarity around. Using the SMART method to seek quidance in stepping onto your path of potential…

Beverly Lynn
$150 USD
Reiki Services (distant healing session)

In this hour long distant healing session I will use long distance Reiki, crystals and essential oils to balance your Chakras. Balancing your Chakras allows en…

Erin Kirby
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Intuitive Tarot Reading

Affordable Tarot reading to offer guidance on any given concern.

Elphie Shoppe
$10 USD
Talk Therapy Sessions

Hello there: These times are dread. Do you need to talk with a safe professional about a troubling personal challenge? I am a professional listener and will li…

Eulalee Thompson
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Tarot Reading

I offer tarot readings with a 100% accuracy rate. The tarot is meant to give you advice, to point you in the right direction or to provide you with clarity. Bu…

Zara Kalil
Angel Healing
$10 USD
Mental Health Advice & Tips

I can help you with past issues and give advice and tips on how to better your life. I can see through my third eye and receive messageson what you need to do …

Beings Of Light
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Discovery call

Are you interested in supporting your health with safe and effective holistic medicine? Not sure if you should switch diets, work with a health coach or explor…

Suzana Da Costa
Wellness Coaching
$50 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching Consultation

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Family Psychology
$10 USD
Psychic Reading

Expert in Love Relationship, Tarot Psychic Reading I can give you more powerful insight of every part of your life. With the help of Crystal ball my Psychic re…

Aamir Bilal
Career Coaching
$195 USD
Holistic Lifestyle & Nutrition Coaching


If this sounds like you, then you don’t need a new diet… you n…

David Giddings
Bach flower therapy
$120 USD
Bach Flower Essence Consultation

Exploration of where you’re feeling stuck or limited in life and recommendations of Bach Flower Essences to help loosen and dissolve old patterns.

Suzana Da Costa
Cognitive-behavioral therapy
$100 USD
Subliminal therapy

In this service we will use Subliminal therapy and Sound healing as alternative to tradition cognitive behavioral therapy.

We are born with our thoughts. Do n…

Ahmed Amin Youssef
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Intro 2 Alignment Healing Chant


That is my greeting to the spirit within you. Join me for a welcome introduction session to celebrate my arrival at Core Spirit!

For 15 minutes I wi…

Ti3rc3 Fire
$55 USD
Psychic Medium Readings

READINGS Currently, all readings will be offered virtually. Appointments are available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 9am-1pm (UK Time Zone). When we…

Jan Morgan
Oracle Cards Reading
$25 USD
Psychic Reading 15 Minutes

Well-versed in the main 5 clairs, I will Intuitively answer your questions for 15 minutes.

Jyll Hoyrup
Emotional Stress Release
$150 USD
Creatrix® Breakthrough

This is a revolutionary process, SPECIALLY designed for women. You will be able to clear your most depeest BLOCKS and limiting beliefs. 

This is the only too…

Tamar Viva
Distance Healing
$10 USD
Energy Healing (Distant)

Distant Energy healing promotes relaxation, reduces tension and stress and will support an overal sense of well being after a treatment. It is an effective ad…

Beverly Lynn
Emotional Freedom Technique
$10 USD
Transform Your Relationship With Your Money

In this session, you will learn the basics of Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. Together we will use that technique, sometimes called simply tapping, to sor…

Nancy Allen
Personal Development Coaching
$10 USD
Anxiety and Depression - Coaching Consultation and Assessment Call

Are you looking to begin making a change in your life and become the best version of yourself by breaking free from the emotional barriers that has been blocki…

Amritha Kailas
Mind Control
$72 USD
Women's Emotional Wellness and Transformation Coaching

Are you dealing with confusion, low esteem, anxiety, depression, overthinking , relationship issues and trying to find focus, confidence, purpose, peace and b…

Amritha Kailas

Related Articles