Cayce Health Database
MIGRAINE CASE STUDIES
Five individuals participated in
a 10-day live-in instructional/treatment program in April, 1996, in
which they were taught the elements of the Edgar Cayce therapies for
migraine. The Cayce perspective is that migraine is a consequence
of problems in the digestive system and enteric nervous system, rather
than the brain. The therapies included dietary changes, colonic irrigations,
castor oil packs, and the Cayce radial appliance. The participants
then returned home to continue these therapies for 6 months, submitting
daily logs of compliance with the protocol. Migraine symptoms were
evaluated at the beginning of the program and after 6 months. Overall,
4 of the 5 people obtained some improvement of their migraine symptoms.
Improvement was clearly related to compliance with the protocol. Stressful
life events for some of the participants exacerbated their migraines,
complicating interpretation of the results.
Based on the Edgar Cayce readings, the specific principles
of interest included:
Here is an example of Cayce's description of the cause
of migraine, from reading 3630-1:
- the causal involvement of the digestive system and "abdominal brain"
in migraine, and the efficacy of dietary changes including an increase
in fresh vegetables and no fried food,
- the efficacy of colonic irrigations in relieving pressures in the
colon said by Cayce to sometimes be the cause of migraine,
- the efficacy of castor oil packs in breaking up the adhesions said
by Cayce to sometimes be the cause of migraine,
- the use of the Cayce radial appliance in equalizing circulation,
analogous to temperature biofeedback in the conventional treatment
- the importance of a holistic body/mind/spirit approach in working
"As in most conditions of the nature of migraine or so-called headaches,
the cause is in the colon, where there are patches of adhesions of fecal
forces to the walls of the intestines, causing activities that come in
general cycles. These may come at times regularly, almost so that you
could set this by your clock at times. For it is the regularity of the
The therapeutic approach is a complementary one, based
on the information in the Edgar Cayce readings. The project explicitly
did not require participants to change their current therapies or medications.
See the copy of the home treatment protocol at the end of this report.
Below are case reports based on their initial and
Case 1 is a 49 year old woman from New Jersey. She followed the protocol
consistently for 6 months, and obtained some relief from her migraines.
Then she ceased to do the physical aspects of the protocol (e.g., diet,
radial appliance, castor oil packs) because of the difficulty of following
it. When she submitted her report (11 months after the initial conference)
she was having more frequent headaches, but they were much shorter in
duration and less disabling. She has decreased her medication for the
headaches. Her digestive symptoms are also much improved. For her, the
most important aspect has been the mental/spiritual, where she feels "much
Symptoms/Characteristics: Her headaches began when she was 13 years old.
At the beginning of the project she had headaches once a month, and had
had three attacks in the past 60 days. The attacks were typically 3 days
long. She felt that both hormones and sleeping in an over-heated room
were possible triggers.
"First day headache is one side, left or right. Next day it seems to
stop for about an hour. Then it starts on other side and lasts till 3rd
day. I almost always wake up with it. But I have headaches that are not
migraines that seem to develop into migraines if I don't treat them."
"Usually when I have a migraine my extremities are ice cold, I vomit,
have diarrhea and usually am menstruating (though not always menstruating).
If I try to walk I am off-balance and will bang into walls."
She has a prominent aura which precedes her headaches: "Aura is like
jagged electricity which starts like this and gradually expands till it
covers my complete visual scope - although I can see around it. Before
my surgery in '92 [replacement of aortic valve in heart] the aura was
silver like electricity. After the surgery it gained colors, red,
green, blue, silver. Sometimes I get the aura and do NOT get a headache.
Lately the frequency of auras with no headache has increased to almost
every other day."
Regarding the end of the attacks: "Once I stop vomiting, I take Fioricette,
if they stay down the headache will go away in 1/2 hour usually."
Level of Disability: "Completely debilitating. I lay in bed, have dizziness
and vomit every few minutes. After a while I dry heave every few
minutes. When I get up to go to the bathroom I am off-balance."
Co-morbidity: Problems with aortic heart valve; replacement with mechanical
aorta valve (St. Jude Valve) in May, 1992.
