Edgar Cayce on Holistic Health
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Edgar Cayce and Holistic Health
Great parts of the text that follows are based on the Edgar Cayce Encyclopedia of Healing, (p ix-19, passim).
Holistic health care views physical and mental and spiritual aspects of life as closely interconnected. The concept of holistic health is often associated with alternative medicine, but is also increasingly used in mainstream medical practice. The American Holistic Health Association was established in 1989.
Holistic health care involves approaches to how treatment should be applied. It reckons with physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. The goal is a wellness that encompasses the entire person. At times Holistic health approaches contrast the medical model that focuses on treating symptoms and syndromes without attempting to address many deeper or allied issues in a case. The Holistic approach focuses better on likely causes of health problems, and try some balanced lifestyle to go against them, after taking "the whole person" into consideration to one's ability and so on.
Holistic nurses play a significant role in moving Holistic Health into the mainstream for responsible health care.
Edgar Cayce: Background information
As a child the Kentucky-born Edgar Cayce accidentally found, during a gruelling spelling session with his father, that he could absorb or learn a subject by sleeping on the book.
According to one of his sons, the late Hugh Lynn Cayce, Edgar Cayce came into this life to introduce psychic ability to the age, to function under self-induced deep sleep (trance) conditions. His Grandfather Cayce had been the county's dowser.
Many people attributed his psychic ability to being hit with a baseball in the spine when he was fifteen years old. After the accident, he could not control himself, but talked loudly and threw things. When his father came home, he put his son to bed, and he drifted off into a coma. In that stte he told his parents that a poultice mixed with special herbs and chopped raw onions must be placed at the base of his brain if he was ever to be normal again.
As an adult he consulted a hypnotist and as a result of that consultation Edgar Cayce went on to tell people about illnesses and cures aimed at them while he himself was in a self-induced state of unconsciousness. His ability could be put to use to help other people; just a little nap would accomplish the task.
Now Edgar's psychic ability really surface until he reached adulthood. And as the scope of Edgar's psychic ability expanded, topics like meditation, dreams, reincarnation, and prophecy were included in his deep sleep reading.
Cayce's legacy of more than 14,000 readings continues to be researched. The Cayce readings are notes transcribed while Edgar Cayce was in a self-induced trance. They were conducted over a span of forty years. He was assisted by his wife, Gertrude, and his secretary, Gladys Davis Turner.
Great health concepts
In his deep sleep Cayce found that the causes of disease and the sources of health extend beyond the physical to the mental and spiritual aspects of the self.
Cayce said that each human being embodies a spirit or soul, a part of the Source. He also taught that the soul is as integral a part of our physical stay as the material organs of the body, and that mind comes into being for the purpose of manifesting the soul of the individual entity [the monad]. That entity is part of the divine Universal Field. The trinity of mind, body, and spirit are aspects of the individual entity.
Mental attitudes, emotions, injustice, severe experiences, and karma ["giving-back", related to cause and effect] affect the individual entity. Effects of earthly experiences, of thoughts, emotions, and actions, carry over from one lifetime to another. Along with karma go many congenital defects, but not all of them.
It matters deeply to get attuned inwards, to one's Source and other Universal Forces. It should result in soul growth too. Cayce taught of creative building through the powers of the mind.
Cayce on bodily ailments
Almost every one of Cayce's nine thousand physical readings includes dietary advice. Also, he discouraged becoming an "extremist" or "a slave to a set diet".
He spoke for good use and care of the body. It allows for cells to reproduce themselves and lets the body system construct new cells and tissues. To keep a proper biochemical acid-alkaline balance was a blessing too, he taught. But an improper diet brings about shortages in the body of minerals, vitamins, and other needed nutrients, and could impede the functions of the excretory system.
What the body needs are nutrients in forms that are mainly complete, are easily digested and assimilated, aid efficient elimination, maintain systemic balance, and provide materials for cellular rebuilding. Cayce especially praised fresh fruits and vegetables, while he included candy and cake among those "things that hinder the body". There are differences among candies and cakes, however; some are not very unhealthy, if at all. It depends on what is in them and how they are made.
Still, poor elimination of accumulated toxins or waste materials is the most cited cause of disease in the Cayce readings. The body is cleansed via the intestinal tract, the kidneys and bladder, the pores of the skin, and the lungs. When an imbalance occurs in any of these systems
Cayce also held that over taxation of the body is a primary or contributing cause in several mental and physical disorders. Generally, physical over taxation implies overwork, while overexertion, or mental over taxation, results in sluggish or impeded circulation.
To counteract the "killer", stress, enough sleep and opportunities to relax help. Our emotions, attitude, beliefs, and responses to life's situations - all play a part. Also in a common cold, among the factors that makes one more susceptible to it, are often poor diet in combination with strain and overexertion, said Cayce.
When the stress is of mental origin, emotions such as worry, anxiety set in. This is quite common knowledge today, but Cayce readings into such topics were about half a century ahead of it.
Cayce's readings define physical health as harmonious, balanced cooperation between the constituents of the body, and emphasize the need for harmony between the three aspects of self (body, mind, and spirit) in order to create and preserve health and to alleviate disease.
