The Role of Exercise
Exercise and activity play an important role in physical therapy and may also contribute to mental rehabilitation due to their mood altering characteristics. They also provide the opportunity for social interaction which may have therapeutic effects.
The Cayce readings emphasized the therapeutic value of exercise and constructive activity. The recommendations for exercise were suited to individual needs and abilities. Generally speaking, the suggestions were for moderate exercise on a daily basis. There was a consistent emphasis on being outdoors in the open as much as possible. From a therapeutic standpoint, keep in mind that exercise was a part of the holistic approach and was not the primary therapeutic intervention in most cases.
Reading 3762-1 is interesting because it relates the role of manipulative therapy (i.e., massage and osteopathic manipulation) to exercise. It also suggests that some of the therapeutic benefit of exercise is linked to improved eliminations via stimulation of the visceral organs.
Specific exercises were recommended for certain conditions. Here is Edgar Cayce’s prescription for hemorrhoids:
“But the best for the specific conditions of hemorrhoids is the exercise, and if this is taken regularly these will disappear-of themselves! Twice each day, of morning and evening-and this doesn’t mean with many clothes on! rise on the toes, at the same time raising the arms; then bend forward, letting the hands go toward the floor. Do this three times of morning, and three times of evening. But don’t do it two or three times and then quit, or don’t do it three or four times a week and then quit, but do it regularly!” (2823-2)
The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy by Harold J. Reilly and Ruth Hagy Brod is a wonderful resource on Cayce’s approach to exercise.
Excerpts on Exercise From the Cayce Readings
Q. State in detail what kind and amount of exercise the body should take?
A. As much outdoor exercise as is possible, always, for the body. A sufficient amount of mental exercise to keep an even keel or balance with that of the physical body; for the body nominally is an active body, mentally and physically, and in the manner as will make the body physically tired; so may the body be made mentally tired. These are the even keel for this body, particularly. Walking, riding, any outdoor exercise good. (202-4)
The best way to acquire the correct amount of pep is to take the exercise! (288-38)
It’s well that each body, everybody, take exercise to counteract the daily routine activity so as to produce rest. (416-1 )
Then, each morning and each evening…. Standing, erect, raise the hands high above the head as possible, rising on the toes, then slowly bending forward until the hands will almost or not quite touch the floor. Do this slowly, but do it at least three, four, five, six times, very slowly, stretching upward and forward and downward. (555-8)
No better exercises may be taken than….. the cat-stretching exercises, which includes, of course, being able-(put very coarsely)-to do the split, be able to put the head on the feet, to put the feet behind the head, to make the head and neck exercises and all of those activities that may be said to be of the feline or cat exercise. To be sure, in the present period, present development, present conditions that exist, must be gone at gently; but be persistent morning and evening, working at it, still not letting it become rote, but purposeful. (681-2)
Of morning, and upon arising especially (and don’t sleep too late) – and before dressing so that the clothing is loose or the fewer the better-stand erect before an open window, breathe deeply, gradually raising hands ABOVE the head, and then with the circular motion of the body from the hips bend forward; breathing IN (and through the nostrils) as the body rises on its toes-breathing very deep; EXHALING SUDDENLY through the MOUTH, not through the nasal passages. Take these [exercises] for 5 to 6 minutes. Then as these progress, gradually CLOSE one of the nostrils (even if it’s necessary to use the hand-but if it is closed with the left hand, raise the right hand; and when closing the right nostril with the right hand, then raise the left hand) AS the breathing IN is accomplished.
Then of an evening, just before retiring-[with the body prone, facing the floor and] with the feet braced against the wall, circle the torso by resting on the hands. Raise and lower the body not merely by the hands but more from the torso, and with more of a circular motion of the pelvic organs to strengthen the muscular forces of the abdomen. Not such an activity as to cause strain, but a gentle circular motion to the right two or three times, and then to the left. (1523-2)
Exercise in the open air, – as walking, as just sitting in same, – is necessary. Walking and swimming are the best exercises. (2164-1)
Then in the morning before dressing, exercise the upper portion of the body; [by swinging] the arms up and down, straight up, straight down; then the turning motion as of swinging the arms around, for the movement….. from the diaphragm upward . . . from the ninth dorsal upward-these exercises will take away the heaviness and the tendency’to get tired easily…. let the exercise preferably be for the lower limbs [in the evening]….. a movement as of sitting on the floor and walking across or swinging the limbs one in front of the other for 3 to 4 movements. (2454-2)
Take this regularly, not taking it sometimes and leaving off sometimes, but each morning and each evening take this exercise regularly for 6 months and we will see a great deal of difference: sitting erect, bend the head forward three times, to the back three times, to the right side three times, to the left side three times, and then circle the head each way three times. Don’t hurry through with it but take the time to do it. We will get results. (3549-1 )
Then, to give the body normal forces, and to bring the normal effect in body, little of medicinal properties would be effective. Better that climatic conditions; pure water [carrying lithia], high altitude. These with food values, exercise of the physical body, that the forces may be brought to exertion in the system, that the body may become physically tired, without strain to the system. Taking at such times exercises as would be given to the body by deep manipulations to awaken the excretory system and the secretive system through the liver proper. (3762-1)
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