Cayce Health Database
OVERVIEW OF EPILEPSY
WHAT IS EPILEPSY?
From a medical perspective, the term epilepsy
refers not to a single disease, but to a group of symptoms with numerous
causes. The common factor in all forms of epilepsy is an excessive
electrical excitability of the brain. In fact, epilepsy has
been described as an "electrical storm in the brain."
The technical term for this disruption of the
nervous system is "seizure." There are many kinds of seizures which
can affect almost any part of the body. Seizures also tend to alter
consciousness in various ways, such as altered perception and loss of
consciousness. The muscles of the body may become rigid or
relaxed, producing convulsions. There are many kinds of seizures,
which can affect almost any part of the body.
Although the rest of the body may be affected
by an epileptic seizure, medical science considers epilepsy to be essentially
a disease of the brain. This is one of the important differences
between the current medical view and that of Edgar Cayce. Cayce's
perspective takes the whole body into consideration. This comprehensive
view is discussed in detail in other sections. At this point, it
is only important to recognize that medical science and the Edgar Cayce
readings agree that epileptic seizures occur in the brain in all forms
There are numerous forms of epilepsy. In general,
epilepsy can be divided into two groups: 1) symptomatic epilepsy and 2)
"Symptomatic" means that the cause of the epilepsy
is known. For example, seizures resulting from an injury to the
head (which can be determined by history or examination) could be classified
as symptomatic epilepsy.
Many conditions can produce epilepsy.
For example, a genetic predisposition is believed to be involved in some
cases. In others instances, trauma to the head, brain tumors
and stroke are known to be causative factors. Yet, in approximately
one-half of all cases of epilepsy the cause is unknown. (Pedley, 1985)
This predominant category of epilepsy is classified as "idiopathic," which
means "disease without recognizable cause." (Thomas, 1973)
Historically, idiopathic epilepsy has been called
by several names. "Cases of epilepsy in which no cerebral lesion
can be demonstrated are labeled as idiopathic, cryptogenic, essential,
pure, primary or true." (Epilepsy Foundation of America, 1975,
p. 17) The earlier designation of idiopathic epilepsy
as "true" epilepsy is important because it was the term used by Edgar
Cayce in his psychic readings on epilepsy.
EDGAR CAYCE'S PERSPECTIVE
Edgar Cayce gave many psychic readings for
individuals suffering from various forms of epilepsy. While recognizing
the wide variability of epilepsy, he also stated that in most cases the
cause of the illness was not in the brain. The organs of the digestive
system (abdomen) were most often cited as the source of the problem.
Cayce insisted that most cases of epilepsy were
caused by "adhesions" in the lacteal ducts of the abdomen.
An adhesion is "a holding together by new tissue [i.e., scar tissue],
produced by inflammation or injury, of two structures which are normally
separate." (Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary)
Edgar Cayce mentioned many causes of abdominal
adhesions in epilepsy, including:
- injury or trauma, such as "licks" or blows to the abdomen
- childhood fevers, producing inflammation in the abdomen, resulting
- spinal injuries (particularly to the lower spine)
- pregnancy complications
- birth trauma resulting from difficult or abnormal deliveries
More specifically, Cayce noted that the abdominal adhesions
in most cases of epilepsy are in the lacteal ducts. Lacteal ducts
are part of the lymphatic system. They absorb nutrients from the
small intestine as digested food passes through the intestine.
Adhesions in the lacteal ducts can interfere
with absorption of nutrients (particularly fats and proteins). Also,
adhesions interfere with the circulation of blood and lymph and cause
the nervous system to be thrown out of balance or "coordination."
Nervous system incoordination is a primary factor cited in the Cayce readings
EDGAR CAYCE'S THERAPEUTIC MODEL
The treatment rationale which underlies Edgar Cayce's
therapeutic approach flows naturally from his premise as to the most frequent
cause of epilepsy. Cayce insisted that most cases of epilepsy were
caused by adhesions in the lacteal ducts of the abdomen. Treatment
is directed at breaking up adhesions in the lacteal duct area which is
located along the right side of the abdomen.
The most frequent therapy recommended by Cayce
for breaking up these adhesions was castor oil packs. Castor oil
is a commercial product made from the castor bean. Edgar Cayce stated
that when a piece of flannel cloth is saturated with hot castor
oil and placed on the abdomen, the combination of the heat and oil will
break up the adhesions associated with epilepsy.
The hot castor oil pack is placed over the right
side of the abdomen in the area of the lacteal ducts. A typical
session lasts about an hour. Three sessions per week were typically
recommended. Each session is usually followed by an abdominal massage
which assists in breaking up adhesions.
Edgar Cayce frequently recommended various other
therapies in the treatment of epilepsy. The most common are:
- spinal adjustments
Epilepsy Foundation of America. (1975). Basic Statistics
on the Epilepsies. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.
Pedley, T. A. (1985). Brain, Nerve, and Muscle Disorders.
In D. F. Tapley, R. J. Weiss, & T. Q. Morris (Eds.), The Columbia
University College of Physicians and Surgeons Complete Medical Guide.
(pp. 594-595). Mt. Vernon, NY: Consumers Union.
Thomas, C. L. (Ed.). (1973). Tabor's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.
Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.
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