Vol. 3 No. 6 November, 1999
MERIDIAN INSTITUTE NEWS
Arthritis Pilot Study Completed
Seven people participated in a recent project, testing the Cayce therapies for arthritis. They attended a 10-day, live-in treatment and training program in Virginia Beach, then returned home to follow the protocol for six months. At the end of the six months, five of the seven reported improvement. However, due to inconsistent compliance with the treatment protocol by some of the participants, it is difficult to fully evaluate the effectiveness of the Cayce recommendations.
The primary therapies for arthritis are rather labor-intensive making for one of the more difficult Cayce protocols. The protocol consists of a sequence extending over several days, of doses of Atomidine (an iodine-containing compound said in the readings to stimulate the glands), followed by a hot Epsom salts bath and a massage. There are actually two parts to the massage; the first is a massage while in the Epsom salts bath, and the second is a massage following the bath. The Cayce readings warned that this therapy could be painful.
The mental and spiritual aspects of healing form the foundation of Cayce’s holistic approach. In particular, working daily with a high spiritual ideal toward healing is emphasized. In addition, the readings recommended the usual therapies for detoxifying, healing and balancing the body: diet, exercise, regular peanut oil massages, and osteopathic adjustments.
The complexity of this protocol is reflected in the variable compliance of the people in the project.
Generally speaking, the pattern of compliance and efficacy followed the trend that we have seen in most of the residential programs. Some participants follow the protocol closely and get good results. Others are somewhat are compliant with the protocol and show some improvement. A few do not follow the protocol at all and remain the same or get worse.
Of the seven in the arthritis program, three had excellent compliance with the recommended treatments and reported notable improvement. Two persons were somewhat compliant and reported some improvement. Two individuals did not follow the protocol and remained the same or reported a worsening in their condition.
Compliance is a significant problem for most health research programs. Compliance with the Cayce protocol can be especially difficult for three reasons: (1) some of the therapies are difficult or expensive to obtain, (2) participants can feel isolated and alone because of the geographic distances involved, and (3) participants sometimes choose to utilize treatments other than the Cayce protocol.
The third pattern of noncompliance was a factor in two cases in our study. Two individuals changed treatment plans during the six month period, choosing to utilize alternative medicine therapies rather than those in the Cayce protocol. Although both reported some improvement at the six month post test assessment, it is difficult to sort out what effect the Cayce approach may have had.
The complementary medicine model that we are using allows participants to use whatever therapies they choose (mainstream or alternative), although we strongly encourage them to also use the Cayce approach. Of course, as with any ethical research program, participants can choose to withdraw or change their treatment plan at any time, if they so desire.
The results of this study suggest that increased support may improve compliance, especially with difficult therapies. Although participants are encouraged to network and support each other, and technical support (such as how to do the therapies) is provided as needed, additional forms of support will likely produce better results. One solution is to offer the programs locally so that regular and frequent support group meetings can be offered. For those participating at a distance, education and training for health professionals who are willing to work with the Cayce approach is being considered.
The encouraging news is that the Cayce approach is effective for those who consistently and persistently work with the therapies. This was particularly true for one participate who was very compliant with the protocol but who was unable to return to Virginia Beach for the six-month follow-up assessment. At that time she had not experienced any significant healing despite consistent application of the therapies. However, she was able to come to Virginia Beach after twelve months, and reported notable decrease in arthritis symptoms as a result of continued compliance with the protocol. An important point in her healing journey occurred when she stopped doing the therapies after six months and experienced an increase in her arthritis. After going back on the regimen and using medication for a brief period for symptomatic relief, she was able to stop taking the medication and maintain her functioning with significantly less severe symptoms than when she began the program. She believes that the Cayce therapies have helped her and indicates a commitment to continuing the program.
Edgar Cayce often stated that patience and persistence are key elements in the healing of chronic disease. This woman’s story certainly illustrates this point. We have used the six-month time-frame for post-test assessment because it provides a minimum of time for the healing process to begin and yield some positive results for most people. To ask participants to go longer without direct feedback would probably be discouraging and further decrease compliance. Obviously, longer periods of therapy are usually required for healing chronic, degenerative disorders such arthritis.
