The following commentary by William A. McGarey, M.D. is a general overview of the Cayce approach to arthritis. The patterns of pathology and treatment recommendations discussed in the Cayce readings for this condition are diverse and reflect the tremendous variability in how this illness can manifest for each unique individual. This overview should be viewed as one perspective of how to apply the Cayce approach for persons suffering from osteoarthritis.
Nearly all cases of arthritis fall into one of two general classifications which are relatively easily differentiated, although poorly understood.
Atrophic arthritis – more commonly called rheumatoid – has also been given the name of proliferative arthritis or arthritis deformans. This type of disease process is characterized by inflammatory changes in the synovial membranes of the joints, and in the periarticular structures, and by atrophy and rarification of the bones. [See Cecil, R.: “Diseases of the Joints”, R. Cecil’s Textbook of Medicine, ed. 5, Phila. and London: W.B. Saunders Co., 1942, pp 1408 – 1435; and Robinson, W. D.: “Diseases of the Joints”, Cecil and Loebe Textbook of Medicine, ed. 12, Phila. and London; W. B. Saunders Co., 1967, pp. 1390 – 1420.] In the early stages there is a migratory swelling and stiffness of the joints with a rather typical fusiform swelling of the proximal interphalangeal joints of the fingers. Later on there is deformity with ankylosis, and frequently an ulnar deviation of the fingers as a sign of this disease. Subcutaneous nodules are frequent in these patients, and usually the disease is found beginning in young people, more commonly the male than the female. There is present anemia, chronic emaciation, loss of calcium in the bone structures, and the patient is rather severely and chronically ill.
Hypertrophic arthritis, on the other hand, gives an entirely different picture. This has been called more commonly osteoarthritis and is known as degenerative or senescent arthritis. In this disease process there is generally no inflammation and no spreading or migratory type of joint involvement. Rather than a loss of calcium, there is a calcium build-up. An example of this is the so-called Heberden’s nodes – a swelling and build-up of calcium about the base of the terminal phalanges of both hands. In osteoarthritis, there are calcific spurs and there is deformity of the joints, but never ankylosis and rarely if ever, the ulnar deviation of the fingers such as is found in atrophic arthritis.
There are other types of arthritis not quite so common. The arthritis associated with rheumatic fever, and those found with various inflammatory diseases constitute the majority of this group. Gout might be listed in a separate classification.
In this commentary on arthritis, we will be concerned exclusively with atrophic and hypertrophic arthritis, its etiology and its therapy.
I. PHYSIOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Physiological factors in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis are certainly different from those which bring about the condition we know as osteoarthritis. Thus it would not be surprising to find such a differentiation taking shape in the Cayce readings on these two different conditions. The severity of the illness as is found in the atrophic arthritis, along with its poorer prognosis, would lead one to suspect that the abnormal physiology is of a much deeper origin with much more profound ramifications. If these various factors were not explored to some extent in regard to causation of arthritis in both instances, an understanding of the physiology involved and the therapeutic measures which would become necessary could hardly be obtained. At the same time, there are certain basic causative factors here which are common to both conditions, and this, also, might be anticipated.
A. Poor Eliminations
Poor elimination, and its associated and resultant condition, inadequate assimilation, seem to be a part of the picture in nearly every condition of arthritis no matter what type it may be. Apparently the other abnormal functions within the body contribute to the problem of improper elimination and direct the body down a course which brings either a mild or a very serious condition which must be met.
In those cases which Cayce described, it is very seldom a simple procedure, even when the individual is not seriously ill. For instance, [Cayce] was told that her problem originated from tautness of the muscles of the back and the nerves through the autonomic nervous system of the spine which in turn produced lack of elimination through the skin or through the liver and kidneys. This produced an autointoxication through substances which were picked up in the hepatic circulation, and this in turn created what is described as a “blood force” to the capillaries supplying the bursae and joint spaces of the lower extremities, and caused a contraction in the lymphatic system of these sacs, thus hampering the action of the limbs themselves. This was a cause of osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often marked by the appearance of subcutaneous nodules. A 57-year-old man, [Cayce], who was experiencing rheumatoid arthritis as a “meeting of self”, was told that the knots or cysts under the skin came about as a result of a “lack of proper distribution of energies that have been used in the body. Not wholly toxic conditions, but producing toxic conditions by their lack of proper elimination.”[Cayce] This man, whose disease was obviously karmic in nature, was suffering from lack of proper eliminations throughout his body which brought about a crystallization of hormones in the circulation of the lymphatics. This created an incoordination between the lymph or superficial circulation and the deeper circulation. All the sympathetic nerves were under stress and strain so that in movements of the body, “these cry out for relief, as it were.” There was a lack of proper assimilation as a part of the nerve disorder and disturbance.
