Dana Lusk, MS, RN, CRRN, CHPN

According to Mosby’s Medical and Nursing Dictionary (1983) splanchnic (splangk’nik) is a word of Greek origin meaning ‘viscera or entrails.’ Arising out the area of the Solar Plexus, the thoracic ganglia of the spinal cord, between the 5th and 6th thoracic vertebrae, is the location of the three splanchnic nerves: Greater, lesser and smallest (or renal). These splanchnic nerves are a group of sympathetic nerves, which serve the blood vessels and all the vital organs in the abdomen. I particularly love the description of the great and lesser splanchnic nerves from a 2010 reprint of Henry Gray’s Anatomy:

    The great splanchnic nerve…descends obliquely inwards in front of the bodies of the vertebrae and terminates in the semilunar ganglion of the solar plexus, distributing filaments to the renal and suprarenal plexus.
    The lesser splanchnic nerve…pierces the diaphragm with the preceding nerve, and joins the solar plexus (p. 786).

I am in such awe of the beauty and magnificence of the spinal cord and the electrical impulses of information it provides from brain, heart and body and back again. The location of the splanchnic outflow in the Solar Plexus is where, in my Healing Touch Program Level 3 class I discovered is the location of my Core Star!

Before I became a nurse educator, my nursing specialty was neuro-rehabilitation, specifically working with patients with brain and spinal cord injuries. I have witnessed first hand the life threatening complications of patients with spinal cord injury when the communication from the higher centers of the brain are blocked due to an injury of the spinal cord above the level of the splanchnic outflow. This sudden and emergent life threatening condition in patients with a spinal cord injury above the 6th thoracic vertebrae located in the Solar Plexus is called Autonomic Dysreflexia (Bycroft, Shergill, Choong, Arya, & Shah, 2005). This crucial meeting place of the brain to the viscera via the autonomic nervous system may effect the very survival of the body that houses our spirit and soul.

It has been such an amazing journey as someone who is very new to Healing Touch of experiencing the profound impact of the connections of the seven major Chakras to the health and well being of the body, soul and spirit. Part of this new journey was learning about the Hara Alignment and the Core Star (Brennan, 1993). While I was in in a state of deep meditation while being guided in learning the Core Star and Hara Line Alignment by my Healing Touch teacher, Cynthia Hutchison (Mentgen, 1995-2013), I had a sudden vision of the soul-visceral connection of the splanchnic outflow and a sudden knowing that this is the location of the very essence of my being and birth intention. This is where I see my Core Star radiating as in Gray’s words: “it descends obliquely inwards in front of the bodies of the vertebrae and terminates in the semilunar ganglion of the solar plexus” (Grey’s Anatomy, 2010 reprint, p. 786). And I will also add that it radiates outward to the world as a vehicle to love and be loved.


Brennan, B. (1993). Light emerging: The journey of personal healing. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Bycroft, J., Shergill, I. S., Choong, E. A., Arya, N., & Shah, P. J. (2005). Autonomic dysreflexia: A medical emergency. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 81, 222-235. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2004.024463

Gray, H., Pick, T. P., & Howden, R. (Eds.). (2010). Anatomy: Descriptive and surgical (15th ed.). New York, NY: Barnes and Noble, Inc.

Mentgen, J. (1995-2013). In C. Hutchison & N. Lockwood (Eds.), Healing Touch Program Notebook: Level 3 (6th ed.). San Antonio, TX: Healing Touch Program.

Urdang, L., & Swallow, H. H. (Eds.). (1983). Splanchnic. In Moby's Medical and Nursing Dictionary (1st ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: C.V. Mosby Company.

Planting Seeds for HTP Expansion
By Deb Klueter, RN, HNB-BC, HTCP

Local “Seed Planters” grow energetically exponentially at a recent Healing Touch Program Healing Touch Presentations class in the Midwest Metro St. Louis Region!

On a beautiful sunny Saturday morning on March 25, 2012, a group of 15 HTP Healing Touch kindred spirits gathered from Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma in Edwardsville, Illinois, for a one day Healing Touch Presentations class. It was a day of experiential learning, provided by Lauri Pointer, HTCP/I, from Colorado, to gain further knowledge and skills on how to bring an Introduction to Healing Touch to any opportunity that crosses our path, an opportunity to build community and expand our networking outreach. The group picture features the students who gathered, graciously taken by Dave, the husband of student Jean Whittaker.

As the class coordinator, the journey began to solidify in early March after talking by phone with Lauri to discuss class needs and plans, including local issues we hoped to address. The results of this proved amazing and filled with opportunities to stretch, grow, and manifest this class, new clients, and students for an upcoming Level 1 class, including experiencing synchronicities that created a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

Just as we set an intention for our client sessions, one week prior I set an intention for the class with Lauri for which we both ‘held space’ for Spirit’s manifestation to unfold. The power of opening one’s Self and connecting to that Source from which Intention manifests certainly became an eye opener.

