The fifth in a series of discussions from the Cayce health readings.
Josephine Adamson, MD, editor
WHAT IS HYPERTENSION?
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is an elevation in overall blood pressure, which is the force created by the heart as it pushes blood through the circulatory system. Blood pressure is measured in two numbers: the first, or top number, is the "systolic" pressure, created when the heart contracts; the second, or bottom number, is the "diastolic" pressure, or the period during which the heart relaxes. Normal blood pressure at rest is 120/80 or lower.
Hypertension affects about 70 million Americans (1 in every 3 adults.) The incidence of hypertension in the United States has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. Elevated blood pressure means that the heart is working harder than normal, putting both the heart and the arteries under greater strain. Chronic high blood pressure may contribute to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and eye damage. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 7 out of 10 people having their first heart attack have high blood pressure, and 8 out of 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure.
A small percentage of people with hypertension have kidney or adrenal problems. Another small percentage have an underlying genetic factor. In the vast majority of people with high blood pressure, however, lifestyle-related issues play a huge role. A diet high in salt and sugar, physical inactivity, obesity, drinking too much alcohol, and tobacco use are all associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure.
THE READINGS’ PERSPECTIVE ON HYPERTENSION
The Edgar Cayce readings were all given before 1945. Obesity rates in the United States before 1945 were only a fraction of what they are today. Processed high-sodium foods were rare then, and most Americans were physically active. It is likely that the readings for hypertension that were given then were for individuals who had different causes of hypertension than most Americans of today.
The readings described what science has recently illustrated: how engorgements and clogs in the tiny capillaries and blood vessels slow blood flow and demand extra force (higher blood pressure) from the heart to pump the blood through the system and back to the heart to be replenished with oxygen.
THE CAYCE READINGS’ RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TREATING HYPERTENSION
Though the Cayce readings about hypertension may have been more generalizable 100 years ago, most of the therapeutic recommendations are, interestingly, widely applicable for Americans today. A positive attitude, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, moderate exercise, quitting smoking and excessive alcohol use—all of these Cayce recommendations have been shown in current medical studies to decrease blood pressure. Detailed therapeutic summaries from the readings include:
- AVOIDING CONSTIPATION/INTERNAL CLEANSING: Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to eight glasses of pure water daily, colonic irrigations (preferably) or enemas, and cleansing diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Castor oil packs across the abdomen are recommended to improve eliminations. Regular exercise and a plant-based, whole food diet will prevent constipation from becoming a problem.
- SPINAL MANIPULATION AND MASSAGE: For those individuals who have a neurological component to their hypertension, osteopathic or chiropractic treatment was recommended to relieve any pressures that may be hindering circulation. Special attention is to be paid to the thoracic vertebrae (2nd to 9th thoracic) as this portion of the spine was often cited in the Cayce readings on hypertension. If osteopathic or chiropractic treatment is not available, the use of an electric vibrator along the spine may be helpful. Finally, gentle massage is suggested to relax the body and balance the circulation.
- DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet, intended to improve assimilation and elimination, is what modern literature refers to as Mediterranean: olive oil, fresh vegetables, almonds, poultry, seafood, and limited consumption of meat. The readings recommended avoiding foods which produce toxicity and drain the system, like fried foods and refined sugary carbohydrates ("junk food"). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
- RADIAL APPLIANCE (Radiac®): The Radial Appliance, also known as the Radiac, is a subtle energy device frequently recommended by Edgar Cayce to balance the circulation and relax the body. Most people do not feel anything during a treatment session but notice improved sleep and a sense of well-being with repeated use. The Cayce readings emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive attitude while attached to the appliance and encouraged individuals to meditate during the therapy sessions. Though there are no scientific studies to research its use, there have been no reported side-effects.
- MODERATE EXERCISE: Moderate exercise is an important aspect of balanced living. Walking was a favorite exercise recommended by Edgar Cayce for people suffering from high blood pressure. A daily walk after dinner is a good place to start.
- ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and emotional aspects of healing are frequently discussed in the Cayce readings. Particularly, an attitude of desiring and expecting to be healed is important. A positive mental and emotional attitude can be created and maintained by focusing on a higher purpose (ideal) for being healed.
