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Cayce Health Database

GLOSSARY

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A

ABSCESS
An abscess is a collection of pus formed by the disintegration of tissues.
ACIDOSIS
Acidosis is a condition resulting from too much acid or too little alkaline reserve in blood and body tissues.
ADENOID
Adenoid refers to a resemblance to a gland in appearance; in the plural: hypertrophied lymph tissue in the nasopharynx; known as the pharyngeal tonsil.
ADHESION
Adhesion refers to holding together by new tissue [e.g., scar tissue], produced by inflammation or injury, of two structures which are normally separate. Abdominal adhesions were mentioned in many Cayce readings, particularly in cases of epilepsy. Adhesions may interfere with circulation of blood and lymph and nervous system activity and impulse. Castor oil packs and massage were two of the most frequently recommended therapies for healing adhesions.
ADRENAL GLANDS
The adrenals are important endocrine glands anatomically associated with the kidneys. Each body has two adrenal glands, each consisting of two parts. The inner portion of the adrenal is called the medulla and an outer portion is called the cortex. Both parts secrete important hormones into the bloodstream.
ALKALOSIS
Alkalosis is a condition resulting from increase of base or decrease of acid without decreasing base in the body fluids.
ALLERGY
Allergy refers to a hypersensitive state due to exposure to a particular allergen; classified as immediate or delayed; includes serum sickness, allergic drug reactions, contact dermatitis and anaphylactic shock; usually manifested in the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, and the respiratory tract.
ANEMIA
Anemia (pernicious) is a decrease in the number of circulating red blood cells; called also Addison's or addisonian anemia, Addison-Biermer anemia, cytogenic anemia, and malignant anemia.
ANEURYSM
An aneurysm is a saclike swelling in the wall of a blood vessel, usually an artery.
ANKYLOSIS
Ankylosis is an abnormal immobility and consolidation of a joint.
ANODYNE
Anodyne refers to any medicine for relieving pain; e.g., opium, morphine, codeine, or aspirin.
ANTIGEN
An antigen is any substance which stimulates cells to produce antibodies.
ANTISPASMODIC
An antispasmodic is any agent that relieves spasm.
APHONIA
Aphonia is loss of voice.
APOPLEXY
Apoplexy is the condition of having suffered a stroke; intracranial hemorrhage.
ARTERIOLE
An arteriole is a small branch of an artery that communicates with a capillary network.
ASSIMILATION
With regard to the digestive process, assimilation refers to the absorption of food values via the gut; the absorption and transformation of food into living tissue.
ASTHENIA
Asthenia is loss of strength and energy; weakness.
ATOMIDINE
Atomidine is a form of iodine frequently recommended in the Cayce readings as a glandular stimulant and purifier. Atomidine can be used externally (e.g., for the treatment of bug bites and stings). Many people use it as Cayce recommended by putting one or more drops in a glass of water and drinking it as a medicine. Note: this should only be taken under the supervision of a physician.
ATROPHY
Atrophy is a wasting away; failure of a cell, tissue, organ, or part to grow and develop.
AUTONOMIC
Autonomic means self-controlling; functionally independent; automatic. The autonomic nervous system consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and regulates automatic processes such as digestion, circulation, and respiration. Edgar Cayce never used this term in a reading although it began to be commonly used in medicine during the latter years that the readings were given.
AUTOSOMAL
Autosomal pertains to any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome.
AXILLA
Axilla refers to the armpit; the small pyramidal space between the upper lateral part of the chest and the medial side of the arm.
AXON
The axon is that part of a nerve cell through which impulses travel away from the cell body.

B

BACILLUS
A bacillus is any rod-shaped bacterium which produces spores.
BIFURCATION
Bifurcation means division into two branches; the site where a single structure divides into two.
BRACHIAL PLEXUS
The brachial plexus refers to nerves originating in the last four cervical vertebrae and the upper dorsal (thoracic) vertebrae which control voluntary muscle groups in the shoulder, chest and arms.
BRONCHI
Bronchi is the plural of bronchus; any of the larger air passages of the lungs.
BRONCHITIS
Bronchitis means inflammation of the bronchi.
BURSA
Bursa are small fluid-filled sacs near or involving a joint. They assist the bone to move easily over adjacent parts, such as between two bones or between bone and skin. Bursa facilitate the gliding of muscles or tendons over bone or ligament structures. Bursa are numerous and are found throughout the body. Inflammation of bursa is known as bursitis.

