The solar plexus — a common trouble spot

The Solar Plexus is the common name for a network of nerves in the area just above the belly button. It is not important to know what the physical functions of this set of nerves is, only that this general area is directly affected by one’s emotional state, and in turn affects the stomach and all of the nerves, muscles and connective tissues in the immediate proximity.

Mystics have long known about this ‘emotional centre’ that has given us so much trouble. The great Tibetan saint Milarepa of the 11th century, who spent years meditating in a cave, knew that to achieve his goal of freedom, one of the things he had to do was to release himself from the bonds and grip that the emotional centre had over him.

The emotional centre is not a physical area, even though it affects us physically (just as the mind is not the brain or the workings of the brain, contrary to what scientists state). When we experience strong emotions such as fear (by far the biggest culprit!), our emotional centre is placed under a severe stress which affects both the body and mind. The immediately affected area of the body is the region of the solar plexus. The stomach becomes tense and we may become nauseous. If this state is not soon resolved, the experience leaves a ‘scar’ on our emotional selves (similar to a heart attack leaving scars on the heart). The more we experience these emotional trauma, the more emotional scars are left, until we are in a badly damaged state emotionally.

Physically, the trauma is experienced by the deep-seated muscles and tissues in the area of the solar plexus. The long term effect is chronic tension in that area, leading to a host of problems such as indigestion and lower back problems. (Since the lower back is directly opposite the stomach area, it is also affected). Chronic tension in the mid-section tends to ‘bow’ the body by pulling the upper body down and forward and the hips up and forward. These effects will not be exactly the same for everyone. Worse, the emotional scars are cumulative, imprisoning us within a net of past emotional trauma. It is the release from these emotional blockages that Milarepa finally achieved.

* This post is an excerpt from my book, Active Healing and Body Restoration. For more information about my book, see

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