Coeliac plexus

Dear Colleagues,
 
This neural therapy newsletter marks the beginning of our sixth year. I want to use this opportunity to thank you - my readers, for all the interesting feedback and encouraging letters. They come from all over the world, are often informative, and are all very much appreciated. For those of you who have signed on only recently, past newsletters can be found in the archive at http://www.neuraltherapybook.com/newsletters
 
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"Solar plexus" is a word I first heard as a youngster, growing up in rural Canada listening to the blow-by-blow descriptions of the Friday night boxing on radio. When a boxer landed a hard blow to the "solar plexus" we knew that it mattered. It might be a knockout!
 
This term isn't used much these days. In the not-so distant past it was used to describe what we now call the "coeliac plexus". And (according to the Wikipedia) it is sometimes used as a translation of the Sanskrit word manipura referring to the chakra corresponding to the umbilicus. This strikes me odd, as both the region "solar plexus" and the anatomical term "coeliac plexus" are located in the epigastrium, well above the umbilicus. Perhaps a reader could clarify this point. 
 
In any case, the coeliac plexus is important in the practice of neural therapy. It is not an uncommon interference field and powerful beneficial effects can be obtained when detected and treated.
 
The coeliac plexus is the largest plexus in the body; it is a poorly defined network of nerve fibers and ganglia situated anterior to the abdominal aorta at about the level of the first lumbar vertebra. Anteriorly, its center can be found by palpating the abdominal aorta at a level corresponding to the midpoint between the tip of the xiphisternum and the umbilicus. 
 
The coeliac plexus has connections with the vagus nerve, the thoracic and lumbar sympathetic ganglia, the stomach, pancreas, liver and small and large intestines. It serves as a nerve connection center distributing afferent and efferent information throughout the enteric, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in the abdomen. It is also involved in decision-making; afferent fibers synapse with efferent fibers in this region and can modify efferent output, i.e. complex activity can occur without the involvement of the brain or spinal cord. 
 
The coeliac plexus should be considered a possible interference field in any condition of chronic or recurrent gastrointestinal dysfunction. This is especially true if interference fields are found in more than one of the abdominal organs. The coeliac plexus lies behind the stomach in an anatomical sense, and coeliac plexus interference fields "lie behind" the stomach and other abdominal viscera in a functional sense. 
 
A typical story would be recurrent stomach and bowel problems for many years following amoebic dysentery or some other particularly severe gastrointestinal infection. Interference fields are found in the stomach, liver and possibly other organs, but no lasting relief is obtained until the coeliac plexus interference field is identified and treated. Occasionally, celiac plexus interference fields may be found associated with lower thoracic sympathetic ganglia interference fields. 
 
Coeliac plexus injections, (despite appearances) are simple and safe using an anterior approach. Even in quite obese patients the abdominal aorta can be palpated if enough gentle pressure is applied. Two fingers cradle the aorta and the needle is inserted between the fingers until the firm resistance of the aorta is felt. Obviously abdominal viscera are penetrated, but using a fine needle, no harm is done.  Details may be found in my book on page 187 available at http://www.rfkidd.com/booksite/.

The coeliac plexus should be looked at as a "breaker switch" for the autonomic innervation of the abdominal viscera. Just as an electrical breaker switch "flips" and shuts off current flow when overloaded, so also do autonomic ganglia go into an "alarm state" when neurological traffic is too heavy or too intense. 
 
A short case history: A 42 year old woman presented with stomach and bowel upsets, fatigue and depression since contracting an undiagnosed tropical disease in Indonesia 12 years before.  During the illness she had experienced some jaundice.  No specific infectious agent had been identified. 
 
On the first visit, an interference field was detected by autonomic response testing. Neural therapy "quaddles" were placed over the stomach segments and a mild temporary improvement was experienced for a few days. 
 
Repeat examinations and treatments of liver and large bowel interference fields also produced only temporary improvements.  Only when a coeliac plexus interference field was identified and treated with a coeliac plexus block was a truly satisfactory and lasting response achieved. Not only did the gastrointestinal symptoms disappear, but the patient's energy and sense of well being improved also. 

The Neural Therapy in Practice newsletter was intended as a complement to Dr. Kidd's book, Neural Therapy: Applied Neurophysiology and Other Topics, which is still available for sale through Amazon.