Overview of Aphonia
NOTE: The following commentary by William A. McGarey, M.D. is a general overview of the Cayce approach to aphonia. The treatment recommendations discussed in the Cayce readings for this condition are diverse and reflect the tremendous variability in how aphonia can manifest for each unique individual. This overview should be viewed as one perspective on how to apply the Cayce approach.
I. Physiological Considerations
The occurrence of aphonia – or the lack of ability to speak either partially or completely – can be better understood as a physiological process if we briefly explore the makeup of the nervous system. There are basically three nervous systems. The cerebrospinal controls conscious movements and includes in its makeup the frontal portion of the brain and the spinal cord. The autonomic nervous system (Cayce calls this the “sympathetic”) supplies various organs functioning at an unconscious level. It may be understood as being the nervous system of the unconscious mind. And the sensory nervous system involves the nerve supply associated with the organs of sense. These are all considered part of one unit collectively.
The three nervous systems have their contact with each other and maintain a balance and a coordination one with the other at all times within that state we call health. Lymphatic patches, apparently within bursae found in certain of the sympathetic ganglia, parallel the various levels of the spinal column. These patches of lymph tissue and fluid become the means by which proper synaptic relationship is maintained between the three nervous systems. Substances of a “globular” nature are manufactured in the Peyer’s patches of the small intestine and carried by the lymphocytes to these patches, maintaining coordination between the autonomic and the cerebrospinal nervous systems; and these in turn maintain a balance with the sensory forces of the body.
In aphonia, the centers of association and control are located at the second and third dorsal ganglia, for the most part, with relationships also with the third to the fifth cervical ganglia. The condition of aphonia develops in various manners but nearly always involves these centers just mentioned. Lesions may occur in the patches found in the ganglia, and sometimes may interfere with proper coordination and at other times become actually atrophied. In some instances a general increase of nerve tension throughout the system, often associates with fear, creates lesions in these areas with subsequent overflows impulses throughout the entire system. “The body gives away, as it were, to feelings over the whole system.” This taut condition of the nervous centers results in a circulation through the body which is abnormal or in a sense distorted, and other secondary effects come about involving the lymphatic circulation and the emunctory (excretory) organs. If the conditions are proper, however, the changes in the ganglia bring about an aphonia or a loss of function of the vocal cords because of the incoordination – and at the same time affect sensory organs such as hearing or vision.
Injuries seem to be the cause of aphonia rather frequently – minor injuries which affect the second and third dorsal area in such a manner that the lymph patches concerned with coordination become either atrophic or relatively nonfunctioning.
Poor eliminations can bring about disturbances and sometimes are the primary cause of aphonia; this build-up of wastes within the bloodstream becomes a toxic force and makes it necessary for the body to achieve its own balance after a lapse of time. When this comes about, the throat and larynx area might be disassociated in function from the rest of the body, and the forces there bring about local inflammation in an effort to achieve balance. Fear also is often a concomitant and a contributor.
Psychological causes are mentioned, and in case  the following quotation is of interest: “In this manner direct do we find that the variation comes between the natural physical voice and that when in the condition at the present time, for we find the variation is reflected in the manner of speech, for speech is the highest vibration that if reached in the animal kingdom, and in that respect man in his evolution is above that of the other creatures in the creation.” (294-1 1)
Not only is the general circulation involved sometimes in toxic forces and thus in the disturbance, but also the lymphatic, the emunctory, and the hepatic circulations are involved and affected.
II. Rationale of Therapy
In approaching therapy, we should remember that the body has a capability of normal functions:
Thus, we would administer those activities which would bring a normal reaction through these portions, stimulating them to an activity from the body itself, rather than the body becoming dependent upon supplies that are robbing portions of the system to produce activity in other portions, or the system receiving elements or chemical reactions being supplied without arousing the activity of the system itself for a more normal condition. (1968-3)
Therapy should first be aimed at correcting those conditions which might produce a disturbance in the centers of coordination between the three nervous systems. Then the overtaxed nerve forces of the body as a whole should be relieved, the incoordination which has been a factor in the disease process should be eliminated, and the forces of the body should be coordinated. The diet should be corrected and sufficient stimulus of a medicinal nature should be added to keep the body in a normal force. Some cases that are psychological – where the body is amenable to suggestion – would benefit by suggestive therapy. Attention should be paid to attitudes of mind and to ideals.
III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen
General therapy should first be aimed at a cleansing of the system with special reference to the hepatic circulation. Castor oil packs and Epsom salt packs were used, as in case , where the problem was primarily one of elimination. Hydrotherapy and enemas are useful in this respect.
Osteopathic manipulations and neuropathic manipulations are both recommended, but in differing degrees. Hypersensitive nervous systems must be handled cautiously and gently. Two or three courses of these manipulations, whichever seems most indicated, should be used. A good general diet is suggested except where eliminations are particularly a problem. In this case juices should be taken – probably citrus juices mostly – until cleansing is well on its way.
Where there was a high degree of nervous tension with a “taut condition of nervous centers” (12-1) the following medication was to be used each evening prior to the neuropathic manipulation:
Muriate of ammonia, 30 grains
Gum camphor, 20 grains
Sulfate morphia, 2 grains
Directions: Make 20 pellets. Use one daily each evening.
For this case the prescription was intended to give sufficient stimulus of a medicinal nature to keep the body in natural force. Other medications were not given.
Hypnosis was mentioned but was to be used only as a last resort. Suggestion was used on . Instruction was also given to read the 30th chapter of Deuteronomy and the ]4th, 15th, ]6th and 17th chapters of John. “Meditate daily upon the use of voice, of mind and of actions in being of material, mental, spiritual aid to others.” (12-1) It would be well to stay in the open and be close to nature.
Should we not attempt to awaken the inner forces to God’s presence? “For, all healing comes from the one source. And whether there is the application of foods, exercise, medicine, or even the knife, it is to bring the consciousness of the forces within the body that aid in reproducing themselves – the awareness of creative or God forces.” (2696-1)
Note: The preceding overview was written by William A. McGarey, M.D. and is excerpted from the Physician’s Reference Notebook, Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.
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