B. Chemical Imbalance
Another case which was quite similar, [Cayce], came about through the lack of the activity of the liver as it is related to the gall bladder and its function, in producing “solvents” for assisting in the assimilation of foods for the body. These apparently produced an inflammatory reaction which was carried then to the centers of locomotion for the body, and thus created an inflammatory reaction in the extremities. Chemical imbalances in the body, lack of iodine in the blood stream – these are mentioned as etiologic factors.
One individual was told that there was a crystallization of most all forms of any foods that have certain potential elements or salts in them. This came about in the joints and tendons, thus creating the arthritic tendency or condition.
In a 53-year-old woman, whose arthritis had progressed to the point of ankylosis, there was an unbalanced condition which weakened the resistance in the lymphatics and the emunctory circulation through the extremities, especially in the bursae of the body. Cayce described the bursae as those “portions of the body where there are those areas where great lymph pockets are gathered in the regular functioning of the body” [Cayce]. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary describes them as being sacs filled with viscid fluid located in tissue where there would otherwise be friction. The joint spaces must also be included in Cayce’s description, which is picturesque yet accurate.
Among those with atrophic arthritis, assimilation was proposed as a cause in relationship to a glandular malfunction in [Cayce]. this brought about an infection, creating the arthritis. In another case, there was a lack of the glandular systems being able to reproduce themselves. And in still another, the activity of the glands was given as the faulty mechanism, and described as a karmic reaction. The glandular disturbance between the liver and the kidneys produced a suppression of elimination and an accumulation in the extremities which is described as an arthritic tendency, in still another case.
C. Poor Assimilation
Hindered nerve reflexes, depression of the ganglia coming about from poor assimilations and causing improper lymph function, and incoordination of the activity between the liver and the kidneys – all three of these were pointed out as elements in the etiology of arthritis.
From the various functions which are seen to be abnormal, one begins to piece together part of the etiologic mechanisms seen in these psychic readings. Disturbed elimination from any cause, certainly, seems to be the primary abnormality of function. When there are glandular disturbances, it seems more likely that a rheumatoid condition would result, since glandular activity is so closely related to overall organ balance and function; and in the Cayce readings the glands are seen as the mediator of that balancing force which we know as karma. Improper assimilation often comes about before or after the eliminations are disturbed, and the nerve function from the ganglia of the autonomic nervous system is involved in the abnormal physiology.
The readings would likely imply that the development of arthritis is an attempt on the part of the ligaments and the joints themselves to meet the needs of the system which is being poisoned. With the drosses present in the bloodstream, the lymphatics and the lymphocytes with all their resources are unable in conjunction with the hormones, to bring about a full (what Cayce calls) coagulation, or a building up of tissue from energy -a reconstruction in a sense of the cells of the body. Thus, the type of arthritis is determined to a great extent by the derangement of function prior to the onset of improper eliminations. It is probably more closely associated with the hormonal disturbance in rheumatoid arthritis, whereas in osteoarthritis the body is better balanced in all of its activities and not subject to such a derangement as comes about in the atrophic manifestation of the disease.
