The third in a series of discussions from the Cayce health readings.
Coronary Heart Disease
Josephine Adamson, MD, editor
Coronary heart disease (CHD) causes 25% of all U.S. adult deaths and is the number one killer of both men and women. The small coronary arteries that supply the beating heart with oxygen become partially or completely blocked with calcified and fibrotic fatty deposits (atherosclerosis). When the heart muscle doesnt receive enough oxygen, the person may experience chest pain and a heart attack.
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for coronary heart disease. About half of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors. Other factors that lead to coronary heart disease include diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use.
Location of human heart
Edgar Cayce gave 54 readings encompassing the full range of this disease process: from those he warned of the early stages of atherosclerotic plaque formation, to one man who had already had two heart attacks. The Edgar Cayce readings propose that these "growths ...of an insidious nature" result from a combination of poor eliminations, an unbalanced circulation, and a diet productive of an "excess of avoirdupois" or fat in the bloodstream.
The readings describe two factors that play a role in developing atherosclerotic plaque: diet and improper balance in fat digestion. First was diet, which is now known to play a direct role in determining our blood cholesterol levels. The Cayce readings consistently recommended a diet that recent discoveries have shown to lower blood cholesterol.
The second factor, balance, is a bit more complicated. A combination of factors in the body could produce "a lack of balance in the chemical forces of the assimilating system" and affect the lacteal ducts in the small intestine. The majority of fats—unlike proteins and carbohydrates, which go through the bloodstream to the liver—are absorbed through the lacteal ducts into the lymph circulation before eventually joining the blood. Cayce implied that fats at times were absorbed incorrectly and that this could also contribute to the formation of these "lymph pockets" (a fascinating reference to the atherosclerotic plaques since the lymph carries the digested fat). The liver and colon are unable to process the fatty toxins that form the atherosclerotic lesions and, in the later stages of the disease, place a direct burden on the heart.
The Cayce readings approach to coronary heart disease included the following major areas:
- DIET—The three most common dietary changes suggested in the Cayce materials were the elimination of red meat, fried foods, and fats. Numerous contemporary studies have shown that eliminating these foods will lower one’s total blood cholesterol and improve the ratio of "good" to "bad" lipids in the blood. In one reading, he told the individual that the fats in chicken and seafood (as opposed to those in red meat), along with olive oil, would be beneficial. Current research has demonstrated that fish oil and monounsaturated fats (like olive oil) can decrease one’s risk of coronary heart disease.
- OSTEOPATHIC MANIPULATIONS AND MASSAGE—The Edgar Cayce readings proposed that bodywork would help balance the circulation and the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system and play a role in lowering blood pressure, all decreasing strain on the heart. Health researchers have found sustained decreases in blood pressure following a series of massage sessions.
- AVOIDING CONSTIPATION/USE OF COLONICS—Colonic irrigation of the colon was recommended for 27 individuals in all stages of CHD. The role of this cleansing was to improve the eliminations and help remove "poisons" from the bloodstream. Modern dietary recommendations all include increasing the amount of fiber in the diet.
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY—The Cayce readings recommended rest to individuals who were experiencing chest pain and other clinical symptoms of CHD. Activity or excitement places a stress on the heart and causes the heart muscle to require more oxygen. As the condition improved, activity could be gradually increased. The readings also suggested that those people with heart disease who were resting spend more time outdoors. In contrast, for one individual with only early pre-symptomatic disease, exercise was recommended as being useful.
- RADIO-ACTIVE [RADIAL] APPLIANCE—The readings recommended the use of a radial appliance to 10 individuals. This device, which consists of a capacitor and a resistor in parallel, was said to use the body’s own electrical force to help equalize the circulation. It was also seen as being helpful "to quiet and ease the body without disturbing the other portions of the system." Some basic research done on this device found no currents or voltages in the wires connected to an individual. Research on how this device might help balance an individual’s circulation would be interesting.
- ABDOMINAL PACKS—Different types of abdominal packs, like castor oil packs, were recommended to help the liver to function properly and to encourage movement in the digestive system.
- MEDICATION—The Cayce readings presented a fairly balanced perspective on the use of medication with CHD. The readings recommended one individual gradually taper his medication, but encouraged another five people to continue their medicine.
The Cayce readings were ahead of their time (1905-1944) in describing the important lifestyle changes that doctors recommend today. Recommended dietary changes—eliminating red meat and fried foods, adding healthy monounsaturated fats, eating more fish—certainly are in line with current studies that emphasize a plant-based "Mediterranean" diet with no processed or fried foods. The readings also encouraged daily exercise and outdoor activities to prevent heart disease. The Cayce materials and modern medicine also agree that stress reduction and a positive attitude are important in decreasing the chances of dying from this common disease.
Josephine B. Adamson, MD, MPH, CMT, is the Medical Director for Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. She received her MD from Duke University’s School of Medicine and Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina and is a graduate of the Cayce/Reilly® School of Massage. A director and co-owner of a medical device company, she has a wealth of experience creating and maintaining health-related non- profit and for-profit businesses. She joined A.R.E. as part of the organization’s renewed focus on the health information, one of the most important, enduring legacies from the Edgar Cayce readings. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the health outreach and administration and interfacing with the stellar staff of the Cayce/Reilly School of Massage—which provides a comprehensive education in the art and science of therapeutic massage—and the holistic A.R.E. Health Center & Spa—which provides holistic therapies to clients from around the world in its oceanfront Virginia Beach, Va., setting complete with a Café.
A.R.E. Members can download several circulating files—a collection of verbatim Edgar Cayce readings and reading extracts carefully selected and arranged by topic—on Hypertension, and Heart: Coronary Thrombosis(Coronary Heart Disease]) from our online member section.