Another participant who closely followed the protocol and reported notable improvement in arthritis symptoms illustrates another common theme in these projects. This man had experienced almost daily headaches before beginning the protocol. Relatively soon after starting the therapies, the headaches decreased and went away. We have noticed this with several program participants over the years. Symptoms that are apparently unrelated to the diagnosed illness also improve as the whole system in cleansed and brought into balance. It is always nice when participants experience such positive side-effects.
Meridian Institute research director, Douglas Richards, Ph.D. has completed a research report on this pilot study which is available at the Meridian Institute website
Cayce Therapies and Blood Microscopy
For the past year, Meridian Institute has been working closely with the A.R.E. Health and Rejuvenation Research Center (HRRC) in the development of a program of non-invasive assessment modalities that are consistent with the Cayce philosophy of non-invasive, person-centered evaluation. (See Meridian Institute News, May, 1999, Vol. 3, No. 3 for a discussion of the HRRC Assessment center.)
One of the primary assessment modalities utilized at the HRRC Assessment Center is blood microscopy. Darkfield microscopy (live and dried blood analysis) is a technique that illuminates minute elements of the blood for detailed analysis of overall patient health.
As part of a holistic assessment process, we have also been using this modality in the residential research programs that are jointly sponsored by Meridian Institute and HRRC. During the most recent program (October, 1999 – fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and depression), seven individuals were assessed at the beginning of the conference using blood microscopy. Deborah Thompson, R.N. noted that as a group the blood specimens were particularly abnormal with regard to three parameters:
Rouleux (stacking of red blood cells, somewhat like a roll of Life Savers) – which can be caused by poor protein metabolism and stress;
Chylous Material – The term “chylous” is related to the fluid taken up by the lacteals (lymphatic collecting ducts) from the intestine in the process of digestion. This is a milky fluid, consisting of lymph and triglyceride fat suspended in a stable emulsion. The emulsion is conveyed through the thoracic duct into the venous system as a result of ingestion and digestion of food;
Crystals – which are sclerotic or pseudocrystalline chunks and may be associated with inhibited or inadequate metabolism of lipids. This is caused when fats are cooked or heated, and thereby made devoid of enzymes.
On the sixth day after the initial assessment, Deborah performed another blood microscopy assessment for the participants. She observed, “There was definitely a difference! The blood wasn’t perfect, but it was a lot better. The one thing that stood out the most was that there was less bowel toxicity. This is seen on the dried blood sample as a blackish center in the specimen. If you’ve ever studied the Cayce health readings, you know he indicated a lot of disease or ‘dis-ease’ begins with a toxic condition in the bowel. This group had been getting the Cayce diet for the past week, had three castor oil packs, one colonic, one massage, one session of the radial appliance, and a session with the Glad Helpers Prayer Group. Now, what caused the change, I cannot say, but would venture that all the above modalities had a part in affecting change. We will know more in six months when these same participants return to Virginia Beach for their follow-up and blood, among other systems are tested and analyzed again.”
Castor Oil for the Eyes
The Cayce readings recommend castor oil for a number of therapeutic purposes, but conventional medicine has seen it primarily as a laxative. Nevertheless, there are occasionally reports of other uses for castor oil. In a short letter to the editor of the Journal of Ophthalmology, Louis J. Girard, M.D., of Houston, Texas, describes his use of this well-known Cayce remedy. He writes, “I have been using sterile castor oil for the treatment of corneal dry spots and mild keratitis sicca for 40 years.” He goes on to say that when a new medication, indomethacin, became available in the early 1970s, he added it to the castor oil and used the combination successfully as a treatment for corneal scars. This is a good example of complementary medicine – combining a traditional treatment with a new medical discovery.
Girard, LJ. The effect of topical administration of indomethacin on symptoms in corneal scars and edema. American Journal of Ophthalmology 1992; 113:348.