II. RATIONALE OF THERAPY
In approaching therapy, we should remember that the body has a capability of normal function;
Thus we would administer those activities which would bring a normal reaction through these portions, stimulating them to an activity from the body itself, rather than the body becoming dependent upon supplies that are robbing portions of the system to produce activity in other portions, or the system receiving elements, or chemical reactions being supplied without arousing the activities of the system itself for a more normal condition. (Cayce)
Perhaps the best rational approach to treating arthritis is found in some of the early suggestions given a 40-year old woman who became case. Cayce said, “The causes or sources of these conditions are of a very subtle nature. The effects that have been produced in the extremities are hard to cope with.” Yet, he said that results would be forthcoming if consistency and persistence were utilized in applying the suggestions which were given. And, he pointed out, the applications which were to be followed would “first meet the conditions, gradually cleanse the system, and then begin to renew the energies of the body.” (Cayce)
It is highly important that the theory of applying therapy in cycles be followed, since there is not one reading given for arthritis where a cyclic nature of treatment was not used. The balance of the body as a whole should always be watched carefully, for sometimes by changing a function of elimination without due regard for the ramifications of such an activity, the patient may be put into dire distress. This is particularly true in regard to the Epsom salts baths, the massages, and the Atomic Iodine. The balance within the body is also to be understood if possible. Cayce suggested to [Cayce] that treatment applied with persistence and consistency may:
…make for the coordination between the elimination of the sympathetic system, the eliminations which control through the central nerve and blood supply of the organs themselves, that is, the lungs heart, liver and kidneys, as well as the superficial circulation; these as controlled by the nerves and muscular forces of the sensory or sympathetic system. (Cayce)
Medications as such, particularly sedatives, were not seen in the readings to be valuable. On the contrary, they would usually cause trouble. An example was the comment made to [Cayce], a 57-year-old man with rheumatoid arthritis, who was told that aid will require a long period. Unless you are willing to take it all, he was told, “don’t start, but keep on with injections and sedatives which are just clogging the body further and will make the body become more and more useless for activity later on.”
With these comments in mind, a therapeutic approach would include the following four items:
1. Assimilations: This would include diet, control of digestive abnormalities, and adding beef juice where indicated.
2. Eliminations:. This might be done with castor oil packs, various eliminants, colonics, and enemas. It would certainly include hydrotherapy such as ordinary hot baths, Epsom salts baths, fume baths, and any other hydrotherapeutic routine.
3. Massage: The nerve supply to the muscles and tendons, and those coordinating the various organs should be improved through using massage, electrical vibrator or osteopathic treatments. Various oils and mixtures are given in the readings, some irritating in nature and others soothing.
The difference in approaching osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis therapeutically is apparent in at least three categories. First, care must be taken that a program is designed for the rheumatoid arthritic which will not disturb the body too greatly. Secondly, the severe rheumatoid arthritic apparently often needs the activities of the wet cell appliance. Third, because of the deeply ingrained nature of the disease, the rheumatoid would be given a course of therapy designed to be perhaps slower in its action but extending over a longer period of time. Osteoarthritis obviously should respond more easily and with less trauma to the patient and the doctor.
III. SUGGESTED THERAPEUTIC REGIME
The diet always assumes a rather major proportion in the treatment for arthritis as found in the readings. it seemed always to be understood if not stated, that the diet should be of a laxative nature. Again and again, Cayce advised that celery, lettuce, carrots and watercress be used often with gelatin as a salad. This, he said, would enhance the values found in all of these vegetables and in the gelatin itself, and would be beneficial to the body. For some, figs and dates were suggested to help with the laxative effect of the diet. Vegetable juices especially were found to be helpful. Cooked beets and carrots, and vegetables in large measure were always in order. One meal of green raw vegetables at noon was frequently suggested.
Fish, fowl, and lamb were seen as a primary source of meats; and no fried foods should ever be used. [Cayce] was told to avoid salt except in kelp and health or sea salts, and it is questionable whether any arthritic should ever use much sodium chloride. Starches and sweets together should be avoided. This means no cakes and pastries, or things of that nature. Honey or corn syrup on buckwheat cakes or corn bread or the like would be all right, but not with white bread. Apparently white flour which is used in cakes and pastries and bread with sweets forms a detrimental combination.
The diet should be well balanced but there should be no starchy foods in the diet. Green leafy vegetables are always excellent, and they should be used in preference to the pod or bulbar type of vegetable. Where there is weakness, beef juice should be used. Wild game is excellent food for the arthritic. A frequent suggestion is to increase the raw vegetables, to decrease the meats, to allow no carbonated drinks, alcohol or stimulants. Fats should also be avoided. All these factors in the diet should lead towards a better alkalinity, but it must always be remembered that a balance should be achieved. When there is a balanced diet with the conditions set forth here, the body is given the opportunity to assimilate those factors necessary to continue the rebuilding in a proper manner of the cells in the various parts of the body. Thus the assimilation is given proper attention.
