The Hip Hook is designed to put pressure on the psoas and iliacus muscle. These muscles are located right inside the pelvic bones. Using the diagram as a guide, find these spots on yourself. Feeling the soft spot adjacent to the front of your pelvic bones will help you locate the iliacus. The iliacus runs the whole length of the inside surface of the pelvic bone. The psoas can be safely accessed in this area as well as it crosses over the iliacus here. The Hip Hook should be placed as close to the inside surface of your pelvis as possible. That way you will be able to safely access both the psoas and the iliacus. The psoas will be pressed upon when you first lie upon the Hip Hook. The iliacus will be pressed upon when the handle is used to pivot the Hip Hook. Treating both muscles is essential. Accessing only one without the other is often ineffective, giving temporary results.
Starting position – Lie on your side on a firm and non-slip surface like a yoga mat or carpet. Surfaces like beds and treatment tables are too soft and bare floors are too slippery.
Find the access point for the iliacus – Referencing the images of your iliacus and psoas, place your hands on the front of your pelvic bone and slide your fingers right inside that bone. That’s the sweet spot.
NIP – Hold the Hip Hook by the handle and place the tip in the general area of your nipple.
HIP – Slide the tip to that sweet spot right next to your pelvic bone. The closer to the inside surface of your bone, the better.
Although it may feel sore closer to the fold where your hip meets your leg, that is not the correct location for this tool. If you place it on this fold, you will be pressing on blood vessels and nerves.
TIP – Tip your body onto the Hip Hook. Make sure the flat part of the Hip Hook is flat on the floor as you position your body on it. Feel free to adjust the position of the tip as needed. In this first position, you are pressing on the psoas and releasing its longstanding tension.
Melt into the psoas – Let your body melt into the tool. At first, the pressure might be intense, especially if you have never done this before, but over time it will decrease. Happy muscles don’t hurt. You can place a sheet or towel over the tip of the tool the first few times to lessen the pressure if you’d like.
Pivot for the iliacus, the moment you’ve been waiting for – After the initial pressure has lessened and the psoas has had a chance to relax, use your hand to place gentle downward pressure on the handle. This will allow for that expertly designed tip to precisely press towards the pelvic bone to where the iliacus attaches, gently squeezing the muscle between the tip and your bone. You are helping the iliacus relax by holding prolonged, steady pressure in this position for thirty to ninety seconds.
Be symmetrical, slow, and consistent – Check both sides. You only need to do this once a day or even once every other day. The first time, it will be sore, but you should not feel any numbness or tingling down your leg. If you do, reposition. This muscle has likely never been touched before and it’s been tight for ages. It will get better over time. Take it slow. It’s common to have bruise-like soreness after use. If you get sore, take a break for a day or two. If it feels painful and doesn’t get better, stop and consult your healthcare practitioner.
Enhance your release – After you have become comfortable with the Hip Hook, try pressing up onto your elbows or hands, squeezing your glutes together, bending your knee and swinging the foot side to side, bringing your opposite leg out to the side, bending and straightening your knee, and lifting your leg off the floor.
Video tutorials of these advanced techniques (and more!) can be found on the Aletha YouTube channel.
Complete the program – Now that you have the Hip Hook, learn the importance of this muscle, the value in prolonged pressure, and other activities and exercises to support your healing by reading Tight Hip, Twisted Core – The Key to Unresolved Pain. Key additions to releasing the iliacus and psoas including releasing the back of the hip and realigning the pelvis can significantly enhance the effectiveness of the Hip Hook. Learning how to fix what has gotten your iliacus and psoas tight in the first place is key.
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