OVERVIEW OF PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS
WHAT IS TUBERCULOSIS?
Tuberculosis (TB), a chronic bacterial infection, causes more deaths worldwide than any other infectious disease - killing more adults each year than AIDS and malaria combined. TB is spread through the air and usually infects the lungs (pulmonary TB), although other organs are sometimes involved. Some 1.7 billion people - one-third of the world's population - are infected with the predominant TB organism, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This includes between 10 and 15 million people in the United States.
Most people infected with M. tuberculosis never develop active TB. However, in people with weakened immune systems, especially those infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the cause of AIDS), TB organisms may overcome the body's defenses, multiply, and cause active disease. Each year, 8 million people worldwide develop active TB and 3 million die.
The TB crisis is intensified by the emergence of disease caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. Infections caused by these organisms may result in an essentially incurable form of the disease. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 50 million people worldwide may be infected with drug-resistant strains of TB.
Standard medical treatment with antibiotics is usually effective in managing TB. Successful treatment depends on close cooperation between the patient and physicians and other health care workers. Patient education is essential, and many doctors opt for supervised, directly observed therapy (DOT). (National Institutes of Health)
EDGAR CAYCE'S PERSPECTIVE OF TUBERCULOSIS
Edgar Cayce gave many readings for individuals suffering from TB in its various forms and stages. As is typical for the disease, pulmonary TB was the predominant form discussed in the readings. Some individuals were told that they were infected with the TB germ which was dormant in the system. They were informed that they could avoid the disease process with preventative measures directed at maintaining the strength and vitality of the body. Significantly, many of the therapies recommended to treat the disease (such as diet, hydrotherapy, manual therapy, and inhalant therapy) were suggested to prevent it. Thus Cayce's preventative strategy may be helpful for individuals with depleted immune systems (such as patients with HIV) who are at greater risk of developing the disease.
For individuals with the clinical manifestations of pulmonary TB, Edgar Cayce provided explicit descriptions of the tubercular effects on the lungs and other systems of the body. Even when the primary pathology was in the lungs, Edgar Cayce's perspective tended to view pulmonary TB systemically. In large measure this is because Cayce considered the lungs to be part of the "hepatic system" which encompasses the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. When one of these organs is affected, the others become involved to some degree. For example, Cayce noted:
[There are] very few tubercular conditions ... that do not at least at some time involve the whole hepatic circulation; and the destructive forces from such are active upon the liver and the kidneys. (1548-3)
The greater destructive force from tuberculosis IS the kidneys and the liver. (591-2)
... for rarely (this would be well for ALL to remember) has there ever been a case of tuberculosis without FIRST the kidneys going bad. (340-12)
The systemic aspects of pulmonary TB also include the whole alimentary canal affecting digestion, assimilation and eliminations:
Q. Is there anything wrong with my physical condition other than tuberculosis?
A. As indicated, the digestion. This is the after effect that often comes with distresses of this nature. (3200-1
This as is interpreted has been an acute condition of tuberculosis. There have been many ups and downs, many periods when apparently there was little hope for preventing further inroads into the strength of the body. Then again it has turned (as it does in some stages, the more often) to be so detrimental to the ability of the body to assimilate foods. And the foods that are taken only lie in the stomach and become corrupt in not digesting properly; naturally upsetting all of the digestive and eliminative systems of the body. (3154-1)
So we are setting up, then, in the system, the proper coordination between the eliminating channels of the body. Let's not overtax one at the expense of another. The system - or nature in itself - attempts to create the bettered conditions, so long as the life plasm in a cellular unit is created through the proper assimilations. Hence the diets and the activities in the system, carry on. When the eliminations through the alimentary canal are choked, either the liver or the kidneys, or both, suffer. So also does the lymphatic circulation, or the pulmonaries - so one may be given tuberculosis from poor elimination, just as there has been reported for this body. THESE are being cleared wonderfully. (337-4)
These systemic aspects of pulmonary TB contribute to the general debilitation associated with the disease (e.g., fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, etc.). Therefore, the Cayce approach to understanding and treating pulmonary TB involves the whole person and is comprehensive in its scope. The intent is to assist the body's systems in gaining strength, vitality and resistence to the TB germs. Thus the treatments for pulmonary TB are directed not only at symptomatic relief and the local infection in the lungs, but more systemically to improve assimilations, circulation and eliminations. Further, the Cayce approach takes into consideration the mental and spiritual aspects of healing.
EDGAR CAYCE'S THERAPEUTIC MODEL
Consistent with Cayce's comprehensive perspective on pulmonary TB, the therapeutic model includes therapies which address all aspects of the disease. Keep in mind that the Cayce model is a complementary medicine approach which does not substitute for standard medical treatment. Patients are encouraged to follow their physician's recommended treatments while applying the Cayce approach. With that in mind, here are the key elements in the Cayce treatment plan for pulmonary TB:
- INHALANT THERAPY: The primary therapeutic intervention for pulmonary TB is the inhalation of apple brandy fumes from a charred oak keg on a daily basis. The Cayce readings state that inhalation of apple brandy fumes have an antiseptic effect on the TB bacteria.
- MANUAL THERAPY: Osteopathic or chiropractic treatment is recommended to relieve any pressures that may be hindering circulation to the lungs and hepatic system. General treatment may also be helpful to relax the system and improve eliminations. If osteopathic or chiropractic treatment is not available, the use of an electric vibrator along the spine may be helpful.
- 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. For individuals experiencing general debilitation, a optional body-building diet is provided.
- DIETARY SUPPLEMENT: To assist with digestion and assimilation, Calcios (a dietary source of calcium) is recommended.
- ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and emotional aspects of healing are frequently discussed 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 (ideal) for being healed.