Suggested Diet for Arthritis
The following foods should be included in your diet:
a. All kinds of raw vegetables (except cabbage), watercress, chard, mustard greens, kale, carrots, celery, lettuce (leaf or Romaine). These may be eaten with gelatin. This should be Knox Gelatin recipes; the gelatin may also be taken with tomato juice or other juices. (Gelatin has been called a catalyst in the body, helping it make use of the vitamins and other properties of vegetables and fruits.)
b. Black bread (pumpernickel, rye, or whole wheat).
c. Nuts, especially almonds and filberts (raw nuts are better than those roasted and salted).
d. Fish and sea foods, fowl, lamb, wild game, liver, tripe and pig knuckles.
e. Vegetable juices, citrus fruit juices at times when cereal is not eaten.
f. Berries, except strawberries, and citrus fruits.
g. Cooked leafy vegetables (except cabbage); oyster plant (salsify); parsnips; potato peelings from the baked potato, but not the bulk of it.
h. Jerusalem artichoke once each week (they are a root).
i. Great deal of watercress and beet tops (these especially help the eliminations).
j. Most fruits may be eaten, preferably fresh.
The following foods should be avoided:
a. These fruits: apples, bananas, strawberries, tomatoes.
b. These vegetables: cabbage, starchy foods.
c. No fried foods; no fats; no pork of any king, including bacon.
d. No beef, no veal.
e. No malt drinks; no carbonated water (i.e., in any soft drinks).
f. No alcohol or spices or other stimulants.
Beef Juice: Preparation
Beef juice is not a broth but a juice extracted from the meat through the process of heat. It is prepared as follows: about one pound of round steak preferably. Cut off the fat, leaving the muscles and pieces of tendon. Cut this then into half-inch cubes, and put it into a glass jar without water in it. The jar should be covered but not tightly. Then put the jar into a pan with water in it, the water coming about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way toward the top of the jar. Put a cloth on the bottom of the pan to prevent the jar from cracking. Let the water then simmer for three to four hours. Then strain off the juice which has accumulated in the jar, and the remaining meat may be pressed somewhat to extract the remainder of the juice. The meat will then be worthless. Place the juice in a refrigerator, but never keep it longer than three days. The quantity made, then, depends upon how much and how often the juice is taken. It should be taken 2 to 3 times a day, but not more than a tablespoon at the time – and this should be sipped very slowly taking perhaps five or ten minutes to use the whole amount.
It may be seasoned to suit the taste of the individual. It would be well also to use a whole wheat of Ry-Krisp cracker at the same time to make it more palatable.
Certainly all the readings on arthritis do not emphasize the use of eliminants, but there seems to be a consistent understanding that eliminations be made proper. The diet as mentioned above assists in this, and sometimes does the whole job. At other times, where there seems to be a real problem of constipation and accumulation of toxins throughout the system, colonics were suggested to be used prior to any therapy. At other times colonics were suggested during the course of therapy. Eno salts, a teaspoonful in a glass of water before the morning meal for one week, was given as a suggestion to [Cayce]. it was suggested at one point that the peanut oil and olive oil absorbed by prescription was given to [Cayce] as a substance which would excite the mucus or lactic forces to their proper action and carry toxic forces through their proper channel:
Eliminations as seen in therapeutic programs found in the readings came about through the fume baths and the showers and the hot baths, as well as through colonics and cathartics. Fume baths were suggested with witch hazel one time, and then Atomic Iodine the next time, and these of course are also eliminatory procedures. From the information given in the readings, it seems reasonable to assume that it is best not to put too much emphasis on colonics or enemas or cathartics since this might well unbalance the body during the procedure of repair. Perhaps this is why so much emphasis was placed on the Epsom salts baths, fume baths, the hot baths, the massages, and the laxative type diet. Care certainly must be taken in treating a severe arthritic in regards to eliminations as well as to the other parts of the therapy, for “as we find, unless there is great care taken in the administration for the body, the application for some portion of the disturbance may be very hard upon other portions of the body.” (Cayce)
