Arthritis Case Reports
Meridian Institute, 1853 Old Donation Parkway, Suite 1
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Seven individuals participated in a 10-day live-in instructional/treatment program in November, 1998, in which they were taught the elements of the Edgar Cayce therapies for arthritis. One person had rheumatoid arthritis, and six had osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammatory changes in the synovial membranes of the joints and the areas around the joints, and by atrophy and rarification of the bones. In osteoarthritis there is generally no inflammation and no spreading or migratory type of joint involvement. Rather than a loss of calcium, there is a calcium build-up. The Cayce readings identify a number of factors as playing a part in the development of both types of arthritis. These include poor elimination and assimilation, and chemical imbalances. The therapeutic approach in the project was a complementary one, based on the information in the Cayce readings. The project explicitly did not require participants to change their current therapies or medications. The principal therapies included dietary changes, massage, Atomidine (an iodine supplement), and epsom salts baths. The participants then returned home to continue these therapies for six months, submitting daily logs of compliance with the protocol.
Arthritis symptoms were evaluated at the beginning of the program and after six months. Four of the seven people returned for the six-month follow-up in May, 1999. One was unable to attend the April session, and returned in November. Another responded to a questionnaire by mail, and one person dropped out of the study.
Of the six participants who submitted information, three had excellent compliance with the protocol. One felt “much improved,” and two felt “improved.” Two people had poor compliance, doing little or none of the protocol after the initial conference. Of these, one rated herself as “improved,” and one as “worse.” The remaining participant rated herself as “much improved,” but switched from the Cayce protocol to another plan of therapy in the middle of the project, so it is difficult to know what might be responsible for her healing.
Below are case reports based on the initial questionnaires and the six-month follow-up questionnaires. Comments from letters and interviews are included as well.
Case 1 is a 61-year-old massage therapist. Her arthritis symptoms began 11 years before. She initially described her symptoms as “Overall I’m in good health, but have sore hips, low back and especially stiff fingers with limited flexibility.” Her compliance with the protocol was very good most of the time. She was not able to return for the six-month follow-up; her questionnaire by mail indicated that she was feeling somewhat worse at that time. However, she continued with the protocol, and returned at one year, reporting some improvement.
On the Osteoarthritis Symptom Assessment, her initial score was 18, and her score at six months was 15, a 3 point improvement. Her initial score on the Activity Assessment was 28, and her score at six months was 24, a 4 point improvement. She did not fill out these assessments when she returned at one year, but reported that her arthritis symptoms were “improved,” and her symptoms other than arthritis were “improved.” She felt that her arthritis was “less disabling,” and that her attitudes and emotions were “much improved.”
Regarding compliance with the protocol, she followed the diet “most of the time,” received massage “A few times a month,” and followed the Atomidine/Epsom salts bath/massage sequence consistently about once per month. She also received four or more spinal adjustments. This is very good compliance with the protocol.
Case 1 was unable to return for the six-month evaluation, but she continued with the protocol, and returned six months later. In a 12-month interview in November, 1999, she said:
The first 6 months I was probably a little more attentive to my procedures and I think I kept better records. However, I don’t think that I followed them as well as I could. I think I did a fairly good job with following the routine.
Then I kind of slacked off for a couple of months, and I did notice a difference from slacking off, from the first 6 months. Now I’ve started again, but I’ve been traveling and it’s been a little difficult.
But, overall I feel better. My judgment for the arthritis may be a little different from someone else’s. When I wake up in the morning my hands are stiff. As the day goes on, it limbers out and I feel better.
But once in a while the knuckle will get a sharp pain in it. It doesn’t happen very often, and I correlate this to what I did the day before. There is a correlation, definitely.
Generally, I have more energy, just from the diet. I’ve been pretty good about the diet.
A year ago it was not only my hands, but also my hips and the general soreness of the whole body, and now it’s just the hands. The hips feel much better.
Sometimes when I have a little flare-up and feel sore all over, I’ll take something over-the-counter.
