Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder (CMT) is an inherited neurological disease characterized by a slowly progressive degeneration of the muscles in the foot, lower leg, hand, and forearm, and a mild loss of sensation in the limbs, fingers, and toes. The first sign of CMT is generally a high arched foot or gait disturbances. Other symptoms of the disorder may include foot bone abnormalities such as high arches and hammer toes, problems with hand function and balance, occasional lower leg and forearm muscle cramping, loss of some normal reflexes, occasional partial sight and/or hearing loss, and, in some patients, scoliosis (curvature of the spine).
CMT is a disorder of genetic heterogeneity, in which mutations in different genes can produce the same clinical symptoms. In CMT, there are not only different genes but different patterns of inheritance. The most common type, CMT1A, is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. This means that if one parent has CMT there is a 50 percent chance of passing the disease on to each child. Other types are autosomal recessive or sex-linked CMT. Each type is characterized by symptoms ranging from severe weakness and wasting of leg and hand muscles to very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Full expression of CMT's clinical symptoms generally occurs by age 30. The more severe symptoms are related to an earlier age of onset.
From a standard medical perspective, there is no cure or specific treatment for CMT. Proper foot care including custom-made shoes and leg braces may minimize discomfort and increase function. Physical therapy and moderate activity are often recommended to maintain muscle strength and endurance. For some patients, surgery may be beneficial. (The above information is provided by the National Institutes of Health.)
THE EDGAR CAYCE APPROACH TO CMT
Edgar Cayce gave many readings for individuals suffering from various forms of muscular atrophy. One series of readings (1122) has been associated with CMT, although the documentation for such a diagnosis is not confirmed. Since Edgar Cayce was more interested in providing helpful information than in making formal diagnoses, many of the cases for which he gave psychic readings do not have a certain diagnosis. The 1122 series do contain some useful suggestions, which combined with other readings on muscular and nervous system degeneration, provide a rationale for treatment and specific recommendations for creating a treatment plan for CMT.
For example, reading 1122-1 contains this bit of advice on integrating physical and metaphysical therapies into a holistic treatment plan:
(Q) Is the physician that is treating her metaphysically bringing about the desired results?
(A) Only in part, and CAN only in part, until physical conditions are brought to a normal force, and these will be brought the better by the coordination of the two, one with another. (1122-1)
This holistic emphasis is particularly important in dealing with conditions which are caused by hereditary factors. Edgar Cayce sometimes used the expression "karma" when describing the patterns of causation in cases where genetic factors are involved:
For, as has been indicated oft, causes may be karma. Karma is cause oft of hereditary conditions so called. Then indeed does the soul inherit that it has builded in its experience with its fellow man in material relationships. (3313-1)
Karma is an ancient concept which refers to the law of cause and effect. The Cayce readings present a panoramic view of the human condition which parallels the Eastern religions (particularly Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism). From this perspective humans are regarded as immortal beings evolving toward unity with the divine source of being. This view includes reincarnation and the ability of each individual to choose certain key probabilities concerning a particular lifetime. Naturally, genetics play an important role because heredity provides a relatively stable and predictable means of having the necessary life experiences to encounter one's personal karma.
In cases involving karma, the mental and spiritual aspects of healing are emphasized:
As indicated for the body, this is a karmic condition and there must be measures taken for the body to change its attitude towards conditions, things and its fellow men. (3124-2)
Yes - here we have very much of a disturbing condition, this is karmic as well as pathological. Hence in the applications as may be helpful for this body, we must begin with spiritual beliefs, spiritual application, or the application mentally of spiritual beliefs. For mind is ever the builder in the material world.
Here through chemical changes that have come about in the body, we have the loss of control of the nerve and muscular forces of the body. Yet atrophy of any kind has not as yet set in.
This, then, indicates the very nature of that implied in regard to the karmic condition. Hence the first lesson spiritually is patience. (3779-1)
However, even in cases with significant karma, Edgar Cayce insisted on a holistic approach utilizing a variety of physical modalities including electrotherapy, manual therapy, diet, and exercise. Here is a typical example from a reading given for a twenty-nine-year-old man suffering from muscular atrophy:
If there is first considered the spiritual attitude necessary, we would then (not otherwise) begin with the use of the Wet Cell Appliance carrying to the body the Chloride of Gold and Nitrate of Silver vibratorially. The Gold should be one grain Chloride of Gold Sodium to each ounce of distilled water. The Nitrate of Silver would be one ounce of a two percent solution added to two ounces of half distilled water and half grain alcohol. Use three ounces of each of these solutions; that is, three ounces of the Gold Solution and three ounces of the Nitrate of Silver Solution prepared in the manner indicated....
Following each treatment with the Appliance, each day, massage the body very thoroughly, beginning at the brachial center and massaging downward, extending entirely to the tips of the toes; down the spine, over the lower abdomen, down the limbs themselves, and through those areas of the sciatics especially. Use for this massage an equal combination of Olive Oil (heated) and Tincture of Myrrh. This should be done not too severely, and yet not just patted on; in a rather deep but not severe circular motion. Take at least twenty to thirty minutes each day to give this massage.
Keep the attitude creative, constructive.
Keep a well balanced diet, and keep the eliminations. (5064-1)
Thus a blending of treatments (physical, mental, and spiritual) into a well integrated treatment plan was often recommended by Edgar Cayce for the treatment of diseases involving muscular atrophy.
Conceptually, the Cayce approach to CMT focuses on assisting the body in healing itself by the application of a variety of therapies intended to address the underlying causes of the condition. The mental and spiritual aspects of healing are emphasized from the standpoint of working with a spiritual ideal.
Here are some general therapeutic recommendations for the treatment of CMT:
- ENERGY MEDICINE: The Wet Cell Battery is a simple chemical battery which is connected to the body via wires and plates for thirty minutes each day. The electrical energy produced by the battery is very mild. Most individuals do not feel anything during the wet cell sessions. A solution jar containing a medicinal chemical (gold chloride or silver nitrate) is integrated into the circuit of the appliance. According to Edgar Cayce, the vibrations of the medicinal solutions are carried into the body and stimulate the glandular system to produce healing.
- MANUAL THERAPY (SPINAL MANIPULATION): Cayce often recommended osteopathic manipulations to correct specific problems which may be affecting nerve functioning and circulation. It is difficult to obtain the osteopathic adjustments specified by Cayce. However, a chiropractor may be of help. The frequency of the adjustments will depend on the recommendations of the individual chiropractor or osteopath. The use of an electric vibrator may also be helpful for individuals unable to obtain regular spinal adjustments. Massage following each Wet Cell Battery session is suggested to distribute the vibratory energies produced by the appliance.
- EXERCISE: General exercise such as regular walking is encouraged. Specific exercises directed at the particular pathology of CMT are also recommended.
- DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation and elimination. The diet focuses heavily on keeping a proper alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods which produce toxicity and drain the system. Essentially, the diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates ("junk food"). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
- ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and spiritual aspects of healing are frequently discussed in the Cayce readings. Particularly, an attitude of desiring and expecting to be healed is important. A positive mental and emotional attitude and can be created and maintained by focusing on a high purpose (spiritual ideal) for being healed.