Cayce Health Database
OVERVIEW OF MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY
The muscular dystrophies may be defined
as a group of primary, muscular wasting degenerative diseases, characterized
by progressive muscular wasting and weakness, and occurring usually
in the first three decades of life. The muscular abnormalities are
always associated with organic disturbances, varied and widespread.
Some of these myopathies are congenital in nature,
the onset occurring at or shortly after birth. These appear to be genetically
determined. Others are diseases of late onset. They are related to but
not identical with the congenital type. The early childhood variety is
associated with a pseudo-hypertrophic condition wherein the muscles apparently
become larger, whereas the limb-girdle variety, usually of late onset,
is more often associated with a wasting, even in the presence of myotonia.
More commonly, the muscular dystrophies are seen without
the syndrome of myotonia (continuous muscular tension or contraction),
but its occurrence leads to a sometimes separate classification as a myotonic
The etiology of these myopathies has remained quite
obscure. Earlier studies had suggested that the muscular dystrophy patient
could not regenerate his muscle cells. However, regeneration has now been
demonstrated in nearly every form of muscular dystrophy. Its amount is
usually dependent upon the rapidity of the disorder and the degree of
inflammation. Thus, the more active the disease process, the more active
It becomes evident that these myopathies are not strictly
diseases of the muscle tissue, if we look at the associated findings in
the terms of non-muscular pathology.
A good example is dystrophia myotonica - a type of
muscular dystrophy which is associated with tonicity of certain muscle
groups, particularly the tongue and the thenar eminence of the hand. This
condition is transmitted as an autosomal trait, thus is a chromosomal
abnormality. Symptoms begin during adolescence or early adult life. Aside
from the muscular involvement evidenced by disappearance of reflexes,
involvement of cardiac musculature in 80% of the cases, loss of sternocleidomastoid
and mastication muscle function, involvement of muscles of phonation,
and the profound wasting of both upper and lower extremity musculature
- a large group of other findings are indicative of the widespread nature
of the disease process. These non-muscular findings are common: premature
baldness, posterior capsular cataracts, testicular atrophy with decrease
of seminiferous tubules, disturbance of the level of corticosteroids and
17-ketosteriods, diabetes mellitus, intellectual decline, elevated protein
in cerebrospinal fluid with enlarged cerebral ventricles, and a thickening
of the osseous structure of the skull or a small sella turcica.
I. Physiological Considerations
The muscular dystrophies would seem to be a group
of diseases in which the primary pathology is found in the muscles and
is in the nature of an abnormal development or a degeneration of the muscular
tissue. Throughout the readings given by Edgar Cayce, however, this disease
process is seen as a primary glandular malfunction with a secondary effect
on the motor nerves to the muscles, and a tertiary result in the muscular
tissue which demonstrates itself as a degenerative process. The body apparently
can balance itself at any given point if the conditions are right, and
the different manifestations are apparently caused by the variation of
glandular function throughout the body in particular individuals, plus
the nature or severity of glandular malfunction which exists.
Karma - the law of cause and effect - is a major etiological
factor here. This would be understandable to those who have studied the
readings at any length, for the glandular centers particularly are singled
out as the bearers of karma and as the seat of soul memory. It was seen
as purely karmic activity for , a 27-year-old woman, while for a
10-year-old boy , "this is karma for both the parents and the body."
Occasionally karmic causes may be associated with chemical changes within
the body; sometimes with birth presentations. One case, , came about
as the result of injuries to the spine and the structural portions of
the body, while a 57-year-old woman found her disease brought into activity
not from karmic or hereditary causes, "but [from] the use of those things
that set the glands to react upon themselves, that supply to the nerve
force itself the energies; as would be the tensile strength taken from
a wire over which impulses of electrical force might move." (3099-1)
An interesting causative factor was discussed in the
case of a 34-year-old woman whose sister was also afflicted with progressive
muscular dystrophy. "In analyzing the conditions here, we find much of
this prenatal, yet not that which might be called the sin of the fathers,
nor of the entity itself, but rather that through which patience and consistency
might be the lesson for the entity in this experience" (3681-1) From the
standpoint of Cayce's unconscious mind, there were then those individuals
who had chosen to learn patience and consistency in this rather difficult
manner. At the same time, he could foresee methods by which they could
overcome the bodily disease if they chose. In yet other readings he saw
the disease process too far gone to offer any promise of recovery.
