In 1986, when Jo was eight
years old, we moved to Virginia Beach. Regretfully, it became a traumatic event
since she missed her friends and the New York energy in which she thrived. Over
time, her unhappiness developed into emotional overeating, and by age 14, my
petite daughter was more than 75 pounds overweight. One thing,however, consoled
her. She would be driving before her 16th birthday, much earlier than New York
allowed. As 1993 drew near, her dream came true as she began driving and lost
the extra weight she had put on.
Yet within six months Jo
began having infrequent but strange episodes. They would begin with feelings
of nausea and “zoning out.” At first the incidents were easily ignored. No external
problems were evident and visits to the doctor were fruitless. But with more
noticeable symptoms, we were referred to neurologist in 1995, and received a
diagnosis of complex partial seizures.
Though this type of seizure
appears milder than the grand mal type, it’s more difficult to control with
medication. The episodes were actually mild seizures called “auras.” The usual
electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging tests (MRI) were performed
but showed nothing abnormal. We traveled to the University of Virginia Medical
Center in Charlottesville and another medical center in New Jersey that specialized
in the treatment of epilepsy. More tests, same results idiopathic (of unknown
The medical establishment
looks upon epilepsy as a problem originating in the brain. Attempts are made
to subdue the seizures with medication, brain surgery (to remove the “problem”
area)or the insertion of the Vagus Nerve Stimulator. However, none of these
treatments deal with any identifiable underlying cause.
At the New Jersey
epilepsy center,I spoke with a nurse who worked closely with the surgeons. She
said they were finding that some patients would be seizure-free following surgery,
but within a few years the epilepsy had returned,and was now originating in
another part of the brain.Al though Jody and John,her dad,felt surgery might
be an option,the information the nurse shared suggested to me that surgery would
be only a temporary solution.
Edgar Cayce ’s perspective
of idiopathic epilepsy was unique. Commonly cited reasons for seizures were directed
to two areas below the brain: incoordination of the nervous systems due to lesions
along the spine or adhesions of the lacteal ducts within the abdomen.The remedies
most frequently suggested were osteopathic adjustments and abdominal castor
In September 1995,Jo turned
18. Like many others dealing with epilepsy,she hoped to find the right medication
to prevent the seizures from occurring.This offers the possibility of an easy
solution,though it wasn ’t the case for Jody. Through her first year at Norfolk
’s Old Dominion University (ODU)and the years following, Jo tried a number of
different medications. Side effects were numerous but none diminished the seizures
after an initial “honeymoon” phase when the medications were most sedating.
Then I found something that
seemed promising. I started to explore Cayce’s epilepsy remedies and found a
simple suggestion that proved to be of immediate help. It was regarding the
use of ice for seizures and always worked well for Jody: When Cayce had been
asked: “What can be done to allay attack once it has started?” he replied: “Place
a piece of ice at base of brain and it will stop immediately.”(1001-5)
Despite the uncontrolled
seizures and side effects of the medications, by September 1996 Jody did well
enough at ODU to transfer to the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville.
She was now only minutes away from the group of neurologists she had been seeing.
During the intervening summer months I researched Cayce ’s epilepsy readings
more intensely and attempted to share their holistic approach with my daughter.
But Jo’s interest was minimal since dietary changes and time for castor oil
packs, among other things, would be necessary.
In addition to Jody’s health
challenges, I was facing my own. Within that last year, I had been diagnosed
with muscular dystrophy (MD) and was very weak. But after discovering the epilepsy
remedies for Jody, I became curious to see if anything was available in the
readings for MD. There was, but as with the remedies for epilepsy, the ones
for MD would take some time and effort on my part. In a way I was relieved that
Jody wasn’t going to pursue the remedies, right then, so I could focus on the
ones for MD first. Thank God they helped. I compiled my experience in an article
entitled: “Remedies Found to Fight Muscular Dystrophy,” Venture Inward , Jan/Feb
In the fall of 1998, Jody
called from the hospital in Charlottesville. She had started school again and
attended a party that weekend at a friend’s apartment. It was warm so Jo and
her friends danced outside on an elevated deck (equal to a 2-story drop). Unexpectedly,
she started having a seizure and fell off the deck backwards. The angels must
have been at work because incredibly she landed in a padded chair in the yard
below. Her friends took her to the emergency room to make sure she was all right.
Other than some bruises and a sprained hand, she was.
Soon after this occurrence,
Jo realized the pupil of her right eye was dilated – light didn’t affect it
at all. But when the neurologist examined her, he could find nothing wrong.
However, he made an appointment for her with a nero-ophthalmologist whose first
question surprised her. “Are you using Afrin nasal spray?” Actually, she was.
She used it frequently during fall and spring because of allergies. The doctor
explained he had seen this condition before and it generally cleared up within
six months of discontinuing the spray.