Dietary/Digestive System: Yes, occasional diarrhea. "When I was on Calan
I was extremely constipated." Diet: Breakfast - bagel and coffee; Lunch
- sandwich and Pepsi; Dinner - chicken and 2 vegetables, water; Snack
- popcorn or nachos and salsa.
Spinal Symptoms: She had whiplash 15 years previously, and usually has
pains behind the right shoulder towards the center of the back. She has
occasional severe lower back pain (December, 1995 and April, 1994).
Medications: Coumadin 7.5 mg daily, regulated by INR results (for heart
problem). Fioricette, Tylenol, and Pamprin for migraines.
Lifestyle practices: Meditation.
Bowel Permeability: Lactulose (0.5 - normal), Mannitol (38 - abnormally
high), Lacutulose/Mannitol ratio (0.013 - normal).
Results of Treatment
Compliance with Treatment Protocol
Compliance with the treatment protocol in diet, radial appliance use,
and castor oil packs was excellent for the first 6 months, although she
only had the colonics given at the conference. After the first 6 months,
she ceased using the castor oil packs and radial appliance, and reverted
to her previous dietary habits. She said, "I believe if one follows the
protocol migraines can be eliminated. It is difficult to follow. From
my own experience I did well initially. Then fell off the protocol wagon."
During the first 6 months, she reported improvement in her migraines.
By 11 months, when she sent in her report, her headaches had become much
more frequent (30 in the past 60 days vs. 3 in the past 60 days at the
beginning of the project. However, the headaches had become much shorter
and less disabling, her digestive symptoms were much improved, and she
had decreased her medication with a corresponding decrease in side effects.
In particular, her nausea and vomiting (which were the most disabling symptoms)
are much improved, as are the negative alterations in consciousness. She
said, "The NATURE of my migraines has changed. The headaches are more
frequent but less debilitating. I plan to start the protocol again."
In her attached letter, she notes a major lifestyle change: she has moved
into a higher paying and lower stress job. "At the 'Migraine Camp' (our
program) I realized I was in a high-level, high stress job. I left Virginia
determined to change that ONE thing." She is especially excited about
the spiritual changes she has been undergoing, and is now only following
the spiritual aspects of the protocol: "At the Migraine Camp something
inside of me changed and seems to have stayed changed ... I meditate daily
and am having less trouble bringing my spiritual beliefs into my everyday life."
Case 2 is a 66 year old woman from California. She complied well with
all aspects of the treatment program, including having some colonics after
leaving Virginia Beach. She had great improvement in her migraines. This
is an example of how a combination of all aspects of the program worked
together to create a very positive result.
Symptoms/Characteristics: Her headaches began around the age of 50. At
the beginning of the project, the frequency of headaches was from 4 to
12 times per month, and she had had 15 attacks in the past 60 days. The
attacks were typically 1 1/2 to 3 days long, and most ended gradually,
some after sleep. There was no particular pattern or clusters. There were
many different triggers, but none consistent.
On the symptom checklist, there were rare auras before attacks, involving
drowsiness, nausea, sensitivity to sensory stimulation, tingling, and
negative mood changes. The primary symptoms during the attack were:
- drowsiness, lethargy sleepiness
- sensitivity to sensory stimulation
- headache on one side of the head
- alterations of consciousness
Level of Disability: The level of disability varied, "from mildly annoying
to bed for 3 days."
Co-morbidity: At the beginning of the project she also had fibromyalgia,
fatigue, and "some allergies."
Dietary/Digestive System: Her diet was good, consisting of "some meat,
chicken, fish, lots of raw and cooked vegetables, fruits and grains. She
did not normally experience bowel problems such as constipation or indigestion.
Her other health practices included exercises, colonics, vitamins, hot
tubs, and massage.
Spinal Symptoms: She had no history of spinal symptoms.
Medications: For her migraines, she is taking Fiorinal, Imitrex, and
over-the-counter analgesics. She is also taking Traqazone and antihistamines.
In the past she has tried ergot pain relievers.
Bowel Permeability: Lactulose (0.5 - normal), Mannitol (32 - abnormally
high), Lacutulose/Mannitol ratio (0.014 - normal).