C

CAECUM
The caecum is the first part of the large intestine.
CALCULUS
Calculus refers to any abnormal stony mass or deposit formed within the body, usually composed of mineral salts.
CAPSULA
Capsula is a general term for a cartilaginous, fatty, fibrous, or membranous structure enveloping another structure, organ, or part.
CAROTID
Carotid refers to either of the two principal arteries of the neck.
CASTOR OIL
An oil obtained from the castor bean plant, castor oil is used externally as an emollient (to soothe and soften) and internally as a cathartic to promote defecation (i.e., laxative or purgative).
CATABOLISM
Catabolism is the opposite of anabolism. It is the aspect of metabolism which includes all the processes in which complex substances are converted into simpler substances.
CATARACT
Cataract is an eye disease in which the crystalline lens or its capsule becomes opaque, causing partial or total blindness.
CATARRH
Catarrh is an inflammation of a mucous membrane, causing an increased flow of mucus; inflammation of the air passages of the head and throat.
CATHARTIC
A cathartic is an agent that stimulates evacuation of the bowels by increasing bulk.
CEREBROSPINAL
The cerebrospinal nerve system is now called the "central nervous system." It consists of the brain, spinal cord, and motor and sensory nerves.
CERVICAL
The uppermost portion of the spinal column, there are seven cervical vertebrae in the neck.
CHANCRE
Chancre refers to a venereal sore or ulcer; primary lesion of syphilis.
CHIROPRACTIC
Chiropractic is a popular form of manual therapy. It is a healing profession in which the structural portions of the body (such as the spine, joints, and muscle tissue) are manipulated in order to restore the proper function of the nerves.
CHROMOSOME
A chromosome is a rodlike structure that appears in the nucleus of a cell during mitosis; transmits genetic information.
CHYLE
Chyle is a milky fluid absorbed by the lacteals from the food in the intestine during digestion; composed of lymph and emulsified fats
CIRRHOSIS
Cirrhosis is a liver disease in which the hepatic cells degenerate and the surrounding connective tissues thicken.
COCCYX OR COCCYGEAL
The coccyx (or tailbone), is a part of the spinal column located below the sacrum. It consists of 3 to 5 fused vertebrae.
COLITIS
Colitis is inflammation of the colon.
COLLAGEN
Collagen is the protein substance of the white fibers of connective tissues and in the matrix of bone.
COLON
The colon (large intestine) is that portion of the bowel between the small intestine and the anus. It performs the vital function of absorbing water and salts that would otherwise be lost through the anus during a bowel movement.
COLONIC (IRRIGATION)
Colonic (irrigation) is a high enema; method of hydrotherapy used to cleanse the large intestine of accumulated toxins.
COORDINATION
In the Cayce readings, coordination generally refers to the harmonious interaction of the various systems of the body. For example, the readings emphasize the importance of coordination between assimilations and eliminations, the circulatory systems (between deep and superficial circulation), and the nervous systems (between the cerebrospinal and sympathetic).
CONGENITAL
Congenital means existing at, and usually before, birth; referring to conditions that are present at birth, regardless of their causation.
CONSTIPATION
Constipation is infrequent or difficult evacuation of the feces.
CONSUMPTION
Consumption is a wasting away of the body, formerly applied especially to pulmonary tuberculosis.
CORYZA
Coryza is an acute catarrhal condition of the nasal mucous membrane.
CUTANEOUS
Cutaneous pertains to the skin.
CYSTITIS
Cystitis is inflammation of the urinary bladder.

D

DEEP CIRCULATION
That portion of the circulatory system associated with the central (internal) organs of the body. Thus, the deep circulation is the blood supply to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and other abdominal organs.
DEMENTIA
Dementia is the loss of intellectual abilities due to organic (biological) deterioration of the brain. Social functioning is usually impaired. Cognitive functioning, including memory, judgment, and abstract thought, is diminished or altered. Alzheimer's dementia is one of the best known dementias. Stroke, concussion, toxicity, neurological disease and vitamin deficiency can produce dementia. Dementia is more common in older persons.
DEMULCENT
Demulcent means soothing; bland; allaying the irritation of inflamed or abraded surfaces.
DIABETES MELLITUS
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by a high blood glucose level and the appearance of glucose in the urine due to a deficiency of insulin.
DIATHERMY
Diathermy refers heating of body tissues by high-frequency electric current.
DIATHESIS
Diathesis is a vulnerability or predisposition to certain diseases.
DISTAL
Distal means farther from the midline or origin.
DIURETIC
Diuretic means increasing the excretion of urine.
DIVERTICULITIS
Diverticulitis is inflammation of small pouches (diverticula) that sometimes form in the lining and wall of the colon.
DORSAL
The dorsal is that portion of the spinal column associated with the thorax or chest. Currently referred to as the thoracic vertebrae, the 12 spinal segments of the dorsal vertebrae extend from the neck to the lumbar vertebrae and give attachment to the ribs.
DRAINAGE
Edgar Cayce used the term drainage in reference to the body's natural capacity to cleanse itself via the cleansing flow of the blood (venous) and lymph.
DUODENUM
The duodenum is the uppermost section of the small intestine between the stomach and jejunum.
DYSURIA
Dysuria is painful or difficult urination.

