By: Linda Caputi
In 1986, when Jo was eight years old, we moved to Virginia Beach. Regretfully, it became a traumatic event since she missed her friends and the New York energy in which she thrived. Over time, her unhappiness developed into emotional overeating, and by age 14, my petite daughter was more than 75 pounds overweight. One thing,however, consoled her. She would be driving before her 16th birthday, much earlier than New York allowed. As 1993 drew near, her dream came true as she began driving and lost the extra weight she had put on.
Yet within six months Jo began having infrequent but strange episodes. They would begin with feelings of nausea and “zoning out.” At first the incidents were easily ignored. No external problems were evident and visits to the doctor were fruitless. But with more noticeable symptoms, we were referred to neurologist in 1995, and received a diagnosis of complex partial seizures.
Though this type of seizure appears milder than the grand mal type, it’s more difficult to control with medication. The episodes were actually mild seizures called “auras.” The usual electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging tests (MRI) were performed but showed nothing abnormal. We traveled to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville and another medical center in New Jersey that specialized in the treatment of epilepsy. More tests, same results idiopathic (of unknown origin) epilepsy.
The medical establishment looks upon epilepsy as a problem originating in the brain. Attempts are made to subdue the seizures with medication, brain surgery (to remove the “problem” area) or the insertion of the Vagus Nerve Stimulator. However, none of these treatments deal with any identifiable underlying cause.
At the New Jersey epilepsy center,I spoke with a nurse who worked closely with the surgeons. She said they were finding that some patients would be seizure-free following surgery, but within a few years the epilepsy had returned,and was now originating in another part of the brain.Al though Jody and John,her dad,felt surgery might be an option,the information the nurse shared suggested to me that surgery would be only a temporary solution.
Edgar Cayce’s perspective of idiopathic epilepsy was unique. Commonly cited reasons for seizures were directed to two areas below the brain: Incoordination of the nervous systems due to lesions along the spine or adhesions of the lacteal ducts within the abdomen.The remedies most frequently suggested were osteopathic adjustments and abdominal castor oil packs.
In September 1995,Jo turned 18. Like many others dealing with epilepsy,she hoped to find the right medication to prevent the seizures from occurring. This offers the possibility of an easy solution,though it wasn ’t the case for Jody. Through her first year at Norfolk ’s Old Dominion University (ODU)and the years following, Jo tried a number of different medications. Side effects were numerous but none diminished the seizures after an initial “honeymoon” phase when the medications were most sedating.
Then I found something that seemed promising. I started to explore Cayce’s epilepsy remedies and found a simple suggestion that proved to be of immediate help. It was regarding the use of ice for seizures and always worked well for Jody: When Cayce had been asked: “What can be done to allay attack once it has started?” he replied: “Place a piece of ice at base of brain and it will stop immediately.” (Cayce)
Despite the uncontrolled seizures and side effects of the medications, by September 1996 Jody did well enough at ODU to transfer to the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville. She was now only minutes away from the group of neurologists she had been seeing. During the intervening summer months I researched Cayce’s epilepsy readings more intensely and attempted to share their holistic approach with my daughter. But Jo’s interest was minimal since dietary changes and time for castor oil packs, among other things, would be necessary.
In addition to Jody’s health challenges, I was facing my own. Within that last year, I had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy (MD) and was very weak. But after discovering the epilepsy remedies for Jody, I became curious to see if anything was available in the readings for MD. There was, but as with the remedies for epilepsy, the ones for MD would take some time and effort on my part. In a way I was relieved that Jody wasn’t going to pursue the remedies, right then, so I could focus on the ones for MD first. Thank God they helped. I compiled my experience in an article entitled: “Remedies Found to Fight Muscular Dystrophy,” Venture Inward , Jan/Feb 2000.
In the fall of 1998, Jody called from the hospital in Charlottesville. She had started school again and attended a party that weekend at a friend’s apartment. It was warm so Jo and her friends danced outside on an elevated deck (equal to a 2-story drop). Unexpectedly, she started having a seizure and fell off the deck backwards. The angels must have been at work because incredibly she landed in a padded chair in the yard below. Her friends took her to the emergency room to make sure she was all right. Other than some bruises and a sprained hand, she was.
Soon after this occurrence, Jo realized the pupil of her right eye was dilated – light didn’t affect it at all. But when the neurologist examined her, he could find nothing wrong. However, he made an appointment for her with a nero-ophthalmologist whose first question surprised her. “Are you using Afrin nasal spray?” Actually, she was. She used it frequently during fall and spring because of allergies. The doctor explained he had seen this condition before and it generally cleared up within six months of discontinuing the spray.