The oils suggested for use here include peanut oil [Expeller or Refined] in the great majority of cases. This alone is used most frequently. Often peanut oil and olive oil in equal parts is suggested. peanut oil [Expeller or Refined], pine oil, and olive oil in equal parts was another variant. For (Cayce), vinegar was used as a massage across the lumbar area of the back and then to the knees, to be followed by application of hot salt packs, these to be contained in cloth, like bean bags. These would remain in place until the body is dry this apparently is also an eliminatory procedure. A rheumatoid arthritic, (Cayce) was given the following prescription for massage after the Epsom salts bath:
The Perscription for the Massage Formula is today called Arthro® Muscle & Joint Massage Oil (Item #766) with the Cayce Formula of:
- Olive oil
- Peanut oil
- Oil of pine needles
- Oil of Sassafras Root
- Lanolin, liquefied
- Usoline or Nujol
Arthro® Muscle & Joint Massage Oil, Item 766
Body Beautiful™ Massage Oil was suggested as another massage oil for arthritis relief. This is also the most recommended massage oil in the Cayce Readings for many conditions.
• Olive oil
• Peanut oil
Body Beautiful™ Massage Oil, Item 761
Osteopathic manipulations were suggested occasionally, and in these instances they often eliminated the need for frequent massages. Apparently the manipulation and the massage to a certain extent bring about some of the same changes. Wet cell therapy is at times suggested in what appear to be very severe cases.
D. Glandular Stimulation
Undoubtedly, the most consistent routine of therapy for arthritis in the Cayce readings is the combination of Atomic Iodine™, Epsom salts baths, and massage. This theme is played over and over again with varying periods of time allotted to the administration of Atomidine; with varying amounts of Epsom salts in the hot bath; and with different varieties of oils used for massage.
This triad of therapeutic measures is then repeated in cycles with rest periods between, until the body is returned to normal. The condition of the whole body must be kept in mind, of course, and the assimilation and eliminations must be made as proper as possible.[Cayce] was a 63-year-old man whose arthritis had been inflammatory in previous years but now was classed as chronic. His course of therapy is interesting because it typifies the suggestions in the readings. Also, he was told, "then, at times - just before the period for the sweats - the condition will apparently be more serious. But after the third of such sweats we find that improvement should come to the body, and the disturbance should gradually diminish in the severity." It is likely that any severe chronic or acute arthritic treated with these methods will go through periods of stress and pain, and apparent worsening before conditions actually become improved. Thus, the suggestions given to this man are of value to consider. The following are the different steps of therapy:
1. Atomic Iodine™, one drop in half a glass of water daily before breakfast, for three days; then three drops daily for two days; then four drops daily for two days; then five drops daily for two days.
2. The following day, an Epsom salts bath with 15 pounds of salts to 50 gallons of water. The water should be hot as the body can stand it. An attendant should be used and the body should be massaged while in the bath where it should remain at least twenty minutes.
3. A rub-down should be given immediately after the body is well dried off. First, use peanut oil to the limbs and the spine, then use grain alcohol rub, dipping the hands into the alcohol (85-90% proof). This should only be done when the pores are open, such as after this type of bath.
4. Rest five days before further therapy is started.
5. Then start Atomidine, one drop in a half a glass of water daily, for five days; then five drops daily for five days; then ten drops daily for two days.
6. Repeat the Epsom salts bath and rubs.
7. Rest another five days, but during this time a peanut oil massage should be done daily to the spine and to the limbs.
8. After the five day rest period, repeat the series of Atomidine and Epsom salts baths, with same instructions.
9. Rest for a longer period then, and use a more consistent amount of Atomidine prior to the bath in the next cycle and those to follow.
10. Diet should be of no fried foods; the meat should be fish, fowl, and lamb; juices are good, especially vegetable juices; cooked beets and carrots are especially good; no carbonated drinks.