E

EDEMA
Edema is an excessive accumulation of fluid within the tissue spaces.
EFFLUVIUM
Effluvium refers to an outflowing or shedding, or exhalation or emanation, particularly one that is noxious or toxic.
ELIMINATION
The process of removing toxins from the body. Cayce described four primary eliminating processes: 1) defecation (feces), 2) urination (urine), 3) respiration (breath), and 4) perspiration (sweat). The monthly periods of menstruating women was a fifth eliminating process cited in some readings.
EMPHYSEMA
Emphysema is a condition of the lung characterized by abnormal enlargement of air sacs.
EMUNCTORY
An organ or duct having an excretory or cleansing function (e.g., the pores of the skin). In the readings, emunctories are frequently mentioned in association with the lymphatic system.
ENDOCRINE
Endocrine refers to secreting internally; applied to organs (especially glands) and structures that secrete hormones directly into the blood or lymph.
ENGORGEMENT
Engorgement is a local congestion; excessive fullness of any organ, vessel or tissue due to accumulation of fluids, especially of blood.
ENTEROVIRUS
Enterovirus refers to a type of virus infecting the gastrointestinal tract and discharged in the excreta.
ENZYME
Enzyme refers to a protein that is produced in a cell and acts as a catalyst in a specific cellular reaction.
EPIDERMIS
Epidermis refers the outermost layer of skin.
ETIOLOGY
Etiology is the study or the theory of the factors that cause disease.

F

FISTULA
A fistula is an abnormal passage or communication, usually between two internal organs, or leading from an internal organ to the surface of the body.
FUME BATH
A form of hydrotherapy which utilizes heat to vaporize medicinal solutions to cleanse the body. The body is in a tent or cabinet during the fume bath so that the fumes can more effectively stimulate the skin to release toxins.

G

GALLBLADDER
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped sac that stores bile secreted by the liver. Bile is injected into the small intestine to aid with the digestion of dietary fat.
GANGLIA
Ganglia are a mass of nerve-cell bodies that lies outside the brain or spinal cord. Edgar Cayce often discussed important ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system. These ganglia lie along either side of the spinal column and within the body cavity.
GASTRIN
Gastrin is a hormone secreted by the stomach lining that stimulates secretion of gastric juices.
GASTRITIS
Gastritis means inflammation of the stomach.
GESTATION
Gestation refers to the period of development of the young in viviparous animals; the entire period of pregnancy.
GLAND
From a medical standpoint, a gland is any organ or tissue that secretes a substance to be used elsewhere in the body. Endocrine glands release hormones directly into the bloodstream. Exocrine glands release their products through ducts for more specific purposes.
GLOBULIN
Globulin is a type of protein characterized by being insoluble in water, but soluble in saline solutions or water soluble proteins; occurs in blood plasma.
GONADS
The reproductive glands of the body.
GRAND MAL
Grand mal is a type of epileptic seizure, characterized by convulsions and loss of consciousness.
GRAY MATTER
Those portions of the nervous system consisting primarily of nerve-cell bodies which are gray-colored. Particularly, certain areas of the brain, such as the cerebral cortex. In the Cayce readings, the gray matter of the nervous system is associated with "activity." (See impulse and activity.)

H

HALITOSIS
Halitosis is offensive ("bad") breath.
HEMORRHOIDS
Hemorrhoids refers to a condition in which veins associated with the lining of the rectum become enlarged.
HEPATIC
Pertaining especially to the liver and the organs associated with the liver. Edgar Cayce often spoke of the "hepatic system," which consists of the upper hepatic circulation (through the liver, heart and lungs) and the lower hepatic circulation (through the kidneys). He also frequently referred to the hepatic system as the "battery of the body;" the liver being the "positive pole" and the kidneys as the "negative pole."
HERNIATION
Herniation is the abnormal protrusion of an organ or other body structure through a defect or opening in a covering, membrane, muscle, or bone.
HERPES ZOSTER
Herpes zoster is a viral infection of certain sensory nerves, causing pain and an eruption of blisters along the course of the affected nerve; shingles.
HOMEOSTATIS
Homeostasis is the tendency to stability in the normal body states.
HORMONES
Hormones are secretions of the ductless or endocrine glands.
HYDROCEPHALUS
Hydrocephalus is a condition marked by enlargement of the cranium, accompanied by an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the skull; "water on the brain."
HYDROTHERAPY
The use of water for the purpose of healing. Colonics, steam baths, sitz baths, etc. are examples of hydrotherapy.
HYPERTROPHIC
Hypertrophic pertains to the enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or tissue.
HYPOCHONDRIA
Hypochondria refers to an abnormal anxiety over one's health, often with imaginary illnesses and severe melancholy.
HYPOGASTRIC
The term hypogastric pertains to the lower middle of the abdomen. The hypogastric plexus is an important autonomic nerve center in the lower abdomen which supplies the organs of the pelvic cavity.
HYPOGLYCEMIA
Hypoglycemia is an abnormally low concentration of blood glucose, which may lead to tremulousness, cold sweat, etc.
HYSTERECTOMY
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus.

