Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Dove with Olive Branch

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Massage was frequently recommended in the Cayce readings for a wide range of problems. In analyzing the readings in which massage was suggested, Joseph and Sandra Duggan (1989) conclude that one of the principal benefits of massage is to coordinate the nervous systems (see “coordination” under health concepts). Their book, Edgar Cayce’s Massage, Hydrotherapy & Healing Oils provides an excellent review of the use of massage in the readings and contains important insights into the subtle variations in technique and massage oils which Cayce recommended.

Roger Jahnke’s article, Body Therapies (1986) makes a strong case that many of the innovative body therapies being used today (e.g. reflexology, connective tissue reflex massage, shiatsu, polarity, applied kinesiology, etc.) fit well into the Cayce approach. He notes, “The autonomic nerve balancing mechanism of neuroreflex techniques and the reprogramming of the body/mind brain feedback loop through neuromuscular release also are verified, although not named in the readings.” (p. 42)

The readings did specifically recommend certain massage approaches, including Swedish massage, neuropathic massage and osteopathic massage. Often, no label was attached to the technique – the readings simply provide explicit directions, including the ingredients for the massage oils. The frequent suggestions for osteopathic massage were based upon the osteopathic concept of nerve centers and the importance of “coordinating” these centers through massage and manipulation. Apparently, most massage therapists of that era were unfamiliar with the major cerebrospinal and sympathetic “centers” (ganglia and plexus) and therefore were not proficient at providing the necessary stimulation to these areas. The osteopaths were trained to provide massage and “manipulations” to these centers and received frequent referrals by Cayce.

Massage may be particularly useful as an adjunct to chiropractic, a combination becoming increasingly common in the chiropractic profession. (Calvert, 1989) In view of Cayce’s emphasis on soft tissue manipulation and relaxation, massage would appear to be useful in this role, particularly when suggestive therapeutics is deemed appropriate. Massage is also an important adjunct to electrotherapy such as the wet cell battery.

As a preventative measure, massage is becoming a recognized and valued therapy for health maintenance and wellness. It is also frequently included in numerous stress management approaches currently available.


Calvert, R. (1989). Massage and chiropractic: A healing partnership. The Digest of Chiropractic Economics, 37-40.
Duggan, J. & Duggan, S. (1989). Massage, Hydrotherapy & Healing Oils. Inner Vision Publishing Company: Virginia Beach: VA.
Jahnke, R. (1986). Choosing body therapies for good health. Venture Inward ( 2(2), 41-45.

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