Reflexology and the Solar Plexus
The Solar Plexus reflex is sometimes thought of as a huge energy source with a mysterious physical body part associated with it.
As it turns out… it’s both.
Also known as the Celiac Plexus, the Solar Plexus, is a complex network of nerves (a plexus).
Located in the upper part of the abdominal cavity, it’s probably called the celiac plexus because it’s very near where the celiac trunk, superior mesenteric artery, and renal arteries branch from the abdominal aorta.
Found just behind the stomach and the omental bursa, the celiac plexus is just in front of the crura of the diaphragm, or at the level of L1 – the first lumbar vertebra.
Function of Solar Plexus:
Physically, and as a nerve and blood source, and the Solar Plexus is located midway between the navel and the base of the sternum.
This central plexus supports the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and liver.
In energy medicine, the Solar Plexus Centre is one of the main power chakras in the body.
In addition to its association with the 3rd chakra, or the center of our “will power”, it’s also been associated with the functioning of the aura or psychic energy field, and with Etheric and Astral plane sensitivity.
In Theosophy, the Solar Plexus was in correspondence, in part, to the “Spleen Centre”, where the various spiritual energies enter for distribution to various parts of the body
If you’ve ever had a blow to the stomach area, you’ve felt the intensity of what an upset to this region can cause. This can cause the diaphragm to spasm, resulting in difficulty in breathing — a sensation commonly known as “getting the wind knocked out of you”.
And it makes sense that a blow to this region could also affect the celiac plexus itself, with the possibly of interfering with the functioning of the viscera, in addition to causing great pain.
Since the celiac plexus is often commonly referred to as the Solar Plexus, we generally think of the upper stomach region for its location.
And it’s not just a blow to the stomach that can upset this region.
This great network (or ganglia) of nerves that sits directly behind the stomach and goes out to all parts of the abdominal cavity is highly affected by stress.
Because of its sensitivity to stress, it’s sometimes it’s been called the “abdominal brain”.
As a chakra point, the Celiac Plexus is an energy centre, with a specific vibration that in turn manifests vortices that draw spiritual energy into ourselves.
Associated with the color yellow, the Solar Plexus is the area which defines our “self-esteem”. Known as the center of “will” or EGO, the personality that develops during puberty is housed in this chakra.
It’s thought that anyone experiencing dysfunction of the third chakra is having difficulty obtaining or maintaining his/her own “personal power”.
As you can imagine, there are a myriad of organs and functions that will be effected by a problem in this area. Some of these are: diabetes, pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, intestinal tumors, indigestion, anorexia/ bulimia, hepatitis, cirrhosis, adrenal imbalances, arthritis, colon diseases.
Exercise for Solar Plexus
The Solar Plexus is an area of deep emotion. In yoga, there is training for proper exercise of the whole breathing apparatus in order to gain such control of the Solar Plexus so that anger, resentment, resistance, blues, discouragement and fear will be as foreign to you as are the awkward motions you once made when you were first learning to walk or eat.
Solar Plexus Self-Help Steps:
- First of all loosen your clothing
- Lie down flat upon your back with arms outspread and without pillow; let go of everything mentally
- Inhale slowly through the nostrils a full breath; hold steady a second or two; then force the breath suddenly into the upper part of the lungs; hold there a second or two and then suddenly throw all the breath down as far as possible, at the same time exclaiming mentally to the Solar Plexus.
This kundalini yoga pose is a good Solar Plexus exercise. This can be done to heal, balance and strengthening the Solar Plexus by developing this strength. The intention is for optimum health and that the person becomes more efficient and less stressed.
How Can Reflexology Help?
In the beginning, the middle and at the end every single reflexology session I give, I hold the Solar Plexus reflex points. Truly the “Sun Center”, if there was ever a favorite reflex for me to work, this would be it.
First, let’s find its point location: the Solar Plexus reflex is found bilaterally on the plantar surface and below the heads of metatarsals 2 & 3 (at the point between the distal shafts).
As noted above, it’s the area associated with organs and chakras, but did you know that it comes close to matching the kidney meridian as well.
In my last newsletter I mentioned that in oriental medicine, the Kidney Meridian and specifically the first Kidney Meridian point (K1) is thought of as the “Source of Chi”.
And, the Kidney Meridian is located between the Solar Plexus point and our own reflexology Kidney Reflex!
In each of my training programs, I reinforce how powerful this one reflex point is. I feel the connection and my clients do to.
You know it’s a good reflex when a client will say, “I really felt a lot of energy on that point”. It happens over and over again.
In fact, I think that the Solar Plexus reflex is such a powerful point for relaxation and stress relief that when students ask what to do if they’re not sure how to proceed, I tell them to hold these points, for several minutes.
That one pair of reflex points alone will elicit a similar relaxation effect that working on several other points, for a much longer period of time, will do.
For example if a person is frail or there is a contraindication for the application of pressure, I will gently hold the Solar Plexus points, without applying any pressure – just contact, for several minutes.
Of course, we do this naturally when someone is ill or in the hospital… it’s just more common to make the contact with the Solar Plexus points on the hands.
When you hold someone’s hand or even shake their hand, you are making contact through the Solar Plexus points.
It is truly an act of being open and compassionate.
So, to honor the multiple modalities and multiple functions of the Solar Plexus reflex and its importance to relaxing the body, it’s always a good idea to give it some extra attention when giving a reflexology session (don’t forget that this includes self-help too).
I always detail the Solar Plexus reflex as I work on the Respiratory Diaphragm reflex as well.
And, don’t forget about the rest of the family – the Nervous System reflexes. It’s a small system and easy to detail in its entirety.
Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills and explore how beautifully reflexology supports us body and soul.
Here’s to your good reflexology health!
© Wendy I. Coad
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