Solar plexus: what it is, characteristics, functions and associated pathologies

The solar plexus is a nervous network composed of several nerve fibers and ganglia that connect to several organs in the abdominal cavity.

This structure is related to the sensation of pain in various viscera according to scientific medicine, while the alternative considers that it can be the source of psychological problems.

Let’s look below at this important structure and how it was important to Eastern beliefs.

    The solar plexus: what it is and where it is located

    The solar plexus, also called the celiac plexus, is a nerve network made up of a cluster of nerve fibers and interconnected ganglia, which belong to the ganglia of the prevertebral group the abdominal prevertebral plexus.

    This structure with nerves is known as “solar” because its shape resembles that of a sun, as the nerve fibers emerge radially.

    The solar plexus ganglia are located in front of the abdominal aortic artery, just where the superior mesenteric artery and celiac trunk exit at the level of the seventh dorsal vertebra, immediately below the aortic hiatus of the diaphragm, behind the stomach. This structure surrounds the abdominal aorta, celiac and superior mesenteric arteries, in addition, it is related to other structures:

    • Above: with the pillars of the diaphragm muscle.
    • Behind: with the vertebral bodies of the TXII thoracic vertebra and the LI lumbar vertebra and with the pillars of the diaphragm muscle.
    • Laterally: with the adrenal glands.
    • In front: the pancreas.

    Parts and connections of the solar plexus

    The celiac plexus is a nerve structure made up of bodies of afferent nerve cells, bodies of efferent nerve cells, and interconnected neural axons. In this plexus, the nerve fibers of the sympathetic autonomic nervous system and the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system are combined..

    The number of nodes can vary, with one to five nodes usually interconnected, although it is normal for there to be two large, easily distinguishable celiac nodes. The diameter of these nodes is also variable, ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 cm.

    The ganglia that make up the solar plexus receive:

    • Preganglionic sympathetic fibers of the lower thoracic splanchic nerves (mature splanchnic nerve, minor splanchnic nerve, and inferior splanchnic nerve)
    • Parasympathetic fibers of the vagus nerve.

    On another side, many other secondary plexuses are connected to the celiac plexus. From all of them come a large part of the autonomic innervation of the abdominal viscera, including the kidneys and adrenal glands, as well as the innervation of the blood vessels that supply them. More precisely, these sub-plexes are:

    • Hepatic plexus: liver and gallbladder
    • Gastric plexus: stomach
    • Splenic plexus: spleen
    • Pancreatic plexus: pancreas

    Its role in pain and its medical implications

    We know that the solar plexus it is involved in the transmission of nociceptive information, i.e. the sensation of pain. In this case, this structure interprets as painful sensations the nociceptive signals that it can receive from various organs, in particular those of the abdominal cavity.

    Among them are mainly those of the upper part of the abdomen, including the liver, pancreas, bile ducts, spleen and intestine up to the first part of the transverse colon.

    Because of the organs from which it receives signals, one of the most common solar plexus conditions is abdominal pain, caused by hypersensitivity to noxious stimuli this structure. Added to this, its position midway between the xiphoid process of the breastbone and the navel also influences to feel sharp pain in the abdomen when this group of nerves has a medical problem.

    The solar plexus is one of the sites where it is operated on in patients with cancer of the abdomen and pancreas. One of the therapeutic techniques aimed at reducing the pain that the patient may feel is to block the innervation of the solar plexus so that the patient does not notice so intensely the discomfort and pain that their diseased organs may be causing.

      The solar plexus and the third chakra

      The solar plexus he is not only known in the field of medicine, but also in the more parascientific and pseudo-scientific New Age character. According to Hindu and Buddhist mythology, this structure is the residence of the third chakra.

      The solar plexus chakra is called “Manipura” in Sanskrit and is also known as the navel, stomach, liver or spleen chakra. This is the third chakra that Hindus believe to be possessed by the body, the color of this particular chakra being yellow or deep gold.

      The manipura chakra also involves the small intestine, gallbladder, and the center of the spine. Its element is fire, the symbol of the ram and it is believed to be responsible for emotional energy and personality center. Naturally, all of this has no scientific proof and is more a matter of mysticism and spirituality, but it turns out to be quite curious what this is associated with and what problems the alteration of this chakra could cause according to Eastern beliefs.

      The solar plexus chakra would be the one that governs our relationship to the world and to others. This would be, according to Hinduism and Buddhism, where social identity resides and what governs our self-control, our will and our sense of coordination. It is responsible for our sympathies and dislikes and our ability to establish more or less lasting emotional ties.

      According to its form, the star with which it is associated is the Sun and its archetype is the worker or the warrior. According to Hindu mythology, the energy given off by this chakra helps achieve emotional maturity, making us responsible for our actions and the quality of the relationships we establish with others. It is the chakra that manipulates a decisive element in whether we are going to submit to others or, on the contrary, exercise power, perhaps in an abusive manner.

      Its relations with the Buddhist and Hindu religions

      According to Buddhist and Hindu medicine, both pseudotherapies without scientific rigor, having the solar plexus blocked on the spiritual plane poses a number of problems. and also alerts us in the form of signs of both physiological health and personality. Symptoms of having a blocked solar plexus chakra include personality, mood, and medical issues.

      Personality issues:

      • Excessive shyness
      • Procrastination
      • Megalomaniac anxieties
      • Fickleness and little effort
      • Individualism and rebellion
      • Jealousy and envy
      • Hypersensitivity to criticism
      • Desire to dominate or be overwhelmed

      Mental and psychological problems:

      • constant anger
      • Stress
      • Depression, apathy and irritability
      • Permanent fatigue
      • By step
      • Problems in decision making
      • Concentration problems

      Medical issues:

      • Stomach ulcers
      • Diabetes
      • Indigestion and complications of the intestinal tract
      • Hypertension

      Bibliographical references

      • Johari, H. (2002). Chakras. Transformation Energy Centers (Vol. 112). Edaf.
      • Garcia-Eroles X, Mayoral V, Montero A, Serra J, Porta J (2007). “Celiac plexus block: a new technique using the left lateral approach.” The Clinical Journal of Pain. 23 (7): 635-7. doi: 10.1097 / AJP.0b013e31812e6aa8
      • Bouchet, Alain; Jacques Cuilleret (1997). Anatomy of the retroperitoneal region. Pan American Medical Editorial. ISBN 9500601524.

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