Edgar Cayce
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Edgar Cayce’s Vision for Multiple Sclerosis and Spinal Cord Injury

Laurance Johnston, Ph.D.

 Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. - Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th Century German Philosopher

This ongoing alternative medicine series has sought out non-traditional viewpoints that provide a different “vision for the limits of the world,” and, in turn, what may be possible for physical disability such as spinal cord injury (SCI) and multiple sclerosis (MS).  Although this search has routinely gone beyond the banks of mainstream medicine, it has been rarely based on a source as unusual as Edgar Cayce, America’s most famous medical intuitive and psychic.

Edgar Cayce and spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), and physical disabilityBecause Cayce’s uncanny insights have had have astonishing validity for many ailments and disorders, we should set aside the sensationalized mystique associated with him and attempt to open-mindedly look at what he had to say about spinal cord dysfunction. At minimum, he provides some unique perspectives as well as an interesting story.

History has taught us that many scientific and medical breakthroughs are based on insights from non-traditional sources, ranging from shamanic medicine men to folk remedies to, in this case, the medical intuitive. Our wisdom resides not so much in accepting or rejecting these sources but in listening to what they have to say. In the case of intuitive insights, in fact, many famous scientists have acknowledged that their discoveries were based on “it-came-out-of-the-blue” epiphanies, although rarely was it of the magnitude demonstrated by Cayce, a person with no medical or scientific training.

Cayce’s Background

Cayce was born in 1877 in rural Kentucky.  He had relatively limited formal education, although what he did receive was augmented by his enviable ability to be able to master a topic by sleeping with his head resting on his textbook. While reading the bible and praying in the woods when he was 13, Cayce claimed that an angel–like being visited him and said that his prayers about wanting to heal the sick had been answered.

Indeed, the first person Cayce healed was himself.  As a young man, losing his voice for an extended period threatened his livelihood as a salesman. Because nothing helped, Cayce consulted a hypnotist. Under hypnosis, his voice returned, and he was able to prescribe a treatment that resolved his disorder.

As the word spread about his “gift” for diagnosing illnesses and prescribing treatments, more doctors started requested his help. Although initially reluctant to do so, Cayce ultimately provided over 14,000 psychic readings during his lifetime, of which over 9,000 concerned medical subjects.  Most of his readings, representing over 900,000 pages of material, were transcribed and are currently available to the public.

In a typical reading, Cayce would induce his own trance and then answer questions directed to him about the patient’s medical conditions. His diagnoses did not rely upon any information about the patient provided in advance.  Even the patient’s physical presence was not needed. Cayce needed only his or her address or location at the time of the reading.

While in his trance, Cayce could comment on the weather and other aspects of the patient’s physical surroundings.

Cayce was never evaluated by scientists under controlled conditions. He became reluctant to have his abilities tested after skeptics - in the name of science - stuck pins in him, pierced his cheek with a hatpin, and pried off a fingernail to see if he was faking his trance.

Cayce recommended diverse therapies that were always safe. They did not belong exclusively to any specific medical tradition (e.g. conventional allopathic medicine, osteopathy, homeopathy, etc.) and could either be obscure past remedies or entirely new therapeutic approaches.  As such, it was often difficult for patients to find a given healthcare professional able to implement the full gamut of Cayce’s therapeutic armamentarium.

To address this need, a hospital in Virginia Beach, Va., was built based via the support of investors who had benefited financially from Cayce’s readings. However, because these investors did not heed Cayce’s warnings about the pending 1929 stock market crash, the hospital was soon forced to close.

Fifty-five years after Cayce’s death in 1945, his legacy lives on through many sources, including the Edgar Cayce Foundation, the Association of Research and Enlightenment (ARE), and the Cayce-inspired Atlantic University, all of Virginia Beach; the ARE Clinic, located in Phoenix; and the hundreds of books and articles that have been written about him and his readings.

Causes of Disease

Cayce consistently emphasized certain common denominators that promoted, aggravated, or predisposed people to ailments (see table).  Because he emphasized the relationship between these factors, a mind-body-spirit perspective, and maintaining a preventative focus, Cayce has been called the father of modern holistic medicine.