Cayce readings describe emotions as communicators between mind, body, and spirit. Glands secrete according to impulses from the emotional and nervous system. Anger, resentments, contention, hate, self-condemnation, animosity, and related nervous tensions in turn deplete bodily energies, block eliminations and generally create a condition which predisposes the system to disease. So attitudes and emotions involve nerves and glands, he tells. Stress research confirms it very well, for example that fright and stress affect the adrenal glands. To add some more to it, much later psychosomatic medicine confirms that stress taxes vitamins of the vitamin B-group, vitamin C, and certain minerals. In sum, medical doctors today estimate that at least half of all common diseases are related to emotional stress. [Hi 505, etc]
In Cayce's readings, negative emotions can lead to extreme fatigue, tense muscles, and problems with the digestive and excretory processes. Anger may bring on headaches or indigestion; depression could result in general weariness; and emotional turbulence may trigger asthmatic conditions.
One cannot be jealous and allow anger of same and not have upset digestion or heart disorder. Stomach or liver trouble may be related to hating one's fellow men - or maybe being largely envious will do for stomach trouble. (Reading 4021-1)
According to Cayce, a therapy designed to balance and bring into attunement the functioning body, the mind and the spiritual reality, spells health.
As a step toward health, one should locate the root cause(s) of each malady, habits and attitudes. It is also fit to go for the beauties of the world, including beautiful art, sceneries, and inward beauties.
Balance at many levels is vital to good health, and in some circumstances patience and service are good too. "What we cannot cure, we must endure (Proverb)."
Cayce's treatments were prescribed specifically for individuals with one or more disorders. The treatments were individually tailored. Statisticalevidence of how effective his prescribed treatments are, is largely missing. Just as there are "different strokes for different folks", there may be different cures or medicines for what is seemingly the same disease too. Nuanced diagnosis tells how it is so.
What is possible to do in ascertaining Cayce's general advice and its long-range value somewhat, is to group his counsels for similar diseases and let patterns of advice stand out. That is just what Reba Ann Karp does in Edgar Cayce Encyclopedia of Healing. Thousands of Cayce readings go into her grouping work. Cayce readings go into and address the diseases listed in the work. Just how effective the different prescribed treatments might be in any one case, is impossible for me to tell, since cases differ, just as Cayce's treatments. Here is an example:
Aphonia, loss of voice
Aphonia is the loss of voice due to disease or injury to the throat or vocal cords. Sixteen people received a total of twenty-one readings on this subject. The first of these was Edgar Cayce himself.
Addressing causes - one or several of them. The readings went into what Cayce said were the most frequent causes of aphonia. It shows up that he taught that different causes blend, including psychological ones: Repression of fears and anxieties might manifest in the loss of voice, or other forms of psychic imbalance
Treatments. Going for good nerve coordination was emphasized: Spinal manipulations, were recommended in over sixty percent of the cases. Ridding the body of accumulated toxins and sticking to a healthy diet or natural medicinal compounds were recommended in over forty percent of the cases, and the value of restoring a healthy enough acid-alkaline balance in the body came up too. Foods like fruits, vegetables, and seafood were recommended, while sweets and starches were to be avoided. A fourth of the readings suggested body massage as a means of stimulating the circulation and promoting relaxation.
Confirmations of the efficacy are largely missing. Good reports were received from three individuals. The other thirteen given readings on aphonia did not report on the results or on whether the treatments were ever carried out. Here lies the problem of ascertaining whether the treatments Cayce prescribed, actually worked, and for how long. Statistical evidence of the efficacy may be missing in the vast majority of cases.
An illustration: Cayce's aphonia
Cayce's first reading on aphonia took place when he was thirty-three. At that time a hypnotised Cayce described a condition of nervous stress that had resulted in his inability to speak.
Stress along with overtaxation was again responsible for the loss of his voice when he was forty-seven. The reading this time suggested that he maintain good circulation and eliminations and use positive suggestions to effect a cure.
Four years later, his reading recommended osteopathic manipulations every other day.
Cayce was fifty-five when he did last reading for himself on aphonia. This time he attributed the loss of voice to poor eliminations and toxemia. Suggested were strict adherence to a well-balanced alkaline diet etc.
Cayce followed his own recommendations, but suffered frequent relapses. In later life, his aphonia seemed to be his body's way of insisting that he needed to rest from the readings he gave, says Reba Ann Karp. That could very well be. [Karp 33-35]
What we can learn from Edgar Cayce
Two things stand out from the Cayce way of life: It is wise to sleep on problems and relax enough.
There are some others who sleep on problems and wake up with a solution, or see clearer. I think it is a common way of dealing with serious problems, in fact. The method is advocated in many quarters, and there are good and sound reasons for it, taking into account that seeing things well depends on information, perhaps by fusing topics we are dealing with consciously, with information stored on deeper levels of mind.
Carl Jung posited that the subconscious is ten or twelve times wiser than the perhaps narrow conscious, and the unconscious is a hundred times wiser than it. Such figures may be taken as poetic suggestions, but not as hard facts. Still, we could do well to get attuned inwards to deeper levels of mind and wake up with solutions to problems - and meditate delicately, and learn dream interpretation to "tap" other mind levels than the conscious, everyday mind. Jung teaches the art of dream interpretation, he too, much as Cayce.
More on dreaming: [Link]
Karp, Reba Ann. Edgar Cayce Encyclopedia of Healing. New York: Warner Books, 1986.
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