It was such a relief when
Jody told me this, I didn’t really hear (or want to hear) that the neurologist
had also suggested having another MRI. I was looking at the expense ($1,400)
and thought it was unnecessary. Besides, it had been only three years since
the last MRI and it seemed as if the neuro-ophthal- mologist had diagnosed the
problem correctly. However, Jody had the final say and decided to skip the test
and wean herself off the spray. With her usual resolve, that ’s just what she
March of 1999 Jo unexpectedly
called to say she’d be home the next day. She had decided to take a medical
leave of absence because the seizures were worse. She also said she was going
to give the Cayce remedies a serious try.
Jody received the treatment
plan on epilepsy from A.R.E.and looked it over. Though its one-size-fits-all
approach didn’t incorporate all possible treatments or individualize them, it
was convenient to have an organized package outlining Cayce’s general treatments.
Attempting to be of help,
John and I also focused on Jo’s well-being. This is not to say that John and
I were in agreement about how to approach Jody’s condition; we weren’t. But
each of us still knew that the other wanted the best for our daughter. Devotion
and detachment were both needed on our part, just as the best of both allopathic
and complementary/alternative approaches would eventually be needed better.
April 19,1999.Jody officially
started using the remedies and set up a schedule : three consecutive days a
week for abdominal castor oil packs, followed by an abdominal and spinal massage
(my job), daily doses of Passion
Flower fusion, weekly spinal adjustments, and the Cayce
On my own, I continued researching
the epilepsy readings. Though they seemed to follow a certain pattern from one
reading to another, there were many variations in what caused the problem, the
effect on the body, and the treatment for it.
adjustments were consistently recommended for epilepsy but finding that type
of an osteopath in our area was nearly impossible. That left chiropractors:the
best alternative, I thought, and so many to choose from.
Jody agreed to these treatments,
but they seemed ineffectual and gave her no relief from the chronic tightness
in her neck. However there was a young man, Francois, who had trained in France
and did bodywork similar to spinal adjustments. His treatments integrated visceral
(abdominal) manipulation and massage to help relax the muscles that hold the
spine in alignment. After his treatments, Jody could feel the difference in
her abdomen and neck. Unfortunately, he was moving and only planned on visiting
But Jody was determined.
Gradually she made the necessary dietary changes and, after a while, even found
them agreeable. More important, the uncomfortable sensations in her stomach
diminished, as did the frequency of the seizures.
By late May 1999 Jody started
going three, four, or five days without a seizure, and by July she went eleven
days straight seizure-and aura- free! This was cause to celebrate; yet when
she did have a seizure, she could still have several in a day.
Early September 1999, Jody
had a routine appointment with her local neurologist. He asked how she was doing,
and without mentioning the Cayce remedies, she replied that she had changed
her diet and was feeling better. He said that was encouraging and to keep it
up. They then discussed lowering her medication since it didn’t seem to make
a difference one way or the other. However, he wanted her to have another MRI
because her right pupil was still dilated. This time Jody didn’t resist the
suggestion and neither did I. The seizures this last year had been more severe
and frequent except when Jody carefully followed the Cayce remedies. (It was
now four years since her last MRI.)
Jody went for the MRI a
couple of weeks after Labor Day. A few days later the phone rang. It was the
nurse from the neurologist’s office asking us all to come in the next day to
see the doctor. Alarmed, I said, “We’ll be there tomorrow, but please have the
doctor call us today.”
The neurologist called back
while Jody was out with friends. John and I listened in on different extensions
as the physician explained a tumor had been found – though this might prove
to be good news. It was very possible, he thought, that the tumor was the cause
of the seizures. In any case, he said he would talk with us in greater detail
John was optimistic, if
not ecstatic. The tumor was the culprit all along and could simply be removed.
Yet to me, the tumor was like a death sentence, since my mother had died from
one 15 years before.
September 22,1999. The three
of us sat down with the neurologist. He said the tumor was located in the right
temporal lobe of Jody's brain. Benign or malignant, aggressive or not, these
answers wouldn't be known until a biopsy was performed. Did this mean she first
needed a biopsy before it could be removed? No, not necessarily. This wasn't
his specialty but he could refer us to a nero-surgeon at UVA.
Where was the best
place to go? Would radiation or chemotherapy be recommended for this type
of tumor? Why hadn't it shown up in the earlier MRIs? Questions were many -
answers were few, I realized as we left the office.
By the time we arrived back
home, I had been nominated to make the necessary decisions and medical arrangements.
Fine. Where to start? First things first: heavy-duty praying. Then I started
looking for the right neurosurgeon. (To condense: Jody had surgery at UCLA.
The tumor was completely removed but due to complications, Jo suffered a stroke
that paralyzed her left side. Thankfully, she improved rapidly and was sent
home within a few weeks from their well-known rehabilitation center to resume
treatments in Virginia Beach.)
