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Cayce Health Database

Research Report on Parkinson's Disease

A Report on a Research/Treatment Program Based on
the Edgar Cayce Readings
Meridian Institute ~ January, 1998 ~ Abstract

    Ten participants took part in a research project to explore the effectiveness of the Edgar Cayce treatment recommendations for Parkinson's disease. They spent 10 days in a live-in treatment and training program in November, 1996, then went home to continue the treatment protocol. Of the original ten, nine returned four months later in March, 1997, for a follow-up weekend to assess progress.

    The treatment protocol included daily use of the wet cell electrical appliance with gold and silver, massage, diet, and work with ideals, attitudes and emotions, meditation, and breathwork.

    Physical symptoms were assessed both by physiological measurements of the autonomic nervous system (galvanic skin response and heart rate variability) and by subjective questionnaires. Mental/emotional/spiritual states were assessed by subjective questionnaires.

    Subjects who followed the protocol consistently (but none completely or perfectly) averaged slight to moderate improvement in Parkinson's disease symptoms over four months, based on observation by the researchers and by subjective questionnaires. Many minor symptoms showed interesting improvement. For example, two people reported regaining their sense of smell, and one had improved color vision. Several people had more facial emotional expressiveness, and reported reduced tremors. Objective measurement of galvanic skin response and heart rate variability did not correlate with subjective improvement in symptoms. One out of the nine people reported major improvement, and one reported moderate improvement. This rate of improvement was consistent with the typical Cayce prognosis. Informal follow-up after a year demonstrated continued slow improvement in most participants.


Introduction

    Parkinson's disease is a disorder involving the degeneration of the dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra in the brain. This results in symptoms including tremors, rigidity, balance and coordination problems, fatigue, bladder and bowel problems, and cognitive and emotional disturbances. The cause of Parkinson's disease is not known.

    The Edgar Cayce readings take the approach that the cause of Parkinson's disease is an incoordination in the nervous system, initially due to problems with the glands. The purpose of this research project was to explore the efficacy of Cayce's recommendations for treatment. It was a project in complementary medicine, meaning that it supplements conventional treatments, but was not intended to replace them. The Cayce regimen is based primarily on use of a low-voltage appliance known as the wet cell, massage, and diet.

    The project included the following components:

(1) Attendance at a 10 day, live-in program in Virginia Beach, with the following activities:

  • an initial evaluation of Parkinson's disease symptoms, including thermographic photography of the skin of the back and abdomen, and non-invasive measurements of autonomic nervous system functioning;
  • introduction to the diet recommended by Cayce for treatment of Parkinson's disease, and following that diet during the program;
  • spinal adjustments by a chiropractor;
  • abdominal castor oil packs;
  • massage and training in home massage by a massage therapist;
  • colonic irrigation by a colonic therapist;
  • using a personal Cayce wet cell appliance;
  • attending lectures on physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of healing.

(2) Following a treatment program at home for 4 months, which included:

  • daily adherence to the diet introduced at the program;
  • regular use of the wet cell appliance followed by massage, according to the instructions given at the program;
  • attention to the mental/spiritual aspects of healing;
  • keeping a daily log of treatments and treatment-related events.

(3)  Returning for a 3-day follow-up assessment after 4 months, which included:

  • a repeat of the non-invasive autonomic nervous system assessments;
  • filling out symptom  and mental/emotional/spiritual questionnaires and evaluations;
  • group discussions of treatment and support issues;
  • planning for long-term treatment and support.

The Cayce Approach

    The Cayce approach to Parkinson's disease focuses on the glands as playing the key role in helping the body maintain its health through regeneration, in this case, of the nervous system. Forty-two individuals obtained 77 readings from Edgar Cayce where their diagnosis was clearly Parkinson's disease. Here are some examples related to the etiology:

"The gland secretions have been disturbed; and thus have brought for the centers in both the reactions and coordination between the sympathetic and cerebrospinal system the incoordination here." (754-1)

"These have to do primarily with the effect upon the glandular system. But the destructive forces affect more directly the nervous system, owing to the manner in which there is a deflection in the coordination between the cerebrospinal and the sympathetic or vegetative nervous systems in their reaction in the body." (1555-1)

"As we find, the conditions here have reached those stages where there is no control of the voluntary nerve flexes from brain to the locomotory centers, except when the body has lost its consciousness. This indicates how and where those activities are disturbing in the body, in the patches of the emunctory circulation that control coordination between sympathetic and cerebrospinal nerve systems." (4805-1)

    The two principal approaches to stimulating the glands and re-establishing coordination between the nervous systems are massage and the use of the wet cell with gold and/or silver. Massage was recommended in 73% of the cases. The massage oils most commonly suggested were olive and/or peanut oil. The massage was usually to be given along the spine, after a hot bath or sponging, and especially following use of the wet cell. Special attention was to be given through the plexus regions in the neck and the low back.

    The wet cell battery was suggested in 64% of the cases. The wet cell is essentially a battery consisting of metal poles in a solution of distilled water, copper sulfate, sulfuric acid, zinc, and willow charcoal. This set-up produces a very weak DC voltage (about 26 millivolts). In most cases, the weak current was passed through a "solution jar" into which another compound was placed. With Parkinson's, as with most chronic conditions involving the nervous system, this was usually gold chloride (to be used in 90% of the cases). Also suggested were camphor and silver (each 41%), atomidine (9%), and witchhazel (4%). The nickel electrode was usually placed over the "umbilical and lacteal duct plexus" (on the right side of the body, a couple inches to the right and above the umbilicus), and the copper electrode was placed over one of four centers along the spine. With gold in the solution jar, the copper electrode was usually placed over the 9th dorsal vertebra. With camphor or silver, this electrode was most commonly placed over the 2nd/3rd dorsal center. McMillin and Richards (1994) give details on the wet cell and its use with these solutions.

