The Cayce Health System, or Cayce systems, combine an extensive and varied assortment of treatments for hundreds of physical conditions, diseases, and disabilities into a holistic approach to health and healing. The fundamental concepts are based on information provided in psychic readings by Edgar Cayce (1877–1945) for thousands of individuals with a wide array of symptoms and ailments.
Often regarded as the father of modern holistic medicine, Edgar Cayce was born near Hopkinsville, Kentucky on March 18, 1877. He allegedly began exhibiting paranormal abilities as a child, for example memorizing his school lessons by sleeping with his head on his textbooks. At age 24, after undergoing hypnosis during which he prescribed successful treatment for his own months-long bout of laryngitis that had baffled his doctors, Cayce began to dispense his readings. He gave these readings while he was in a trance-like state, leading to his designation as "The Sleeping Prophet." Over the course of his lifetime, Cayce gave readings on diverse subjects, including health, religion, dream interpretation, world affairs, and business. Although some early readings were lost, at his death in 1945 more than 14,000 separate Edgar Cayce readings on over 10,000 topics had been stenographically transcribed. Almost 9,000 readings address medical ailments.
Cayce's holistic approach addresses the body, mind, and spirit connection. The information offered in his readings is aimed at treating the whole person and helping people develop a self-awareness and responsibility for improving their own physical health and spiritual well-being.
Cayce's readings focus on addressing the root cause of an ailment rather than simply alleviating the symptoms. Almost all of his physical readings address diet and nutrition. He felt that providing the body key building materials it needs to do its work is crucial, as is detoxification. Poor eliminations are the most cited cause of disease in Cayce's readings. He also addresses various systemic imbalances in the nervous, circulatory, and glandular systems, and acid/alkaline imbalances. Infection, stress, attitudes, and emotions are also central to his disease explanations.
Recommendations comprise an extensive variety of therapies too numerous to list here. They include conventional medicines and surgeries as well as alternative therapies such as electrotherapy, osteopathy, and massage. Readings often recommend herbs, chemical concoctions, color and light therapies, colonics, castor oil, and taking on responsible, healthful attitudes and behaviors such as dietary changes and prayer. Cayce even developed some original appliances to deliver his prescribed treatments.
Proponents of Cayce's therapies claim healings ranging from routine to miraculous. Critics argue that many recommended therapies lack rigorous scientific research and evaluation, and attribute "cures" to factors other than Cayce's alleged psychic perception of medical needs.
Cayce systems combines Cayce's insights with Cayce-oriented health practitioners, lay persons, organizations, training programs, researchers, and health products. Treatment protocols are individualized for each patient. Clinicians may follow several different treatment modalities, emphasizing the uniqueness of each individual patient and inclination of the clinician. This integration of treatment modalities is a principal concept of the Cayce approach. Establishing healthy habits and attitudes are also central. Self-responsibility such as self-care and home care modalities (e.g., dietary changes, massage, etc.) is often incorporated. Clinicians may search the Cayce readings for the case most closely matching their patient's condition or medical diagnosis. However, most readings were given for a specific individual's complaint. Interpreting the readings is not always a straightforward task, since many subjects apparently had more disorders than the one addressed in the reading. Treatment may require experimentation and the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) Health and Rejuvenation Re-search Center (HRRC) recommends that it should be undertaken and evaluated under the care of a physician trained in the Cayce approach.
As in Cayce's original recommendations, a wide range of therapeutic tools and treatments may be used. These may generally be arranged under the following categories:
- Manual therapy is therapeutic use of hands to diagnose and treat illness. The Cayce system relies heavily on traditional osteopathic applications together with modern chiropractic, physical medicine and massage therapy.
- Electrotherapy includes several appliances and techniques such as the wet cell battery, radial appliance, violet ray appliance, ultraviolet ray lamp, sinusoidal, x-ray, and magnetic therapy.
- Diet/Nutritional therapy focuses on acid/alkaline balance and food combining with special diets for strengthening the blood, body, and nerves.
- Hydrotherapy (therapeutic use of water) includes colon therapy (irrigations), fume and steam baths, sitz baths, Epson salt baths, and various packs.
- Pharmacology relies heavily on natural remedies such as herbal medicine and dietary supplements.