Josephine B. Adamson, MD, MPH, CMT, is the Medical Director for Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. She received her MD from Duke University’s School of Medicine and Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina and is a graduate of the Cayce/Reilly® School of Massage. A director and co-owner of a medical device company, she has a wealth of experience creating and maintaining health-related non- profit and for-profit businesses. She joined A.R.E. as part of the organization’s renewed focus on the health information, one of the most important, enduring legacies from the Edgar Cayce readings. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the health outreach and administration and interfacing with the stellar staff of the Cayce/Reilly School of Massage—which provides a comprehensive education in the art and science of therapeutic massage—and the holistic A.R.E. Health Center & Spa—which provides holistic therapies to clients from around the world in its oceanfront Virginia Beach, Va., setting complete with a Café.
A.R.E. Members can download a circulating file—a collection of verbatim Edgar Cayce readings and reading extracts carefully selected and arranged by topic—on Hypertension from our online member section.
The fourth in a series of discussions from the Cayce health readings.
Josephine Adamson, MD, editor
Depression is more than sadness or grief during a difficult situation. Depression is characterized by unrelenting or recurring negative feelings in body, mind, and spirit: dejection, lack of hope, sleep disruption, physical pain, feelings of worthlessness, and diminished ability to think or concentrate. When severely depressed, individuals may also have persistent thoughts of death and suicide.
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
Research suggests that there are probably many causes of depression. In recent years, great emphasis has been placed on the biology of depression. Scientists have explored the relationship between faulty chemistry in the nervous system and depressive symptoms. Specifically, research has focused on the chemical messengers (called neurotransmitters) which nerve cells use to communicate with each other. If there is a problem with certain neurotransmitters in the brain, communication between nerve cells may be inhibited. When this chemical dysfunction occurs in the areas of the brain associated with emotion and cognition, depression may result. Presumably, the antidepressant drugs prescribed by medical doctors can therapeutically alter the chemical messengers used by nerve cells, resulting in better communication within the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of Americans, especially women, receiving prescriptions for antidepressant medication has skyrocketed more than 400% in the past 15 years. Unfortunately, these medications are often ineffective and may come with significant side-effects.
THE CAYCE READING'S PERSPECTIVE ON DEPRESSION
The Cayce material was decades ahead of medical research in providing graphic descriptions of nervous system pathology in cases of depression. The readings use the expression "lapse of nerve impulse" to portray the breakdown in nerve cell communication. The readings give many reasons for this characteristic "lapse in nerve impulse." In numerous cases, hormone dysfunction was cited as a major source of the problem. The explanation found in the readings was that the nervous system is dependent upon the glands of the body to provide the chemicals essential for normal nerve cell functioning. Significantly, modern medical research has also documented the involvement of endocrine glands in depression.
Environmental (including dietary) toxicity is another biological cause of depression found frequently in the readings. Some readings detail how the absorption of toxins into a nerve fiber can result in a "deadening" effect to the nervous system, which may lead to the characteristic "lapse in nerve impulse" of depression. Modern scientific research is currently examining the role of environmental and dietary toxins in psychiatric illnesses.
While the Cayce perspective has many similarities to the modern medical (biochemical) model of depression, there are important differences. Instead of relying on medication, the readings recommended more natural methods, "holistic" therapies to help the body to bring its faulty biochemistry back into a healthy state. Another difference is the role of mental and spiritual factors that may lead to depression of the nervous system. The readings describe how psychospiritual causes, such as unhealthy attitudes, or a lack of spiritual direction in a person's life, can precede nervous system pathology.
The readings contain many examples of mentally (i.e., psychosomatically) induced depression. "Mind is the builder" is a prominent theme in the readings and is based upon the inherent association of mental processes with the nervous system. Self-condemnation was a particularly destructive mental pattern frequently noted in cases of depression. Failure to live up to an ideal (or even have an idea) was sometimes cited as a primary source of mental depression.
TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEPRESSION
Although treatment recommendations mentioned in the readings varied, the therapies below represent some of the common suggestions for treating and preventing depression that are readily available to us today.
- AVOIDING CONSTIPATION: Avoiding constipation and dehydration are high priorities, because the readings cite toxins as a common causal factor associated with depression. Hydrotherapy (fume baths and colonic irrigation), manual therapy, massage, exercise, and a healthy diet can all improve eliminations.
