A stroke, or "brain attack," occurs when blood circulation to the brain fails. Brain cells can die from decreased blood flow and the resulting lack of oxygen. There are two broad categories of stroke: those caused by a blockage of blood flow and those caused by bleeding. While not usually fatal, a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain or neck is the most frequent cause of stroke and is responsible for about 80 percent of strokes. These blockages stem from three conditions: the formation of a clot within a blood vessel of the brain or neck, called thrombosis; the movement of a clot from another part of the body such as the heart to the neck or brain, called embolism; or a severe narrowing of an artery in or leading to the brain, called stenosis. Bleeding into the brain or the spaces surrounding the brain causes the second type of stroke, called hemorrhagic stroke.
Two key steps you can take will lower your risk of death or disability from stroke: know stroke's warning signs and control stroke's risk factors. Warning signs are clues your body sends that your brain is not receiving enough oxygen. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke or "brain attack," don't wait, call a doctor or 911 right away!
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body.
- Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye.
- Sudden difficulty speaking or trouble understanding speech.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
- Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially with any of the other signs.
Other danger signs that may occur include double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These brief episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, are sometimes called "mini-strokes."
A risk factor is a condition or behavior that occurs more frequently in those who have, or are at greater risk of getting, a disease than in those who don't. Having a risk factor for stroke doesn't mean you'll have a stroke. On the other hand, not having a risk factor doesn't mean you'll avoid a stroke. But your risk of stroke grows as the number and severity of risk factors increases.
Some of the most important treatable risk factors for stroke are:
- High blood pressure (hypertension),
- Cigarette smoking,
- Heart disease,
Stroke occurs in all age groups, in both sexes, and in all races in every country. It can even occur before birth, when the fetus is still in the womb. In African-Americans, the death rate from stroke is almost twice that of the white population.
Standard medical treatment for stroke usually involves emergency medical care to address the acute condition, hospitalization for drug therapy and possible surgery, and rehabilitation to improve physical ability and reduce dependence. (National Institutes of Health)
EDGAR CAYCE'S PERSPECTIVE
Stroke was called apoplexy during the era in which Edgar Cayce gave readings for persons with this condition. In the eighty readings indexed as stroke, Edgar Cayce cited various systemic factors which cause or contribute to stroke and its after-effects.
For example, systemic toxicity was one of the common causes mentioned in the readings for persons suffering from stroke. Specifically, hypertension (high blood pressure) was often linked to problems with poor eliminations, especially in the colon.
(Q) What was the original cause of the high blood pressure?
(A) As indicated, chemical unbalance - that thinned the walls, and a plethoric condition in the colon. (2971-1)
In the present physical conditions, as we find much of that which is the cause of the acute condition in the present is now known; this having arisen from poisons in the system that depleted the activity of the eliminating systems and thus produced a character of pressure in the circulation as to produce seepages in the arterial circulation. (1097-7)
(Q) What is the cause of my paralysis stroke?
(A) Toxic forces that are accumulations in the physical forces of the body, that produced a hemorrhage in the blood vessels, and that form in the present state of adhesion or lesion.
As first indicated by the activity, this did not occur in the brain proper but rather in the circulation - and found lesion in the brain through the circulation. (358-4)
Glandular dysfunction is also noted as a causative factor in several readings. Specifically, failure of the glands to provide the substances needed to maintain the walls of the circulatory system was described:
In the body forces we find there were those breakings down of the ability of the glandular force to supply the nutriment for the walls of the arterial circulation. This being a glandular condition, these produced then a chemical unbalance in the circulation itself; bringing about first an unbalancing in the metabolism and the katabolism of the nerve and blood supply. (2971-1)
Regardless of the physical causes of stroke, the Cayce readings encourage a strong spiritual emphasis in dealing with its after-effects:
But grow first in grace, in knowledge and then apply the mechanical sources for the healing and correcting of the body. (3684-1)
EDGAR CAYCE'S THERAPEUTIC APPROACH
The therapeutic approach advocated in the Cayce readings on stroke is based on the concept of innate healing. That is, the body has the natural ability to heal itself, even when the illness involves serious neurological pathology. Although a full recovery is not promised in every case, most of the Cayce readings on stroke contain indications of a positive outcome if the suggested therapies are applied consistently and persistently.
Although there are variations in this group of readings based on the uniqueness of each individual, some common themes are present. When the illness produces severe effects such as paralysis or loss of sensory functioning, some form of electrotherapy was often recommended. The wet cell battery was the most frequently suggested appliance in cases of stroke. The wet cell is a battery which produces a very low direct current. This appliance was recommended to stimulate the glandular and nervous systems. Typically, a massage was to be given immediately after each thirty minute wet cell session.
A basic diet to improve assimilations and eliminations was also typically advised. Hydrotherapy (colonic irrigation) and moderate exercise were also commonly suggested. These basic therapies were encouraged to assist with the healing process and help to prevent future strokes.
Here are the therapeutic elements which form the basis for the treatment plan presented in this protocol:
The Wet Cell Battery
The wet cell is a simple chemical battery which is connected to the body via wires and plates for thirty minutes each day. Edgar Cayce stated that this appliance can help the body to heal the nervous system damage done by the stroke and assist in improving functioning.
Basic Cayce Diet
The most important aspects of the diet are: a great deal of fresh vegetables and fruits, no fried foods, no fast food (e.g., hamburgers, pizza), and no junk food (high sugar, starch, and/or fat snacks).
Remember that it is important to keep the digestive tract moving freely. Try to drink at least 6 - 8 glasses of water each day. A monthly colonic irrigation will assist eliminations through the colon.
Spinal Adjustments and Massage
Cayce often recommended spinal adjustments to correct problems with the nervous system and to improve assimilation and eliminations. It is difficult to obtain the osteopathic adjustments specified by Cayce. However, a chiropractor may be of some help. The frequency of the adjustments will depend on the recommendations of the individual chiropractor or osteopath. Once or twice a week is typical. Daily massages after each wet cell session are encouraged.
Moderate daily exercise is encouraged. Walking is a good place to start for many people. The head and neck exercise may be helpful for persons experiencing sensory system impairment. Of course the type and duration of exercise is dependent upon each individual's functioning. Consult with your physician on the type of exercise which may be best for you. Try to be outdoors in the open when practical.
Ideals and Attitudes
Working with attitudes and emotions is an important aspect of healing. You will be asked to do the Ideals Exercise to examine your purpose for living and being healed. Then, each day take a few moments to review your ideals. This will help you to maintain a positive attitude and apply the spiritual, mental and physical (lifestyle) recommendations which are inherent in this protocol.