Asthma Case Studies
Five individuals participated in a 10-day live-in instructional/treatment program in April, 1997, in which they were taught the elements of the Edgar Cayce therapies for asthma. Asthma is a disorder in which the airways of the lungs become either narrowed or completely blocked, impeding normal breathing. The Cayce perspective is that the causes of asthma are varied, and include spinal problems (i.e., osteopathic lesions) and toxicity, often related to the digestive system. The therapeutic approach was a complementary one, based on the information in the Edgar Cayce readings. The project explicitly did not require participants to change their current therapies or medications. The principal therapies included dietary changes, chiropractic adjustments and use of a hand-held vibrator along the spine, a hydrotherapy/cleansing regimen, and occasional use of Calcidin (calcium iodate). The participants then returned home to continue these therapies for six months, submitting daily logs of compliance with the protocol. See the copy of the home treatment protocol at the end of this report.
Asthma symptoms were evaluated at the beginning of the program and after six months. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to all participants after one year. Three of the five people returned for the six month follow-up in October, 1997. Subjects who followed the protocol consistently (but none completely or perfectly) averaged moderate to major improvement in asthma symptoms over six months, based on subjective questionnaires. At the one-year follow-up, four of the five subjects reported moderate to major improvement in quality of life related to their asthma. The degree of improvement was clearly related to the degree of compliance with the protocol.
Below are case reports based on the initial questionnaires and the six-month and one-year follow-up questionnaires. Comments from letters and interviews are included as well.
AS#1 is a 44-year-old woman, a studio artist. Her asthma began 9 years previously. Her symptoms at the beginning of the project were the most severe of any of the participants, and were highly disabling. Although she did not begin the protocol for several months, and was not able to follow it well, she had major improvements from the elements that she did follow.
She described her symptoms at the initial program: “Frequent bronchospasms of great degree of severity. Hospitalized seven times in the last two years.” She was bothered by the side effects of the steroids she was taking, but the rebound effect was so serious she was unable to go off them.
For her previous treatments she wrote, “I have tried nearly all asthma medications on the market in the last eight years.” She was currently on Accolate (1 month), Dexacort (5 months), Proventil inhaler (8 years), and Atrovent inhaler (1 year). In addition, she had tried chiropractic treatments and acupuncture. She wrote, “Because of the complexity of my response, I desperately want to try the Cayce remedies. I have tried some of them on my own, but I need a more comprehensive approach.”
AS#1 did not return for the six-month follow-up. During the initial program, AS#1 had a severe asthma attack that required hospitalization, so she was not able to complete the program. It was probably a rebound from her attempt to eliminate the use of steroids. When she returned home, she was unable to comply with most of the treatment protocol, but she did try Calcidin, the calcium-iodine compound that Cayce recommended for acute asthma attacks. As the report below indicates, she credits Calcidin for allowing her to eliminate steroids. Several months into the program, when she began to follow the Cayce diet, she also had notable improvement.
She did fill out the one-year follow-up questionnaire. She rated her asthma symptoms as “Much improved,” and her other symptoms as “Much improved.” She also rated her attitudes/emotions as “Much improved.” She had decreased her asthma medications, and reported “Much decreased” side effects. On the initial “Asthma Quality of Life” questionnaire she scored 87 points; on the one-year follow-up she scored 35 points, a 52-point improvement.
As noted above, for the first several months, the only aspect of the protocol with which she complied was the use of Calcidin. In the last few months she also worked on her diet.
Her comments at the one-year follow-up:
“Most significant for me has been the use of Calcidin. For years, with the aid of my pulmonary specialist, I had been trying to eliminate the use of steroids. In spite of everything we tried, I had been unable to overcome the rebound effects from steroid withdrawal. I cannot describe the terrible debilitation even the least amount of steroid use had on my life since my diagnosis of adult onset asthma in 1989.
“My physician switched me to a new, non-steroidal medication in August 1997, but personally, I feel I still could not have eliminated the use of the steroid without the help of Calcidin. I took it as often as the sense of “asthma crisis” occurred, several times a day for a few weeks, then once a day for about another month. I still take it several times a month on days when my asthma, inexplicably, is worse. I am usually back to my ‘normal’ maintenance regimen within 24 hours.