- MANUAL THERAPY: Manual therapy (spinal manipulation and massage) assist in establishing better coordination between the central and peripheral nervous systems to help the "lapse in nerve impulse" of depression.
- OUTDOOR EXERCISE: The readings consistently stress the importance of moderate outdoor exercise for relaxation, improving eliminations, and in certain cases, as a form of phototherapy (the use of light to treat illness.) Phototherapy has been used for centuries as a natural means of treating depression. Current research into the effects of vitamin D on depression reinforces the readings’ recommendations. Exercise likewise releases feel-good natural chemicals in the brain.
- SERVICE TO OTHERS: The spiritual phase of the basic model of treating depression encourages persons to take a broader perspective. Altruistic service provides a sense of interpersonal connectedness which can be extremely therapeutic in the treatment of depression. The Cayce material often recommended that depressed persons find someone who is in a worse condition and help them. Often the best way of helping self is to help others.
- CONTEMPLATION and MEDITATION: The readings also consistently recommend that persons suffering from depression read and study inspirational material. Consistent with his Christian religious orientation, Edgar Cayce showed a preference for the Bible as a source of inspiration. Certain passages were repeatedly recommended for persons suffering from depression (most often the 30th chapter of Deuteronomy and the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th chapters of John).
Depression is a significant problem in today’s world, with almost 10% of adult Americans suffering from clinical depression. (CDC, 2014.) Modern medical research is confirming the effectiveness of the timeless holistic therapies for depression recommended years ago in the Edgar Cayce readings.
Josephine B. Adamson, MD, MPH, CMT, is the Medical Director for Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. She received her MD from Duke University’s School of Medicine and Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina and is a graduate of the Cayce/Reilly® School of Massage. A former co-owner of a medical device company, she has a wealth of experience creating and maintaining health-related non- profit and for-profit businesses. She joined A.R.E. as part of the organization’s renewed focus on the health information, one of the most important, enduring legacies from the Edgar Cayce readings. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the health outreach and administration and interfacing with the stellar staff of the Cayce/Reilly School of Massage—which provides a comprehensive education in the art and science of therapeutic massage—and the holistic A.R.E. Health Center & Spa—which provides holistic therapies to clients from around the world in its oceanfront Virginia Beach, Va., setting complete with a Café.
A.R.E. Members can download a circulating file—a collection of verbatim Edgar Cayce readings and reading extracts carefully selected and arranged by topic—on Depression from our online member section.
A Good Sense of Humor Awakens the Spirit
By Elaine Hruska, MA
In the Edgar Cayce readings, there are hundreds of references to the importance of joy, laughter, and mirth that come from having a good sense of humor. Personally, on the conscious level, Cayce himself was known for his sense of humor and his love of story-telling. Harmon Bro, in his doctoral dissertation, wrote that Cayce was probably one of the most frustrated persons of his time, because he wanted to tell stories and talk to people, but they wanted him to keep quiet, go to sleep, and give a reading!
Even in the dispensing of information during a reading, Cayce sometimes made joking comments on himself. In one reading, for instance, he requested material on the subject matter for a lecture he’d planned to give and was advised not to be too technical; otherwise, he might be considered by his audience to be peculiar or strange. The reading went on to state that too many people considered him crazy enough already!
Here are just a few examples of humor from the readings:
Q. Who will aid me most in my work and daily life?A. God! (2444-1)
Q. Is it possible to secure a reading regarding conditions and my sojourn, if any, on that planet [Jupiter] A. If you can understand Jupiterian environs and languages, yes. (826-8)
Q. Is there any way of sleeping on the back without snoring?A. Not that has been invented yet! (1861-18)
Q. Just how should the Bromo-Quinine be taken?A. Swallow it. (528-15)
Q. Which shoulder should be taped?A. The one that’s hurt! (1710-5)
Q. Can it [bone cracking in head and feet] be permanently corrected?A. ...If you could stop getting old—but we can’t stop time yet! (1158-26)
Q. Am I slightly mentally ill?A. ...Every individual is slightly mentally ill to someone else. (5210-1)
Q. What causes bad disposition? Give treatment.A. If the body had a more agreeable husband its disposition would be better! (2654-2)
Q. Have I ever contacted my husband  in any other experience; if so in what way?A. He bought you! Doesn’t he act like it at times? (1222-1)
Q. Any further advice on body in general?A. You’d better take a rest if you don’t want a long rest! (3436-3)
In San Diego, Calif, at the 2014 meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Dr. Lee Berk, who is a psychosomatic medicine specialist at Loma Linda University’s School of Medicine, presented the newest research study on laughter (Houston Chronicle, May 4, 2014).