Originally, I thought Jody
would be returning home in a wheelchair and wondered how she would get around
her room without major renovations. But because of Jody's progress and her ability
to ambulate with a cane, John only needed to make minor changes for reasons of
Determined as ever, Jo
set up a schedule for exercising inside and began taking short walks with us
outside. Once more Jody was aiming high. Besides regaining use of the left side
of her body, she was hoping to restart college by the fall of 2000. In
order to accomplish this, she would need to build up enough strength and coordination
to carry herself and a heavy backpack the required distances between classes
and an apartment on campus. This would be no small feat, but I had no doubt
that she would achieve her goals if only to get away from us!
November 1999. This Thanksgiving,
more than ever before, was a time for gratitude. An added bonus was that Jo
had been seizure-free for two months - the longest yet. We were all delighted
by this and by her healing in general. To many it seemed inevitable that it
would be just a matter of time before she could resume a normal life.
However, despite how it
appeared, I still had doubts about what the future might bring concerning the
seizures. There were still too many unanswered questions. What if the tumor
wasn't the cause of the seizures but the result? Maybe the tumor wasn't seen
on the first MRI because there was nothing to see. But the most perplexing question
to me was if the tumor had triggered the seizures, as the doctors implied, why
had the Cayce remedies helped the way they did?
It was my greatest hope,
that the seizures were over, but I kept thinking about what the nurse at the
New Jersey epilepsy center had said about the reoccurrence of seizures after
surgery. If this was true, the seizures could return at any time because the
original cause, which existed below the head, not in it, had not been alleviated.
Mid-December 1999, nearly
three months since Jody's last seizure. It was morning. Jo was in her room preparing
to shower. John and I were nearby in the kitchen when we heard a loud yell and
a thud. Thinking that Jody might have slipped and fallen, we ran in to find
the bathroom door slightly ajar with Jo lying on the floor behind it. It took
only a moment to realize she hadn't fallen accidentally. She was having a seizure.
After speaking with her
neurologist, Jo considered her choices and shortly before Christmas resumed
the Cayce remedies. It was easy for her to pick up where she left off once she
set her mind to it. She was already eating well, which was half the battle the
first time around. Castor oil packs, abdominal and spinal massages, and chiropractic
adjustments were started again as well. All this was in addition to an exercise
program Jo’s therapists had outlined for her and could be followed independently.
January 1, 2000 came and
went. Days passed, and then a few weeks without another seizure. We all kept
our fingers crossed, hoping for the best. But disappointingly, they returned
again with her next menstrual cycle. Once more John talked about exploring hormonal
therapy. I favored Cayce. Jody was in the middle. The only positive thing we
all noticed was that having one seizure a month was quite different from having
10 or more.
May 2000. Over the years
in my quest to help my daughter, as well as myself, I looked into a number of
psychics trying to find someone who might be able to give as good a “physical”
reading as Edgar Cayce. It had been a futile search until I found Jim Branch.
[Note: Jim Branch died in 2002.]
With Jody’s permission,
I requested a physical reading for her. However, I was cautious and deliberately
gave no indication of Jody’s condition prior to the reading or in the questions
I submitted for the reading. What I had submitted was Jody’s date, time, and
place of her birth. The time and day for the reading was prearranged. All that
Jim needed was her location – just like Cayce. When the time came, Jo and I
waited quietly together. I looked forward to Jody’s reading with anticipation
– hoping with all my heart that Jody would find some help. As it turned out,
I wasn’t disappointed.
Within a week we received
an audiotape and a transcript of the reading. The answers were nothing short
of astounding. While in trance, Jim described Jody’s condition: the symptoms,
cause, and remedies to be followed with an uncanny awareness of what was already
being done on Jody’s behalf.
I read the transcript and
was humbled. What a gift! Jim’s reading was no different from what Cayce might
have suggested. He did what I had hoped someone could do; he had individualized
the remedies to Jody’s particular needs. We were to continue with the Cayce
diet and abdominal castor
oil packs but add alternating packs of castor oil and Glyco-Thymoline (a product frequently recommended by Cayce for a variety of reasons) to the
spine. Minute amounts, taken orally, of Glyco-Thymoline and atomidine, a form
of iodine, were also suggested. Then Jo was to have cranial-sacral/osteopathic
adjustments to help the “incoordination in the nervous system” and the “rearrangement
… of cranial forces” between these series of packs. The chiropractic adjustments
she had been receiving just weren’t doing the trick.
Adding the spinal packs
to Jo’s regimen wouldn’t be difficult, but finding the right person for the
cranialsacral adjustments was a different matter. I learned there were two different
types of cranial-sacral adjustments, both conceived by osteopaths. [Note: Dr.
John Upledger, founder of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) discusses the differences
between the two techniques on his website: www.upled ger.com/news/9505b.htm.]