It was such a relief when Jody told me this, I didn’t really hear (or want to hear) that the neurologist had also suggested having another MRI. I was looking at the expense ($1,400) and thought it was unnecessary. Besides, it had been only three years since the last MRI and it seemed as if the neuro-ophthalmologist had diagnosed the problem correctly. However, Jody had the final say and decided to skip the test and wean herself off the spray. With her usual resolve, that ’s just what she did.
March of 1999 Jo unexpectedly called to say she’d be home the next day. She had decided to take a medical leave of absence because the seizures were worse. She also said she was going to give the Cayce remedies a serious try.
Jody received the treatment plan on epilepsy from A.R.E.and looked it over. Though its one-size-fits-all approach didn’t incorporate all possible treatments or individualize them, it was convenient to have an organized package outlining Cayce’s general treatments.
Attempting to be of help, John and I also focused on Jo’s well-being. This is not to say that John and I were in agreement about how to approach Jody’s condition; we weren’t. But each of us still knew that the other wanted the best for our daughter. Devotion and detachment were both needed on our part, just as the best of both allopathic and complementary/alternative approaches would eventually be needed better.
April 19,1999. Jody officially started using the remedies and set up a schedule: Three consecutive days a week for abdominal castor oil packs, followed by an abdominal and spinal massage (my job), daily doses of Passion Flower fusion, weekly spinal adjustments, and the Cayce diet.
On my own, I continued researching the epilepsy readings. Though they seemed to follow a certain pattern from one reading to another, there were many variations in what caused the problem, the effect on the body, and the treatment for it.
Old-fashioned osteopathic adjustments were consistently recommended for epilepsy but finding that type of an osteopath in our area was nearly impossible. That left chiropractors: The best alternative, I thought, and so many to choose from.
Jody agreed to these treatments, but they seemed ineffectual and gave her no relief from the chronic tightness in her neck. However there was a young man, Francois, who had trained in France and did bodywork similar to spinal adjustments. His treatments integrated visceral (abdominal) manipulation and massage to help relax the muscles that hold the spine in alignment. After his treatments, Jody could feel the difference in her abdomen and neck. Unfortunately, he was moving and only planned on visiting occasionally.
But Jody was determined. Gradually she made the necessary dietary changes and, after a while, even found them agreeable. More important, the uncomfortable sensations in her stomach diminished, as did the frequency of the seizures.
By late May 1999 Jody started going three, four, or five days without a seizure, and by July she went eleven days straight seizure-and aura- free! This was cause to celebrate; yet when she did have a seizure, she could still have several in a day.
Early September 1999, Jody had a routine appointment with her local neurologist. He asked how she was doing, and without mentioning the Cayce remedies, she replied that she had changed her diet and was feeling better. He said that was encouraging and to keep it up. They then discussed lowering her medication since it didn’t seem to make a difference one way or the other. However, he wanted her to have another MRI because her right pupil was still dilated. This time Jody didn’t resist the suggestion and neither did I. The seizures this last year had been more severe and frequent except when Jody carefully followed the Cayce remedies. (It was now four years since her last MRI.)
Jody went for the MRI a couple of weeks after Labor Day. A few days later the phone rang. It was the nurse from the neurologist’s office asking us all to come in the next day to see the doctor. Alarmed, I said, “We’ll be there tomorrow, but please have the doctor call us today.”
The neurologist called back while Jody was out with friends. John and I listened in on different extensions as the physician explained a tumor had been found – though this might prove to be good news. It was very possible, he thought, that the tumor was the cause of the seizures. In any case, he said he would talk with us in greater detail tomorrow.
John was optimistic, if not ecstatic. The tumor was the culprit all along and could simply be removed. Yet to me, the tumor was like a death sentence, since my mother had died from one 15 years before.
September 22,1999. The three of us sat down with the neurologist. He said the tumor was located in the right temporal lobe of Jody’s brain. Benign or malignant, aggressive or not, these answers wouldn’t be known until a biopsy was performed. Did this mean she first needed a biopsy before it could be removed? No, not necessarily. This wasn’t his specialty but he could refer us to a nero-surgeon at UVA.
Where was the best place to go? Would radiation or chemotherapy be recommended for this type of tumor? Why hadn’t it shown up in the earlier MRIs? Questions were many – answers were few, I realized as we left the office.
By the time we arrived back home, I had been nominated to make the necessary decisions and medical arrangements. Fine. Where to start? First things first: Heavy-duty praying. Then I started looking for the right neurosurgeon. (To condense: Jody had surgery at UCLA. The tumor was completely removed but due to complications, Jo suffered a stroke that paralyzed her left side. Thankfully, she improved rapidly and was sent home within a few weeks from their well-known rehabilitation center to resume treatments in Virginia Beach.)