The brainwaves of 31 university students were measured while they watched videos, whose subject matter was either comical or upsetting. The funny videos included a range of humorous and slapstick scenes—no dark or derogatory humor was presented—while the upsetting ones included excerpts from horror movies.
Shortly after the laughter started, when the comic videos were viewed, gamma brainwave activity was noted in the students’ brains, similar to the waves produced by experienced meditators when they reach a meditative state. So the humorous videos brought their subjects’ brainwaves to a close approximation of what might be generated in mindfulness—a quiet, peaceful state similar to meditation.
The neurotransmitter dopamine, described as “the fuel of the brain’s reward circuitry,” is present with gamma waves, producing a pleasurable sensation that makes us want to return again and again to that state.
Because humor is within range for everyone—whereas meditation may not be, said Dr. Berk—the conclusion of the study would suggest that when we engage in regular doses of humor, we perhaps are reaping the already well-established benefits of meditation, since the patterns of both appear to be similar.
Cayce often encouraged individuals in their personal readings to cultivate a sense of humor, to see the ridiculous in situations, to read the comics, and to appreciate the optimistic, joking side of life. Of course, this works both ways, as one reading mentioned: “...in raising hope, in inspiring others, the entity may succeed the most in inspiring and in raising the vibrations in self...” (3197-1) For another individual the “ability to laugh at adversity when others would cry” would become a “saving grace.” (1991-1)
Employing a sense of humor at appropriate times and in appropriate ways—not to mock others—can also defuse an unpleasant situation. Several times the readings advised seeing the ridiculous in even the most sacred things, and reminded us that in all of creation God has given us alone the ability to laugh.
In regard to the healing value of humor, one reading explains: “Remember that a good laugh, an arousing even to what might in some be called hilariousness, is good for the body, physically, mentally, and gives the opportunity for greater mental and spiritual awakening.” (2647-1).
Healing relates to wholeness and balance—and humor can be a way of bringing us to that alignment within ourselves, releasing tension and creating a better barrier-free communication with others. It might also be helpful for us to attempt to follow this simple advice: “...don’t forget the recipe of making three people laugh every day!” (798-1)
Excerpt from the Winter, 2014 issue of Venture Inward newsletter, available to A.R.E. members at Edgarcayce.org/members.
Elaine Hruska is a therapist for the Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Health Center & Spa located in Houston, Texas. She holds her MA in transpersonal studies from Atlantic University and is considered an expert on the Edgar Cayce health readings. She trained under Harold J. Reilly, a pioneer in the field of massage therapy and a world-renowned physiotherapist who created the Cayce/Reilly Massage. She is the author of the best-selling books Edgar Cayce's Quick & Easy Remedies and Your Key to Good Health: Unlocking the Power of Your Lymphatic System.
The Beauty of the Body—the Temple of God
By June Avis Bro
I have always trusted my body to pretty much heal itself , to warn me when I’m out of balance and could become ill, to get me where I’m going, and to gather the energy I need for specific tasks. I think that my trust of my body came from an incarnation in Egypt where Mr. Cayce said I taught the care of the body in the Temple Beautiful and probably witnessed the priest Ra-Ta rejuvenate his body after years of exile.
The body is intricately designed and extremely inventive whenever it responds to illness or trauma. I remember some research my husband, Harmon, reported on some 30 years ago. Someone had a serious injury to the eye and doctors explained how nearby tissue had moved in to help do the work of the injured and missing tissue and healed it.