- Mental therapy covers a broad range of psychological and psychosocial techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, visualization, hypnosis, and environmental therapy.
- Spiritual healing includes interventions such as prayer, meditation, and laying on of hands.
Research & general acceptance
The Cayce transcripts are housed in the A.R.E. and are available for general research. The library also has a collection of circulating files on various health conditions. Numerous books organize information from the Cayce readings. As of 2000, the HRRC is conducting research projects including energy medicine, manual therapies, acid/alkaline balance, and the nervous system. The HRRC also offers individual research protocols enabling individuals to apply Cayce principles at home. They solicit anecdotal evidence on successful applications of Cayce modalities, invite clinicians using Cayce modalities to document outcomes, and conduct historical research on osteopathic textbooks. They also team with the Meridian Institute (a non-profit organization dedicated to researching Cayce health information) to look at specific illnesses.
Training & certification
Four levels of certification are offered for Cayce systems. As described on the A.R.E. website, Cayce home health therapists help patients apply Cayce information in their home settings. Cayce physiotherapists have passed certifications in general manual therapy, hydrotherapy, energy medicine, and the basic Cayce diet. Cayce health case managers are certified in providing information and support services (e.g., assessment, service planning, referrals, and advocacy). Cayce physicians, in additional to being licensed by their state boards, are certified in applying Cayce system principles and techniques.
Bolton, Brett. An Edgar Cayce Encyclopedia of Foods for Health and Healing. Virginia Beach, A.R.E. Press. 1996.
Karp, Reba A. Edgar Cayce Encyclopedia of Healing. New York, Warner Books. 1986.
McGarey, William A. Physician's Reference Notebook. Virginia Beach, A.R.E. Press. 1998.
Read, Anne, Carol Ilstrup, and Margaret Gammon. Edgar Cayce on Diet and Health. New York, Hawthorne. 1969.
Reilly, Harold J. and Ruth Hagy Brod. The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy. New York, Macmillan. 1975.
Stearn, Jess. Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet. Virginia Beach, A.R.E. Press, 1997.
Sugrue, Thomas. There is a River. Virginia Beach, A.R.E. Press. 1988.
The Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. 215 67th St., Virginia Beach, VA 23451. (757) 428-3588 or (800) 333-4499. firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.are-cayce.com/index.htm.
Health and Rejuvenation Research Center A division of the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. 215 67th Street Virginia Beach, VA 23451-2061. (757) 428-3588 ext. 7340. email@example.com.
Meridian Institute 1853 Old Donation Parkway, Suite 1 Virginia Beach, VA 23454. (757) 496-6009. http://www.meridianinstitute.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.
EDGAR CAYCE 1877–1945
Edgar Cayce was born on March 18, 1877, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the son of a businessman. He grew up in rural Kentucky and received only a limited formal education. He was a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As an adult he began a career as a photographer.
Cayce's life took a radically different direction in 1898, after he developed a case of laryngitis. He was hypnotized by a friend and while in the trance state prescribed a cure that worked. Neighbors heard of the event and asked Cayce to do similar "readings" for them. In 1909 he did a reading in which he diagnosed and cured a homeopathic physician, Dr. Wesley Ketchum. During the next years Cayce gave occasional sittings, but primarily worked in photography.
In 1923, theosophist Arthur Lammers invited Cayce to Dayton, Ohio, to do a set of private readings. These readings were noteworthy because they involved Cayce's initial exploration of individual past lives. These readings encouraged Cayce to leave photography and become a professional. Among his early supporters was businessman Morton Blumenthal, who gave financial backing for Cayce Hospital (1928) and a school, Atlantic University (1930). Unfortunately, Blumenthal was financially destroyed by the Great Depression and both enterprises failed.
In 1932 Cayce organized the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE). With the resources generated by the association, complete records of all the readings for the next 12 years were made. These formed a huge body of material, and Cayce's readings were later indexed, cross-referenced, and used as the basis of numerous books.
Cayce died in 1945, and his son Hugh Lynn Cayce continued the work of the association and promoted the abilities of his father. Cayce's work became known by a large audience outside the psychic community in 1967 through a biographical book by Jess Stern, Edgar Cayce, The Sleeping Prophet.