Cayce & Multiple Sclerosis

Cayce provided scores of readings for people with MS, as well as one for a physician interested in the disease’s etiology.  It is difficult to readily comprehend Cayce’s transcribed verbatim readings, in part due to the medical terminology commonly used in his day.  Fortunately, Dr. Dudley Delany, a retired former VA Spinal Cord Injury Center employee who developed multiple sclerosis in 1991, wrote a reader-friendly book (in part dedicated to paralyzed veterans) based on Cayce’s MS readings. Delany claims that by following Cayce’s suggestions, he was able to eliminate - over the course of two years - all of his MS symptoms.

Cayce offered no quick MS cure. Because the condition resulted from physiological imbalances that had accumulated over time, healing could only slowly occur as the body regained the balance or homeostasis conducive to health. Cayce’s therapies required patience, perseverance, and determination.

Lacking Gold?

Although Cayce indicated that genetics, mental attitudes and an unbalanced diet were often contributory factors, he believed multiple sclerosis’ primary cause was the lack of gold. Specifically, a glandular disturbance created a hormonal deficiency in the bloodstream which prevented the liver - in association with the spleen and pancreas - from properly assimilating gold from the diet. The result was a neurodestructive process that involved unspecified cells elongating and pulling apart, and a “poison” forming in certain nerve cells that poisoned other cells.

Cayce’s prime MS therapy involved administering the vibrational energy of gold though one of two mild electrotherapy devices discussed below (see Delany book for specifics). Cayce encouraged meditation or other contemplative practices during the electrotherapy sessions. He also recommended that after the sessions patients be massaged using combinations of specific oils and with circular motions starting at the base of the skull, working down both sides of the spine to the legs and feet, and finishing with the arms and hands.

Click here for an additional perspective on Cayce's gold vibrational therapies.

Although fairly radical at the time, Cayce also recommended what is now essentially considered today’s healthy diet, emphasizing low fat, reduced sugar intake, roughage, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood and poultry, and no fried foods. He stressed B vitamins in treating neurological problems and encouraged iodine supplementation, believing that the mineral affected all endocrine glands - not just the thyroid.

It is difficult to provide a “20-20 hindsight” assessment of Cayce’s treatments because (1) there was little long-term follow-up of the patients who actually persevered with his healing regimen, (2) multiple sclerosis’ characteristic remission pattern could confound assessments, and (3) a lack of today’s sophisticated diagnostic technology  (e.g., MRI’s, etc.) existed.

In an attempt to assess Cayce’s recommendations, the Meridian Institute in Virginia Beach recently carried out a small pilot study. The results suggest that people who followed the Cayce healing protocol over a six-month period had improved health and reduced symptomatology.

Spinal Cord Injury

Cayce provided readings for a relative handful of people with spinal cord injuries. This small number compared to multiple sclerosis statistics was most likely due to the fact that few people with serious injuries lived very long in Cayce’s lifetime – at least not until infection-fighting antibiotics began to become available near the end of his life

In general, Cayce’s spinal cord injury recommendations were similar to his MS therapies. Designed to promote neuronal health, they included electrotherapy devices to introduce the vibrational energy of gold - or other substances - into the body, gentle massage using specific oil combinations, and his healthy diet.

In addition, Cayce suggested for several individuals that gentle manipulations from an osteopath specializing in nerve disorders could relieve pressures and promote functioning.  Again, no quick cures were offered; improvements would require long-term persistence and patience.

The limited patient follow-up indicated mixed outcomes that can not be readily generalized. Definite improvement was noted for several individuals who persisted with the treatment regimen. The treatments appeared to have less effect on those with more serious, complete injuries.

Electrotherapy Devices

Cayce believed that the body was an intricate electromagnetic energy system that must be kept in balance to maintain health. Treatments that help one regain the right balance would facilitate the body’s inherent healing potential.

To help patients regain balance, Cayce often recommended using the “wet cell battery” and “radial appliance.” These devices were constructed based on information in his readings, and each was recommended in nearly a thousand readings for a wide variety of disorders, including spinal cord dysfunction. Because space limitations prevent anything more than a cursory overview of these devices, interested readers are encouraged to consult the resources listed below.

