man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the
world. - Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th Century German
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.
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
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
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
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.
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 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.
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
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
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,
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 suspended
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
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
Special thanks to Dr. Dudley Delany for helpful
advice and encouragement in the development of this article.