When I started the program, I thought, my arthritis at that point was not too bad, and as a massage therapist I didn’t want it to get any worse. I thought, let’s catch this before it gets too bad.
After the 6 months it felt better, not as much as I would like to, but who knows what the reason is exactly. I’m still staying with the diet. Today this hand feel fairly good, this one is a little stiff but not too bad. The hips feel good. I have no trouble walking, never had.
It hasn’t progressed, and that’s what I was really concerned about. If I can stay where I’m at, and hopefully get better.
Case 2 is an 62-year-old massage therapist. Her arthritis symptoms began approximately 50 years before, when she was a teenager. Her symptoms included periodic inflammation/swelling of finger joints, morning stiffness in her hands and feet, chronic back pain, and periodic epicondylitis.
Case 2 must be considered separately, because although she reported substantial improvement in arthritis symptoms, she did not follow the protocol. Her case is a good example of two problems: 1) in a complementary medicine project, some people will likely add or remove other treatments that may have an effect on the results, and 2) some people will inevitably need to treat other medical conditions that arise during the course of the project, interfering with the original study. She had a heart condition, which worsened during the six months. A psychic reading unrelated to the protocol suggested that she drop the protocol and concentrate on working with the heart condition. We would likely have given the same advice.
Her improvement was evident in her Osteoarthritis Symptom Assessment, where her score went from 14 in November to 10 in May, and her Activity Assessment, where her score went from 9 in November to 0 in May, indicating no major impairment in quality of life. As noted above, however, this improvement cannot be attributed to our protocol.
In the 6 month interview in May, 1999, she explained her other medical problems in detail, as well as the information she received from her psychic reading:
From the time I left here in November until March 10, this year, I had been experiencing increased pain in the left proximal joint of the pinkie finger, and in the medial epicondyles of both arms and also in the heels of both feet. On March 10 I was shoveling snow, and got very unusual sensations. Some sort of a ball of energy erupting in my chest which caused the calfs to immediately cramp. And then it felt like my lower legs belonged on somebody else’s body. Unusual electrical flashes in the head. Strange sensation across the chest from shoulder to shoulder. Which was not pain, just very unusual feelings.
I had an appointment for a bone density at the University and I kept it. When I arrived they immediately did a blood pressure, and it was 178/110. So they did a cardiogram which showed some erratic things and shipped me across the road to the hospital via ambulance.In the emergency room the blood pressure, EKG and blood enzymes were normal. But since this had happened to me about 2 years previous, my home doctor requested that I be kept overnight..I was sent home, but then ended up back in the ER.
I had the tests, which indicated a left branch block. The next day I ended back up in the ER, and had a heart catheterization. The results of the tests are that the blood vessels are normal, the heart is normal, the circulation is normal, and it was strictly electrical.
The cardiologists didn’t give any reason why, and wanted to prescribe tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs, which I didn’t feel was something I wanted to get into. My chiropractor indicated that the problem emanated from a compression of the vertebrae in the cervical and upper thoracic spine.My osteopath who is my general physician agreed with that assessment. He suggested I see another osteopath for acupuncture. I have been doing acupuncture once a week, chiropractic adjustment once a week, and osteopathic manipulation which was somewhat different once a week. I’m also taking, in addition to Lopressin, a beta blocker which the cardiologist had suggested., I have since stopped taking that. I haven’t taken it in about 7 or 8 days. I am taking a homeopathic antiarrthyhmic remedy also, a homeopathic lymph support, and I’m taking arsenicum LM3 once a day. The combination of these things have considerably eased off, as of May 9th, Mother’s day, I spent 30 minutes in the garden, and that was about the extent of what I could. And I’m presently (May 21) walking now more than a mile each way, about 2 miles. I feel that I’m really coming back into my own. Heart arrhythmia has real leveled off, balanced out. The chest pain has eased considerably.