Originally, I thought Jody would be returning home in a wheelchair and wondered how she would get around her room without major renovations. But because of Jody’s progress and her ability to ambulate with a cane, John only needed to make minor changes for reasons of safety.
Determined as ever, Jo set up a schedule for exercising inside and began taking short walks with us outside. Once more Jody was aiming high. Besides regaining use of the left side of her body, she was hoping to restart college by the fall of 2000. In order to accomplish this, she would need to build up enough strength and coordination to carry herself and a heavy backpack the required distances between classes and an apartment on campus. This would be no small feat, but I had no doubt that she would achieve her goals if only to get away from us!
November 1999. This Thanksgiving, more than ever before, was a time for gratitude. An added bonus was that Jo had been seizure-free for two months – the longest yet. We were all delighted by this and by her healing in general. To many it seemed inevitable that it would be just a matter of time before she could resume a normal life.
However, despite how it appeared, I still had doubts about what the future might bring concerning the seizures. There were still too many unanswered questions. What if the tumor wasn’t the cause of the seizures but the result? Maybe the tumor wasn’t seen on the first MRI because there was nothing to see. But the most perplexing question to me was if the tumor had triggered the seizures, as the doctors implied, why had the Cayce remedies helped the way they did?
It was my greatest hope, that the seizures were over, but I kept thinking about what the nurse at the New Jersey epilepsy center had said about the reoccurrence of seizures after surgery. If this was true, the seizures could return at any time because the original cause, which existed below the head, not in it, had not been alleviated.
Mid-December 1999, nearly three months since Jody’s last seizure. It was morning. Jo was in her room preparing to shower. John and I were nearby in the kitchen when we heard a loud yell and a thud. Thinking that Jody might have slipped and fallen, we ran in to find the bathroom door slightly ajar with Jo lying on the floor behind it. It took only a moment to realize she hadn’t fallen accidentally. She was having a seizure.
After speaking with her neurologist, Jo considered her choices and shortly before Christmas resumed the Cayce remedies. It was easy for her to pick up where she left off once she set her mind to it. She was already eating well, which was half the battle the first time around. Castor oil packs, abdominal and spinal massages, and chiropractic adjustments were started again as well. All this was in addition to an exercise program Jo’s therapists had outlined for her and could be followed independently.
January 1, 2000 came and went. Days passed, and then a few weeks without another seizure. We all kept our fingers crossed, hoping for the best. But disappointingly, they returned again with her next menstrual cycle. Once more John talked about exploring hormonal therapy. I favored Cayce. Jody was in the middle. The only positive thing we all noticed was that having one seizure a month was quite different from having 10 or more.
May 2000. Over the years in my quest to help my daughter, as well as myself, I looked into a number of psychics trying to find someone who might be able to give as good a “physical” reading as Edgar Cayce. It had been a futile search until I found Jim Branch. [Note: Jim Branch died in 2002.]
With Jody’s permission, I requested a physical reading for her. However, I was cautious and deliberately gave no indication of Jody’s condition prior to the reading or in the questions I submitted for the reading. What I had submitted was Jody’s date, time, and place of her birth. The time and day for the reading was prearranged. All that Jim needed was her location – just like Cayce. When the time came, Jo and I waited quietly together. I looked forward to Jody’s reading with anticipation – hoping with all my heart that Jody would find some help. As it turned out, I wasn’t disappointed.
Within a week we received an audiotape and a transcript of the reading. The answers were nothing short of astounding. While in trance, Jim described Jody’s condition: The symptoms, cause, and remedies to be followed with an uncanny awareness of what was already being done on Jody’s behalf.
I read the transcript and was humbled. What a gift! Jim’s reading was no different from what Cayce might have suggested. He did what I had hoped someone could do; he had individualized the remedies to Jody’s particular needs. We were to continue with the Cayce diet and abdominal castor oil packs but add alternating packs of castor oil and Glyco-Thymoline (a product frequently recommended by Cayce for a variety of reasons) to the spine. Minute amounts, taken orally, of Glyco-Thymoline and atomidine, a form of iodine, were also suggested. Then Jo was to have cranial-sacral/osteopathic adjustments to help the “incoordination in the nervous system” and the “rearrangement … of cranial forces” between these series of packs. The chiropractic adjustments she had been receiving just weren’t doing the trick.
Adding the spinal packs to Jo’s regimen wouldn’t be difficult, but finding the right person for the cranialsacral adjustments was a different matter. I learned there were two different types of cranial-sacral adjustments, both conceived by osteopaths. [Note: Dr. John Upledger, founder of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) discusses the differences between the two techniques on his website: www.upled ger.com/news/9505b.htm.] Jo tried both types of treatments, which cost anywhere from $45 to $75, depending on who was doing it. But the effects were so subtle she found it hard to tell if the treatments were helping.
