The coronavirus pandemic has made us acutely aware of the limitations of conventional medicine. Until effective drugs and vaccines can be developed and tested (a process that may take 1 ½ years) we are at the mercy of this fast-spreading disease. Personal hygiene and social distancing are helpful practices for mitigating the spread of the virus. If those fail, hospitalization with IV fluids and ventilators may become necessary, so Western medicine has a role to play. But is there more we can do to protect ourselves?

Holistic approaches to health can be very helpful in such a situation. The term “holistic” implies that the entire being - body, mind and spirit - is being addressed. When it comes to living systems, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The Edgar Cayce readings often explain, “Spirit is the life, mind is the builder, the physical is the result.”

Edgar Cayce was well known for his body, mind, and spirit approach to healing. In 1978, the American Holistic Medical Association was started, and three of the five founding MDs, (Norm Shealy, Gladys McGarey and Bill McGarey) were A.R.E. members. The following year, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated, “The roots of present-day holism probably go back 100 years to the birth of Edgar Cayce.” All this acclaim has earned Edgar Cayce the moniker, “Father of Holistic Medicine.”

While conventional medical approaches typically fight disease, holistic therapies generally strengthen the body. Diet is the basis of bodily health. All of the systems of the body, including the immune system, simply cannot function optimally without the raw materials and proper balance they need. The Cayce readings had much to say about the health-promoting effects of specific diet concepts. Learn more about the Cayce diet here.

Other holistic therapies for treating the body include massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and herbal medicine, just to name a few. The unique thing about many of these treatments is that they can actually strengthen the immune system, which is just the prescription we all need right now. For example, herbs such as Echinacea, Elderberry, Andrographis and Astragalus can help prevent as well as fight respiratory diseases.

Because, according to the Cayce readings, “Mind is the builder,” the readings emphasize the effect a person’s thoughts and attitudes has on health and healing. The readings commonly comment, “Thoughts are things.” In fact, while giving a psychic reading, Cayce sometimes had trouble telling if an entity had actually committed an act in the past or had just thought about it. The things the mind dwells upon cannot help but to cause physical responses.

Because of the power of our thoughts, the Cayce readings commonly warned people to assert more control over their thoughts. All of us have negative thoughts that seem to just pop into our heads. There seems to be no way to control that. The readings acknowledge that the appearance of thoughts cannot be stopped. However, the real impetus for a thought becoming a thing is the amount of attention we pay to that thought. According to fifteenth century thinker, Martin Luther, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

Of course, succeeding in the effort to not think of something is pretty much impossible. The thing to do is to replace the negative thought with a positive one. The Cayce readings commonly recommended the use of affirmations. An affirmation is a positively worded suggestive statement. The readings prescribed over one hundred affirmations to people seeking physical, mental and spiritual help. When using an affirmation, the readings instruct the individual to repeat it (silently or better yet, aloud) three to five times with a positive, expectant attitude while fully focusing on the meaning of the words, until a positive feeling is achieved. Learn more about the use of affirmations here.

The spiritual aspect of holistic health cannot be ignored. There is more to us than merely flesh and blood. Our souls, as well and our bodies and minds, need nourishment in times of trouble. The Cayce reading strongly promoted the healing power of prayer. Learn more about the Cayce approach to prayer here. Meditation involves quieting the mind and focusing inward, away from outer distractions. The readings were ahead of their times in acknowledging the health benefits of meditation which are now demonstrated in medical studies. Read more about meditation here.

The coronavirus outbreak is a source of fear and anxiety. Our doctors have very little advice for taking a proactive stance against this disease. The Edgar Cayce readings are a rich source of holistic advice for strengthening your body, mind and spirit. There is no panacea for the coronavirus, but if we arm ourselves holistically, we certainly stand a better chance to fight off infection.