This class was a wonderful time to connect with our beloved Healing Touch community, expand our abilities to present HT to the world, whether we talk one on one with someone, or to a group for five minutes to three hours introducing Healing Touch, and network about local and future HT opportunities. Synchronistic energetic opportunities began presenting themselves shortly after my initial phone conversation with Lauri, expanded as we set the class intention, and continued during and immediately after the class with ongoing expectation that such synchronicity continue as we plant HT seeds each day thereafter.

Opportunities to share HT with ease began showing up starting on Sunday morning, the day after the class. Class participant, Marilyn Vincent, via email Sunday evening, shared, “I really enjoyed the class and the fellowship. Something happened today that was very interesting. I have been attending a Bible study group on Sunday evenings at my church. It is a program called The Alpha Course by a minister in England, Nick Gumble. Tonight's lesson was Does God Heal? One of the things discussed was people using words of knowledge to heal. He read several passages in the Bible about healing. It was quite interesting as we had discussed this in our HT Presentations class yesterday. When we broke into our small groups, I mentioned my class yesterday and they asked me about Healing Touch and were asking for more information on it. I guess Deb's poem on planting the seed came home with me. What an opportunity I have to discuss this with members of my church, Vermont Street United Methodist Church! I just had to tell you about it.”

That same Sunday morning I too had an opportunity to share about HT. I was at a class in the morning and before the center’s service went to the ladies room. Another class member in there asked if I had any Tylenol as she had a headache. I said no, I don’t even have any at home, but I could do some Healing Touch if you like (we talk about energy and such things in the class). There “just happened” to be a chair in there and she was open to the idea, so I did a few minutes of HT and she felt a definite shift. She is also a health care professional, and (of course) wants her husband to take HT to use on her, being so in need of self-care like many of us are until we start this HT journey with self-care as an integral aspect.

The Healing Touch Presentations class is open to HT students who have completed Level 4. The class offers eight continuing education hours, the “What is Healing Touch?” booklet and a thorough HT Presentations binder which is chocked full of wonderful resources to draw from in order to individualize your presentation to your particular group. It is well worth the time and effort to attend this class, and I invite you to bring it to your community soon!

And, who knows, as your HT work evolves and continues, even if it has a few ‘bumps’ along the road, you may have an energetic experience along the journey as I did as you find yourself “Planting Seeds” of the Light of HT. My energetic experience began unfolding the Wednesday before the class. That particular day I found myself with many things to do, and completely unable to focus. Finally ‘giving up’, a.k.a. ‘letting go’, I went outside to enjoy the warm sunny day and connect with the earth shoeless. After the fourth hour of picking up gumballs on my hands and knees, an activity I chose to help ground me so I could focus on many other tasks at hand, words began coming to me and I was compelled to type them into my laptop.

Forward to Friday. Lauri was at my home the evening before the class and she and I sat on my family room couch finalizing class details. I had just read her the Planting Seeds poem, those words that had come to me for the group earlier in the week. As we talked, my eyes noticed a piece of a rainbow showing through the huge 40+ year old white pine outside my patio door. So we sprang off the couch and out to see it only to discover a complete double rainbow, with the “inner” arc fully vibrant with color.

We, of course had to quickly click a few pictures as we looked at it in amazement. The thought occurred to me, two fields merged create magnificent blessings. Imagine that! The rainbow began to fade. And then upon reentering my house, it occurred to me what paper I had selected to print the words that came to me for the class. There in my stack of items for this class, on RAINBOW paper, lay this poem that I share now with you with love.

Planting Seeds
Keep “planting seeds” until the fruits of your labor begin emerging.

Knowing that at some time you will need to…
…put those seeds in the ground
…water the seeds
…allow ‘sun’ time…and ‘moon’ time
…add a little fertilizer, and
…hoe some weeds.

This provides the necessary nutrients …to encourage growth…and allow sprouting…new growth…to emerge.

Realize…that even when you can’t see any visible growth…things are happening…underground…in the “field”…perhaps the subconscious…to prepare that little seedling to sprout!

And then, the seedlings appear!

…and some things need to be ‘plucked out’ still so there is room for greater growth…
…or pruned…to allow the core all the energy to blossom into fullness

And, once in a while those little seeds…just never germinate…

Know it is most important at this time to TRUST… that it just it wasn’t their time…

May your seeds of self-discovery, self-care and personal development sprout forth with ease as you expand and share your “Light”…

…all the while…planting more seeds…so that your life and your HT Practice may flourish abundantly!

Offered as a gift to you from Spirit, 3-14-2012

And the journey continues…Namaste’.

Group Photo, Taken by Dave Whittaker, PPA Certified Professional Photographer
Top row, left to right: Jill Zimmerman, Marilyn Vincent, Linda E. Smith, Deb Klueter, David Galloway
Middle row, left to right: Jean Whittaker, Lynn Blackwell, Lynn Placek, Charles “Randy” Jones
Bottom row, left to right: Linda Eisele-Hlubocky, June Pearse, Lauri Pointer (Instructor), Catherine Beckmann, Kim Finck. Not pictured: Tamara Atchley