Since I had no experience with this type of bodywork, I requested a follow up reading with Jim. The second reading emphasized that the therapist’s intention and attitude were as important as their technique. This, too, went along with what Cayce had repeatedly reminded caretakers when administering to the person in need.
From Jody’s second reading: “So much here then is determined by the interaction of the body with those influences laid upon the body, and in such the acts of intention and those who do practice same are probably the best through this period.”
It was just this “interaction” that caused a problem for Jo. Besides the treatment’s subtleness and cost, there was the element of time. A session usually lasted an hour and Jo needed to lie relatively still for it. This wasn’t an easy thing to ask of her since Jody even looked upon sleep as a regrettable intrusion in her life.
But through the ensuing summer months Jody worked with the updated remedies. This included the recommended adjustments approximately every two weeks from an osteopath we had just located whose specialty was cranial osteopathy. However, despite our best efforts, Jody continued to experience monthly seizures.
September 2000, Jo started back at ODU on her own two feet. It was a struggle but she knew it was worth it. In the meantime, Jo came home on weekends and kept up with her studies, exercises, and all of the Cayce/ Branch remedies.
Through the fall months, the seizures persisted, even with Jo’s biweekly visits to the osteopath. Maybe it was time for a change? I made inquiries and found a woman’s name mentioned several times as someone who was good with CST. She was a massage therapist who had traveled to the Upledger Institute for intensive training. Jody agreed to try someone new but between everyone’s schedules, trips and studies, it took quite a while to arrange a convenient appointment.
In early December 2000, the CST therapist finally saw Jody and worked on her for more than an hour. As Jo dressed, the therapist mentioned that during the session she felt a major shift take place. She hoped it would be beneficial but said that a few more treatments would probably be needed.
However, in the car ride back to ODU, Jody informed me she wouldn’t be returning because she wasn’t comfortable there. I understood, but when Jo went through a menstrual cycle in a few days without a seizure, I asked her to reconsider. Not having a seizure at this time of the month was the ultimate test – and the first time this had occurred in seven long years. But feeling the way she did, Jo rightfully wouldn’t return and I resumed the search for another CST therapist.
During Jody’s recovery, I began volunteering in the A.R.E. library, which eventually turned into a full-time position. I loved being there despite my reservations about being able to work in a metaphysical library. Having dyslexia and dealing with all those unfamiliar words was a challenge. (What in the world was an “ephemeris” and how could I look it up if I couldn’t even spell it?) But my supervisor, Claudeen Cowell, was generous with her encouragement and appreciated my enthusiasm for the Cayce health remedies.
It also seemed that the right people came into the library just when you needed them. That was the case when I began looking for another CST therapist. Beau Johnson walked in. He was somewhat of a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, who traveled around the country talking to people about Biodynamic agriculture and healing ways of living. Beau, as it turned out, was also a good friend of Jim’s, and went on to tell me about Mark Shean, a friend to both of them who did CST when he wasn’t working on his organic farm. I took Mark’s number and called him. It sounded as if he didn’t have as much training as the previous therapist, but he had enough.
I hoped Jody would find Mark’s treatments tolerable, and she did. She actually found them very relaxing. Jody saw Mark three or four times in the next couple of months. After not having a seizure in December, she had one in January and another in February. Once again doubts clouded my mind.
Yet, looking back, it worked out all for the best just the way it was. Jo had her last CST session and last seizure in February – February 18, 2001 to be exact. Of course, she didn’t know at the time that that was the last one.
As each month passed without incident, I casually asked if she had had a seizure, and she just as casually answered “no.” She didn’t share her feelings with me, but I had to control my own growing excitement that this might be “it,” yet walk a fine line in case the next month proved me wrong.
The summer passed uneventfully. Jody circled August 18 on her calendar – the date that would signify six months had passed without a seizure, and scheduled an appointment with her neurologist. But when the time arrived, she was disappointed to learn the doctor wanted her to wait an extra month because of her medical history. Though she had no choice in the matter, she understood. So she waited, seizure-free, and started driving once again. September 18 – her 24th birthday – was a long awaited gift for all of us. Our efforts paid off.
To this day Jody continues to be seizure- and medication-free.
About The Author:
Linda Caputi, a retired registered nurse, is on staff at the A.R.E. Library, and has been involved with the Cayce material for the last 30 years. She has researched, compiled, and updated many of the circulating files on both medical and non-medical topics, and is the author of the book, Epilepsy – Jody’s Journey: An Inspiring True Story of Healing with the Edgar Cayce Remedies. She is available for private consultations on Cayce and alternative remedies. Contact information; firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is adapted from the book, Epilepsy – Jody’s Journey: An Inspiring True Story of Healing with the Edgar Cayce Remedies.