Basically, the wet cell battery (see figure), composed of nickel and copper poles suspenEdgar Cayce wet cell for spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis  (MS), and physical disabilityded in an electrolytic solution, produces a very low, direct current.  Although electrode placement varied depending upon the patient, the negative nickel electrode often was attached just above and to the right of the naval, and the positive copper electrode to one of four spinal locations (specifically, in the C1-2, T1-2, T-9, or L-4 regions).

Although it looks like a battery, the radial appliance (see figure) produces no electrical charge of its own. Edgar Cayce radial appliance for spinal cord injury (MS), multiple sclerosis (MS),  and physical disabilitiesCayce said that it acts like a magnet that draws energy from one part of the body and redistributes to other areas. The appliance’s capacitor-like design consists of two steel rods separated by glass and surrounded by carbon. After the core is chilled in ice water, the appliance becomes “electronized” and can then affect the body’s electromagnetic energy system.  Although electrode placement varied, the appliance’s flow of energy was often routed through an electrode to the naval area as above and returned through one attached to a wrist or ankle.

For both appliances, if the patient needed gold’s vibrational energy, the energy flow was routed through a jar containing a solution of gold chloride (or other substance as needed). Gold’s vibration was then picked up and routed to the body.


As a scientist, I was trained to view the world in a certain way, which I arrogantly assumed was the only way. New “truths” were to come forth through the scientific method of discovery… or they were pushed out of sight and ignored.

Although I do not know if Cayce’s spinal cord dysfunction recommendations truly have any validity, we should not ignore them merely because the fall outside the range of vision allowed by our self-imposed, scientific blinders. Given how many of Cayce’s insights have been uncannily perceptive for myriad disorders, a closer examination seems warranted.

Resources: To order Edgar Cayce’s readings for multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury call ARE at 800/333-4499. For further information, including sources for equipment and supplies, see 1) The Edgar Cayce Way of Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis: Vibratory Medicine, by D. Delany, 2) The Radial Appliance & Wet Cell Battery – Two Electrotherapeutic  Devices Recommended by Edgar Cayce by D. McMillin and D.G. Richards,, 3) The Edgar Cayce Encyclopedia of Healing by R. A. Karp, 4) There is a River – The Story of Edgar Cayce by T. Sugre, and 4) Edgar Cayce – The Sleeping Prophet by J. Stern. Also, check the web sites www.webspawner.com/users/ecsscitx/index.html, www.meridianinstitute.com, and www.baar.com. 

Special thanks to Dr. Dudley Delany for helpful advice and encouragement in the development of this article.

Edgar Cayce Disease Common Denominators

 According to Cayce, diseases often had certain causal common denominators, including:

  Poor Assimilation: Occurs when the nutrients and energies required for building new cells and tissues are not supplied, adequately absorbed, or efficiently used.
Poor Elimination: Whether through the intestinal tract, bladder and kidneys, skin pores, or lungs, results in the buildup of toxic substances.
Poor Diet: Especially lacking fresh fruits and vegetables, compromises health.
Improper Acid-Alkaline Balance: Adversely affects electrochemical communication between cells, including nerve impulses.
Spinal Dislocations and Lesions: Affect nerve impulses that could directly or indirectly affect every part of the body.
Nervous System Imbalance: Adversely affects the entire body. A healthy nervous system requires the assimilation of key nutrients and hormones secreted from glands.
Circulatory System Imbalance: Adversely affects the supply of nutrients through the body and the removal of waste products.
Glandular Malfunction: Affects the secretion of key hormones required for cellular functions, including the absorption of key nutrients and minerals.
 Stress and Overexertion: Aggravates physical and mental disorders.
Infection: Especially in combination with other factors.
Attitudes, Emotions & Karma: Cayce believed in mind-body-and-spirit healing, in which your mental attitudes and emotions affect your physical health. In addition, he believed in the role of past-life karmic influences in health, especially in physical disability.

 Adapted from Paraplegia News, November & December, 2000 (For subscriptions, contact www.pn-magazine.com).

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