Results of Treatment
Compliance With Treatment Protocol
Compliance with the major elements of the treatment protocol (diet, radial
appliance, castor oil packs) was very good (all "2" on the 1-5 scale).
She also had from 1-3 colonics after the conference (as well as the ones
at the conference).
Her results were excellent. Her migraine attacks were much less frequent
(3-4 in the past 60 days, as compared to 15 in the 60 days before the
project began). The headaches were much shorter in duration, and much
less disabling. Her digestive symptoms were improved as well. She was
able to decrease her migraine medication, and there was a corresponding
decrease in medication side effects.
Regarding specific symptoms: The headaches themselves, when they occurred
(now much less frequently) were more severe. But the other symptoms (drowsiness,
nausea, diarrhea sensory sensitivity, mood changes and alterations of
consciousness - were all much improved.
Her comments: "It was a wonderful program - only change the mindfulness
that we all found annoying knowing it was a useful program."
"They put together all the good health practices and give impetus to
follow them. Other than that I don't know why they're so much better.
Suspect the good bowel practices (castor oil, colonics, etc.) help a lot."
"MSG & NutraSweet always give me a migraine."
"I think they're practical, it's up to the people to do them. I have
difficulty when traveling of course and circumstances caused me to have
to, but I still improved. I was (am) pretty faithfully practicing what
I now know. The radial device has contributed to faithful meditation also."
Case 3 is a 53-year-old woman from California. Initially she complied
with the treatment protocol without much improvement until she was able
to obtain colonics. She then had a major improvement, but went off the
protocol, and now has migraines again.
Symptoms/Characteristics: Her headaches began around the age of 30. At
the beginning of the project she had attacks at least once a month. She
had had 6 or 7 in the previous 60 days. Her typical headache lasted 8
to 24 hours, and a maximum of 3 or 4 days. In the past they tended to
occur at monthly intervals, but not recently. Stress and tension are primary
triggers, as well as MSG in Chinese food, possibly menstruation, cigarette
smoke, chocolate, chicken, sometimes sweets, and sinus problems. The attacks
end gradually. Sleep helps, vomiting gives some relief, hot water on the
face helps, and "sneezing fits are usually a good sign the attack is diminishing."
She notes that "menopause seems to be changing the patterns and possibly
the chiropractic adjustments. The principal cause seems to be stress,
as other triggers (except MSG) are very irregular as to whether they cause
an attack or not."
Level of Disability: "Usually unable to do much, sometimes blinding,
Co-morbidity: "Tonsils and adenoids removed when a child. One mole removed.
Sinus problems, lower back pain and hip joint pain, leg pains, thinning
hair, mild athlete's foot, pain in left heel."
Dietary/Digestive System: She reports "no" digestive symptoms such as
constipation or diarrhea. Her dietary practices: "Each meal I eat 3 servings
of vegetables and 1 serving of fruit, plus 1 starch/protein serving, 6-8
glasses of water daily, late afternoon Jerusalem artichoke snack. Tend
to snack in evening or when shopping, which messes up good diet. However,
snacks are "healthy" except for chocolate."
Spinal Symptoms: She has a history of spinal injury. "'Bowen Therapy'
(6 treatments) for headache, wrecked my back instead. (Had recovered from
a previous back injury via chiropractic.) Chiropractic helping present
back pain and headaches may be less intense."
Medications: Sinusan (homeopathic for migraines), meno-fem, lipotropic,
similase, vitamin E, feverfew (herbal for migraines), osteo, sometimes
a few drops of glycothymoline in the water I drink, if I've eaten sweets,
may prevent a migraine. Various homeopathic remedies in the past did nothing.
Various painkillers only made the migraines come back worse.
Lifestyle practices: "Meditation and prayer, yoga stretches, Fastrack
II exercise machine, yoga class once a week, plus the water and diet (and
8 hours sleep, when I'm behaving myself)."
Bowel Permeability: Lactulose (0.2 - normal), Mannitol (38 - abnormally
high), Lacutulose/Mannitol ratio (0.006 - abnormally low).