I

IDIOPATHIC
Idiopathic means self-originated; any medical condition of unknown causation. Synonyms for idiopathic include "true" and "pure." Edgar Cayce sometimes used the term "true" when referring to the idiopathic form of a disease.
ILEUM
The ileum is that portion of the small intestine lying between the jejunum and the large intestine. It is the final 3/5 of the small intestine lying chiefly below the umbilicus (navel) and to the right side of the pelvic region. Peyer's patches are larger and more numerous in the ileum than in the rest of the small intestine.
IMAGINATIVE SYSTEM
Edgar Cayce sometimes referred to the sympathetic nervous system as the "imaginative system." He associated the sympathetic system with the unconscious mind and its imaginative powers. It is likely that the imaginative processes associated with the sympathetic system are the basis for psychosomatic illness and healing. The pineal and leydig glands were also associated with the imaginative aspects of the sympathetic system and "mental body." (See pineal and additional information on the "pineal system" under "Edgar Cayce's Perspective Of The Pineal.")
IMPACTION
Impaction is the condition of being firmly lodged or wedged.
IMPEDANCE DEVICE
The radio-active (radial) appliance is sometimes called the "impedance device."
IMPULSE AND ACTIVITY
The Cayce readings often refer to the impulse and activity of the nervous system. They associate activity with the processes of the gray matter (cell body) of nerve cells and impulses with the white matter (axons) of nerve cells.
INCOORDINATION
Incoordination is the failure to work together harmoniously. The various systems of the body must coordinate to be healthy. Edgar Cayce cited incoordination as the most common factor in a wide variety of illnesses. Some of the most common forms of incoordination include incoordination between assimilations and eliminations, incoordination in the circulatory systems (between deep and superficial circulation), and incoordination in the nervous systems (between the cerebrospinal and sympathetic).
INDURATION
Induration refers to the process of hardening.
INTESTINE
The intestine is that portion of the digestive tract that extends from the stomach to the anus. The intestine is divided into distinctive sections for handling the processes of digestion and absorption of food and the elimination of waste.

J

JEJUNUM
The jejunum is that part of the small intestine between the duodenum and the ileum.

K

KARMA
Sometimes referred to as the "law of cause and effect," karma is a Hindu concept used to explain past-life influences. Edgar Cayce sometimes linked health problems to karmic conditions. In such instances, he would frequently use the expression, "The entity is meeting self." Karmic illnesses were typically difficult to cure. Cayce emphasized the importance of mental and spiritual application in karmic conditions.
KUNDALINI
The sanskrit word kundalini means "coiled up." Symbolically, kundalini refers to a coiled serpent lying asleep at the base of the spine, waiting to be awakened through meditation, kundalini yoga, or some other spiritual discipline. Edgar Cayce referred to the kundalini energy as a "life force" that operates in the body in two forms. In a low energetic form, it is the energy responsible for growth and development. When raised to a high energy level ("high vibration") through meditation, kundalini is the energy which produces mystical and psychic experiences.

L

LACTEAL
Lacteals are small lymph capillaries which absorb lipids (fats) from the small intestine. Edgar Cayce often spoke of the lacteal ducts, especially in cases of epilepsy.
LESION
In the osteopathic sense, a lesion is a structural (anatomical) abnormality which produces a functional (physiological) disorder. Correction of lesions is a primary goal of traditional osteopathy. Lesions may be primary or secondary. Primary lesions may be produced by trauma or posture. Secondary lesions may result from attempts of the body to compensate for a primary lesion. Reflex lesions may also be considered to be secondary lesions.
LEUCOCYTE
A leucocyte is any colorless, ameboid cell mass; white blood cell or corpuscle.
LEYDIG (OR LYDEN)
The leydig gland is a small (pea-sized) gland in the urogenital system. Discovered in 1892 by anatomist Franz Leydig, this gland was regarded by Edgar Cayce to be the "seat of the soul" in the human body. In 1850, Franz Leydig also discovered the cells of leydig, which are now recognized as producers of testosterone in the gonads. Medical science has not yet rediscovered the leydig gland.
LOCOMOTORY (OR LOCOMOTORIES)
Locomotion refers to movement or the power to move. Edgar Cayce frequently spoke of two key locomotory centers. The brachial plexus is located in the lower cervical and upper dorsal (thoracic) area of the spine. It influences the movement of the arms and hands. The lumbar axis is located in the lower portion of the spine centered in the area of the 4th lumbar vertebrae. The lumbar axis locomotory center influences movements in the legs.
LUMBAR
The lumbar refers to the lower portion of the back, between the dorsal (thoracic) and sacral portions of the spine. The 4th lumbar center is a key coordinating nerve center providing nerve energy to the pelvic organs and lower locomotories (legs).
LUMEN
A lumen is cavity or channel within a tube or tubular organ.
LYMPH (LYMPHATICS)
Lymph is a fluid which flows through the lymphatic vessels. It is usually clear and colorless. Lymph is formed in the tissue spaces throughout the body and carried by the lymphatic vessels to the central area of the body where it is combined with the blood supply. In addition to cleansing the internal structure of the body, the lymphatic system is involved with immunity and the absorption of fats from the small intestine.
LYMPHOCYTE
A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell produced in lympathetic tissue.