“Late February 1998, I finally began to experience a sense of normalcy for the first time in years. I expanded my support group to include friends to help specifically with the diet. Though I have yet to eat a ‘perfect’ Cayce diet, the effect on my asthma has been remarkable. The simple reduction of refined sugar products is especially notable in its effects.
“As I make greater recovery, I look forward to including the rest of the recommendations. I anticipate reducing my medications even more so.
“I cannot thank the Meridian Institute enough. I have my life back.”
A later comment from AS#1: “A ‘little healing’/a big, big deal: I rode my mountain bike for twenty five minutes last week.”
AS#2 is a 43-year-old man, employed as a welder. He has had asthma since the age of 5. He followed the protocol moderately well, and had moderate improvement.
At the beginning of the project he described his symptoms: “Can’t breathe in at times, depending on weather, time of year. Severity depends on whether I can go away from what is causing it.” He complied relatively well with the treatment protocol, and at the one-year follow-up he reported moderate improvement.
He also had digestive symptoms, and reported “marked to extreme indigestion” on his initial symptom questionnaire: “I feel the best when I don’t eat, but the cravings get out of hand; then I eat out of control. When I eat minimal or a lot my abdomen will swell up for a couple of hours. Have been redoing fillings in my mouth. It seems to help some.”
Previous treatments included chiropractic. Medications for asthma included Proventil tablets (18 years), Ventilin inhaler (18 years), Azmacort (2 years), and Serevent (2 years).
During the initial program, the most notable response was of his digestive system to the cleansing regimen of diet, castor oil packs, and a colonic irrigation. He experienced substantial relief of his indigestion.
AS#2 did not return for the six-month follow-up. He did fill out the one-year follow-up questionnaire. He rated his asthma symptoms as “Improved,” and his digestive symptoms as “Much improved.” He also rated his attitudes/emotions as “Much improved.” On the initial “Asthma Quality of Life” questionnaire he scored 72 points; on the one-year follow-up he scored 47 points, a 25-point improvement.
AS#2 complied fairly well with the diet aspect of the protocol, following it “Often.” He used castor oil packs “A few times/month,” had “Four or more” colonics, and used the spinal vibrator “Almost every week.” He did not use Calcidin or have massages.
His comments at the one-year follow-up:
“Asthma has improved. It is hard to rate the information we received. But getting a look at the full circle or complete picture helped me a lot. Getting together with other asthmatic people to talk and discuss things.”
AS#3 is a 58-year-old woman, and is retired. She followed the protocol moderately well during the first six months, and reported moderate improvement. She then followed the protocol less carefully, and her symptoms went back to their initial severity by the one-year follow-up.
Her asthma began when she was 10 years old. She was free of symptoms from about 18 to 30 years of age, and then for about a month following the death of her husband. She wrote, “Freedom from asthma started when I left home to go to college and had freedom to be myself and did not return until I felt psychologically oppressed in my marriage. Why it returned after the brief freedom from symptoms following the death of my husband, I haven’t yet fully figured out, but I am sure it has to do with not fully expressing myself.”
She described her symptoms as, “Shortness of breath, usually worse in morning, or with exercise. Some wheezing especially if have cold or cough. General tiredness. Have had acute episodes requiring adrenalin injections, but they are rare. Usual condition is mild to intermediate. However, the intermediate has been increasing over the last few years.”
At the initial program, she was on the following medications: Theodur (28 years), Feldene (15 years), Albuterol (28 years), as well as vitamin/mineral supplements. She also has massages, occasional colonic irrigations, and has had homeopathic, osteopathic, and chiropractic remedies.
AS#3 returned for the six-month follow-up, and answered the questionnaire for the one-year follow-up. At the six-month follow up she reported moderate improvement. She wrote:
“One of the ‘small healings’ I reported for July was climbing to a waterfall (no big deal except that this waterfall was in the High Sierras where I usually have great trouble breathing even around a level campground).I am in control of asthma rather than letting an episode happen and then responding to it. I feel much more energy and much more ready to go on to new challenges in meeting my soul’s purpose for this lifetime.”
At that time she was following the diet consistently, and used Calcidin alternating with Atomidine until her supply ran out.
At the 1-year follow up, her compliance with the protocol had decreased. She rated her asthma symptoms as “About the same,” and her other symptoms as “Improved.” Her attitudes and emotions were also “Improved.” But AS#3’s asthma symptoms had come back, she noted that she only followed the diet occasionally, and she said:
“Mostly improved, but recently I’ve had more symptoms than I’ve had for a long time. I plan to follow diet better and hope that will lead to improvement again.