Results of Treatment
Compliance With Treatment Protocol
Compliance with the treatment protocol was generally good for the first
8 months of the project. She followed the diet most of the time, used
the radial appliance almost every week, and castor oil packs most weeks.
The key item in the protocol for her was colonics; she was unable to get
them at first, but when she did, she had a major improvement in her migraines.
In a telephone conversation 8 months into the project, she was overjoyed
at the improvement in her headaches. She attributed the main improvement
to colonics; she had been unable to find a local person to give her a
colonic until recently. But when she did that, there was a great improvement
in the headaches. At the time of that conversation, she felt cured. We
did not receive her written report at that time, however (apparently it
was lost in the mail). Three months later (11 months after beginning the
project), she was no longer as positive, since the headaches had somewhat
returned, apparently linked with menstruation.
Overall she reported her headaches as "less frequent," "shorter in duration,"
and less disabling." Her digestive symptoms stayed "about the same." She
"Have not gotten massages and think they would be very helpful. Have
gotten weekly chiropractic treatments and if I get one when a headache
is coming on, it seems to stop it, but that can't be scheduled. The
first colonic I got on my own was very helpful. I did not do very good
preparation or follow-up for the second colonic and it was less helpful.
I find I cannot go off the diet at all. I may get away with it once
in a while, but I never know when, and when I can't get away with it,
I regret it. I think I should probably do monthly colonics and am ordering
some Pro-Flora from Dr. Myatt for replacement of good beasties. The
one aspect of my migraines that was not dealt with at the clinic was
the hormonal. When I skipped some periods I did not get migraines, but
then I started getting monthly periods and monthly migraines again (the
fluctuations are due to menopause).
Case 4 is a 42 year old woman from the Midwest. She was only able to
follow the treatment protocol occasionally, partly due to major stressful
life events and depression. Her migraines have improved somewhat.
Symptoms/Characteristics: Her headaches began when she was a child, and
intensified in her late 30s. At the beginning of the project, the frequency
of headaches was 2 times per month, and she had had 3 attacks in the past
60 days. The attacks were typically 1 to 3 days long, and tended to fade
away. They were mainly clustered at ovulation and menstruation. Hot weather
or heat (as from a sweat lodge) was an additional trigger, as were both
eating and getting too hungry. Very bad headaches had also occurred on
the weekend after a stressful week.
On the symptom checklist, there were no aura symptoms preceding the attack.
The primary symptoms during the attack were:
- headache on right side of head
- sensitivity or irritability to light, sound or other sensory stimulation
- muscle pain and spasms on right side, from base of skull to tailbone,
and especially from neck to shoulder blade
- pain behind right eye
- nausea (feels sick all over)
Level of Disability: "From very annoying to unable to work/function."
Co-morbidity: She is depressed, and stated that she has a lack of energy
and interest in life. She is taking the antidepressant Serzone. She also
has skin problems, specifically cystic acne.
Dietary/Digestive System: She noted on her initial form that she tended
to constipation, and had "bad, bad, bad" dietary habits, including fast
food, though no red meat.
Spinal Symptoms: "In grade school landed hard on gym floor on butt, could
barely walk home - tiny steps. Not medically checked. Always have some
pain between shoulder blades on right side."
Medications: Specifically, in addition to the Serzone for the depression,
she is taking Imitrex injections, midrin, and ibuprofen for the headaches.
She noted on the initial form that, "During several day siege, Imitrex
gives relief for only few hours/part of day before migraine escalates
Bowel Permeability: Lactulose (1.1 - abnormally high), Mannitol (36 -
abnormally high), Lacutulose/Mannitol ratio (0.030 - normal).
Results of Treatment
Compliance with Treatment Protocol
Compliance with the treatment protocol was generally poor. She only occasionally
(4) followed the diet, never (5) did castor oil packs, and only had the
colonics given at the conference. She used the radial appliance for the
first 2 months, and then ceased using it. Her daily logs revealed consumption
of a fair amount of fast and junk food, and few vegetables.
Both her attitudes and emotions and her frequency of migraine attacks
improved (2) on the 1 to 5 scale. After 7 months in the project, she had
2 in the past 60 days. One lasted 3 days, and 1 was not a full attack.