    Regarding diet, Cayce generally suggested a low-fat, high fresh vegetable, no fried food diet. For Parkinson's disease and other conditions requiring nerve rebuilding, the raw vegetables carrots, lettuce, celery and watercress were particularly recommended. Foods high in calcium were a common suggestion, and "beef juice" was occasionally given to help for general debility.

    It is clear from the readings that healing Parkinson's disease is a long-term process. There was a wide variation in predictions on how the individuals receiving the readings would fare. Six of them were advanced enough that the suggestions were principally to help provide some relief. With others, the readings were fairly optimistic for improvement. Several individuals were told to expect significant changes within the first one to three months of treatment. We chose a 4 month treatment period in part because of the optimistic readings. In retrospect, the results suggest that, on the average, it is probably necessary to continue treatment for several more months to see major improvement, though we did see clear changes after 4 months.

    It was also clear, from reading the reports of many of the readings, that support for the patient is essential. It is likely that few people who received Parkinson's disease readings from Cayce actually carried out the treatments for the required length of time. One of our priorities was to make this material practical by focusing on support issues.

    Although the Cayce approach is outside the mainstream medical perspective, there is some medical literature pointing to its possible validity in regard to the involvement of both gold and silver. There is very little literature on the role of gold in the human body. It is generally thought to be inert, although gold compounds have been useful for their anti-inflammatory properties in the treatment of arthritis. Silver has antibiotic properties, and is used to prevent eye infections in newborns. Only one researcher has explored the relationship of gold and silver to pathology in the nervous system. El-Yazigi et al. (1984, 1990) looked at silver and gold, as well as a variety of other trace elements, in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with cerebral neoplasms (brain tumors). The malignant tumor/control patient concentration ratio was 2.31 for silver. They state that the biochemical mechanism for this increased concentration is unknown. Although there was no consistent relationship between gold and tumor vs. control subjects, for the single patient with pineal blastema the concentration of gold was about twice the concentration for the controls or other tumor types. The pineal has an important role in the Cayce model of the human system, so this is a relationship worth further exploration. In personal correspondence with Douglas Richards (January, 1997), El-Yazigi stated that he was unaware of anyone else studying the role of gold in the nervous system, and was no longer pursuing this research himself.

    There is also some very interesting literature on electromagnetic energy treatment of Parkinson's disease, which might be relevant to the wet cell. Sandyk (1993, 1994a,b) and Sandyk and Derpapas (1993) have successfully treated Parkinson's with picotesla electromagnetic fields applied extracranially, as an alternative to drugs. Sandyk and Derpapas note that the pineal gland is a magnetosensor, and propose that the clinical effects of the magnetic fields are mediated by the pineal gland.

Methods

Subject Recruitment, Selection, and Informed Consent

    Parkinson's disease subjects were recruited through announcements in Venture Inward magazine. Potential subjects were given medical history and information forms to fill out. From among the completed forms, Meridian Institute personnel selected those people deemed most likely to benefit from the project. Only adult subjects were allowed to participate; there are otherwise no restrictions on age, sex, or race. Ten participants were finally selected and attended.

    Subjects were not financially compensated for participating in the study. All research and treatment costs were paid by the Barden/Beltone grant to the A.R.E. Conference costs related to housing, food, and transportation were paid by the subjects.

    At the beginning of the conference, the project was explained in detail by the investigators, and the subjects signed informed consent forms. The forms emphasized that the project did not include discontinuation of any conventional therapy or medication. Subjects were informed that there are no known significant risks from proper application of castor oil packs, massage, or the wet cell and that there is a slight risk of some abdominal discomfort from colonic irrigations.  Subjects were also informed that all subject medical records would be kept at Meridian Institute, under the supervision of Dr. Eric Mein, and that confidentiality would be protected according to accepted medical standards.

Assessment and Data Collection

    The initial assessment and data collection took place the first morning of the conference. The goal was to establish a baseline for evaluation of treatment efficacy. The assessment included:

  • Chiropractic assessment and thermographic photography
  • Brief medical physical exam
  • Subjective symptom and lifestyle questionnaire
  • Autonomic nervous system assessment.

    The final assessment of subjective symptoms and lifestyle impacts was conducted 4 months later in a follow-up weekend.

Chiropractic and Thermographic Assessment

    Dr. Carl Nelson conducted the chiropractic evaluation. Thermographic pictures were taken of the thoracic spine and abdomen with a Flexi-Therm liquid crystal thermographic camera. There were a variety of spinal problems, but none apparently specific to Parkinson's disease.  

Medical Examination

    Dr. Eric Mein evaluated the severity of the Parkinson's disease symptoms at the initial conference. Dr. Kirsten Santiani evaluated the symptoms at the follow-up conference. These evaluations confirmed the subjective questionnaires.  