Atomic Iodine™ Therapy: Other Suggested Routines
There were several different routines suggested as far as the use of Atomidine was concerned. It is always taken in a half glass of water before any food is taken. Apparently it stimulates the body and prepares it for eliminating toxins through the mechanism of the Epsom salts baths. From the information in the readings it appears that the more acute and inflammatory a case of arthritis is, the more careful one should be in using the Atomidine preparatory and prior to the Epsom salts baths.
1. One drop in half glass water daily for 5 days
Five drops on 6th day
Three hours after last dose, Epsom salts bath taken with 20 lbs. to 40 gal. water.
With this individual, these measures, Cayce suggested, would be painful, but if they were kept consistently results would be seen.
2. One drop in half glass water daily for 5 days
Rest two days
Repeat this a 2nd time and a 3rd time
3. One drop daily for 10 days.
On 10th day, five drops followed by the bath.
4. One drop daily for 5 days
Followed by ordinary bath or shower, and massage
Then a rest
Repeat this a second and a third time
On the fourth series, use 5 drops Atomidine daily for 3 days
Followed by Epsom salts bath
Appropriate rest period
Continue for a fifth and sixth series
5. One drop daily for 3 weeks.
6. One drop daily for 5 days
Followed by the bath
7. One drop daily for 5 days
Two drops daily for 5 days
Three drops daily for 5 days
Four drops daily for 5 days
Five drops daily for 5 days
Followed by the bath.
It can be seen that the use of Atomidine is certainly varied in the readings and does not follow a particular pattern that can be observed. However, one thing can always be counted on, and that is the periodicity or cyclic nature of the therapy, and this should be followed whatever dosage is to be used.
E. Other Treatments: Appliances
Mechanisms of action in low-energy treatment:
Throughout the readings Cayce suggested treatment with what he called low electrical energy, and he described the wet cell battery and the impedance device to make this possible. He has suggested both at various places in the treatment of arthritis. One woman, (Cayce) was told that the impedance device would add to her system that which "will bring the proper vibration for the system as to bring resuscitation to the physical forces of the body as come with the active principle of the creative element(s) in the physical body that produce the cell in its vibration for the body. Then, this would bring those forces as near to the resuscitation of the physical body as will be possible in one of this age, and prevent the re-occurrence of those conditions for the body."
Cayce says this energy given by the radio-active appliance device is in the nature of radio vibration "as will give to the nerve energy of the nerve systems, both of the cerebrospinal and sympathetic, that proper vibration as will create new energy in the system. These may be materially aided through that of the ultra-violet ray. These will assist only as the vibratory forces are set up, which will be aided through the application of the radio-active appliance carrying that of chloride of gold into the system." (Cayce)
SUGGESTED THERAPY FOR ARTHRITIS
Probably osteoarthritis and arthritic tendencies and questionably early rheumatoid arthritis might be grouped generally together, as far as therapy is concerned. The program should be used which will gradually bring the body back to normal. The following, with occasional deviations as might be chosen from prior paragraphs, could serve as an outline for therapy in these cases:
1. Diet. The suggestions already outlined should be followed with consistency and accuracy. This is very important.
2. If there has been a history of constipation, then a series of two colonics or three, or a series of high enemas taken every three or four days for a period of two weeks, prior to other therapy.
3. Atomic Iodine™, one drop daily for one week in half a glass of water early in the morning.
4. Rest from therapy for one week.
5. Atomic Iodine™ three drops daily for five days, then on the sixth day, ten drops.
6. That same day, an Epsom salts bath with 20 pounds of Epsom salts to 50 gallons of water. Massage the body over all the joints affected while in the bath. The body should remain in the bath for at least 20 minutes, but should not become overly weak during the process. An ice pack on the head would be of considerable help.
7. Then massage the entire body with an equal mixture of olive oil and peanut oil for 15 to 30 minutes.
8. Rest two weeks from the drops and the bath, while massaging at night three times a week with the oil mixture. This massage should be over the entire body but particular attention should be paid to those areas involved. Keep the massages regular until therapy is ended.
9 . Repeat the entire cycle after this rest period, beginning with three drops of Atomidine (Steps 5 through 8).
10. After another rest, repeat the cycle again and continue until the body is back to normal.
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health Database.