M

MASSAGE
Massage is the methodical use of pressure, kneading, friction and manipulation on the bare skin for the purpose of relaxation, stimulation or balancing of circulation, improved nervous system coordination, and increased eliminations.
MEDULLA OBLONGATA
The medulla oblongata is the portion of brain stem located between the pons and the spinal cord. Edgar Cayce sometime referred to the medulla oblongata when speaking of "centers at the base of the brain."
MENARCHE
Menarche is the beginning of menstrual function.
MENINGITIS
Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges (the three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord).
METABOLISM
Metabolism refers to all the physical and chemical changes that take place in the body. For example, transformations of chemical energy from food to mechanical energy or heat are metabolic processes. There are two basic kinds of metabolism. Anabolism (assimilation or building up processes) and catabolism (disintegrating or tearing down processes).
METABOLITES
Metabolites are substances produced by metabolism or metabolic processes.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system characterized by loss of myelin and the appearance of scarlike patches throughout the brain and/or spinal cord.
MYELIN SHEATH
Myelin sheath is the sheath surrounding the axon of some (the myelinated) nerve cells.
MYOPATHY
Myopathy refers to any disease of a muscle.
MYOTONIA
Myotonia is increased muscular irritability with decreased power of relaxation; spasm of the muscle.

N

NATUROPATHY (OR NATUROPATHIC)
Naturopathy is a system of healing based on using natural therapies to bring about a cure. The naturopath tends to utilize natural products, such as herbs and vitamins, rather than on synthetic drugs and surgery, and may also use nutrition, massage, manipulation, and electrical treatments.
NEONATE
A neonate is a new-born infant.
NEURON
A neuron is any of the conducting cells of the nervous system; a nerve cell.
NEUROPATHY (OR NEUROPATHIC)
No longer an active profession, neuropathy was a system of healing based upon massage and manipulation of the nerves of the body. Edgar Cayce made numerous referrals to neuropathic physicians, particularly in cases requiring gentle treatment of the nervous system to make corrections, coordinate the nervous systems and set up drainages.

O

ORTHOPEDIC
Orthopedic refers to correcting deformities of the musculoskeletal system.
OSTEOPATHY
Traditional osteopathy was one of the most frequently recommended treatments in the Cayce readings. Traditional osteopaths utilized massage and manipulation, in addition to a variety of relatively natural therapies, such as hydrotherapy and diet. Underlying traditional osteopathy are the ideas that anatomy (structure) and physiology (function) are closely interrelated and mutually interdependent. Illness is often caused by structural impairment, which causes the systems of the body to become out of coordination with each other.
OXIDATION
Oxidation is the act or state of being oxidized; an increase of positive charges on an atom or the loss of negative charges.
OSSEOUS
Osseous refers to the nature or quality of bone; bony. In traditional osteopathy, osseous was regarded as a primary form of lesion ("osseus" or "bony" lesion).

