Pelvic tension is a very common condition since the pelvis is an area of the body which is exposed to a great deal of stress, and therefore easily accumulates tension. It is therefore important to practice techniques which help release tension from the pelvis, if you want to improve your strength, flexibility, and overall balance.

Shock Absorber and Hinge
      The pelvis connects the upper and lower body and supports the weight of the upper body on the legs. It also acts as a shock absorber for the spine, protecting the spine and upper body from the impact of the body weight, especially during walking and running.
      It provides for a great range of body movement, with the overall posture of the body being determined by the position of the pelvis. Therefore, when the pelvis is pulled out of place or stagnated by tension, the whole body is affected. Conversely, if the posture of another part of the body is poor, the pelvis cannot properly do its job of distributing the body weight, and muscle strain and joint tension in the pelvic region can result.
      There are many important muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, arteries, and lymph nodes in this area. Approximately 36 muscles attach to the pelvis; they act together to stabilize the pelvic girdle in relation to the spine. When all of the muscles, tendons, and so forth work together harmoniously, they contribute to the optimum condition of the body in general. However, because there is so much going on within this one area, it is all too common for there to be blockages, instead of balance.

The Meridians
      This situation is compounded by the fact that there are also many meridians which run through the relatively small groin area in the front of the pelvic girdle, namely the Stomach, Spleen, Kidney, and Liver Meridians. In some places these meridians are not only close together, but actually cross over each other. In addition, the Gall Bladder Meridian runs over the side of the pelvic area, and the Bladder Meridian runs through the back. Because of all this activity, tension can accumulate around key Acupressure points of these meridi-ans, especially in the area where the top of the thighbone is inserted into the hip socket of the pelvis. Blockages in the meridians can cause physical problems.

Effects on Pelvic Organs
      Tension in the pelvis directly affects the reproductive and digestive organs. When the muscles and meridians of the pelvic area are tense or stagnated the colon can become blocked, and the circulation of both blood and nervous system impulses to the genitals is reduced. For the sexual sensations to be as full as possible, the pelvic area must be flexible. The following are some of the conditions that can contribute to tension in the pelvis
      Restrictive Clothing: Fashion strongly influences how we carry ourselves, which unfortunately is usually in an unhealthy way. For example, it is fashionable to appear slim, which can result in a lot of pelvic and abdominal tension, as people tighten their stomachs in an attempt to meet the fashion "ideal." Girdles were created for this very purpose. Tight pants and other tapered clothes, which are cut to bring out this slim look, add to the problem. The result is tension, decreased flexibility and mobility of the pelvis, and impaired functioning of the pelvic organs.
      Poor Posture and Lack of Movements: The pelvis is designed to move in all directions. A sedentary life style in which sitting at desks, riding in cars, and waiting in lines is a common routine stagnates the body, since it does not have an opportunity to be fully moved and stretched. This lack of movement becomes a permanent pattern, tension builds, and the area becomes more and more tight and congested. Thus, the posture of the entire body is poor, the entire skeletal frame being thrown out of position. This is so common; look around and see how few people have fluid, strong posture, and how many have their knees locked, pelvises protruding backwards (producing a swayback), and shoulders hunched up.
      Under the brunt of this bad posture the pelvis becomes rigid, almost locked into one position. This impairs circulation, weakens genital functioning, and can cause constipation, lumbago, sciatica, and impotency. It's easy to see that posture is important.
      Chest and Shoulder Tension: There is a direct relationship between tension in upper and lower portions of the spine. When one is out of proper alignment, a strain is put on the other to compensate, so that you end up with tension and poor alignment in both areas. Since most people are more aware of their shoulder tension than their pelvic tension, it is important to work on the pelvis to cultivate an awareness of the tension stored there, and of whatever blocked or stagnated energies are present there. The depth of the breath is also a barometer for pelvic tension. The breathing cannot be full and deep if there is tension in the chest, or abdominal and pelvic areas. Emotional Association and Frustrations: The pelvis is also considered the gate of the abdomen, where we experience our "gut level" feelings. Abdominal tensions can block off these feelings, so that we tend to lose touch with our true needs and desires. Our emotions and their expressions are inhibited by tensions and repressions. This, of course, results in frustration, since no matter what we do, our deep needs remain unmet. Many people are stuck in this frustration, since the substitute "gratifications" they turn to in an attempt to relieve this frustration are destructive habits-such as smoking, drinking, or overeating, and eating non-nutritional foods solely for taste or sensation-which not only does not satisfy the person, but which weaken and toxify the body, making the true satisfaction of health and openness more and more elusive.
      The flip side of this negative situation is one where pelvic tensions, and their associated emotions, are gradually released in a balanced way. Releasing pelvic ten-sion can enable a person to liberate him or herself from anxiety, worry, and fear, and to then more fully experience inner gratification, and to move forward in life.

Sexual Repressions
      Culturally we are taught to block the sexual feelings of our genitals. The "don't touch-bad boy/girl!" is hardly conductive to a healthy, relaxed pelvis, but parental admonitions needn't be so outspoken to have a powerful inhibiting effect. Difficult or stressful experiences in toilet training can have a similar result. This closing down of the natural mobility and feeling in the pelvic area is accomplished by tightening the muscles of the pelvic region, to dull and deaden sensation, repressing the sexual feelings.
      A number of problems, such as impotency, lack of sexual drive, weak erection, premature ejaculation, vaginal infections, and menstrual cramps can eventually result from the im-balances caused by pelvic blockages. Even if the condition does not degenerate to this point, the reproductive organs can still be weakened by pelvic tension. In this case, orgasm often serves as a temporary release of stress.
      When tension in the pelvic region is released, it is possible to experience a depth of feeling that was previously impossible; when this area is free, loose, and open, pleasurable sensations can circulate in a deep and satisfying way.
      All of these various problems-restrictive clothing, poor posture and lack of movement, chest and shoulder tension, and emotional stresses, especially frustration and sexual repressions-add up to a cultural pattern of pelvic and abdominal tension that hinders the development of us all. It's a key area of blockage that's important to focus on when you're working to balance yourself as a whole.

© Copyright 2014 Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D.
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