I had a psychic reading done in the middle of this.completed on March 20. It supported the chiropractor’s assessment. It also gave specific instructions for the chiropractor, for massage, for an oil, and requested that I stop all my supplements and then suggested other supplements. It also told me to stop the arthritis protocol immediately, stating that the arthritis was an old memory that I had already put to sleep. Dwelling on, etc., was only bringing it to the forefront of the mind again.
Almost immediately I lost all pain sensation in those areas that had been considered arthritic. At this point I really feel that I’m coming back into my own. I lost all pain sensation in hands, elbows, feet. A day or two after I received the reading, about March 26. I stopped all the recording for the project.
I do not have the problems that I had at the beginning of the protocol at all. I just have a slight bending of that one joint.
Why I joined the protocol was so that I would not re-experience what I had experienced 10-12 years ago before I started the Cayce diet and castor oil packs. The other reason I came was because some of my clients are doing massage therapy and polarity therapy, had arthritis, one severely enough to have ankle surgery. So I thought it would be helpful for them as well. But I think there’s a far bigger purpose that brought me into the protocol, even though it apparently doesn’t address – just part of this whole experience that I had in March.
It was hard to fill out the questionnaires, because some of the symptoms happened the first two weeks of the month, whereas the last two weeks it has completely changed for the better.
Sometimes you have to be hit in the head to learn the lessons that have been hinted at for a long time.
Case 3 is a 50-year-old housewife. Her arthritis symptoms began 4 years before. Her symptoms are primarily in her neck, and an x-ray in 1998 revealed “major damage to cervical vertebrae.” Her compliance with the protocol was poor. She was not able to return for the six-month follow-up, but she returned a questionnaire by mail. She reported some improvement in her condition
On the Osteoarthritis Symptom Assessment, her initial score was 17, and her score at six months was 15, a 2 point improvement. Her initial score on the Activity Assessment was 14, and her score at six months was 7, a 7 point improvement. She reported that her arthritis symptoms were “improved,” and her symptoms other than arthritis were “about the same.” She felt that her arthritis was “less disabling,” and that her attitudes and emotions were “about the same.”
Regarding compliance with the protocol, she followed the diet “occasionally,” received massage “A few times since November,” and followed the Atomidine/Epsom salts bath/massage sequence “A few times since November.” She also received one to three spinal adjustments. This is poor compliance with the protocol.
She did not return for the 6 month follow-up and was not interviewed, but submitted the following comments by mail:
Every time I had a massage I had a headache afterwards and so stopped having them.
For me going on the project at age 50 was not a very good idea because I had been going through other bodily changes during this year which have been hard to handle and may explain some of the difficulties I experienced in Virginia Beach in November. I felt quite bombarded by the treatments in November – having colonics, massage, Atomidine, Epsom salts bath and castor oil packs in the course of about 5 days was pretty disruptive for me. It caused me to feel uncomfortable about the treatment and therefore was not an incentive to keep it up.
I’m sorry if I was your worst ever participant in a program. I did benefit from it and am glad I came but I have had to adapt the measures to my needs. I wish you all well with the research.
Case 4 is an 81-year-old retired inventory management specialist. Her arthritis symptoms began approximately 10 years before. Her symptoms included pain in the upper back, shoulders and neck. Her compliance with the protocol was excellent and she reported major improvement.
Case 4 reported that her arthritis symptoms were “much improved,” and her symptoms other than arthritis were “much improved.” She felt that her arthritis was “much less disabling,” and that her attitudes and emotions were “much improved.” This case is somewhat puzzling, however, because these reports were not clearly reflected in the symptom assessments. For the Osteoarthritis Symptom Assessment, her score went from a 10 in November to a 9 in May, indicating slight improvement. However, her Activity Assessment score went from a 4 in November to a 35 in May, indicating a major deterioration in quality of life. Especially considering her age, it is possible that other health problems, unrelated to the arthritis, are bothering her, although she did not mention them in interviews.
