Vol. 2  No. 3   May, 1998

Nervous System Coordination: The Parasympathetic Nervous System

The Cayce readings often speak of an “incoordination” in the nervous system in their descriptions of the causes of a large number of disorders. In our research projects, we have been measuring the behavior of the nervous system under a variety of conditions, in order to gain a greater understanding of what Cayce meant by incoordination.

The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is the branch of the nervous system that controls many of the automatic functions of the body such as digestion and heart rate. It balances the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The SNS controls the “fight or flight” response by speeding up the heart and slowing down digestion, preparing the organism for action. The PNS slows down the heart and stimulates the digestive system, allowing the body to maintain and restore itself.

We can measure the health of the PNS by looking at heart rate variability. If a person breathes deeply and fast, the rate that the heart beats should track the breathing rhythm. The PNS is responsible for this tracking. If the PNS is not functioning properly or coordinated with the rest of the nervous system, we would expect abnormalities in the heart rate variability. This does not imply that there is a problem with the heart; it is a measure of nervous system coordination.
These measures allow us to explore the process of nervous system regeneration in response to the therapies in the Cayce readings. We can track the healing response of the body with this objective measure of coordination, in addition to subjective measures of how well the person feels.

Manual Therapy Research Project

Manual therapy involves the therapeutic use of the hands and is used by a variety of health professionals such as osteopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, etc.

Because manual therapy plays such a central role in the Edgar Cayce readings, Meridian Institute has been doing basic research on manual therapy principles and techniques.  On a monthly basis, we also sponsor manual therapy seminars to educate practitioners in the Virginia Beach area.

One of the topics that we are very interested in is “drainages.”  Drainages refers to the process of elimination wherein the body is able to cleanse itself internally.  Edgar Cayce often noted that drainages could be assisted through various manual therapy techniques such as the “third cervical release.”  Here is a report from a manual therapy practitioner who has found this technique useful.

An Experience with the “Third Cervical Release” Technique

“On Sunday, March 22,1998, in Richmond, Virginia, Jane M. came to me for a massage at the insistence of her husband, who is a “true believer” in it.  At the time Jane, age 42, was 7 1/2 months pregnant with her second child.  Her other child was an energetic three-year-old.

“When she walked in the door I immediately noticed how haggard and listless she was.  She had significant dark circles under her eyes, a swollen red nose, and was sniffling continually.  Upon being questioned, she also described feeling numb all over, unable to use her fingers for such simple tasks as buttoning clothes or typing – any fine motor skill was done clumsily, and with little sensory feedback because of the numbness.  Her whole body was moderately swollen with edema.

“Once she was on the table – supine – I began working on her cranium and face, especially concentrating on many sinus pressure points that I have found relieve congestion.  Work done on the top of her head proved especially helpful, bringing relief from a good part of the sinus drainage, sniffling ,and blocked nasal passages.

“It occurred to me that this would be an excellent time to test out the old osteopathic third cervical lymphatic drainage technique.  This technique is highly recommended many times in the Edgar Cayce readings, which often states that it “sets up drainages” throughout the whole lymphatic system.

“Using the fingers of both hands, just to the sides of C-3, I held a steady, moderate pressure, which felt very comfortable to her, I simply waited, not telling her what this, seemingly benign pressure was supposed to accomplish.  But almost immediately she began to spontaneously report that she was experiencing sensation in her upper arms.  Sensation continued to return, progressing down her arms and into her fingers, which she was then able to move readily, controllably, and with feeling.

“With a certain amount of surprise in her voice, she continued reporting what she was experiencing. The numbness was progressively disappearing, first from her upper back, then the middle, and lower portions.  Sensation returned into the pelvic area and down the legs.  I noticed her stretching and rotating her ankles and feet as she reported feeling them again too.

“I had been holding the pressure for a total of perhaps 30 minutes, quite a long time… She became more energized and animated, and stated that she was feeling much more “normal” for the first time in months.

“In order to facilitate more drainage of the limbs, I did some petrissage, stretching, and effleurage on her arms and legs, paying special attention to the gliding pressure of the last effleurages, which I have always known help with drainage into the blood and lymph vessels of the torso.

“After the massage, she was more like the lively person I knew when I had last seen her before her pregnancy.  The dark circles, red, sniffly nose had also disappeared, and she verbally confirmed how good she felt, for the first time in months.  I coached her husband, who has had a small amount of massage training himself, in some of the techniques I had used so he could try to maintain some of what had been accomplished during this session.”

Francis Sporer, MA, NCTMB, AMTA
Instructor of Advanced Cayce/Reilly Massage
Cayce/Reilly School of Masssotherapy
Virginia Beach, VA

Individual Research Projects

Meridian Institute is creating individual research protocols to be available for persons who wish to participate in clinical research on specific diseases but who are unable to come to the research conferences at Virginia Beach.   Each research protocol will provide an overview of the illness which includes the medical perspective as well as information provided by Edgar Cayce.  The protocols will also contain a treatment plan and a section with instructions for doing each of the recommended therapies.

The protocols will have a strong research emphasis.  They will contain various data collection forms and assessments to document progress and compliance with the treatment plan.  Participants are asked to read the material, sign an informed consent statement, and return the information to Meridian Institute before beginning and again after six months of application.

Creation of these research protocols is a cooperative venture with the A.R.E.   The 2020 Vision (strategic plan) of the A.R.E. calls for the production of “portable health packages” on various illnesses.  The July issue of  Meridian Institute News will contain a listing of available protocols.  Stay tuned for more information on this exciting development.