Jo tried both types of treatments, which cost anywhere from $45 to $75, depending
on who was doing it. But the effects were so subtle she found it hard to tell
if the treatments were helping.
Since I had no experience
with this type of bodywork, I requested a follow up reading with Jim. The second
reading emphasized that the therapist’s intention and attitude were as important
as their technique. This, too, went along with what Cayce had repeatedly reminded
caretakers when administering to the person in need.
From Jody’s second reading:
“So much here then is determined by the interaction of the body with those influences
laid upon the body, and in such the acts of intention and those who do practice
same are probably the best through this period.”
It was just this “interaction”
that caused a problem for Jo. Besides the treatment’s subtleness and cost, there
was the element of time. A session usually lasted an hour and Jo needed to lie
relatively still for it. This wasn’t an easy thing to ask of her since Jody
even looked upon sleep as a regrettable intrusion in her life.
But through the ensuing
summer months Jody worked with the updated remedies. This included the recommended
adjustments approximately every two weeks from an osteopath we had just located
whose specialty was cranial osteopathy. However, despite our best efforts, Jody
continued to experience monthly seizures.
September 2000, Jo started
back at ODU on her own two feet. It was a struggle but she knew it was worth
it. In the meantime, Jo came home on weekends and kept up with her studies,
exercises, and all of the Cayce/ Branch remedies.
Through the fall months,
the seizures persisted, even with Jo’s biweekly visits to the osteopath. Maybe
it was time for a change? I made inquiries and found a woman’s name mentioned
several times as someone who was good with CST. She was a massage therapist
who had traveled to the Upledger Institute for intensive training. Jody agreed
to try someone new but between everyone’s schedules, trips and studies, it took
quite a while to arrange a convenient appointment.
In early December 2000,
the CST therapist finally saw Jody and worked on her for more than an hour.
As Jo dressed, the therapist mentioned that during the session she felt a major
shift take place. She hoped it would be beneficial but said that a few more
treatments would probably be needed.
However, in the car ride
back to ODU, Jody informed me she wouldn’t be returning because she wasn’t comfortable
there. I understood, but when Jo went through a menstrual cycle in a few days
without a seizure, I asked her to reconsider. Not having a seizure at this time
of the month was the ultimate test – and the first time this had occurred in
seven long years. But feeling the way she did, Jo rightfully wouldn’t return
and I resumed the search for another CST therapist.
During Jody’s recovery,
I began volunteering in the A.R.E. library, which eventually turned into a full-time
position. I loved being there despite my reservations about being able to work
in a metaphysical library. Having dyslexia and dealing with all those unfamiliar
words was a challenge. (What in the world was an “ephemeris” and how could I
look it up if I couldn’t even spell it?) But my supervisor, Claudeen Cowell,
was generous with her encouragement and appreciated my enthusiasm for the Cayce
It also seemed that the
right people came into the library just when you needed them. That was the case
when I began looking for another CST therapist. Beau Johnson walked in. He was
somewhat of a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, who traveled around the country talking
to people about Biodynamic agriculture and healing ways of living. Beau, as
it turned out, was also a good friend of Jim’s, and went on to tell me about
Mark Shean, a friend to both of them who did CST when he wasn’t working on his
organic farm. I took Mark’s number and called him. It sounded as if he didn’t
have as much training as the previous therapist, but he had enough.
I hoped Jody would find
Mark’s treatments tolerable, and she did. She actually found them very relaxing.
Jody saw Mark three or four times in the next couple of months. After not having
a seizure in December, she had one in January and another in February. Once
again doubts clouded my mind.
Yet, looking back, it worked
out all for the best just the way it was. Jo had her last CST session and last
seizure in February – February 18, 2001 to be exact. Of course, she didn’t know
at the time that that was the last one.
As each month passed without
incident, I casually asked if she had had a seizure, and she just as casually
answered “no.” She didn’t share her feelings with me, but I had to control my
own growing excitement that this might be “it,” yet walk a fine line in case
the next month proved me wrong.
The summer passed uneventfully.
Jody circled August 18 on her calendar – the date that would signify six months
had passed without a seizure, and scheduled an appointment with her neurologist.
But when the time arrived, she was disappointed to learn the doctor wanted her
to wait an extra month because of her medical history. Though she had no choice
in the matter, she understood. So she waited, seizure-free, and started driving
once again. September 18 – her 24th birthday – was a long awaited gift for all
of us. Our efforts paid off.
To this day Jody continues
to be seizure- and medication-free.
The author, a retired registered
nurse, is on staff at the A.R.E. Library, and has been involved with the Cayce
material for the last 20 years. E-mail her at Linda_ firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is adapted
from the book, Epilepsy – Jody’s Journey: An Inspiring True
Story of Healing with the Edgar Cayce Remedies.