Regarding compliance with the protocol, she followed the diet “most of the time,” received massage “Twice every week,” and followed the Atomidine/Epsom salts bath/massage sequence consistently more than once per month. She also received four or more spinal adjustments. This is excellent compliance with the protocol.
In the 6 month interview in May, 1999, she said:
I feel that I’ve improved 90%. The pain between my shoulders is 90% improved. And I think my circulation has also improved.
I was able to follow the protocol quite well except the diet. And I eat out a lot, and that interferes with it. I had a little problem with the colonic, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the massage twice a week, and the adjustment. It seemed good. The epsom salts bath, got awfully weak, but afterwards I felt wonderful. Of course I’ve been doing the castor oil packs for a long time. I did them according to schedule. Before I came up here I was doing them more often. But I think I do just as well once a month, 3 consecutive times once a month.
I think the project is very good, and I would recommend it to someone else.
Case 5 is a 58-year-old environmental consultant. His arthritis symptoms began approximately 19 years before. His symptoms included both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. His compliance with the protocol was very good, and he had significant improvement at the six-month return.
On the Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptom Assessment, his initial score was 17, and his score at six months was 17, yielding no change. However, his initial score on the Activity Assessment was 18, and his score at six months was 8, a 10 point improvement in quality of life. He reported that his arthritis symptoms were “improved,” and his symptoms other than arthritis were “worse,” specifically referring to digestive symptoms. (But see below regarding improvement in headaches.) He felt that his arthritis was “about the same” degree of disability and that his attitudes and emotions were “improved.”
Regarding compliance with the protocol, he followed the diet “most of the time,” received massage “Almost every week,” and followed the Atomidine/Epsom salts bath/massage sequence consistently more than once per month. He also received four or more spinal adjustments. This is excellent compliance with the protocol.
In the 6 month interview in May, 1999, he said:
It’s been great doing this work. Probably the most striking impact I’ve found, in terms of how I feel, is that I used to have headaches virtually every day. Those have disappeared totally. I have not had a headache since November.
In terms of joint pain, probably for 5 ½ months or so, it was roughly the same, perhaps slightly better. Within the last month, however, the last Atomidine cycle, several joints in the fingers seem to react adversely and in fact were quite painful. This is spite of the fact that I continually take medication – 3 tablets of Relefin per day. This is the first time that has happened since I’ve undergone this program.
The one joint where I’ve noticed a significant improvement has been in my right hand, the right thumb area, where I used to do a lot of hammering and this sort of thing. The pain in that is essentially gone and that joint is quite good. I think probably the other joints have improved somewhat, but there is still an element of morning stiffness associated with them, particularly if I have incurred significant stress on them, perhaps the day before.
Overall, certainly, the program in my view has been extremely beneficial. The only concerns I’ve had, one of these started before this program, is that I seem to get cuts very easily on my hand. These are very slow to heal. I’m not sure whether it’s related to the protocol or the arthritis, or perhaps to the medication I’m taking for arthritis. I’ve also noticed that I have some black circles around my eyes, which I didn’t notice before particularly. They seem to have occurred in the last month or so.
I have certainly lost weight following this program. It could be as much as 20 pounds, although I do not have an exact measurement when we started. My energy has certainly increased substantially since beginning this program.
Following the protocol itself has indeed been a challenge. The most difficult aspect, I feel, has certainly been trying to follow that diet rigorously. To this day I still have difficulty trying to drink enough water.
The other thing I’ve noticed in the last month, is that from time to time, whether this is from overexerting myself or whatever, but there seems to be back pain just below the ribs, associated with kidneys or something of that nature. It tends to persist. It’s a mild pain, but it’s there. It tends to persist for an hour or so. Maybe this is all part of the detoxification.
I guess there’s another element that’s concerned me a little bit. I don’t know what to make of it. It’s almost some loss of sensation in the jaw area. It seems as though there’s something going on in there.
