I clearly remember the last time I saw my late grandmother alive. It was the spring of 2010, and I was back in Virginia Beach visiting for a few days from California, where I was completing my final year at Palmer College of Chiropractic West. The past couple years had been nothing short of challenging and tumultuous for my family in Virginia Beach as they tried everything they could to help my grandmother. Grandma’s ability to remember things was slipping away, and she was increasingly agitated and firm in her denial that anything was wrong. The family tried many things to help her, but over the years, Grandma withdrew from all social activities and spent most of her time isolated at home. As her memory grew worse, the situation became more dire.
Eventually, the whole family agreed that Grandma needed to be moved to a care center for those with Alzheimer’s. Because I was living in California then, there was little I could do to help, other than offer suggestions and encouragement over the phone. When I was finally able to get enough time away from school to return home, I could see as soon as I got off the plane the dramatic toll taking care of Grandma was having on my family. When I visited Grandma at the Alzheimer’s facility, she didn’t recognize me or even remember my name—though I could see in her eyes throughout our time together that she knew I was someone familiar. Our conversation consisted of her repeatedly asking, “Why am I here? I want to go home. I want to go home!”
Alzheimer’s is a condition of the mind that pulls deeply on the heartstrings of family and loved ones, and its emotional toll on caregivers is beyond measure. The needs this challenging condition creates are tremendous and compounded by the medical community’s not yet fully understanding what is happening. How is it that someone can lose the ability to remember how to do the simplest tasks, tasks the rest of us take for granted? How is it possible for someone to forget their own family members? What does the medical community know about the condition, and what can we learn from the Cayce readings? And how might we integrate Cayce’s holistic view with what today’s doctors are saying? This article humbly attempts to begin finding answers to these questions.
Understanding and Treating Alzheimer’s
According to information in 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, published by the Alzheimer’s Association, this condition is “a type of brain disease . . . a progressive disease, thought to begin twenty years or more before symptoms arise. It starts with changes in the brain unnoticeable to the person affected. Only after years of brain changes do individuals experience noticeable symptoms such as memory loss and language problems. Symptoms occur because nerve cells (neurons) in the parts of the brain involved in thinking, learning, and memory (cognitive function) have been damaged or destroyed. As the disease progresses, neurons in other parts of the brain are damaged or destroyed as well. Eventually, neurons in the parts of the brain that enable a person to carry out basic bodily functions, such as walking and swallowing, are affected. Individuals become bed-bound and require around-the-clock care. Alzheimer’s disease is ultimately fatal.” What is important to highlight here is that Alzheimer’s is now understood to begin many years earlier than previously thought, all the while creating progressive neurological damage and destruction.
It is also important to distinguish between Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Again, citing the 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, “Recent large autopsy studies show that more than half of individuals with Alzheimer’s dementia have Alzheimer’s disease brain changes (pathology) as well as the brain changes of one or more other causes of dementia, such as cerebrovascular disease or Lewy body disease. . . . The hallmark pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease are the accumulation of the protein fragment beta-amyloid (plaques) outside neurons in the brain and twisted strands of the protein tau (tangles) inside neurons.” Note that the medical community has identified cerebrovascular causes (changes in the brain’s blood vessels) and Lewy body’s (another form of alpha-protein that gets deposited in the brain) as other possible causes of dementia.
Whatever the underlying cause(s) of Alzheimer’s prove to be, the other important question is what are the current treatments? As far as pharmacological medicine goes, the Alzheimer’s Association 2021 Report says: “None of the pharmacologic treatments (drugs) available today for Alzheimer’s dementia slow or stop the damage and destruction of neurons that cause Alzheimer’s symptoms and make the disease fatal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s: rivastigmine, galantamine, donepezil, memantine, and memantine combined with donepezil. A sixth drug, aducanumab, is under FDA review for approval at this writing. Of these drugs, aducanumab is the only one that may potentially slow the progression of Alzheimer’s (it has been tested only for individuals with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s dementia). With the exception of memantine, the remaining drugs temporarily improve cognitive symptoms by increasing the amount of chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain.”
It gets even more interesting as the recently approved drug Aduhelm (a patent name for aducanumab) has caused quite an uproar. Web MD has reported: “Despite strong objections from its own independent advisory panel, the FDA approved Aduhelm for all patients with Alzheimer’s, though the drug has been tested only in patients with early stages of the disease. Three experts resigned from the advisory panel after the FDA’s decision, citing questionable clinical trial results and concerns about the potential side effects.”
Only a few Cayce readings speak specifically of Alzheimer’s; however, in my studies I discovered several fascinating connections among the readings on cases of dementia, neurosis, and PTSD. Let’s look closely at two specific cases from the readings.