Subjective Symptom and Lifestyle Assessment

    David McMillin administered questionnaires on symptoms and lifestyle, and conducted interviews to determine what other conditions might be co-existent with Parkinson's disease. The questionnaires can be divided into ones exploring Parkinson's symptoms and quality of life, and ones exploring mental/emotional/spiritual issues.

Symptom/Quality of Life Questionnaires

    Symptom Checklist. This is a 61-item list of general medical symptoms, including those of Parkinson's disease as well as numerous others, with 5 response alternatives ranging from "None" to "Extreme."  This questionnaire was filled out by the subject at the beginning of the project, at monthly intervals during home treatment, and at the follow-up weekend.

    Parkinson's Disease Symptom Checklist. This is a 29-item list of symptoms specific to Parkinson's disease, with 5 response alternatives ranging from "None" to "Extreme."  This questionnaire was filled out by the subject at the beginning of the project, but not used thereafter.

    Activity Assessment. This is a 23-item list of activities, such as "Driving," "Shopping," "Having sex," and "Going to religious services." It is intended as a measure of quality of life, without regard to specific symptoms. There are 6 levels of response for each item, from "No limitation," to "Great limitation." The score is a sum of the responses, from a low of 0 (no limitation on any activity) to 115 (great limitation on all activities). This questionnaire was filled out by the subject at the beginning of the project, at monthly intervals during home treatment, and at the follow-up weekend.

    Daily Functioning Assessment. This is an 11-item questionnaire which is intended to assess the impact of the disease on daily functioning. It has items such as "My ability to write and/or speak...," and "My ability to think clearly and remember things...," with response choices such as "is unaffected," and "is moderately affected." There is also a single item at the end, "Since beginning the Cayce therapy regimen, I feel my symptoms...," with response alternatives such as "are very much improved," and "are very much worse." Possible scores on this scale range from 11 (no functioning affected) to 47 (all functioning strongly affected). This questionnaire was filled out by the subject at the beginning of the project, at monthly intervals during home treatment, and at the follow-up weekend.

    Assessment of Medication Side Effects. This is a 21-item list of typical side effects of medications used to treat neurological and psychological disorders. There are 6 levels of response for each item, ranging from "None, to "Very severe." The score is a sum of the responses, from a low of 0 (no side effects) to 105 (many very severe side effects).  This questionnaire was filled out by the subject at the beginning of the project, at monthly intervals during home treatment, and at the follow-up weekend.

Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Questionnaires

    Attitudes and Emotions Assessment. This is a 15-item questionnaire based on issues often raised by Edgar Cayce, developed by David McMillin. It has items such as "I am a very cooperative person, " and "I find it difficult to trust people."  Possible scores range from 15 (very negative attitudes) to 60 (very positive attitudes). This questionnaire was filled out at the beginning of the project, at monthly intervals during home treatment, and at the follow-up weekend. It was filled out by the subject for him/her self, and by the support person to independently rate the subject.

    Beck Depression Inventory. This is the standard assessment of depression symptoms developed by Beck et al. (1961). It has 21 items, such as "I feel blue or sad," and "I cry more than I used to." Possible scores range from 0 (no symptoms of depression) to around 70 (more than one response level can be marked for some items, but for others only one would typically be marked). This questionnaire was filled out at the beginning of the project, at monthly intervals during home treatment, and at the follow-up weekend, by both the subject and the support person.

    Spiritual Well-Being Scale. This is a 20-item assessment of "spiritual well-being." (Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982; Ellison & Smith, 1991). The items are of 2 types. One type looks at general ("existential") well being and sense of purpose, e.g., "I feel that life is a positive experience," or "Life doesn't have much meaning." The other type assesses religious well-being, based on a Christian concept of relationship to God, e.g., "I have a personally meaningful relationship to God." Possible scores range from 20 (meaningless life) to 120 (high existential and spiritual well-being). Ellison & Smith cite positive correlations between this scale and physical well-being and positive adjustment to physical illness. This questionnaire was filled out at the beginning of the project, at monthly intervals during home treatment, and at the follow-up weekend, by both the subject and the support person.

    Index of Spiritual Experience. This is a 7-item questionnaire concerning spiritual practices, beliefs and experiences (Kass et al., 1991). Since the questions tap a diversity of spiritual aspects, we did not combine the items into a single score. When scored according to the Kass et al. system, all our subjects scored in a high, narrow range of spiritual experience. To further discriminate the intensity/diversity of experiences, we have added together the responses to the seventh question, which is a checklist of 13 possible spiritual experiences on a 1 to 4 scale of how much they have strengthened belief in God, for a low score of 13 (no spiritual experiences) to a high score of 52 (all profound spiritual experiences). This questionnaire was filled out at the beginning of the project, at monthly intervals during home treatment, and at the follow-up weekend, by both the subject and the support person.

    Healing Questionnaire. This is a 6-item questionnaire developed by David McMillin, covering the 6 forms of healing discussed by Wayne Jonas (Schneider, 1994). They include cure, care, quality of life, empowerment, enlightenment, and soul development. It was used to evaluate the priority assigned by each subject to each of the six forms of healing, and the degree to which they felt that each form of healing was occurring. The ratings are not intended to be combined into a single scale.  