The glands throughout the body are those tissues which
secrete substances needed for cells to reproduce themselves in all portions
of the body. When this glandular activity breaks down at any point, the
rest of the body is called upon in an abnormal manner if the substances
are not supplied. This imbalance then brings about a lack of nourishment
and what we know as a disease process. The following perhaps best explains
this in the words of the readings:
One should consider, as in this body, that the
physical body in its creation was and is given the ability to reproduce
itself. Thus each organ, each portion of the body secretes, from the physical,
the mental and the spiritual life, that needed to reproduce itself for
a growth to better conditions -or the realm for which it prepares itself.
When these activities break down, these have to be supplied or they call
on other portions of the organism - and thus they become overcharged or
undernourished. Then disintegration begins in one form or another. (3337-1)
The effect of this adjustment, the lack of proper
glandular function, in the nerves and the muscle tissues is to deprive
the nerves of energy and to create degeneration in the muscle tissues.
As we find, the disturbances here are of the progressive
nature; that is, the condition has become constitutional, in that the
body adjusts itself in many ways to the weaknesses and these continue
to sap the vitality and strength from the nerves that control the tendons
and muscles of the locomotories. This is indicated in the lower limbs
as well as now, beginning in the arms; and gradually, unless retarded,
there will be the rolling up or folding up of the body-forces in any attempt
to use the body muscular forces. (3099-1)
For, the nerves are but the wires to the body forces
themselves. And, through lack of generative power within the system, or
the glands from which the secretions are taken for the continuing of strength
in same, these become as burned wires, or cords, or threads through the
body and gradually fail to supply muscular forces, or the strength to
tendons through which these nerve energies pass. (3099-1)
This condition is becoming quite progressive in
that there is not the ability left in the nerves and muscular forces for
the use of the limbs. Even the activities of the organs are becoming involved
so as not to be able to control them through the nerve energies. (3337-1)
These three extracts point out that the real underlying
pathology in these conditions which have been called muscular dystrophy
is a malfunction of the glands of the body which create the energies and
forces that pass through the nerve supply to the muscular tissue. The
glands involved are those which secrete substances which allow reproduction
and normal growth of nervous tissue dealing with locomotory activity.
As the disease progresses, we see then "More of atrophy of the nerves
which control the muscular forces of the body. (5078-1) Whereas the pathology
becomes most noticeable and disabling in the muscles, yet we also recognize
that a side effect of the primary disease process is a malfunctioning
of organs throughout the body. These in turn finally break down under
lack of proper nerve energies and the entire body thus becomes involved.
It is not clear from the readings what mechanism brings
about the glandular malfunction, nor is it clear specifically where all
these glands are located.
The nature of the affliction, however, has become
clarified, as to the successive steps in the etiology of the muscular
II. Rationale Of Therapy
In approaching therapy, we should remember that the
body has a capability of normal function:
Thus, we would administer those activities which
would bring a normal reaction through these portions, stimulating them
to an activity from the body itself, rather than the body becoming dependent
upon supplies that are robbing portions of the system to produce activity
in other portions, or the system receiving elements or chemical reactions
being supplied without arousing the activity of the system itself for
a more normal condition. (1968-3)
Therapy for the muscular dystrophies must be divided
basically into two sections. The reason for this can be found in the preceding
section, where karma seems to play such an important part in the causation.
The difference between karmically induced illness and a disease on a different
etiologic basis might be theorized as a difference in the degree of chromosomal
changes or - if chromosomes are not deeply involved - the disease process
in karmic conditions certainly involves the entity deeply at a physical,
mental, and spiritual level. "Thus individuals must consider the whole
entity when considering those things that would be helpful. Thus one must
begin with the spiritual attitude of the entity toward life." (4014-1)
This rather clearly points out the first area toward which therapy should
be directed when this disease is karmic. We have no way of determining
at the present time where karma is involved. Thus each case must be approached
with this particular factor in mind. A prayerful attitude, as a constant
activity, would be necessary for those who are responsible for the ill
At a physical level therapy should be directed at
the three areas which have already been suggested as the site of pathology.
The glands which control the rebuilding of the energies of the nervous
system; the nerves themselves which probably suffer the most; and the
muscle tissue which wastes away as a result of the other activities -
all these need help. It is to be assumed that correction of the function
of the first two named would lead to a restoration of normal function
of the disturbed organs which may or may not be present in any particular
Keeping all these factors in mind, then, the following
steps should be followed in arriving at a comprehensive therapeutic approach
to muscular dystrophies:
- Begin with the spiritual attitude of the entity toward life.
