Vol. 4  No. 6
 November, 2000
Meridian Institute News 


In this issue: 
5th Annual Health Professionals Symposium
    The 5th annual Cayce Health Professionals Symposium was held at the A.R.E. Conference Center September 15-17.  The conference was co-sponsored by the A.R.E. and Meridian Institute and featured presentations by Meridian Institute personnel, Cayce-oriented clinicians, and researchers of the Cayce health information.
    The Friday night session began with a presentation by Eric Mein, M.D. on The Cayce Herbal, a Meridian Institute research project.  Dr. Mein gave an overview of botanical medicine in the Cayce readings including brief monographs on herbs that were recommended in at least 100 readings.  The talk also focused on some popular herbs that are not mentioned in the readings.
    The second talk of the evening featured Meredith Puryear who reminded us of the importance of meditation, prayer and attunement in the healing process.  Recommendations for energy medicine addressed the full spectrum from common acute ailments, such as minor burns and cuts, to more serious conditions requiring laying on of hands and group prayer.
    The Saturday session featured six presenters on a diversity of topics.  Bruce Baar spoke on nervous system regeneration in neurological syndromes.  The talk featured several case reports of individuals diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) who have experienced reversal of symptoms.
    Gladys McGarey, M.D. spoke on Edgar Cayce and the modern holistic medicine movement.  Dr. McGarey's recounting of the founding of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) clearly documented the Cayce influence on the founding members of the AHMA.
    Douglas Richards, Ph.D., Meridian Institute Research Director, spoke on physiological correlates of manual therapy techniques recommended by Edgar Cayce and utilized by the early osteopathic physicians.  Dr. Richards' presentation included graphs that portrayed effects on circulation, heart rate variability, breathing, and galvanic skin response.  The primary manual therapy technique used to influence these basic physiological parameters involves inhibition of the superior cervical ganglion, also sometimes called the "third cervical release."
    K. Paul Johnson's talk addressed the conceptual, social and  historical context of the Cayce readings with comparisons to other approaches such as Theosophy and Christian Science.  Johnson concluded that the "difference in attitude toward the Cayce material goes to the medical readings, which tend to focus attention on empirical evidence rather than blind faith," a strategy that can be a model for similar approaches to the nonmedical readings.
    Carl Nelson, D.C.  provided a lecture and demonstration of manual therapy techniques practiced by the early osteopathic physicians and recommended by Edgar Cayce.  Specific techniques for physiological regulation (coordination, drainage, stimulation and inhibition of nerve centers) were described and performed to the delight of those present.
    In the final session of Saturday's program, David McMillin, M.A. explained the connection between problems in the gastrointestinal tract and migraine.   In addition to the mental/spiritual aspects of healing, diet, spinal manipulation, colonic irrigation, and the radial appliance form the core of the Cayce approach to healing migraine.
    The Sunday morning session was launched with a comparison of the traditional Chinese medicine and the Edgar Cayce methods of healing.  Suzan Zimmer, R.N., D.C. emphasized the importance of holism in both systems of healing.  Similarities in herbal medicine and energy medicine applications were also discussed.
    Osteopath Ralph Thieme gave a lecture and demonstration that focused on the challenge of integrating historical osteopathy into the current health care system.  Dr. Thieme emphasized similarities between traditional osteopathy and the Cayce philosophy which form the basis for effective treatment.  Attention to the uniqueness of each person and being fully present in the moment were especially noted.
    George Amberman, M.D. concluded the symposium by discussing a holistic approach to working with "difficult patients."  Dr. Amberman's insightful and humorous talk emphasized the importance of multidimensional healing when assisting individuals with chronic health problems.
    The Cayce Health Professionals Symposium for 2001 will be held at the A.R.E. Conference Center at Virginia Beach during the weekend of September 14-16.   This gathering of practitioners and researchers will feature reports on Meridian Institute research projects, hands-on training of therapeutic techniques prescribed by Edgar Cayce, and strategies for implementing the Cayce approach in the modern health care environment.
    We are also seeking presentations from health professionals knowledgeable in healing modalities recommended by Edgar Cayce.  If you are interested in presenting at the symposium, please write a brief summary of your topic and submit it to us at our address on the last page of this newsletter.
    For those who were unable to attend the symposium, audio tapes of most of the presentations are available from A.R.E. Member Services (800-333-4499).  Excerpts from the talks by Meridian Institute personnel are on the Meridian Institute website.  Papers by Paul Johnson and David McMillin are also on the Meridian site.
    We are pleased to announce the publication of our article titled:  "Systemic Aspects of Psoriasis: An Integrative Model Based on Intestinal Etiology."  The article was published in the peer-reviewed journal Integrative Medicine; Vol. 2, No. 2/3, 2000.
    Psoriasis can best be understood from a multifactorial approach that recognizes the systemic aspects of the disorder. Among the various factors thought to be involved in the etiology and pathogenesis of psoriasis, bowel pathology has assumed a noteworthy position in the literature.