In the first, Cayce speaks with a 51-year-old female whose autopsy would confirm that she had Alzheimer’s:
“As we find, there have been outside influences which have produced a real nervous shock to the system in such a nature that the reflexes from the cerebrospinal centers and the cerebrospinal center itself, have received a condition which prevents their coordination. These, as we find, reflect from clots which have formed on the capsule of the brain itself. They are not as tumors, rather as clots. As we find, these may be removed by absorption or by operative measures. While it would require much longer for this to be done by absorption, it would be much more in accord with insuring longer experience in the earth; if the Wet Cell Appliance were used carrying gold and camphor to the vibrations of the body . . . We would follow each of these treatments with a gentle massage along the cerebrospinal area, from around the ears down, with equal portions of olive oil and tincture of myrrh. Heat the oil to add the myrrh… These, if they are kept regularly, prayerfully, may bring back memory, bring back coordination between cerebrospinal and sympathetic and the reflexes to the sensory system . . . We would massage away from the head gently, rather in a neuropathic manner, with oils as indicated . . . Keep the body quiet; keep the body in the open when weather permits, though not too much in too strong a sun. Do have cheerful company about the body, and the conversation should be creative, constructive, and never just gossip.” (ECRL) [Readings notated with “ECRL” indicate that some of the language has been edited by the author for ease of understanding.]
“Keep the body quiet; keep the body in the open when weather permits, though not too much in too strong a sun. Do have cheerful company about the body, and the conversation should be creative, constructive, and never just gossip.” (Cayce)
It is interesting to note that the first statement describes the cause as an “outside shock” to the nervous system causing an incoordination seen in the formation of clots on the brain. This condition, the reading says, could be treated by an operation or by slow absorption (though it would take longer, it would be better for a long life experience). I find it fascinating that Cayce’s treatments combine the Wet Cell Appliance (alternating its use of gold and camphor) with massage (using olive oil and a myrrh tincture), a cheerful and creative environment, and no gossiping.
For a 57-year-old female, her Cayce reading said that, “These are disturbances which may not be other than materially aided. These are the result of karmic conditions for the body, as well as those about the body. We may help, yes. While there are the disturbances which are causing premature senile conditions or the withering away of the control of mental reflexes, there should be care and loving-kindness, gentleness,and patience administered to the body. These will not only bring a greater attempt for the reactions but will bring the greater ability for the soul-entity’s development. It would be well at times, as there are those bridges in the associations between the sympathetic and cerebrospinal nerve forces, to be careful that the body does not injure itself or others; but do not put the body away, unless there becomes more of that which would be or cause it to be dangerous for others.” (Cayce)
This reading also recommends treatment using the Wet Cell Appliance, massage, and a loving and patient attitude. However, the cause of disease in this case is attributed to a karmic condition, and the treatments are simply an aid for the woman’s soul development. Notice also that the reading gives warning to be careful that this woman does not become dangerous to herself or others. Anyone who has cared for a dementia patient knows this is a valid concern because they can become combative and violent during later stages of the disease if they feel threatened.
As I continued to study the readings, I looked at cases from the Circulating File on PTSD that involved other brain conditions and found multiple correlations. In all fourteen cases in this file, every single person had experienced some kind of “shock” or trauma earlier in their life that caused a variety of incoordinations in the nervous system and created conditions for the symptoms they now had. Some of these were earlier experiences of combat “shell shock,” others were traumatic events from childhood, and still others were traumas in the more recent environment. One interesting case involved a 32-year-old female who received nine readings total; she was in a mental hospital when her first reading was given:
“Now as we find, there may be help brought to this body, if there can be—under changed environs—the application of that which is the fruit of the spirit of truth, of helpfulness, of gentleness, of kindness, of patience. As we find, many changes will be necessary in making applications that may be helpful. The first, this change of environment. In giving that as may be helpful, then, for the physical and the mental welfare of the body—something might be given as to the sources or the causes of the present condition, to say nothing of the horrible effect the environs have upon the body, and that through which this entity or soul has passed in its present environment. There being in this body, with this entity, a high nervous temperament, with ideals as high, as keen as may be found in many a day, the activities through which the entity passed have shattered its hopes, its aspirations—by the advances that were unspeakable to the entity, the MENTAL self, the higher self . . . To be sure, it will require that there be a constant attendant; and one physically able to handle the body, but NOT in a manner other than kindness, patience, and with LOVING care—rather than the attempts to further break down the self-expression
. . . There should be sufficient care in the feeding there be strength and nerve-building foods, supplying the elements that will replenish an impoverished body; a condition where there is not anemia in its functional sense but anemia in the sense of the deterioration of those portions of the physical organism which are able to supply blood nutrition and the activities necessary.” (Cayce)
This reading also points to a “fall” this person had, while trying to escape, which caused incoordination in the lumbar and coccyx. The reading recommends manual therapy treatments to this area of the spine, along with the Wet Cell Appliance using a gold solution. The importance of a good diet is mentioned, to help this person recover, but emphasis is on the energy of the environment surrounding this woman and on providing love.