Autonomic Nervous System Assessment

    Several aspects of autonomic nervous system functioning were assessed by Douglas Richards using computerized equipment (Biopac Instruments MP100WSW). We measured heart rate with an ECG, finger and toe pulse with a photoplethysmograph, skin conductance (galvanic skin response), breathing, and finger temperature (see protocol, Appendix B). Our goal was to explore the forms of nervous system incoordination present in Parkinson's disease. We expected abnormalities in both heart rate variability and in galvanic skin response, based on the Parkinson's disease literature (e.g., Jost et al., 1995; Netten et al., 1995; Wang et al., 1993).  

Home Treatment Protocol and Monitoring

    The initial conference was a training experience to enable participants to carry out the treatments at home. A notebook was provided with detailed instructions for home treatment, with a single page summary treatment protocol (Appendix A). Log sheets (Appendix C) were provided for recording compliance with the protocol, changes in symptoms, and any adverse effects. During the course of home treatment, subjects were asked to submit their progress logs on a monthly basis. It was emphasized to the subjects that they should not modify their current medical treatments for their condition, including medications, without specifically consulting their physicians. Any such modifications were to be noted in the daily logs.

Results and Discussion

Initial Assessment

Analysis of questionnaires and physiological measurements

    The symptom and quality of life questionnaires, together with the physical exams, revealed a wide range of disability. Similarly, the mental/emotional/spiritual questionnaires varied widely as well. Table 1 gives the questionnaire results and Table 2 gives the correlations among the questionnaires. These are most useful for seeing general patterns, since the small sample size (10) means that a very high correlation is needed for statistical significance. The various questionnaires measured similar aspects of the effects of Parkinson's disease, but the correlations among the scores show that they were not measuring identical effects.

    Galvanic skin response and heart rate variability were the two autonomic system measurements expected to correlate with Parkinson's symptoms. Galvanic skin response (as measured by summing the baseline skin conductance and the responses to 4 autonomic tests) was relatively normal, much higher than for the multiple sclerosis patients.  Table 3 gives the means and standard deviations for the GSR and heart rate variability measurements (HRV). The GSR report gives the baseline, the responses to the 4 autonomic tests, and the sum of these measurements (in microsiemens). The HRV report gives the range of heart rate during deep breathing at 6 breaths per minute, and the ratio of spectral power (from an FFT) at .1 and .2 Hz, during deep breathing at 6 breaths per minute and 12 breaths per minute. The latter two measurements are intended to show sympathetic and parasympathetic activity, respectively.

    The mean GSR response for the Parkinson's patients was substantially higher than for the multiple sclerosis patients studied previously, and similar to that in people without neurological disorders. Heart rate variability, on the other hand, was quite low, indicating dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system. There did not appear to be any correlation of either GSR or heart rate variability with any of the subjective scales, in contrast to the multiple sclerosis patients (Tables 3 and 4).

    These results are consistent with the observations of  Wang et al. (1993), Netten et al. (1995), and Jost et al. (1995), that in Parkinson's patients, although there is autonomic dysfunction, 20% or less show abnormalities in any single test. Typically the results of several different measures would be considered in diagnosing autonomic dysfunction.  

Follow-up Assessment

Progress from daily log sheets

    Log sheets of compliance with the treatment protocol and subjective perception of improvement were submitted by the subjects at monthly intervals. Figure 1 graphs the perceived improvement in symptoms for the nine subjects who provided monthly reports. The trend is clearly upward, but it is also apparent that in some people several months of following the treatments are necessary before significant improvement is noticed. Intermittent compliance with the protocol by some subjects undoubtedly influenced the rate of progress.

Analysis of questionnaires and physiological measurements

    Summary Questionnaire. The summary questionnaire asked the subjects to rate their compliance with the various elements of the protocol, and then to rate the changes in their Parkinson's symptoms and in their attitudes and emotions. All subjects reported roughly the same level of compliance ("most of the time"). Wet cell compliance was consistent, but subjects varied widely in their ability to obtain the post-wet-cell massage. Some had continually available support, while others had no support at all and had to try self-massages or did not do massages. Subjects rated improvement on a 7-point scale, with 1=much improvement, 4=no change, and 7=much worse. All subjects reported improvement in attitudes/emotions (average 1.7, between moderate and much improvement). In Parkinson's symptoms, the average was 3, "slight improvement." One person had major improvement, one moderate improvement, four slight improvements, and three reported no change. However, even the no change subjects actually reported subtle changes during interviews.

    Follow-up Questionnaires and Physiological Measurements. Table 5 gives the results of the follow-up questionnaires.  Table 6 gives the results of the follow-up physiological measurements. Table 7 gives the correlations among the follow-up questionnaires. The pattern - that the questionnaires are all measuring somewhat different aspects of Parkinson's disease - is similar to that of the baseline questionnaires. Table 8 gives the correlations of the follow-up questionnaires with the physiological measurements. The pattern is again similar to the baseline - there is little relationship between the subjective questionnaires and the autonomic measurements. In fact, some of the strongest correlations were of the physiology of the patients with the questionnaires of the support people. There were also rather high correlations between the questionnaires of the patients and support people, so it may be that this is evidence of a close linkage between the patients and support people. Correlation cannot establish causality, so it is not possible to say whether the attitudes/emotions of the support people affect the perception of the Parkinson's symptoms by the patients, or whether the disability of the patients affects the attitudes/emotions of the support people. There is probably a two-way interaction.

    Before/After Comparison of Questionnaires. The slight improvements in symptoms and functioning documented in the summary questionnaire were also reflected in the individual questionnaires on both symptoms and attitudes/emotions. The difference in these two types of measurements is that the summary questionnaire required a retrospective comparison with the baseline 6 months previously. The before/after comparison was a simple subtraction of the numerical scores on the same questionnaires administered at the baseline and follow-up. Thus, no memory for the previous symptoms was required.