    The Integrative Medicine article reviewed the psoriasis/bowel connection with regard to abnormal bowel structure and physiology in psoriasis patients. Clinical implications of bowel involvement in psoriasis were discussed within the framework of an integrative medicine model that emphasizes natural therapeutics for addressing the systemic aspects of the illness.  Dr. John Pagano's work with the Cayce recommendations of diet and herbal teas was also discussed.
    Address requests for reprints of this article to Meridian Institute.  An on-line version of the text is available on the Meridian website.


    We have previously reported on the importance of acid-alkaline balance and its relation to diet (Vol. 3, No. 1, January, 1999) and the positive results in a pilot study on asthma that emphasized the role of alkaline-producing diet (Vol. 2, No. 2, March, 1998).   Commonly referred to as "pH" (potential for hydrogen), the acid/alkaline continuum ranges from 0 - 14 with 7 as neutral.  The lower end of the scale (below 7) is acid and above 7 is alkaline.  Generally speaking, the Cayce readings maintain that a balanced pH with a slight alkaline tendency would be beneficial for most individuals.
    A major study linking hyperacidity to acute asthma was recently reported by researchers at the University of Virginia.  An article, titled "Endogenous Airway Acidification: Implications for Asthma Pathophysiology," was published in volume 161 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (pp 694-699), earlier this year.  Hunt et al. demonstrated that the pH of deaerated exhaled airway vapor condensate is over two log orders lower in patients with acute asthma (5.23 +/- 0.21, n = 22) than in control subjects (7.65 +/- 0.20, n = 19).  They speculated that airway pH may be an important determinant of expired nitric oxide concentration and airway inflammation, and suggest that regulation of airway pH has a previously unsuspected role in asthma pathophysiology.  They also noted that, "... therapies directed at normalizing airway pH early in the course of an acute exacerbation of asthma will help to prevent the cascade of events that leads to airflow obstruction."
    Although the researchers did not consider the possible effects of diet on respiratory pH, it is worth noting that the lung serves as a buffering system for maintaining blood pH at a slightly alkaline state.  Perhaps an excessively acidic diet could influence respiratory pH as the body attempts to use this system to maintain proper blood pH.
    Carl Nelson, D.C. relates the following anecdotes on the use of ragweed tincture.
    "Some years ago I was working with a man who had some of the worst allergic reactions I've ever seen.  Patrick was constantly sneezing and coughing and snuffling and blowing his nose.  This wasn't seasonal but year-round, and as you can imagine he was just constantly miserable.  He'd tried all the over the counter remedies, none of which had made appreciable difference.  I suggested two things, ragweed tincture, which had been recommended many times in the readings for allergies, and bee pollen, one teaspoon of each daily.  I told him to try a bottle and if no difference was noticeable by the end of taking it, to stop.
    "It made an immediate difference in all his symptoms, although not a total cure, so I suggested he continue.  By the end of the second bottle he had turned into a ragweed fanatic.  He contracted with the manufacturer, the Heritage Store, to begin buying cases of the stuff and started to hand out bottles to his friends.  He told me of one child of eighteen months whose similar symptoms had cleared up within a week of taking a quarter teaspoon daily.
    "I followed Patrick's progress as he continued to take the tincture and the pollen over the next two years, and almost each month brought a story about some new resolution of symptoms and other seemingly unrelated issues.  His work as an auto mechanic required constant strenuous activity which had aggravated a lower back weakness and caused considerable pain.  Now the lower back pain was beginning to disappear.  Next, he lost a lifelong sugar craving.  Next, his energy returned so that he was able to work all day long without having to lie down periodically to recoup his vigor.  Finally, the hypersensitivity to particular odors left and he was able to enjoy the scent of his wife's perfume instead of being repelled by it.  And he continued to remind me that all he was doing differently was taking the ragweed and pollen.
    "During that time a man came in to the office as a one time visit while his other chiropractor was out of town.  He was clogged, sinusy, and miserable and said that he had been that way for thirty years since moving to this country from Germany.  He even made a point of showing me a brown paper sack containing all the various over the counter medications he had come to rely on.  I suggested getting the ragweed, trying it for a month, and contacting me at the end of that time to see what else might need to be done.  Six months later his wife called and told us that her husband was like a different person, had thrown the other medicines away, and was essentially symptom free.
    "Just the other day a patient told me that her allergies had flared and she remembered that she had a bottle of the stuff, took one teaspoon and returned to normal soon after.
    "These may be extreme examples of the efficacy of ragweed, but I've seen it help many folks with various allergies, not just ragweed allergies.  Cayce claimed that it helped clear a congested liver, implying that that was at the heart of many allergic reactions.  While nothing is a panacea, ragweed should at least be tried to find if it might be of benefit to those who suffer these complaints.  It's not the best tasting stuff but people have told me that when they put a teaspoon in a glass of water or juice, it is much more palatable."
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