P

PANCREAS
The pancreas is a large, elongated gland located behind the stomach, between the spleen and the duodenum.
PARESIS
Paresis refers to slight or incomplete paralysis.
PATHOGENESIS
Pathogenesis refers to the development of morbid conditions or of disease.
PARETHESIA
Paresthesia is an abnormal sensation, as burning, prickling, etc.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder characterized by rhythmic tremor and muscular rigidity. During Edgar Cayce’s era, Parkinson’s disease was usually referred to as "paralysis agitans."
PATHOLOGICAL
Pathological refers to a condition of illness or disease. Edgar Cayce usually used the term to signify the physical or biological dimensions of illness as distinguished from the psychopathological (mental, emotional, or spiritual) dimensions. Disease may involve both pathological and psychopathological aspects.
PATHOLOGY
Pathology is a branch of medicine treating the essential nature of disease, especially the structural and functional changes in body tissues and organs causing or caused by disease.
PERINEUM
Perineum refers to the structures of the pelvic floor or the external region between the vulva and anus (in the female) and between the scrotum and anus (in the male).
PERINEURIAL
Perineurial or perineurium pertains to the sheath around a bundle of nerve fiber. Perineuritis refers to inflammation of the sheathing surrounding nerve fibers.
PERIOSTITIS
Periostitis is the inflammation of the periosteum (a connective tissue covering all bones of the body and having bone-forming properties).
PERISTALSIS
Peristalsis is the rhythmic waves by which organs provided with both longitudinal and circular muscle fibers propel their contents.
PETIT MAL
Petit mal refers to a type of epileptic seizure in which there are attacks of momentary unconsciousness without convulsions.
PEYER'S PATCHES
Peyer's patches are whitish glands of lymphatic follicles in mucous and submucous layers of the small intestine (especially throughout the lining of the ileum along the right side of the abdomen). Edgar Cayce sometimes spoke of these lymphatic tissues with regard to the functioning of the lacteal ducts and coordination of the nervous system.
PHLEBITIS
Phlebitis refers to inflammation of a vein.
PHOTOPHOBIA
Photophobia is the abnormal fear of light.
PIGMENTATION
Pigmentation refers to coloration, especially abnormally increased coloration.
PINEAL
The pineal is a small endocrine gland located in the center of the head. It is richly supplied with blood vessels and nerve fibers. In certain fishes, frogs, and lizards, the pineal is associated with a well-developed light-sensitive organ, or so-called "third eye," and in all species the pineal is affected by light. The pineal is known to be involved in the regulation of cycles and rhythms in the body.
PITUITARY
Called the "master gland of the body," the pituitary is a key endocrine gland situated at the base of the brain. The pituitary secretes several important hormones which regulate other endocrine glands and various physiological processes within the body.
PLASMA
Plasma is the fluid portion of circulating blood.
PLATELETS
Platelets are disc-shaped fragment found in the blood of all mammals. Platelets function in blood coagulation.
PLEURISY
Pleurisy is inflammation of the pleural membranes in the lungs.
PLEXUS
A plexus is a network of nerves or of blood or lymph vessels.
PNEUMOGASTRIC
Now known as the "vagus," pneumogastric was the medical term for the tenth cranial nerve during much of Edgar Cayce's life. The pneumogastric (vagus) is a major nerve which influences the organs of the chest and abdomen. It is a primary component of the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.
POSSESSION
Discarnate (as distinguished from demonic) possession was discussed in several readings given by Edgar Cayce. Certain conditions (such as schizophrenia, epilepsy and alcoholism) were sometimes associated with possession. Possession was not necessarily portrayed as a cause of the illness, rather it was described as a complication of the disease process. Prayer, hypnotherapy and electrotherapy were the most frequent recommendations for dealing with possession in the Cayce readings. Appendix E of The Treatment of Schizophrenia (McMillin, 1991, Lifeline Press) discusses possession as it relates to major mental illness.
POULTICE
A poultice is a soft, moist mass spread between layers of muslin, linen, gauze, or towels and sometimes applied hot to a given area. Edgar Cayce recommended various poultices such as potato poultice for eye conditions.
PRENATAL
From a medical perspective, the prenatal period is after conception and before birth. In the Cayce readings, prenatal factors are cited in many readings and usually refer to heredity and biological processes within the womb prior to birth. However, in certain instances, prenatal influences seemed to be more inclusive and expansive, taking into consideration such factors as the mental/emotional patterns of the parents, other persons in the immediate environment as well as karmic (e.g., past life) influences.
PROGNOSIS
A prognosis is a forecast as to the outcome of a disease.
PROLAPSE
Prolapse refers to the failing down or sinking of an internal organ.
PSYCHOPATHIC
Edgar Cayce often referred to psychopathic factors or influences in a wide variety of illnesses. In such cases, he frequently went on to describe mental, emotional or spiritual patterns that were causing or contributing to the illness. In other words, psychopathic was not restricted to cases of mental illness. When psychopathic factors were cited in a reading, Edgar Cayce often went on to suggest that the individual work with his mental attitudes and spiritual ideals as a prerequisite to implementing the physical therapies. Karmic or past-life patterns were sometimes described as psychopathic factors in illness. In modern terminology, psychopathic could be translated as "psychosomatic" (mind affecting the body).
PURPURA
Purpura is a group of disorders characterized by purplish or brownish red discoloration, caused by spontaneous bleeding into the tissue.
PYLORUS
The pylorus is the lower end of the stomach through which digested food is emptied into the intestine.
PYRAMIDAL TRACT
Pyramidal tract refers to any of four columns of motor fibers that run in pairs on each side of the spinal cord and that are continuations of the pyramids of the medulla.

Q

QUININE
Quinine is a bitter, white crystalline substance derived from cinchona bark. Usually administered in the form of a salt, quinine is primarily used to treat pain and malaria.

R

RADIAL ACTIVITY
Edgar Cayce used the term radial activity to describe a form of vibratory energy which radiates from the various centers (particularly nerve and glandular centers) of the body. This energy was utilized in the electrotherapeutic techniques recommended in the readings. Notably, the radial ("radio-active") appliance utilized the radial energy of the body to balance circulation and assist with nervous system coordination.
RADIO-ACTIVE (RADIAL) APPLIANCE
This electrotherapeutic device was recommended in over 900 readings for a variety of conditions, usually requiring relaxation, balancing of circulation, and nervous system coordination. The "radial" energy utilized by this appliance is not radio-active in the sense of atomic energy. Rather, the name was intended to describe a form of energy which operates like radio waves. Edgar Cayce also referred to the appliance as a "radionics device."
REAGIN
Reagin is a type of antibody in the blood associated with some allergic diseases.
REFLEX
A reflex is an involuntary reaction to a stimulus. The "knee-jerk" reflex is a common example of a neuromuscular reflex used in medical assessment. However, Edgar Cayce (and the osteopathic physicians of his era) were also interested in more subtle kinds of reflexes which occur between the nerve centers within the body. Many readings described such reflexes as the cause of imbalance in the body, resulting in disease. Traditionally, osteopathic physicians utilized reflexes in the body as part of their therapeutic techniques aimed at assisting the body to heal itself.
RENAL
Renal pertains to the kidney.
RHEUMATIC FEVER
Rheumatic fever is an acute or chronic inflammatory disease occurring as a delayed infection, characterized by swelling, fever and pain.
RHINITIS
Rhinitis refers to inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane.