    Overall, the differences in subjective symptoms were small, and did not reach statistical significance (but the small sample must be taken into account) (Tables 9 and 10). The exception is the GSR results. The GSR measurements in the follow-up were all significantly worse (that is, less response) than in the baseline. We have no explanation for this result. However, as noted before, in contrast with the multiple sclerosis subjects, the Parkinson's subjects had much more normal GSRs in the baseline measurement. There was also no obvious pattern in the correlation of the differences in the physiological measurements with the differences in the subjective measures (Table 11).  

Personal Experiences from Interviews and Questionnaires

    At the four-month stage of the project, the most interesting results are not from the questionnaires or statistical analysis, but from the written comments and personal interviews with the participants. They were all very positive about the project itself, but some had to grapple with major personal issues.

    Here are some example of comments and observations. More complete case studies of the individuals are also available.

J. R.: "This experience I feel has enabled a turning point in my relationship with Parkinson's disease for which I am deeply appreciative...I find I am slowly yet persistently regaining function from this 'incurable' disease. I watch amazed as strength, vitality and coordination gradually return to my body. Little tasks to anyone else like chop a head of broccoli, untie a twist tie, write a legible note (which I'm showing off with my newly returned ability to write!) and most of all the coordination to return to driving a car after a hiatus of 9 months, are such a delight."

J. I.: "I found through this whole thing a spiritual awakening. I thought I was spiritual before, but I just feel closer to God, that he's listening. Parkinson's was a major fear, that Parkinson's was getting the best of me. But now it's no big deal any more. I know that with God there I'm going to get through it, however I get through it. I look forward to the wet cell when I get home from work. It's a comfort to hook myself up and use it as meditation.

"They bake chocolate chip cookies in the school. For a long time I didn't know why everybody was raving about them. Then about 2 or 3 weeks ago I smelled them. I said, what's that smell? And they said, that's the cookies. Oh my God, I can smell! It was very tough to not eat them. That was a big breakthrough. I didn't know I had lost that much of the sense of smell until it's back. It was wonderful. That's a miracle for me."  

G. G.: "This program...has, along with true guidance from the holy spirit, worked a miracle in my recovery. I am much healthier since my participation began and although I have made great strides in my recovery, there is still much to accomplish. Now I have a clear pathway to follow."

"My smell is working better, too. It's a real impressive thing to me."

J. S.: "Those of us who are involved in the project believe we have benefitted from the experience and have made an improvement in terms of greater energy, stronger sensory perception, and less dependence on drugs. I feel an improvement in my own quality of life, and am hopeful that a long-term continuation of the program will bring even greater benefit."

J. P.: "I do see some change physically, but the demon is still there. I feel more of an attitude change, more optimistic. It took several years to get to this condition, and I feel it will take some time to reverse it."

L. R.: Speaking of miracles, when you discover that you can smell something again, there are miracles of sight as well. I can now put on a navy blue pair of trousers and a navy blue pair of socks, instead of wearing black socks with blue and blue socks with black. I can do it in inside light in a house, and I didn't realize how long ago that ability had gone away."

L. Y: "Through the program, I have made connections with some of the most beautiful I know - people with strength of spirit, patience and dignity."

M. R.: "Unlike several others in our group, I do not yet see clear improvements like easier walking or speech, or more strength for walking or using one's hands. However, a new kind of heat has begun to rise through my spine. I suspect this development is a part of the great mystery called healing."

Conclusions

    In the four-month period covered by this report, there was a slight to moderate improvement in subjective Parkinson's symptoms in most patients. The Cayce readings and our results from the multiple sclerosis project suggest that the healing of chronic neurological diseases is a very long-term process. Results after a year of treatment are likely to tell us more about the long-term benefit of the Cayce treatments.

    The physical therapies - diet, the wet cell, massage - are straightforward, but require "consistency and persistency," as the Cayce readings would say. There is a great need for a reliable support person or network for success with this program. As with multiple sclerosis, in Parkinson's disease the emotional issues often complicate the support situation, although there are great opportunities for personal growth.  

Results From Informal One-Year Follow-Up

    Although the formal project was over after four months, most of the participants continued with the therapies, and submitted progress reports. Seven of the original ten returned in October, 1997 for a 3-day reunion. Although they were not formally re-assessed, they shared their experiences. A transcript of their comments is included in the case studies document. Most continued to make slow progress, often with rather subtle improvements. For example, J.S., a woman with great difficulty walking who used a wheelchair, showed no locomotory improvement, but a great deal more facial expressiveness and ability to laugh. As another example, J.P.'s son said, "It's working! Dad seems to be getting younger and stronger all the time." T.L.'s support person said, "No great dramatic changes, but lots of positive forward moving on this...He rolls over in bed now, without having to grab the handrail and pull himself over. He speaks better, is seeing a speech therapist." J.R's support person said, "Most days she has a lot of energy that you can sense...You see more and more ease of movement. She's much more fluid than she was when I first knew her. When I first knew her, she didn't have any fluid movement, really...Since she started on the wet cell, the change to us who are just observers is really incredible. It's visible. It happens gradually."  

References

Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, N., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961) An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 561-571.