The Wet Cell and Radiac Appliances
Throughout the Cayce readings low electrical devices are recommended as treatments. The Wet Cell Appliance (which uses a low electrical current just below that of a D battery) was typically recommended when symptoms were already present, whereas the Radiac Appliance (which uses no current but the body’s own energy) was recommended as a preventative for memory and brain functioning. In a 2003 symposium on “Holistic Medicine of the Future,” Dr. Barbara Derrick, a licensed professional psychologist, presented two cases in which these appliances were used. She reported that both were helpful. The Radiac Appliance appeared to help prevent memory loss when used consistently.
What I find fascinating about the Wet Cell Appliance is the recommendation to use it with solutions of gold, camphor, or silver. In theory, trace amounts of gold are required for the formation of grey matter in the brain. It’s also possible that silver supports the white matter of the brain and the spinal cord. In David McMillin’s book Alzheimer’s Disease and the Dementias: An Alternative Perspective Based on the Edgar Cayce Readings (A.R.E. Press, 1997), he shows that this Cayce approach rebuilds the brain. These treatments were also used for conditions that include multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s, and epilepsy. Camphor was often recommended for treating and healing scar tissue, so perhaps this might be a way to remove clots forming in the brain. After using the Wet Cell Appliance, Cayce always recommends a massage along specific parts of the spine and body. This helps to distribute and coordinate the vibrations of the gold, camphor, or silver solutions, while the use of olive oil and myrrh aids the circulation and deeper vessels. Given the potential in these treatments, more good research on vibrational energy treatments would be worthwhile.
Cayce’s Recommendations For Treating Alzheimer’s
My study of the Cayce readings found the following recommendations for treating Alzheimer’s and dementia were most common:
• Create a loving, caring, and cheerful environment for the afflicted person (sympathetic caregivers are crucial).
• Do not leave the person in isolation.
• Recognize and heal past traumas.
• Recognize karmic lessons and opportunities for soul growth.
• Correct nervous system incoordination using electrical devices such as the Radiac and the Wet Cell Appliance (with solutions such as gold, camphor, or silver)—along with manual therapy (manipulation or massage).
• Adhere to a healthy diet (typically blood building). Although nothing specific was noted in these particular readings, the Cayce diet commonly recommended consists of 80 percent alkaline-forming foods to 20 percent acid-forming foods.
• Spend regular time outdoors, exercising in ways that are enjoyable.
• Make use of “suggestive therapies,” such as hypnosis and affirmations (affirmations the patient can use as well as those given to them by someone who sincerely cares for them).
Comparing recommendations in the Cayce readings with those in the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2021 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures (where certain risk factors such as genetics, cardiovascular disease, and previous traumatic brain injury are associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia), we see overlap in the importance they give to keeping our hearts healthy and healing trauma. The 2021 Report also points out that “additional studies suggest that remaining socially and mentally active throughout life may support brain health and possibly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.” So by continually learning new things, being mentally challenged, and keeping socially active, the neurons that help with memory are preserved.
According to the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM), two out of three brains that develop Alzheimer’s belong to women. To reduce risk, WAM recommends women follow these guidelines:
• Eat a healthy diet.
• Take regular walks.
• Get enough sleep.
• Take care of your heart.
• Exercise your mind.
• Increase your antioxidants.
• Keep stress in check.
• Take care of your gut.
• Balance your hormones.
• Watch for depression.
“According to the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, two out of three brains that develop Alzheimer’s belong to women.”
It is interesting to see how aligned many of these guidelines are with Cayce’s approach to treatment.
Finally, the cost of treating these patients is staggering, and with the increasing prevalence of this disease, the need for quality caregivers is at an all-time high. We must also pay attention to the caregivers and families of Alzheimer’s patients. The patience required of caregivers and family is nothing short of heroic. Alzheimer’s is a problem that demands to be addressed by society. The challenge is set before all of us to advocate for more research, affordable care for everyone suffering, and financial and emotional support for the caregivers and families of the patients. With a growing understanding of the problem, there is promise in treating and healing dementia as we evolve into a new age of healing.
Resources for this article:
2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s Association.
“First Patient Gets Biogen’s New Alzheimer’s Drug” Carolyn Crist, WebMD.com, June 17, 2021.
David McMillin, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: An Alternative Perspective Based on the Edgar Cayce Readings (A.R.E. Press, 1997).
Circulating File: Alzheimer’s Disease. Edgar Cayce Foundation, 1996.
Circulating File: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Edgar Cayce Foundation, 2009.
“10 Things Every Woman Can Do To Take Care of Her Brain” Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.org.
Jean Paul (JP) Amonte DC, CMT, ChT, is a licensed chiropractor, massage therapist, and hypnotherapist. He is a graduate of the Cayce/Reilly® School of Massage and currently a lead instructor at the massage school and a clinician at the A.R.E. Health Center & Spa. A popular lecturer at A.R.E., Dr. Amonte can be reached at email@example.com.