Her attacks were shorter in duration, and much less disabling. Her digestive
symptoms were improved, and she was able to decrease her medications for
Her compliance with the protocol and results are complicated by her concurrent
struggle with depression. "I was battling fatigue and depression that
made it difficult to have "oomph" to do treatment plan or to even care.
Then father's death tipped me over more. The depression and fatigue have
recently improved a great deal. I attribute this to having started a supplement
regimen, including a multivitamin, enzymes, iron, ginseng, spirulina,
bee pollen, royal jelly, Co Q 10, echinacea, etc. I wonder if I was depleted
enough that I need a 'jump start.' I wonder if the enzymes to aid the
digestion/utilization process weren't of particular benefit. Someone else
may also benefit from supplementation. (I know this isn't necessarily
Cayce but it could help.)"
"I just found out about a private dietician service in town that charges
only $10 per visit to help people stay on their diets. You meet with a
registered dietician and review how you're doing. I know this would have
been helpful to me and I believe I will make arrangements yet to do it.
It might also be a useful suggestion for others. (One is more likely to
practice piano if there is a lesson to attend.) Even going every
other week at $20 per month is ridiculously cheap if it helps."
Specific symptoms: "Major preceding symptoms are feeling of heaviness
and body not quite right (sicky feeling, not necessarily nausea). This
has stayed the same."
There were improvements in nausea, vomiting (no incidences), constipation,
and post-migraine depression. Interestingly, she became more aware of
the alterations of consciousness she had previously had during attacks,
as they improved. "I didn't think this happened to me before, but realize
it did - I'll walk crooked, list to the left usually."
It is difficult to tell what caused the improvement in this case. The
improvement of her depression and the possible effects of the antidepressant
are one possibility; the dietary supplementation is another, even though
she did not follow the Cayce diet. Another is that even the 10-day cleansing
experience in the conference and her 2 months use of the radial appliance
set up a process that helped reduce the headaches.
Case 5 is a 59 1/2 year old woman from the state of Washington, with
daily migraines. Her case is very complex, as her migraines apparently
originated in a head injury which also resulted in epileptic-like EEGs
without epileptic seizures. She also has ulcers and colitis, as well as
food sensitivities. Except for the diet, which she followed to some degree,
she was unable to follow the physical aspects of the protocol. Her migraine
symptoms are unchanged but she feels she has had some mental/spiritual
Symptoms/Characteristics: This woman had the most severe migraines of
any of the patients, and also the most complex set of symptoms and co-morbidity.
Her attacks began at the age of 35, following a severe car accident in
1971, decreased in frequency for several years, and appeared again at
the age of 49 during menopause. They occur "daily, sometimes medium intensity,
sometimes excruciating." She has had 60 attacks in the past 60 days. She
says, "Excruciating headaches last anywhere from 12 hours to 72 hours,
but it seldom completely leaves me." There is no particular pattern to
the headaches, just variation in intensity. A wide variety of circumstances
trigger the headaches, ranging from sensory stimuli to emotional stress.
She has a particularly stressful job, as a counselor at a women's prison.
She says, "Excruciating headaches may ease abruptly, others when I go
to bed. They only rarely completely end."
On the symptom checklist, the migraine symptoms and the auras before
the attacks are basically the same, reflecting the almost constant nature
of the headaches. The worst symptom is a headache on one side of the head.
Other significant symptoms include:
- sensitivity or irritability to light, sound, or other sensory stimulation
- visual effects/hallucinations
- muscles spasms
- major negative mood changes
- alterations of consciousness
Level of Disability: "Excruciating ones are very disabling. I find it
difficult to think, difficult to perform my work, difficult to interact
Co-morbidity: As noted below, includes duodenal ulcer, inflammatory bowel
disease, allergies, head injury (later EEG revealed epileptic signs),
back pain, fibromyalgia, depression.