Ellison, C. W., & Smith, J. (1991). Toward an integrative measure of health and well-being. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 19, 35-48.

El-Yazigi, A., Al-Saleh, I., & Al-Mefty, O. (1984). Concentrations of Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, and Se in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with cerebral neoplasms. Clinical Chemistry, 30, 1358-1360.

Jost, W. H., Kirchhofer, U., Houy, S., & Schimrigk, K. (1995). Sympathische Hautantwort beim Parkinson-Syndrom. [Sympathetic skin response in Parkinson syndrome]. Nervenarzt, 66(10), 777-780.

Kass, J. D., Friedman, R., Leserman, J., Zuttermeister, P. C., & Benson, H. (1991). Health outcomes and a new index of spiritual experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30, 203-211.

Netten, P. M., deVos, K., Horstink, M. W., & Hoefnagels, W. H. (1995). Autonomic dysfunction in Parkinson's disease, tested with a computerized method using a Finapres device. Clinical Auton Res, 5(2), 85-89.

Paloutzian, R. F., & Ellison, C. W. (1982). Loneliness, spiritual well-being, and the quality of life. In L. A. Peplau, & Perlman, D. (Eds.), Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research and therapy. New York: Wiley.

Sandyk, R. (1994a). A drug naive parkinsonian patient successfully treated with weak electromagnetic fields. International Journal of Neuroscience, 79 (1-2), 99-110.

Sandyk, R. (1994b). Treatment of Parkinson's disease with magnetic fields reduces the requirement for antiparkinsonian medications. International Journal of Neuroscience, 74 (1-4), 191-201.

Sandyk, R. & Derpapas, K. (1993a). Further observations on the unique efficacy of picoTesla range magnetic fields in Parkinson's disease. International Journal of Neuroscience, 69 (1-4), 167-183.

Sandyk, R., & Derpapas, K. (1993b). The effects of external picoTesla range magnetic fields on the EEG in Parkinson's disease. International Journal of Neuroscience, 70(1-2), 85-96.

Schneider, C. J. (1994). Are alternative treatments effective? Issues and methods involved in measuring effectiveness of alternative treatments. Presidential address at the 4th annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine. Boulder, Colorado.

Wang, S. J., Fuh, J. L., Shan, D. E., Liao, K. K., Lin, K. P., Tsai, C. P., & Wu, Z. A. (1993). Sympathetic skin reponse and R-R interval variation in Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders, 8(2), 151-157.


Tables

Table 1. Baseline questionnaire means and standard deviations (n = 10). (Numbers before descriptions are data base variable numbers.)  

   Mean SD
Subject Questionnaire (n=10)    
(2) Symptom Chklst 25.9 16.3
(3) Med Side Effects (n=8) 24.6 16.3
(4) Activity Assess. 42.7 26.6
(5) Attitudes/Emot. 46.0 5.2
(6) Beck Depression 6.0 4.2
(7) Spir. Well Being 95.2 16.2
(9) Spiritual Exps. 29.1 8.4
(10) Daily Funct. 22.1 5.7
     
Support People    
(12) Attitudes/Emot. (n=8) 47.1 6.1
(13) Beck Depression (n=4) 5.3 4.7
(14) Spir. Well Being (n=7) 96.8 19.7
(16) Spiritual Exps. (n=7) 35.0 12.1

 

Table 2. Correlations among baseline questionnaires (n=10). (Medication side effects is not included due to the small n.) Correlations above .50 are in larger, boldface type. Correlations greater than about .65 are significant at the .05 level.  

 Subject (4) (5) (6) (7) (9) (10)    (12) (13) (14) (16)
(2) ParkSym .80 -.24 .78 -.40 .32 .89   -.14 -.04 -.47 .31
(4) Activity   .22 .74 -.06 .45 .88   .14 .14 -.06 .59
(5) Attitudes      -.23 .67 .35 -.05   -.14 -.10 .66 .07
(6) Beck       -.44 .08 .71    .15 -.57 -.06 .21
(7) Spir Well          .58 -.22   -.06 .48 .81 .24
(9) # Spir           .51   -.42 .93 .38 .22
(10) Funct                -.19 .64 -.18 -.23
(11) All Sym .83 -.03 .83 -.29 .42 .88    -.35 -.10 -.21 .31
Support                      
 (12) Attitude                  -.47 .16 -.35
(13) Beck                    -.32 .67
(14) Spir We                      -.39
(16) # Spir                      

 

Table 3. Baseline GSR and HRV results (n = 10). (Numbers before descriptions are data base variable numbers.)  

  Mean SD
GSR    
(18) Baseline 2.99 0.91
(19) 6 BPM 0.84 0.48
(20) Insp. Gasp 1.18 0.53
(21) Standing 3.98 1.77
(22) Emotion Ques. 2.30 1.77
(124) Sum    
     
HRV    
(29) 6 BPM Range 13.76 4.22
(30) 6 BPM .1-.2 11.32 3.97
(31) 12 BPM .1-.2 -6.85 6.96

 

Table 4. Correlations of baseline GSR/HRV with baseline questionnaires (n = 10). (Numbers before descriptions are data base variable numbers.)  

