||Meridian Institute News
RESEARCHING THE SPIRIT-MIND-BODY CONNECTION
In July 1999 (Vol. 3, No 4) we reported on the creation
of two new assessment tools and requested your participation in a research
project to develop normative data and analyze the psychometric properties
of the instruments. We also advertised the instruments in The
New Millennium, a membership magazine of the Association for Research
and Enlightenment (A.R.E.). Over two hundred individuals took part
in the project by completing three questionnaires:
Cayce Comprehensive Symptom Inventory (CCSI) - This structured assessment
questionnaire contains a wide variety of signs and symptoms of physical
and emotional distress arranged in thirty scales. Each scale represents
a pattern of etiology or pathophysiology used by Edgar Cayce in his system
of assessment and diagnosis.
Approach to Life Inventory (ATLI) - This brief questionnaire is
based primarily on the Cayce philosophy as it pertains to spiritual, mental,
emotional and interpersonal factors associated with health and healing.
Meridian Institute research director Douglas Richards
has just completed the initial data analysis and is putting the final touches
on a research report. Here are some of Dr. Richards' observations:
SF-36 - This highly regarded and widely used questionnaire created
by the Rand Corporation evaluates health and wellness. The SF-36
serves as a benchmark for comparison with the two new instruments.
For the purposes of this study, we focused on two primary scale scores
(M - mental; P -physical) that were used for comparison with the CCSI and
"The correlation coefficient is a measure of how
strongly two scales are related. It ranges from +1 (identical) to 0 (not
related at all), to -1 (opposite). Moderate correlations, in the range
of .3 to .7, are often seen in questionnaire research.
"The strongest correlation is of the ATLI with the
SF-36 Mental scale. Even though they use very different types of questions,
they both appear to be measuring the same thing: the mental/emotional health
of the person. The subscales of the ATLI, however, lead to therapeutic
suggestions from the Cayce readings for mental/emotional issues. The ATLI
is also positively correlated with the SF-36 Physical scale. This is not
surprising, since mental and emotional factors have physical consequences
and vice versa. The very low correlation between the SF-36 P(physical)
and M (mental) scales confirms, however, that the authors of those scales
were successful in separating physical and mental quality of life issues,
a difficult task.
"Interestingly, age seems to have no relationship
to the physical quality of life, and only a very small relationship to
physical symptoms in general. Age is positively correlated with both mental
quality of life, and the ATLI - that is, in this group of people, the older
you are, the better you feel mentally and emotionally. These results are
worth further exploration in a sample from a wider population.
"Surprisingly, the CCSI is correlated with both the
SF-36 P and M scales; slightly more highly to the M scale, although this
is not a statistically reliable difference. A look at the individual
scales of the CCSI can help explain the high correlation of the SF-36 Mental
scale with the CCSI. Most of the scales of the CCSI are correlated with
the SF-36 M, at an average correlation of about -.30. That is, more physical
symptoms tend to lead to a lower quality of life in the mental/emotional
as well as the physical realm. But a few of the CCSI scales have a much
higher correlation with the SF-36 M - from .50 to above .60. These include
Scale 15: Hypothyroid, Scale 18: Psychological, Scale 19: Hypoadrenal,
Scale 25: Brain Dysfunction, and Scale 29: Spleen Dysfunction. All these
scales include one or more symptoms typically thought of as "mental," e.g.,
depression or confusion. Clearly these symptoms would have an effect on
mental/emotional quality of life, explaining the high correlation with
the SF-36 M. But the set of symptoms on these CCSI scales could lead to
further exploration of the possible physical reasons behind these mental
symptoms, such as thyroid or adrenal problems, with therapeutic recommendations
from the Cayce readings."
Table 1. Correlations among the SF-36,
CCSI, ATLI, and Age (n = 202).
From a practical standpoint, all three instruments
are currently being used in the HRRC Assessment Center (a division of the
A.R.E.) as part of a holistic approach to evaluation. Administration
and interpretation manuals for the CCSI and ATLI are available on the Meridian
Institute website at:
PROBIOTICS REDUCE ECZEMA IN CHILDREN
Researchers at the National Public Health Institute
in Finland reported that a probiotic (lactobacillus GG - a friendly bacteria
found in live yogurt) could significantly reduce the chances of infants
developing atopic eczema. Atopic eczema is a relatively common skin
condition affecting about ten percent of children in the United States.
In the mild forms the skin is dry, hot and itchy. In its more severe
manifestations, the skin may become broken, raw and bleeding.
The double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study
published in Lancet involved 159 pregnant women with a family history of
allergies. The women were randomly given lactobacillus GG capsules or a
placebo twice a day for about three weeks before giving birth. After
delivery, breastfeeding mothers took the capsules for six months while
bottle-fed babies were given the capsules mixed with water.