S

SACRAL (SACRUM)
The sacral is that portion of the lower spine below the lumbar and above the coccyx (tailbone).
SCEROSIS
Sclerosis is a hardening of a part due to inflammation or disease.
SEBACEOUS
Sebaceous means secreting a greasy, lubricating substance.
SEMINIFEROUS
Seminiferous means producing or conveying semen.
SENSORY SYSTEM
In the Cayce readings, the sensory system most often refers to the organs of sensation. Thus, the ears, nose, eyes, and mouth were frequently associated with problems of the sensory system. Cayce sometimes used the expression "sensory organism" when referring to this system. The nerves associated with this system were also frequently discussed. The cranial nerves (including the 10th cranial/vagus/pneumogastric) were regarded as part of the sensory system.
SOLAR PLEXUS
The solar plexus is a great network of nerves and ganglia situated behind the stomach. The solar plexus is a primary center of the sympathetic nervous system. It provides nerve impulse to the visceral organs, including the liver, stomach, kidneys and adrenal glands.
SPASTICITY
Spasticity means an increase over the normal tone of a muscle, with heightened deep tendon reflexes.
STASIS
Stasis means a stoppage or diminution of blood flow or other body fluid.
STREP
"Strep" is the abbreviated form of streptococcus, a spherical-shaped bacterium occurring generally in chains.
STUPE
A stupe is a cloth, sponge, etc., dipped in hot water, wrung dry, and applied to body as a compress. Edgar Cayce sometimes recommended stupes such as turpentine stupes along the lower back or pelvic area to relieve pain and assist with the healing process.
SUBLUXATION
A subluxation is the displacement of a spinal vertebra, causing it to impinge on a given nerve. Manual therapy (such as chiropractic or traditional osteopathy) was typically recommended by Edgar Cayce to correct subluxations.
SUPERFICIAL
Superficial refers to the portion of the circulation which is closest to the surface and peripheries of the body (as contrasted with the deep circulation). The readings associate the superficial circulation with the venous and lymphatic circulation and the sympathetic nervous system.
SUPERSENSITIVE
In the Cayce readings, supersensitive usually refers to increased psychological or psychic openness. Psychic supersensitivity may mean that the person is in touch with other realms (such as the "borderland"), hearing voices, or being influenced by discarnate entities (i.e., possession). As an example, in the case of Ms. 386, the young woman was described as a "human radio." Cayce said that for her, "thoughts are things," just as real in a physical sense as "sticking a pin in the hand!" In clinical terms, she was experiencing "hallucinations" or distorted sensory/perceptual phenomena. In a psychiatric setting, this person would probably be diagnosed with a major mental illness, such as schizophrenia.
SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
In the Cayce readings, the sympathetic nervous system refers to 1) a double chain of nerve cords running on either side of the spine from the head to the tailbone, 2) three great gangliated plexus (cardiac, solar and hypogastric), 3) various smaller plexus in relation to the organs of the viscera, 4) numerous nerve fibers throughout the body which influence blood vessels and other tissues of the body. In modern terminology, the sympathetic system is simply equated with the autonomic nervous system. This translation is generally useful; however, the readings' conception of the sympathetic system is much more expansive than is designated by our present-day autonomic system.
SYNAPSE
A synapse is the site at which an impulse is transmitted from one neuron to another by electrical or chemical means.
SYNOVITIS
Synovitis refers to the inflammation of a synovial membrane which forms the inner lining of the capsule of a freely movable joint.

T

THORACIC
The thoracic is that portion of the spinal column associated with the thorax or chest. Also referred to as the "dorsal vertebrae," the 12 spinal segments of the thoracic vertebrae extend from the neck to the lumbar vertebrae and give attachment to the ribs.
THYMUS GLAND
The thymus gland is part of the immune system. Located just behind the breastbone, the human thymus continues to grow for about a year after birth. It maintains its full size until after puberty, when it is replaced by fat and connective tissue. The thymus remains functional throughout life. Edgar Cayce regarded the thymus as an important endocrine gland. One of the seven primary "centers" in the body, its purpose is related to psycho-spiritual development and functioning in addition to its physical role in the immune system.
THROMBOSIS
Thrombosis is the formation, development, or presence of a blood clot that remains at its site of formation.
THYROID GLAND
The thyroid is a primary endocrine gland located below the larynx (voice box). Hormones secreted by the thyroid control the body's metabolism (rate at which the body's cells work). The thyroid also regulates the calcium level of the body. The thyroid requires iodine to fulfill its biochemical role in the body. When insufficient iodine is present in the diet, the thyroid becomes enlarged in its attempts to gather sufficient iodine to maintain normal levels of its hormones. This enlargement of the thyroid is known as goiter.
TOXIC
A condition of being poisonous.
TRACHEA
The trachea is a cartilaginous tube descending from the larynx and branching into the bronchi.
TRIGEMINAL
Trigeminal refers to the fifth pair of cranial nerves. Edgar Cayce consistently linked trigeminal involvement to migraine headaches.
TUBERCLE
A tubercle is any of the small, rounded lesions produced by infection (as in tuberculosis); a small, knoblike process.
TUBULES
Tubules are small tubes.