GSR (2) (4) (5) (6) (7) (9) (10)   (12) (13) (14) (16)
(18) Base -.28 -.33 -.31 -.54 -.14 .20 -.09   .07 .98 -.11  
 (19) 6 BPM -.44 -.33 -.18 -.52 -.17 -.28 -.35    .57 .65 -.44  
 (20) Gasp .12 .24 .03 .39 -.48 -.17 .17   -.09 -.19 -.48  
 (21) Stand .02 -.04 -.30 -.05 -.51 -.53 -.18    .36 -.19 -.80  
 (22) Emot -.10 .14 -.01 .17 -.29 -.19 .10    .26 .56 -.47  
 (124) Sum                        
                         
HRV                        
 (29) 6 BPM .17 .02 -.02 -.10 .09 .04 .19   -.41 .32 -.25  
(30) 6 .1-.2 -.32 -.06 -.04 -.32 .09 -.10 -.07    .44 .95 -.22  
 (31)12 .1-.2 -.01 -.23 -.65 .09 -.40 -.18 .11    .03 .76 -.07  

 

Table 5. Follow-up questionnaire means and standard deviations (n = 9). (Numbers before descriptions are data base variable numbers.) (42) is the Parkinson's symptom checklist, which only one subject completed at the follow-up. (51) is the general symptom checklist, corresponding to (11) in the initial questionnaires.  

  Mean SD
Subject Questionnaire    
 (42) Symptom Chklst (n=1) 19.5 0
(43) Med Side Effects (n=8) 13.4 7.5
(44) Activity Assess. (n=9) 46.9 23.3
(45) Attitudes/Emot. (n=9) 45.6 2.6
(46) Beck Depression (n=9) 8.2 5.8
(47) Spir. Well Being (n=9) 93.9 17.8
(48) Spir Belief (n=9) 1.44 0.73
(49) Spiritual Exps. (n=8) 30.6 8.4
(50) Daily Funct. (n=9) 21.6 4.3
(51) Symptom Chklst (n=9) 34.1 23.7
     
Support People    
(52) Attitudes/Emot. (n=6) 46.9 8.8
(53) Beck Depression (n=4) 4.8 3.9
(54) Spir. Well Being (n=6) 102.5 17.5
(55) Spir Belief (n=6) 1.2 0.4
(56) Spiritual Exps. (n=6) 38.8 9.0

 

Table 6. Follow-up GSR and HRV means and standard deviations (n = 9). (Numbers before descriptions are data base
variable numbers.)

  Mean SD
GSR    
(58) Baseline 2.16 0.78
(59) 6 BPM 0.32 0.18
(60) Inspiratory gasp 0.72 0.34
(61) Standing 2.20 1.04
(62) Emotional questions 1.09 0.46
(127) Sum 6.50 2.01
     
HRV    
(64) 6 BPM Range 13.22 4.55
(13) 6 BPM .1-.2 12.89 4.95
(14) 12 BPM .1-.2 -7.46 3.59

 

Table 7. Correlations among follow-up questionnaires (n=9). Correlations above .50 are in l    arger, boldface type. Correlations greater than about .70 are significant at the .05 level.  

  (44) (45) (46) (47) (48) (49) (50) (51) (52) (53) (54) (55) (56)
(43) .57 -.21 .24 -.54 -.16 .23 .70 .41 .12 .54 -.29 .47 .21
(44)   -.31 .78 -.44 -.08 .23 .86 .76 .26 -.37 .44 .00 .61
(45)     -.26 .33 -.23 -.09 -.66 -.47 .37 -.11 .71 -.04 -.57
(46)       -.43 .06 .07 .71 .79 .35 -.76 .21 -.61 .75
(47)         -.63 .17 -.61 -.50 .55 -.61 .96 -.33 -.06
(48)            -.13 .03 -.05 -.85 .27 -.62 .20 -.20
(49)               .17 .24 -.46 -.63 .42 .00 -.26
(50)                .83 .05 -.00 -.38 .04 .78
(51)                  .17 -.70 .02 -.59 .73
(52)                    -.31 .35 -.38 .48
(53)                     -.54 .87 -.19
(54)                       -.18 -.17
(55)                         -.15
 

Parkinson's subjects Support people

(43) Medication side effects
(52) Attitudes/emotions
(44) Activity assessment
(53) Beck depression inventory
(45) Attitudes/emotions
(54) Spiritual well-being scale
(46) Beck depression inventory
(55) Spiritual belief
(47) Spiritual well-being scale
(56) # of spiritual experiences
(48) Spiritual belief
(49) # of spiritual experiences
(50) Daily functioning
(51) Symptom checklist

Table 8. Correlations of follow-up GSR and HRV means with follow-up questionnaires (n = 9). (Numbers in parentheses are data base variable numbers.)  

  (43) (44) (45) (46) (47) (48) (49) (50) (51) (52) (53) (54) (55) (56)
GSR                            
(58) .57 .47 -.19 .12 -.45 -.10 .24 .50 .62 -.29 .85 -.04 .92 -.44
(59) .58 .33 -.08 -.14 -.44 .06 .33 .33 .31 -.43 .85 -.10 .94 -.47
(60) -.03 -.21 .44 -.26 -.42 .38 -.68 -.29 -.21 -.09 .60 -.23 .38 -.49
(61) -.01 -.13 -.06 -.30 -.18 .16 -.93 -.08 -.30 .16 .72 -.44 .53 .15
(62) -.30 .21 -.13 .17 -.26 .43 -.51 .07 .10 -.18 .23 -.03 .37 .14
(127 .20 .16 -.07 -.13 -.44 .21 -.67 .15 .10 -.07 .79 -.29 .70 -.11
HRV                          
(64) .25 .06 -.16 .04 .36 -.57 .62 .17 .11 .26 -.45 .15 -.49 .11
(65) .69 .41 .10 .21 -.03 -.36 .24 .36 -.01 .39 .14 .18 .30 .46
(66) .03 .04 .03 -.13 -.53 .60 .07 .00 .17 -.76 .53 -.18 .56 -.67