Life itself is a manifestation of that called
God in the earth. Give thanks for the very fact that ye are conscious
of yourself, even with the frailties of the body; that thy mind and
thy purposes and thy hands may do much to show the appreciation in self
of the opportunity in this experience to be a channel of blessings to
others, in making known to others the love of the Christ for those who
are weak in body, who are hindered from the activities of a normal physical
For He, thy God, thy Christ, is conscious of
and hath need of thee; else thy individual self, as [50641, would
not be aware of thy consciousness of being shut-in, would not be aware
that there are material activities in which the entity might enter
into - also that ye can, if ye will, be a witness for thy Maker. (5064-1)
- Bring added stimulation and strength to the muscle tissue. This
will be done mostly with massage.
- Direct therapy toward improving the glandular function.
- Add that to the system which will assist the nerve tissue of the
body in gaining strength and vitality.
- Improve the assimilation so that the body will gradually regain
its ability to take from the food those substances necessary and to
distribute these throughout the system.
Cayce saw the massage doing many things. In addition
to stimulating centers of spinal autonomic function to greater activity,
he also saw massage of the abdominal areas as being an aid to assimilation.
The abdominal lymphatic centers (the Peyer's patches), through massage,
would distribute their energies through the system more efficiently: "Thus
sufficient of the cellular forces may be enlivened, in" the flow of the
lymph as well as the corpuscle activity in the bloodstream, with these
energies to revivify and build back the resistance and strength to the
body." (3099-1) Even over distant parts of the body, the oils used act
as food values which stimulate the lymph and emunctory circulation.
The wet cell is used in the majority of cases found
in this file (six of eight), using at times camphor, silver, and Atomidine,
but at all times gold, in the solution jars. Gold as it is used here performs
a major function in this therapy in that it carries the vibration of gold
to the central nervous system. This supplies a factor lacking in the nerves
themselves and gradually builds toward a normal nervous system. The spirits
of camphor supplies healing forces; while Atomidine brings about cleansing.
(2514-1) In this same reading Cayce suggested that the Atomidine was given
to aid in assimilating from the nerve forces. Elsewhere in the readings
it is found that Atomidine "will not only be a curative property but a
preventative! May be used internally and externally as well, and
especially for any form of disorder in glands or tissue of body."
(358-2) In another place it is described as a purifier and a cleanser
for the glandular forces of the system.
Perhaps the attitude of the individuals who are concerned
in the treatment is so important that it cannot be overemphasized. Treatment
of any case must be approached cautiously, if the following extract can
be thought of as applying to all:
The conditions may or may not respond. It will
depend upon the determination of the body-mind of this entity to live,
to supply, to call on those energies of the Divine within self to unite
in the efforts to stay the energies in the body-force.
Then there would be supplied those elements that,
if assimilated, may aid in supplying - through the mind forces and the
body-energies - the physical reactions to the body. (3099-1)
III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen
Once the spiritual attitudes of the individual affected
are considered and redirected, then the remainder of the therapy for the
muscular dystrophies becomes somewhat simplified.
The four remaining goals of therapy can usually be
achieved by the use of massage, which seems to be primarily used in every
case; the wet cell appliance, with its gold chloride, silver nitrate,
camphor and Atomidine used in the solution jars; and dietary adjustments
which vary somewhat for the individual. There are several other suggestions
- vitamins, beef juice, osteopathy (in one case), gold chloride and soda
taken internally, and in one case a calcium additive - but these appear
to be individualized and not essential to the outcome as a routine for
Massage should be given for a minimum of 30 minutes
daily after the appliance has been used. It should be directed mainly
at those areas of the spine that correspond with the extremities most
afflicted. However, it should be continued down over the extremities and
the joints, and even over the abdominal area. Plenty of oil should be
used so that the skin absorbs as much as it can. Oils that have been suggested
or combinations of oils are:
- Peanut oil, 2 ounces Olive oil, 2 ounces Melted lanolin, 1/2 ounce
- Olive oil and peanut oil, equal parts.
- Olive oil and tincture of myrrh, equal parts.
- Peanut oil, 5 ounces Kerosene, 1 ounce
- Peanut oil by itself. Add lanolin if a rash occurs.
- Cocoa butter.
