Vol. 1  No. 2  July, 1997


Manual therapy is a general term which means “therapeutic use of the hands.”  Manual therapy covers various forms of bodywork such as osteopathy, chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, etc.  Manual therapy was one of the most recommended treatment modalities in the Cayce health readings. Some of the techniques mentioned in the readings are still practiced today (such as Swedish massage).  However, other manual therapy practices (such as traditional osteopathy and neuropathy) are much less available.  Furthermore, certain important practices (especially coordination and drainages) are almost a lost art in the modern therapeutic arena.

This has posed a problem in our clinical research projects.  When subjects return home after a health conference in Virginia Beach, they often have trouble obtaining the manual therapy treatments recommended in the protocols.  In many instances, local health practitioners are available and willing, but have not been trained in the manual therapy techniques endorsed in the Cayce readings.

To meet this need, Meridian Institute is researching manual therapy concepts and techniques.  As with any research project, one of the first steps is to do a thorough literature review.  Thus, we have collected numerous old manual therapy books and articles.  We have done extensive comparative studies between these sources and the Cayce readings.  The Cayce readings are entirely consistent with traditional manual therapy sources.

The next step has been to apply some of the techniques in a controlled laboratory setting.  We have hooked ourselves up to the physiology equipment in our lab and recorded nervous system and circulatory responses to manual therapy interventions.  Almost immediately, we were able to document that specific manual therapy techniques can influence nervous system coordination and circulatory patterns.

Later, we invited subjects in for sessions.  We were particularly interested in seeing how these techniques would work with individuals whose nervous systems exhibited a high degree of  “incoordination” prior to treatment.  The graphs at the bottom of this page represent  session with a woman who has a history of serious medical problems.  The first graph illustrates that early in the session, breathing and pulse (blood flow to the head) were “out of sync” with each other (“uncoordinated”).  As the session progressed, breathing and pulse synchronized.

Her subjective experience of receiving a “coordinating” treatment by Dr. Carl Nelson, D.C., a clinical researcher with the institute, was that, “I felt like somebody had put me back together again!”

Meridian Institute is pursuing other aspects of manual therapy in an educational/research format by sponsoring a series of seminars on manual therapy topics.  The first session was held on June 8 at the Meridian Institute.  Several health professionals attended and we began the process of demonstrating and defining manual therapy principles and techniques pertaining to general treatment and coordinating techniques.

Our intention is to seek to understand this material, develop research protocols to test its validity, and provide education and training opportunities to interested practitioners based on our findings.  Ultimately, we hope that this project will culminate in an increased knowledge and acceptance of  traditional manual therapy with greater accessibility for persons seeking the type of treatments recommended in the Cayce readings.

When David McMillin asked those of us attending the follow-up session for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) to write something for the Meridian newsletter, I decided to write of my experience of support.

As I sit here and reflect, I am incredulous at the quality and quantity of support in my healing journey.  Currently there are 19 people helping me with the wet cell appliance and it’s follow-up massage.  These friends volunteer in varying degrees; some come once a month, some twice a month and others weekly in whatever manner this time fits into their life and schedule.

The first step for me in manifesting this amount of support was realizing that my stoic “I can do it myself” fiercely independent attitude wasn’t going to get the wet cell treatments accomplished.  There was no way I could massage my own back so I had to have help.

The next step was the awareness that no one could read my mind and I had to ask.   Duh!  Seems simple in retrospective but someone who is accustomed to being a mover and shaker (now I shake with PD in a different mode!) asking and receiving were foreign territory.

So I ate humble pie; wrote and phoned social friends and others in my church community.  Told them what I was doing and why I needed help.  Simple as that!  Ha!  In some instances it took me half an hour just to muster up enough courage before I could pick up the phone.  (My adult children delighted in repeating the same words I had said to them as youngsters, “What’s the worst thing they can say to you?  You never know  ’till you ask.'”  I’m a great one at giving advice!)

Since setting out on this Cayce adventure and learning to receive gracefully, I am amazed how my willingness to receive has benefited others.  The wet cell protocol is a meditative process so helpers not only receive peace and relaxation but also benefit from the community that is being built.  My asking has enabled others to give.  Everyone who comes to volunteer has commented on how delighted they are to feel useful and how they’re receiving as much as they’re giving.  Pretty amazing!

A participant in our multiple sclerosis project recently reported improvement in her symptoms and functioning.  She was particularly impressed by the concept of “little healings” as described in the our first newsletter (“Mind the Builder,” Vol. 1 No. 1).

“In the manner of your Newsletter article on minor hearings, I too am noticing some very pleasant “minor” changes and thought I’d share some of them with you.  I am taking fewer and shorter naps lately (no longer the 3-4  hour  daily  requirements  they  once  were).   I  look rested and my skin coloring is not as splotchy (Bob has noticed this).  I feel more motivated (I’ve begun some home repair projects and am developing a list for the future.). Last week while doing some raking, I even perspired (who would have thought that I’d be pleased to mop my brow, but it means I am regaining more normal reactions.  I was so happy!).  These may not be big changes to some, but I’m pleased as punch.”

Edgar Cayce often noted that in conditions requiring nervous system regeneration, the journey to health would be marked by little indications that healing was taking place, especially in the first few months.  We have had numerous such reports from participants in the multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease projects.

Positive attitude and expectation are important in the healing process.  Celebrate the little healings as they come.  They pave the road of the healing journey.

Edgar Cayce often recommended steel cut oats for their high nutritional value.  However, he insisted that they be cooked “a long time” and specifically advised against instant oatmeal.  Here is a tip for cooking steel cut oats.  Put the oats in a “crock pot” and simmer on the low setting overnight.  You will probably have to add more water than usual.  1/2 cup of oats with 2 cups of water works well.  Adjust to your needs.  Sweeten with honey or brown sugar.  It’s nice to wake up to a hot, nutritious breakfast!

The first graph illustrates that early in the session, breathing and pulse (blood flow to the head) were “out of sync” with each other (“uncoordinated”).  As the session progressed, breathing and pulse synchronized.