by Carol Ann Baraff
If health police existed, they would say that when one's gait starts to stiffen, muscles to ache, and joints to enlarge, the culprit is probably arthritis, a pervasive degenerative disorder that plagues tens of millions in the U.S. alone. Although the term refers primarily to inflammation of the joints, it also serves as an umbrella for a number of other related malfunctions that affect the musculoskeletal system. Of the hundred-plus different types of arthritic disease, the two most common are osteoarthritis, caused mostly by wear and tear on the large weight-bearing joints, and the more disabling rheumatoid arthritis, which may affect many of the smaller joints as well.
The many discourses in the readings on this topic can be distilled into several main areas of focus. Those that follow can be applied to various types of arthritic disease.
According to Cayce, most cases of arthritis can be traced to a functional imbalance between the body's organs of assimilation and elimination with chronic deficiencies in nutrient intake and waste management affecting each other in a debilitating kind of progression. There are also chemical changes involving glandular imbalance and circulatory abnormalities in a system that is literally being poisoned by toxins originating in the gastrointestinal area. With the body in emergency mode, proper rebuilding of cells in the joints and ligaments is sacrificed.
In reversing this process, the first order of business endorsed by Cayce is, therefore, to promote internal cleansing through diet and other treatments. A typical arthritis diet in the readings consists of easily digested vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and light proteins. A decrease in meat and carbohydrates is often advised while meat sometimes is completely eliminated for a period of time with the exception of beef juice. Foods with a laxative effect, such as the "mummy food" combination and extremely light diets, are common. Sugar, refined grains, fried foods, carbonated drinks, beer, hard liquor, and white potatoes (except for the skins) are to be avoided with few or no exceptions.
Additional aids to detoxification, especially in the form of castor oil packs, enemas, and colonics, are often recommended. Epsom salts baths and cabinet sweats, which promote elimination through the pores of the skin, are preferred in the most sensitive cases.
Poor or impaired circulation is often regarded as a contributing factor in arthritis. Circulatory deficiencies can easily contribute to gastrointestinal sluggishness leading to an aggravation of symptoms.
Cayce's primary solution to this problem is gentle massage, especially in cases where little else can be tolerated. This is usually to follow an Epsom salts or steam bath, which relaxes the body and promotes the absorption of oil. Cayce's favorite for this purpose is peanut oil. A combination of equal parts of heated olive oil and a tincture of myrrh is also often favored. Other massage formula ingredients suggested include lanolin, pine needle oil, sassafras oil, witch hazel, wintergreen oil, and cedarwood oil.
When it can be tolerated, the readings also advise spinal manipulation to improve the circulation, relax the muscles, relieve pain, and alleviate pressure on nerve impulses to all parts of the body. In the view of the readings, there is no other form of mechanical therapy so closely in accord with the natural attempts of the body to heal from within. Also recommended, where appropriate, is light to moderate exercise.
Glandular imbalance is found to be a factor in development of many cases of arthritis. The endocrine glands, which secrete hormones capable of activating specific organs, play a vital role in maintaining the body's chemical balance. When this balance is chronically upset by intestinal problems, the resulting toxins can lead to arthritis symptoms.
Glandular stimulation is, therefore, often indicated to help dissolve deposits in the joints so that they can be gradually drained and eliminated. Treatments such as Epsom salts baths and massage are employed for this purpose.
Another important cause of arthritis is negative attitudes and emotions, which begin with their ruinous effect on digestion. The readings put it this way:
As indicated for most people and it is very well here: don't get mad and don't cuss a body out mentally or in voice. This brings more poisons than may be created by even taking foods that aren't good. (470-37)
Constructive attitudes in action may be regarded as treatments in their own right and as supplemental to others. One way to creatively apply the concept of "mind is the builder" is to literally reinforce an expectation of health by always visualizing treatments as beneficial.
Several other Cayce arthritis treatments deserve mention but are more individualized. They include hot Epsom salts packs over painful areas, various forms of electrotherapy (Wet Cell, Radio-Active appliance, Violet Ray, Ultra Violet Light), and tiny internal doses of gold and soda.
How does one come up with a personalized arthritis treatment? A possible approach is to find a reading that seems to "match" one's case. Another is simply to focus on the basics of correcting the diet, adding elimination aids, scheduling regular massage, promoting glandular stimulation, and adopting healthy attitudes. The clear message is that arthritis symptoms may be arrested and, in time, dissolved.
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