Dietary/Digestive System: Her digestive problems include a duodenal ulcer,
inflammatory bowel disease, and various allergies and sensitivities
Spinal Symptoms: "Chiropractor states there is evidence of tailbone fracture;
injured my spine as well as a fractured pelvis and severe concussion to
left forehead leaving a permanent dent in a severe automobile accident
in November, 1971 in which I was broadsided. I have shoulder and upper
back pain, sometimes lower back pain, also neck pain, chiropractor says
Medications: Numerous medications, either now or in the past, including
standard migraine medications such as Imitrex and Fiorcet, as well as
several different antidepressants, antiseizure medications, and antianxiety
Bowel Permeability: Lactulose (0.1 - normal), Mannitol (17 - normal),
Lacutulose/Mannitol ratio (0.006 - abnormally low).
Results Of Treatment
Compliance with the Treatment Protocol
Compliance with the treatment protocol was variable. She followed the
diet most of the time (2), and at first used the radial appliance most
weeks, but stopped because of a negative physical reaction. She
only did castor oil packs a few times (4), and her only colonics were
the ones at the conference. Her complex medical condition made greater
Changes in Migraine Symptoms
Her migraine symptoms are still about the same, although her attitudes
and emotions have improved. She still has daily migraine attacks;
the attacks are longer than when she began the project. Sometimes
they are less disabling, sometimes more disabling. Her digestive symptoms
(colitis) are worse, and she notes that the colitis is sometimes worse
when the headaches are better, and sometime worse with severe headaches.
She has increased her medications, adding an antiseizure medication.
She attached a letter, which is quoted below in full:
"I wanted to give a little more information than the space on the questionnaire
"On September 23rd I got the results of an EEG I had done and the results
were that my brain waves are abnormal. That is, they were similar to persons
who have epilepsy. Only in my case, it is apparently causing migraines
instead. Although, I have had a few spells when I felt weird and had some
shaking. So hopefully, I won't progress to having seizures. I am now taking
neurontin, an anti-seizure medication, 600 mg., 3 times a day. The neurologist
feels it is from scar tissue from my head injury in the car accident 25
years ago. Interestingly, the EEG's I had taken years ago, didn't show
"I had some strange reactions to the radial appliance. The last time
I used it, I had numbness and almost a paralysis on the left side of my
body. I told Kieth about it on the phone, and he recommended I not use
the appliance without consulting the rest of you. I have had other reactions
now and then, including chest pain on the left side."
"My diet is still limited because of all my allergies. About the only
grain I can eat is rice. Soy also seems to bother me, digestion wise.
And of course, there are the foods that cause migraines I have to avoid.
And sugar, because of my hypoglycemia. I plan to see a naturopath in the
near future to see if he/she can straighten out my food allergies. According
to my gastroenterologist, both my ulcer and colitis are caused by allergies
(food). My ulcer is better, I am still bothered quite a bit by colitis."
"As you can see by my answers on the questionnaire, I still have the
headaches. Perhaps they are not as severe all of the time. However, I
have recently begun having severe three day headaches and don't know how
to account for that. Also, I documented on several occasions, having severe
headaches a few hours prior to an earthquake, both in Washington state
and in California and Alaska. This is where the earthquakes were centered."
"Also, as an afterthought, on the radial appliance, I had a few more
instances of it sizzling when I pulled the electrode out of the appliance
after using it." [Note from Doug Richards: it is not unusual to hear a
sizzling sound as the appliance is warming up, after it has been submerged
in the ice water.]
"I do believe my attitude towards my headaches has improved. I believe
I owe this to meditation and listening to meditative music at home. I
seem to be better able to deal with and ignore the pain, if that makes
"I wish that my headaches had been cured and I am still hoping to find
the answer somehow, someday."
The complexity of this case, particularly the head injury and epileptic-like
brain waves, suggests that it does not fit the pattern of migraines seen
in the Cayce readings. Nevertheless, the presence of colitis and ulcers
do suggest a digestive system involvement. Perhaps this patient might
have obtained better results, had she had more colonics, and used castor
oil packs on a regular basis. But a Cayce reading for this patient would
likely have given a more elaborate and specific treatment. It is encouraging
that the mental/spiritual aspect of the project seems to be helping. This
is also an example of a case where continuous monitoring of progress and
support would help in guiding the treatment path.
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