U

ULCERATION
Ulceration is the formation or development of an ulcer.
ULTRA VIOLET APPLIANCE
The ultra violet appliance is a professional therapy device, available usually on prescription basis from medical supply houses; requires goggles and extra care and detailed instructions for use.
UREA
Urea is the primary waste product in urine. The excretion of urea in the urine is the body's principal route for eliminating excess nitrogen-containing by-products of protein metabolism. Edgar Cayce sometimes noted the urea level of the blood, particularly if the body were becoming toxic. Urea is created in the liver and carried by the bloodstream to the kidneys where it is removed from the blood and concentrated for excretion in the urine. The transfer of urea from the liver to the kidneys is part of the process which Cayce called the "lower hepatic circulation" (circulation between the liver and kidneys).
URETHRA
The urethra is the membranous canal which carries urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body.

V

VAGUS
The vagus is the tenth cranial nerve. The vagus nerve serves the esophagus, larynx, stomach, intestines, lungs, and heart.
VARICELLIA
Varicellia refers to chickenpox.
VARICOSE
Varicose means unnaturally and permanently distended, as of a vein.
VEGETATIVE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Vegetative refers to involuntary processes which help an organism to grow and remain alive. Edgar Cayce used this term when referring to the vegetative functions of the sympathetic nervous system.
VEIN
The vein is a blood vessel that carries blood back to the heart. Edgar Cayce considered venous blood flow as part of the superficial circulation.
VENA CAVA
The vena cava is one of the two large veins located at the right atrium which returns low oxygenated blood to the heart.
VENTRICLES
Ventricles are small cavities, such as of the brain or heart.
VERTEBRA
Vertebra refers to any of the 33 bones of the spinal column.
VERTIGO
Vertigo is an illusion of movement; a sensation of dizziness as if the external world were revolving around an individual.
VIBRATION (OR VIBRATORY)
Vibration refers to an oscillation or sympathetic activity. Edgar Cayce often spoke of a subtle vibratory energy or force in the body which he called the "life-force" or lowest form of electrical vibration. Each organ of the body has a distinctive energy vibration signature. When an organ is deficient in this vibratory energy, disease sets in. The various electrotherapeutic appliances were recommended to rejuvenate the body by introducing vibratory energy into the body or to balance the body's own vibratory energies. Various medicinal solutions were also utilized in electrotherapy. Cayce said that the vibration of the medicine would enter the body rather than the chemical itself.
VILLI
Villi are tiny fingerlike projections extending outward from the inner lining of the small intestine.
VIOLET RAY
The Violet Ray is an electrotherapeutic appliance. It provides a high voltage and low amperage source of static electricity. The Violet Ray was widely used during Edgar Cayce's era, both as a medical device and beauty aid. Its use was primarily to stimulate the body, particularly the circulatory and nervous systems.
VISCID
Viscid means glutinous or sticky.
VITAMIN
A vitamin is an organic substance that occurs in many foods in small amounts and is necessary for normal metabolism.
VITILIGO
Vitiligo is a disorder characterized by loss of Pigment, resulting in white patches of skin.

W

WET CELL BATTERY
The Wet Cell Battery was recommended in over 900 readings, usually for persons suffering from serious neurological illness. The Wet Cell is a chemical battery that produces a very weak output of about 25 - 35 milli-volts. Cayce said that the device works with the "vibratory" energies of the body. Medicinal solutions (such as gold chloride and silver nitrate) are often included in the electrical circuit via a solution jar and carried vibratorily into the body.
WHITE MATTER
Those portions of the nervous system consisting primarily of nerve-cell axons, which are white colored due to the myelin sheathing which surrounds the nerve fiber. Certain areas of the brain consist primarily of axons and hence appear white when viewed in cross section. In the Cayce readings, the white matter of the nervous system is associated with "impulse." (See impulse and activity.)

X

X-RAY
A photograph obtained by use of x rays.

Y

YELLOW SAFFRON
Yellow saffron is an herbal tea frequently recommended in the readings for healing the intestine and aiding digestion, assimilation, and elimination. Yellow saffron tea is one of the primary treatments for psoriasis (see the discussion of leaky gut in psoriasis).

Z

ZILATONE
Zilatone is a laxative intended to improve digestion and eliminations. It was also recommended in certain cases as a stimulant to the liver and gallbladder (to "drain" the gall bladder).

Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health Database.

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