Solar Plexus Reflex
The solar plexus reflex is found directly in the center, just under the diaphragm line, as shown in FIGURE 12-1. A plexus is a meeting place for a group of nerves, a vital center of activity. This network in turn relates to specific areas and organs in the body. As part of the autonomic nervous system, the solar plexus has sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve cells.
Solar Plexus Reflex Connections
The solar plexus seems to be related to emotional and spiritual issues. Its name implies the power of its function. You work on the sole to treat the soul; the solar plexus is the key. The physical organs close to this region are the diaphragm, breasts, heart, and lungs.
This point is perhaps the most singularly powerful reflex, providing relief from painful points, as well as a strong connection to breath. The solar plexus reflex relates to the nervous system, assisting in overall relaxation.
FIGURE 12-1 The solar plexus reflex is directly under the center of the ball of the foot.
Working the Reflex
The autonomic nervous system regulates the involuntary movement of muscle. Sympathetic nerves speed up action, a response to stress. Parasympathetic nerves slow down action, bringing the body activities back to normal.
This reflex is the same on both feet, though you are working on the right foot at the moment. Cradle the right foot with the left hand; pull the toes down over the shoulder line, and an indentation will appear exactly at the center just below the diaphragm line. This point is aligned in zones two and three and is the beginning of the kidney meridian. Holding the foot steady, the right thumb walks in from the medial edge along the diaphragm line to the point directly under the center at the ball of the foot.
Using the entire flat surface of the thumb, turn the finger slightly sideways, pressing into the depression to identify the reflex. While the right thumb is pressing into the reflex, use the left hand to pull down from the top of the foot, effectively creating an awning over the reflex. Hold here and ask the receiver to breathe in deeply, holding the breath for a count of three and then slowly releasing.
This technique will often release congestion felt in other reflexes. As you work, if a reflex is painful, use the solar plexus method to reduce this response. Often, activating the solar plexus is enough to reduce or eliminate the painful response.
As the receiver relaxes, release the toes while continuing to press the thumb into the reflex. At times the reflex will actually pulse, which is a signal that the reflex is involved with the sense of calmness spreading through the body. Slowly back the thumb out of the reflex, feeling the skin push up against the thumb. This technique is very effective, creating an immediate relaxation response.