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Psoriasis Program Is a Success
 
Participants in the psoriasis research project demonstrate their enthusiasm and camaraderie - the "gift of community" as one put it.
 
By Deborah Seymour Taylor
 
[Note: The following article appeared in the March/April, 1996 (Volume 12, No. 2) issue of Venture Inward.]
 
The first "Temple Beautiful"-style Psoriasis Program took place during a blustery winter week in early November, in a rambling oceanfront house in Virginia Beach.  For 12 action-packed days, nine individuals with psoriasis, ranging in age from 12 to 76, came together to study and be studied - under the supervision of Dr. Eric Mein, physician and president of the Meridian Institute, and John Pagano, a New Jersey chiropractor who specializes in treating psoriasis and is the author of Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative.  The daily schedule of events that began each morning at 7 a.m. with optional tai chi and meditation and continued late into the evening, was geared to education, data collection, and therapy including chiropractic treatments, massage, colonics, diet, and exercise.  Initially, a medical examination was conducted, along with an "Intestinal Permeability" test - a type of urinalysis to determine the presence of what is now termed "Leaky Gut Syndrome." Cayce was the first to suggest that psoriasis was caused by the smoothing and thinning of the intestinal walls that caused a seepage of toxins into the bloodstream which were then eliminated through the skin.  Medical science has only recently begun to entertain this as a possible cause of psoriasis.

Chiropractic exams and treatments by Carl Nelson, a Virginia Beach chiropractor, followed.  According to Dr. Nelson, "Cayce constantly emphasized problems around the 6th and 7th dorsal for psoriasis sufferers.  My focus was to determine if this was indeed correct - which it was - and to specifically address it.  Adjustments were followed by a Cayce-Reilly massage aimed to relax, rather than "revivify or tonify since these people were already too hyper-toned," explained Nelson.  "In fact, Cayce said psoriasis sufferers often exhibited a specific psychological profile: deeply-held tension in the area of the solar plexus at the beginning of the small intestine where, he said, toxins were being reabsorbed.  Whether this is the cause of the thinning of the intestine, as he suggested, remains to be seen."

Further research on the subject followed with individual medi-psychological profiles conducted by David McMillin, mental health professional, to determine psychological factors that may have impacted each person's condition and one-on-one interviews with Dr. Pagano to gear treatments to individual severity levels, food allergies, and other factors.  Dr. Pagano also spoke at length about his own clinical experience with psoriasis, illustrated with slide presentations to demonstrate the remarkable healings he has witnessed over the years.
 
Tina Marie Mollica, nutritional cooking specialist and co-author of a book Dr. Pagano is presently writing on psoriasis and nutrition, then steeped the group in the Cayce dietary credo of 80% alkaline and 20% acid diet, as well as the various dietary do's and don'ts.  Mollica also supervised the preparation of all meals by a trained cook and accompanied participants on a shopping expedition in which they were taught how to choose acceptable foods and scrutinize labels for harmful ingredients.

Couched between therapy and one-on-one interviews were a host of talks and workshops aimed at developing a positive mental attitude.  Dr. Mein spoke on the mind-body connection, Kevin Todeschi on ideals, Raye Mathis on sound and music for healing, and Charles Thomas Cayce on attitudes, emotions, and meditation.

As I wandered through the beach house on the group's last evening together, I was touched by the obvious show of love and intimacy in every direction.  In fact, said Conference Facilitator Kieth Vonder0he, the unusual camaraderie among group members was surprising to everyone.  "There is little question that the healing that occurred had as much to do with emotional as physical healing.  Actually, the participants are convinced that they have been together before." Natalie Reid from South Borough, Massachusetts, said it this way, "The conference had a magical quality.  We started out as nine strangers with little in common beyond the psoriasis and ended up a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.  While you could say that's to be expected in groups living together in close quarters, the truth is, the spiritual quality of the group dynamic defies such oversimplification.  I came here a loner, feeling 'lucky' enough to have a room to myself, away from everyone.  But by the end of the conference, I had been blessed with the gift of community - not only energized by it, but profoundly affected by its power to heal." The purpose of the program, sponsored by The Meridian Institute, was twofold: one, to help psoriasis sufferers understand and apply the concepts in the readings; and, two, to gather scientific research and documentation to confirm the concepts in the Cayce material so they can be integrated into mainstream medical treatment.  According to Dr. Nelson, the success of the pilot project is cause for celebration.  "It's not just that we're sitting on a gold mine; we're sitting on the tip of a rocket about to take flight.  The American public is clearly embracing alternative therapies and the AMA is scrambling to include an orientation to this.  The Cayce readings provide a running commentary on alternative therapies with explanations of how and why they work.  As a result, this material has enormous value for further scientific validation and exploration.  In Work Reading 254-37, Cayce says, 'There is seen, there is being laid out, plans for a work, that, as given, is to change the thought of mankind in general, in many directions.' Right now, there's a potential that this material could wither on the vine.  It's important to make sure that it occupies its proportional and proper place within the medical paradigm of the 21st and 22nd centuries.  That can only happen with research and validation.  The Meridian Institute was created as one of the vehicles to do this." No doubt Edgar Cayce - wherever he is - is well pleased.
 
After their four-month treatment protocol at home, participants will return to Virginia Beach March 15-17 to evaluate progress and collect data for further research.

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