Parkinson's subjects Support people

(43) Medication side effects
(52) Attitudes/emotions
(44) Activity assessment
(53) Beck depression inventory
(45) Attitudes/emotions
(54) Spiritual well-being scale
(46) Beck depression inventory
(55) Spiritual belief
(47) Spiritual well-being scale
(56) # of spiritual experiences
(48) Spiritual belief
(49) # of spiritual experiences
(50) Daily functioning
(51) Symptom checklist
(58) Baseline GSR
(59) 6 Breaths/Minute GSR
(60) Inspiratory gasp GSR
(61) Standing GSR
(62) Emotional questions GSR
(127) Sum of GSR baseline and responses
(64) 6 Breaths/minute HRV
(65) 6 Breaths/minute spectral power (.1 Hz - .2 Hz)
(66) 12 Breaths/minute spectral power (.1 Hz - .2 Hz)

Table 9. Difference between follow-up and baseline questionnaire means (n = 9). (Numbers before descriptions are data base variable numbers.)  

  Mean SD t p
Subject Questionnaire        
 (90) Symptom Chklst (n=1) -17.5 (1) 0    
 (91) Med Side Effects (n=8) -11.3 (1) 10.7 -2.98 0.02
(92) Activity Assess. (n=9) 0.6 (1) 12.0 0.14 0.89
(93) Attitudes/Emot. (n=9) -0.8 (2) 4.2 -0.56 0.59
(94) Beck Depression (n=9) 2.0 (1) 2.8 2.12 0.07
(95) Spir. Well Being (n=9) -1.9 (2) 13.3 -0.44 0.67
(96) Spir Belief (n=9) -0.4 (1) 0.5 -2.53 0.04
(97) Spiritual Exps. (n=9) 1.1 (2) 5.9 0.54 0.60
(98) Daily Funct. (n=9) -1.0 (1) 2.3 -1.29 0.23
(99) Symptoms (n=9) -8.2 (1) 16.7 -1.47 0.18
(100) Support Attitudes (n=6) -1.2 (2) 6.4 -0.45 0.67
(101) Support Beck (n=4) -0.5 (1) 2.4 -0.42 0.70
(102) Support Spir Well (n=6) 6.8 (2) 8.1 2.05 0.10
(103) Support Spir Belief (n=6 -0.2 (1) 0.4 -1.00 0.36
(104) Support # Exps (n=6) 4.2 (2) 5.6 1.83 0.13
(75) Summary Attitude (1)      
 (76) Summary Symptoms (1) `    

(1) Negative number indicates improvement.
(2) Positive number indicates improvement.

Table 10. Difference between follow-up and baseline GSR and HRV means (n = 9). (Numbers before descriptions are data base variable numbers.)  

  Mean SD t p
GSR (n = 9)         
 (105) Baseline -0.72 0.96 -2.24 0.06
(106) 6 BPM -0.49 0.54 -2.72 0.03
(107) Inspir gasp -0.47 0.62 -2.28 0.05
(108) Standing -1.92 1.52 -3.80 0.005
(109) Emotional ques -1.17 0.77 -4.59 0.002
(122) Sum -4.77 2.83 -5.06 0.001
         
HRV (n = 9)        
(110) 6 BPM Range -0.20 4.32 -0.14 0.89
(111) 6 BPM .1-.2 1.97 4.87 1.21 0.26
(112) 12 BPM .1-.2 1.07 3.37 0.95 0.37

 

Note: All GSR measurements became significantly worse (lower baseline and less responsive).

Table 11. Correlations of changes in GSR/HRV with changes in questionnaires (n=9). (Numbers before descriptions are data base variable numbers.)  

GSR (91) (92) (93) (94) (95) (96) (97) (98) (99)
(105) Baseline -.62 -.16 .26 -.14 -.08 -.31 .57 -.50 .23
(106) 6 BPM -.50 -.08 .12 -.09 -.37 -.53 .51 -.68 .09
(107) Gasp .44 .22 .32 -.17 -.12 -.80 -.17 .32 .59
(108) Standing .16 .62 -.15 .14 -.34 -.53 -.34 -.24 .42
(109) Emotion -.01 .14 -.33 -.30 .41 -.44 -.30 .29 .45
(122) Sum -.17 .35 .19 -.11 -.20 -.78 -.00 -.27 .57
                   
HRV                  
 (110) 6 BPM -.32 .08 -.40 -.00 .53 .49 -.26 -.15 -.21
(111) 6 .1-.2 -.63 -.48 -.72 .08 -.25 -.06 -.03 -.63 -.39
(112)12 .1-.2 .48 -.18 -.16 -.14 -.06 -.11 .54 .15 -.44
 

Parkinson's subjects

(91) Medication side-effects
(92) Activity assessment
(93) Attitudes/emotions
(94) Beck depression inventory
(95) Spiritual well-being scale
(96) Spiritual belief
(97) # of spiritual experiences
(98) Daily functioning
(99) General symptoms  


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