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The visceral plexus, or solar plexus, is one of the most famous nerve plexuses. It is part of the autonomic nervous system, which means that it is responsible for the reactions of our body that are independent of our will, such as intestinal peristalsis. Find out how the visceral plexus is built, which processes in our body are responsible for and what disrupts its functioning.

Visceral Plexus( Solar Plexus ) is located at the level of the first lumbar vertebra, in the posterior epigastric region, on the front side of the spine. It is limited from the top by the diaphragm, from the sides of the adrenal glands, and from the bottom by the renal arteries. In front of it there is an abdominal aorta.

Colloquially, the visceral plexus is called the solar plexus. It is a cluster of neuron connections, one of many in our body (apart from the visceral plexus, we distinguish, among others: the brachial, cervical, sacral and cardiac plexuses).

The visceral plexus is part of the autonomic (vegetative) nervous system that innervates internal organs.

Characteristic of this system, unlike the somatic nervous system, is that it triggers responses independent of our will, such as the secretion of gastric juices and perist altic movements of the intestines.

Structure of the visceral plexus

The solar plexus is a combination of two slightly smaller left and right visceral plexuses. It consists of a large number of convolutions, i.e. clusters of nerve cells whose task is to transmit signals and stimuli to individual organs:

  • diaphragms
  • liver
  • spleen
  • stomach
  • duodenum
  • intestines
  • adrenal and kidney
  • genital
  • large vessels, including the aorta

The largest ganglia of the visceral plexus are the superior mesenteric ganglion and the aortic-renal ganglion, located in its lower part.

Besides them, there are many smaller coils in the solar plexus. Nerve twigs depart - and reach them - from these coils, which gives them a characteristic, radiant appearance, hence the name - solar plexus.

They come to the visceral plexus:

  • paired visceral nerves, major and minor
  • visceral branches of the vagus nerve
  • twigs from the last pectoral ganglion and from the upper lumbar ganglia of the trunksympathetic

Smaller plexuses depart from the visceral plexus:

  • even:

- diaphragmatic
- adrenal
- renal
- nuclear in men or ovarian in women

  • odd:

- upper and lower gastric
- hepatic
- splenic
- upper mesenteric
- abdominal aortic

Visceral Plexus Functions

The described cluster of nerve connections is responsible for the proper functioning of most organs in the abdominal cavity. It regulates processes such as:

  • metabolism
  • secretion of gastric juice, bile, pancreatic juice
  • peristalsis of the stomach, duodenum, small and large intestine
  • regulation of sphincter tone (e.g. Vater's nipple, gastric pyloric, urinary or anal sphincters)
  • work of the heart muscle
  • blood pressure regulation
  • breathing
  • work of the reproductive organs
  • secretion of hormones by the adrenal glands, pancreas
  • thermoregulation

The operation of the visceral plexus is independent of the human will, but ensures homeostasis, i.e. a state of balance of the processes necessary for life.

Does the celiac plexus get sick?

There are no typical primary diseases of the solar plexus. However, many other disorders of the body can affect its functioning.

For example, if the brain develops an atherosclerotic disease causing ischemia, or encephalitis or meningitis, or a degenerative or degenerative disorder or cancer, the visceral plexus may not function properly.

In addition, in its immediate vicinity there are many organs and structures that can cause even some pressure - e.g. aortic aneurysm, enlarged lymph nodes, kidney or adrenal cysts, abscess.

Also electrolyte disturbances, certain medications, stimulants and psychoactive substances can negatively affect the work of the solar plexus.

Solar plexus hit

Many people, especially boys as a child, have certainly experienced the pain that arises from hitting the solar plexus. It is extremely strong, even shocking, and often stops breathing for a few moments.

This pain is due to the fact that the visceral plexus is a huge cluster of nerve connections. So the blow in this place spreads to the whole body. Such an impact is particularly dangerous, as it may damage internal organs.

Solar plexus - the brain in the belly?

In alternative theories, the solar plexus is a placein which the processes of the spiritual and somatic spheres intertwine.

Ancient Taoists called it the "abdominal brain" and attributed it to a role no less than that of the actual brain.

According to them, emotions such as anger, annoyance, jealousy or hatred arise when the functioning of an organ is disturbed - this manifests itself in the physiological responses we feel in the solar plexus.

But also vice versa - chronic "cultivating" a certain negative emotion (because positive means balance), can lead to a somatic disease.

There are then problems such as insomnia, hypertension, vascular diseases, heart attacks, chronic bronchitis, duodenal inflammation, ulcers, gastroenteritis, constipation, diarrhea, malabsorption (small intestine), menstrual cramps, impotence , etc.

About the authorMarta Uler A journalist specializing in he alth, beauty and psychology. She is also a diet therapist by education. Her interests are medicine, herbal medicine, yoga, vegetarian cuisine and cats. I am a mother of two boys - a 10-year-old and a 6-month-old.

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