“You didn’t ask about chiropractic – I have gotten lots of treatments but none made the degree of difference that Carl Nelson’s did.
“Life events have eroded motivation (I have let them do so), e.g., taking the time to prepare a proper Cayce meal vs. a quick spaghetti and cheese (a no no!) or eating out. I need to scale back my activities and take better care of myself.”
AS#4 is a 47-year-old woman, a senior computer systems analyst. She followed only the diet aspect of the protocol, but reported some improvement.
Her asthma began in 1984, 13 years previously. She described her symptoms as, “Wheezing, thick mucous, congestion and constriction in throat and bronchi. Must use the portable nebulizer at least 3x daily if not more. In the last several years (from 1992-1993) I feel this condition has subtly become worse on a day-to-day basis. Tolerance of environment and seasonal changes not as good as it used to be. Hospitalized in fall, 1995.”
At the initial program, she was on the following medications: Aminophylline (generic) (13 years), Albuterol sulfate inhalation solution (Ventolin) (13 years), Prednisone (1-3 cycles per year), Nasalide (6 months), Serevent (2 puffs/night). She has also used chiropractic, foot reflexology, and nutritional counseling.
AS#4 returned for the six-month follow-up, and answered the questionnaire for the one-year follow-up. At the six-month follow up she reported moderate improvement; her “Asthma Quality of Life” questionnaire had an initial score of 63; this had decreased to 42 at the six-month follow-up, a 21 point improvement. At the one-year follow-up, she reported a score of 43, one point worse than at six months, but still a substantial improvement over her initial score.
On the summary questionnaire, however, she rated her asthma symptoms as “About the same.” Her other symptoms were “Improved,” and her attitudes/emotions were “Improved.” She reported her asthma as “Less disabling,” and the side effects of her medicine as “Decreased.”
AS#4’s compliance with the protocol was the poorest of the group. She followed the diet “Most of the time,” but otherwise did not follow the protocol.
She had no written comments at the one-year follow-up.
AS#5 is a 66-year-old woman, and is retired. Her asthma began when she was 8 years old. At both the six-month and one-year follow-ups she reported major improvement.
At the initial program, she described her asthma symptoms as follows: “Father heavy smoker. Asthma throughout life, no attacks, just unable to pull in/push out, not emphysemic, chronic asthma. Hay fever but no chest wheezing. Exercise induced asthma.”
She noted, “Am looking for alternative medication. I am tired of being tired. Have no family and could use group help. Am reading Foundation for Peace books like A Course in Miracles. I know group work works because I went for mental health improvement.”
At the initial program she was on the following medications: Ventrolin (10 years), Azmacort (off and on for 4 years), Proventil in saline for Pulmo-Aide Breathing Machine (4 years, 7 or 8 times per month, only used in winter months). She had also tried a variety of other inhalers in the past.
AS#5 returned for the six-month follow-up, and answered the questionnaire for the one-year follow-up. At the six-month follow up she reported major improvement; her “Asthma Quality of Life” questionnaire had an initial score of 88; this had decreased to 18 at the six-month follow-up, a 70 point improvement.
At the one-year follow-up, she rated her asthma symptoms as “Much improved,” and her other symptoms as “Much improved.” Her “Asthma Quality of Life” questionnaire had a score of 24, slightly but not meaningfully worse than at 6 months, given the large overall improvement. Her attitudes/emotions were also “Much improved.” Her medications were “Much decreased,” and the medication side effects were also “Much decreased.”
Her comments at the one-year follow-up:
“Most asthmatics have a Peak Flow Meter – this gauge helped me ‘see’ my oxygen progress. Came blowing 25-150, left Virginia blowing 250-300. Running up my full flight of stairs instead of huffing and puffing. Alkaline diet is hard for certain parts of the country. Lost 55 pounds, need to lose 40 more. Not gaining, but by spring will have more choices. No sweets, no beef..Can’t express my thanks enough, the program ‘woke’ me up from a depressed state of not knowing where to go for help. Sharing Edgar Cayce as much as possible.”
“My spiritual/meditation from the Cayce teachings decreased my fear of asthma.”