Spiritually, I’ve certainly become more aware, but I’ve certainly done work on my ideals, in terms of the time that’s been available. We’re fortunate in Florida that there was an ARE study group available to us. We indeed participated in that group. Actually to the extent of twice a week at times. I will continue to do that at home. There was an Edgar Cayce Conference 2 weeks ago that we participated in. And a health fair last Saturday where we basically sat at an Edgar Cayce type booth, and tried to answer information for the public. But somehow I feel there’s still something missing. Maybe it’s just that this “walk the talk” is a little harder than I think it is. It’s nice to intellectualize over all these things, but actually walking the talk is something else. I still don’t feel that I’m doing enough. There’s more that I would like to do, in my mind getting the message out of the Cayce material. I’ve been supporting my wife’s endeavors, who does quite a bit of work in terms of setting up study groups.
I consider it a privilege to participate.
From a letter in December, 1999:
In August I visited my rheumatologist.He carefully assessed my joints.his conclusion was that there was no change from my previous visit in November, 1998. In fact he suggested that conditions had worsened slightly as one finger on my left hand had “blown up” in July and continued to be sore. I was not deterred, however, as I was confident that day by day my condition was improving, even though I had two sore fingers.
In September a big change occurred. I had noticed whenever I got a sinus cold that my arthritic pain would diminish substantially, if not totally disappear. Well, in September I came down with a cold that hung on for a considerable period of time. One day in September, I decided, as I was feeling little or no pain, that I would simply stop taking my medication. As of this writing I have not resumed my medication. I have minimal “morning stiffness” and no more soreness in my fingers than when I was taking the medication. Two days ago, I again visited my rheumatologist who gave me the results of blood work done in August and his present assessment of my finger joints. The blood work was essentially normal and the RA factor was negative. The joints in my hands, with the exception of the two which were sore, were considered to be “normal.”
To say that I was elated is an understatement! I know that my condition continues to improve, little by little, each day and certainly by this time next year I am expecting a grand healing to have occurred.
Case 6 is a 54-year-old artist and decorative arts teacher. Her arthritis symptoms began approximately10 years before. Her symptoms included quite a lot of morning stiffness and pain, and somewhat limited motion. Case 6 only submitted daily logs for three months, and did not return for the follow-up weekend. Based on those three months, she complied with the diet less than half the time, did the Atomidine sequence twice a month, but did not consistently do the Epsom salts baths and had no massages. She also did not respond to the mailed questionnaire. She is considered a drop-out from the study.
Case 7 is a 53-year-old housewife. Her arthritis symptoms began 2 years before. Her symptoms included somewhat limited motion, morning stiffness, and quite a lot of pain. She also had a little enlargement/distortion of her joints, and a little depression and anxiety. She had multiple medical problems in addition to her arthritis. These included Type II diabetes, chronic fatigue, restless leg syndrome, high blood pressure, and chronic urinary tract infections. Her compliance with the protocol was poor, and her symptoms became worse.
On the Osteoarthritis Symptom Assessment, her initial score was 17, and her score at six months was 26, which is 9 points worse. Her initial score on the Activity Assessment was 62, and her score at six months was 75, which is 13 points worse. She reported that her arthritis symptoms were “worse,” and her symptoms other than arthritis were “about the same.” She felt that her arthritis was “more disabling,” and that her attitudes and emotions were “about the same.”
Regarding compliance with the protocol, she followed the diet “rarely,” received massage “A few times since November,” and followed the Atomidine/Epsom salts bath/massage sequence “rarely.” She also received only one to three spinal adjustments. This is poor compliance with the protocol.
In the 6 month interview in May, 1999, she said:
I really don’t know [if I followed the protocol]. I don’t think I followed it entirely well. But I guess I’ve done better than I thought, because I don’t feel a lot of the things. If I’m eating a lot of the things that I shouldn’t be, then I’m not aware of it anyway. I didn’t do as many Epsom salts baths as I could have. The Atomidine was very easy. I wasn’t able to get massages. I think I followed the diet about 60%. I feel pretty much the same as I did 6 months ago.