At the 2014 A.R.E. Member Congress (an annual conference held at A.R.E.’s Virginia Beach headquarters), Sidney Kirkpatrick brought to the stage a man who had tuberculosis (TB) in his youth and spent years in sanitariums. Back in the 1920s and ‘30s, people with TB were treated as lepers, because the disease is very contagious and there was no cure. They went to the sanitariums to die. This patient, George, had heard of Edgar Cayce, gotten a reading, and started to use the same charred oak keg that was prescribed for Gertrude Cayce (when she had TB). He didn’t tell anyone about this, not even his family.
Later, an x-ray had shown George’s lungs were healed of TB and that his right lung had grown larger to handle the work of the left lung, which had become useless. Somehow, Sidney found George and arranged for him to come to the A.R.E. Congress to tell his story of healing.
Many Christians have for centuries been afraid of the body and its instincts and some even view the body as evil. Some religions teach that bodies, especially female bodies, have to be fully covered.
Edgar Cayce’s view of the body shocked people living in the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. He said over and over again that the body is God’s gift to us, and we should treat it with the utmost respect—as the “temple of God,” which Jesus had said over 2,000 years ago.
This we should take seriously, because if we view the body as God’s temple, we will treat it differently. We will watch what we put into our bodies, we will watch what comes out of our mouths, and we will lead as balanced a life as possible—making a place for work, for laughter, and play; for music and the arts; for nature; and for reaching out to others in selfless service.
Nearly every temple, church, or mosque has a place for music and artworks. Edgar was an artist, an award-winning photographer. Although not trained in music, he had much to say about the positive influence music can have on people. As he was preparing to cross over, he heard heavenly music: the music of the spheres. The rapture on his face must have been beautiful to see. It was a final blessing on his life of dedicated service to God.
The holy emblem displayed at the center of a church, temple or mosque, signifies the focus, the ideal, the deep prayer and longing of the soul for connection with the Holy One. The body helps us make this connection with its endocrine gland centers.
Every church, temple, or mosque has pads for us to kneel on. As I get down on my knees, I offer my mind, body, and spirit to God. Edgar’s term for God was often “the Creative Forces.” I love this name for God, because it suggests God’s creativity is in me too. I actually join my creativity with God’s creativity, and together we produce something wonderful.
So we are body, mind, and spirit. One is not less than the other. All three aspects of us must work together to bring us closer to God.
When my granddaughter Katie was four, she took her first plane ride. I asked her how she enjoyed her flight. She said, “Oh, Gramma, the plane went up and up and up and pretty soon I was right next to God!” That’s what the physical, glandular parts of our bodies can do for us if we learn to train the body to be still and cooperative, the mind to be quiet and focused, and the spirit to be free and guided by the Holy One.
Spirit that uses matter, (the body as temple), that uses every influence in the earth’s environ for the glory of the Creative Forces, partakes of and is a part of the universal consciousness. (3508-1)
A.R.E. members can see the video of Sidney’s A.R.E. Congress presentation at Edgarcayce.org/members. He is a featured presenter at the June 2015 Congress in Virginia Beach. His new book, written with Nancy Kirkpatrick, True Tales from the Edgar Cayce Archives will be released in May, 2015.
Excerpt from June Bro's The Art of Living from the Oct-Dec 2014 issue of Venture Inward magazine available to A.R.E. members at Edgarcayce.org/members.
Dr. June Avis Bro found her life deeply affected by working daily with Edgar Cayce when she and her husband, Harmon, came to Virginia Beach in 1943. She has a graduate ministerial degree from Andover-Newton Theological School, near Boston, and a doctorate from Chicago Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching while raising five children, she has been a research assistant at Harvard, lectured and held workshops in many cities, led overseas tours to the Near East and China, and served as pastor. A concert pianist, she draws on her background in the arts to illuminate myths, symbols, and dreams. At age 90, she released her first piano CD called “Soul Soundings,” which is being sold in the A.R.E. Bookstore. Her column for A.R.E.’s Venture Inward magazine, "The Art of Living," is based on her life reading given by Mr. Cayce in 1944. She wrote the forward to the re-released book A Seer Out of Season written by Harmon Bro.
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. blog offers opinion pieces from contributors with a wide variety of backgrounds. These opinions are valued and create points of discussion. Opinions expressed in our blog may not necessarily represent the opinion of A.R.E.