In case , a massage with cocoa butter was
to be given from the base of the skull to the soles of the feet with
a rotary motion. The ones giving the therapy were instructed to use
suggestions of a constructive nature while these treatments were being
applied. The massage given to a 34-year-old woman, [368 1], was to be
given over the spine and the limbs, again using cocoa butter, and was
to follow electrical-driven vibrator treatment to the spine daily. In
all other cases the oils were suggested. It is important that these
massages be given in a regular, consistent manner. Success in some cases
was dependent upon the consistency and the persistence of "those about
The wet cell appliance was suggested for use in six
of the eight cases reviewed. In every instance the instructions were to
use the wet cell 30 minutes daily. The large nickel plate was to be attached
at the umbilical center, which was described as being three fingerbreadths
to the right of the umbilicus and two or three fingerbreadths up from
that point. The user was instructed rather carefully in nearly every instance
to put the copper plate at the ninth dorsal vertebral area. This location
varied with the type of solution carried in the solution jar. There was
no clear pattern as to why the gold chloride solution would be alternated
with sometimes silver nitrate, sometimes camphor, sometimes Atomidine.
This apparently depended upon the needs of the body and the condition
for which the reading was being given. On the other hand, the instructions
were consistent and frequent to clean the plates before and after using;
to keep all the parts disconnected when not in use; to take the tops off
the solution jar and the wet cell battery when not in use and to keep
these parts cleaned. If not kept meticulously clean, sometimes fever and
perspiration would tend to clog the constant flow of energy from the vibrations
present. The attachments should be removed after use and should be put
together 20 minutes before being applied to the body each day. Different
solution jars and connections should be used for the various solutions.
The battery is charged with one-and-a-half gallons
of distilled water, one-and-a-half pounds of copper sulphate, one ounce
of sulphuric acid, six drams of zinc, and one-half pound of willow charcoal.
This is the usual charge. For most cases this solution and the materials
in the solution jars should be changed after 30 applications. In some
instances different strengths were used. For , only three drams
of zinc were recommended and no willow charcoal. For , double strengths
were advised - two gallons of distilled water, three pounds of copper
sulphate, two ounces of sulphuric acid, one-half pound of willow charcoal
and six drams of zinc. It is not clear why the different strengths were
The gold solution is made up to one grain of gold
per ounce of solution, and three or four ounces is used in the solution
jar. A silver solution was variable; in one instance - one ounce of 2%
solution of silver nitrate was added to one ounce of distilled water and
one ounce of ethyl alcohol. Atomidine was made up one ounce of the commercial
strength to two ounces of water. A full strength of spirits of camphor
A well-balanced diet should be used in all cases,
varying at times according to the body needs. Consistent recommendations
throughout the readings are to eat no fried foods, to avoid white flour
and white sugar, and to take the fish, fowl, and lamb for meats.
Eliminations should be kept regular. Colonics should
be utilized if necessary, and constipation certainly should be avoided.
Good eliminations are always necessary to good assimilation.
Osteopathy was suggested weekly for six months for
a seven-year-old boy, , until he started on the wet cell appliance.
The gold and soda were given orally in two instances. For , one
grain of gold chloride was added to one ounce of distilled water to make
up the first solution. Then three grains of sodium bicarbonate were added
to one ounce of distilled water to make up the second solution. Then each
week, this woman was instructed to take one drop of solution number one,
and two drops of solution number two, stir them in a glass of water and
drink at once. They were not to be taken oftener than once a week. Beef
juice was suggested to supply some of the vitamins, and Kaldak was suggested
to be used in raw milk daily for one individual.
Therapy, then, consists primarily of massage of a
thorough, yet gentle nature, directed primarily toward those areas most
afflicted, and the use prior to the massage of the wet cell appliance,
which brings into the system in a vibratory manner influences which apparently
cannot be absorbed through the intestinal tract. These two modes of therapy
bear the major portion of the load in restoring the glands of the body
back toward normal, bringing a rejuvenation and resuscitation to the nerves
which have been in a sense burned away, and revivifying and regenerating
the muscular tissue. In the process, they reverse the changes in the internal
organs which may have come about.
Do these, as we have indicated... Not as rote,
but knowing that within self must be found that which may be awakened
to the building of that necessary for the body, mentally and physically
and spiritually, to carry its part in this experience. For the application
of any influence must have that which is of the divine awakening of the
activative forces in every atom, every cell of a living body. (726-1)
1. Yudell, Alan. Newly Defined Muscular Dystrophies, Ariz. Med.
2. Shy, G. Milton. Diseases of Muscle; Textbook of Medicine, W.
B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 1967.
[Note: The preceding overview was written by William A. McGarey, M.D.
and is excerpted from the Physician's Reference Notebook,
Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]
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