The filet mignon, or tenderloin, that we eat is the psoas major muscle of, in most cases, a cow. The psoas of a cow is very different from the human psoas. In four-legged animals the psoas doesn’t touch the pelvis in its journey from the leg to the spine while the human psoas created the all important lumbar curve of our lower back when it crossed the rim of the pelvis as we came up to stand.
The tenderloin gets its name and subsequent quality for an interesting reason. Not to offend vegetarians but if you can, put in your mind’s eye a butcher’s case and see a rib eye or strip steak. These sumptuous cuts get their flavor from the fat marbled within them. But if you can also see a filet mignon you will notice that it doesn’t have fat running through it— it is prized for its fat-less tenderness.
There is an important lesson here to help us understand the psoas. Fat is flavor but it is also protection and the fact that the psoas has less fat running through and around it means that it is a more vulnerable muscle than most.
I refer to the psoas as the most important muscle in the body for three reasons:
- It is the muscle that holds us up.
- It is the muscle that walks us forward
- It is the muscle that stores all of our unreleased trauma
The third claim is an esoteric reach but I am happy to make it. The psoas is a deep core muscle that can affect the body profound ways. I don’t know what its lack of fat has to do with its being our warehouse for trauma but I would not be surprised if there was a connection. Anyone with thoughts on the matter please weigh in.