Pain in the terminal cancer patient is perhaps the most feared complication of neoplastic diseases in the human being. One wonders where the pain actually originates-for pain is perhaps the most difficult symptom to pin down and the least understood. Methods of cancer therapy derived from unorthodox sources seem to produce some help in this direction. In my own experience with cancer patients who were too far advanced with the disease to be helped by any of the therapies available, I have seen one traditional aid bring much relief from pain during the terminal days. Quite recently, a 62-year-old man developed a cancer of the brain. By the time he came under medical observation, it was quite advanced; then, a second malignancy was discovered in the wall of the bladder. Weight loss had come rapidly, and the only therapy offered him was chemotherapy. When the family consulted us, the patient was terminal, in bed and obviously had not long to go. He was advised to use castor oil packs on the abdomen. He had not used any pain medication up to that point, and remained pain-free until twenty-four hours before he passed away. Then he developed some pain in one flank. The castor oil pack was applied locally there, too, and he became comfortable once again.
An earlier instance of the use of these packs came nearly twenty years ago, when I was called upon to care for a woman who had a large abdominal cancer which was far advanced when I first saw her. She had become unable to care for herself. She refused surgery of any kind and went into a rest home, since she had no living relatives. There she received coffee enemas and abdominal castor oil packs daily for the next forty days, until her death. She had no pain at any time. One wonders if these cases – and I’m sure I am not alone in observing this – are simply coincidences, or does a soothing application with particular vibrations bring about a reaction in the autonomic nervous system of the lymphatic system which eliminates the situation that causes pain? At times there seem to be more cases that deviate from the rule than there are ones that obey it.[† May, 1976, Volume 11, No. 3, page 137, Copyright © 1976 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]