Tthe infants were evaluated at three, six, twelve
and twenty-four months. Twenty-three percent of the babies fed the
probiotic developed atopic eczema, compared with forty-six percent of those
given the placebo. In other words, the frequency of eczema in the
probiotic group was half of the placebo group.
The researchers concluded, "Our results suggest that
gut microflora have unique, yet largely unexplored endogenous immunomodulatory
properties. These properties might be indispensable in the fight
against the increasing frequency of atopic, and possibly other, immunological
Atopic eczema is regarded as one of a group of allergic
diseases including allergic rhinitis and asthma. The recent rapid
rise in atopic diseases has sparked interest in the cause and treatment
of these chronic disorders. Increased intestinal permeability is
one possible explanation of the link between the intestinal tract and endpoint
organs such as the skin or respiratory tract. Also called "leaky
gut syndrome," excessive intestinal permeability may allow substances that
would normally be eliminated through the bowel to escape from the gut into
the general circulation provoking an immune response.
The intestinal tract contains a major portion of the immune system.
Some scientists believe that early exposure to bacteria such as lactobacillus
stimulates and enhances the intestinal immune response in children, resulting
in less atopic disease over the lifespan of the individual.
Edgar Cayce gave numerous readings describing leaky
gut syndrome for a variety of disorders, especially skin diseases such
as psoriasis. For more information on the Cayce hypothesis, see the
peer-reviewed journal article, "Systemic Aspects of Psoriasis: An Integrative
Model Based on Intestinal Etiology" on the Meridian Institute website:
Kalliomaki M. Probiotics in primary prevention of atopic disease: a
randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2001 Apr 7;357(9262):1076-9.
MULTIDIMENSIONAL AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE
Eric Mein and David McMillin gave a presentation
at the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) 24 Annual Scientific
Conference in Miami on May 3, 2001. The talk, titled "Multidimensional
and Integrative Medicine," focused on the concept of multidimensional healing
as researched by Meridian Institute. The Cayce holistic model
was explained using the phrase, "Spirit is the life, mind is the builder,
physical is the result." The placebo response was identified as a
common manifestation of spirit as it heals the body.
Participants were given practical tools for discussing
and identifying the multidimensional aspects of healing, including six
forms of healing listed on the Healing Questionnaire (cure, care,
quality of life, empowerment, enlightenment, and soul development).
Case reports from Meridian Institute projects were used to illustrate these
complex concepts and provide guidance for integrating the multidimensional
model into a clinical setting.
The transformational paradigm of healing was presented
within the context of healing as a spiritual initiation for everyone involved
(including caregivers and practitioners). The shadow aspects of transformation
(such as projection and guilt) were discussed with an emphasis on respect
for the patient's beliefs and values.
Participants were encouraged to use reflective meditation
to get in touch with core beliefs and experiences of multidimensional healing.
With such a personal understanding of the various forms of healing, clinicians
are better able to communicate these ideas to patients. The Healing
Questionnaire, an outline of the presentation, and links to audio excerpts
from the talk are available on the Meridian Institute website at:
Ulcerative colitis is a painful and distressing illness
that modern medical science regards as incurable and of unknown causation.
Meridian Institute created a protocol for this condition based on the numerous
readings given by Edgar Cayce for individuals suffering from this disorder.
Although the Cayce readings provide an individualized treatment plan for
each person, a common treatment pattern for ulcerative colitis includes
an herbal formula (Tonic # 208) consisting of wild ginseng, Canadian snakeroot
("wild ginger"), lactated pepsin and stillingia. In addition to the
tonic, the protocol treatment plan also includes a basic diet that focuses
heavily on keeping a proper alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods
that produce toxicity and drain the system. Essentially, the diet
consists mainly of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and
refined carbohydrates ("junk food"). Certain food combinations are
The following anecdote documents the results obtained
by a seventy-seven-year-old man who had endured the bloody diarrhea and
constipation associated with this disease for ten years before he obtained
the Ulcerative Colitis Research Protocol. He started the treatment
plan on December 18, 2000 and within sixteen days he reported that his
bleeding had cleared and his stool was normal. "I can't believe it
after ten years of problems - It's great!" On the follow-up data
collection forms that are an integral part of each protocol, he credited
his recovery to the Cayce diet (which he followed about 75%) and the #208
Over the years, there have been a number of individuals
suffering from ulcerative colitis who have reported similar positive experiences
using the Cayce approach. Based on this preliminary data, Meridian
Institute is interested in developing a cooperative relationship with a
clinician or researcher who is willing and capable of doing more extensive
research in this area. An initial study could involve the use of
the #208 herbal tonic described above. Interested parties can contact
us via the phone number or addresses listed at the end of this newsletter.