Lie down on your back with something propped under your knees and a pillow under your head if you like. Make sure you are warm and comfortable. Place your hands between the navel and the pubis. Gently begin to direct your breath to this region. Use your hands for feedback that the breath is moving there. Once you are feeling the breath, cease to direct it and just notice it. Let the breath lead you and notice how your hands and your lower abdomen interact. Just rest. You can do this for 30 seconds or 30 minutes or longer and as often as you like. Repeat to yourself “All is well;” (even if you don’t believe it). Another mantra that has worked for me is simply, “Thank you.”
Do you know where and what your lumbar plexus is? Read on.
The lumbar plexus is a bundle of nerves found in the lumbar region of the body (click on the link below for a visual). If you were to look at the area of your body between your navel and your pubic bone and look all the way to the back of the inside of the cavity, there would sit the lumbar plexus of nerves. It partially imbeds itself in the psoas which is a long muscle that attaches to each one of the lumbar vertebrae. The psoas is crucial in the health of the spine. Walking, bending and standing upright without undue effort depend upon it. It’s function/dysfunction also profoundly effects this plexus of nerves. If the psoas is tight and contracted, it can impinge upon the nerves. This can be problematic as the lumbar plexus is responsible for much including innervation of the lower body and the ability of the body to feel at rest, to digest and for the overall feeling of well- being. “All is well” is the message of a healthy lumbar plexus.
“All is well” can translate to:
- More functional digestion and elimination
- Clear signals from the body about hunger and satiation
- The ability to handle day to day stress without extreme anxiety
- A mind that can be at rest, wander and be creative
- The ability to sleep well and feel rested when waking
- Ease of movement and relative flexibility
- Ability to access the breath
- Ability to feel good in the body and be less prone to injury
The lumbar plexus is an important part of the “seat” of the parasympathetic nervous system. You may have heard of sympathetic/parasympathetic. Merck Manual gives this simple definition:
Sympathetic division: Its main function is to prepare the body for stressful or emergency situations—for fight or flight.
Parasympathetic division: Its main function is to prepare the body for ordinary situations.
These divisions work together, usually with one activating and the other inhibiting the actions of internal organs. For example, the sympathetic division increases pulse, blood pressure, and breathing rates, and the parasympathetic system decreases each of them.”