solar plexus

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solar plexus

solar plexus, dense cluster of nerve cells and supporting tissue, located behind the stomach in the region of the celiac artery just below the diaphragm. It is also known as the celiac plexus. Rich in ganglia and interconnected neurons, the solar plexus is the largest autonomic nerve center in the abdominal cavity (see nervous system). Through branches it controls many vital functions such as adrenal secretion and intestinal contraction. Popularly, the term “solar plexus” may refer to the pit of the stomach. A blow to that area, if it penetrates to the true solar plexus, not only causes great pain but may also temporarily halt visceral functioning.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Solar Plexus


(also celiac plexus), in humans, the aggregate of neural elements concentrated in the abdominal cavity at the origins of the celiac and superior mesenteric arteries. The solar plexus includes the paired celiac ganglia, the unpaired superior mesenteric ganglion, and numerous nerves that run from the ganglia in various directions in a manner resembling the sun’s rays (whence the name). The ganglia of the solar plexus consist of nerve cells with many processes. The branches of the preganglionic fibers, which pass without interruption through the ganglia of the neighboring sympathetic trunk, terminate in synapses on the bodies and processes of the nerve cells. In addition to sensory and parasympathetic fibers, the nerves of the solar plexus contain many postganglionic sympathetic fibers, which are processes of the ganglion cells of the solar plexus and which innervate the glands and musculature of the vessels of the diaphragm, gastrointestinal tract, spleen, kidneys, adrenals, and other organs.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about the solar plexus?

This is the area of the body that is also known as the psychic brain center. Here is the source of all those deep feelings and empathic experiences.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

solar plexus

1. Anatomy the network of sympathetic nerves situated behind the stomach that supply the abdominal organs
2. the part of the stomach beneath the diaphragm; pit of the stomach
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The posterior Vagus nerve divides to form gastric and celiac branches. Gastric branches supply the posterior surface of the stomach.