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The Winsor Autopsies

Chiropractic Validated by Medical Research
By Dr. Lloyd Fielder

Since chiropractic’s inception in 1895 there has been an understanding of the crucial relationship between the integrity of the spinal column and the function of the nerve system as a whole and specifically the tissues and organs that they supply. The interrelatedness of the spine and nerve system, even way back then, was evident in its simplest of understandings.

It was this basic observation that led to the profession of chiropractic focusing on the function of the nerve system and how it is the main source for transmitting the inborn intelligence and information one requires to express their fullest health potential. In essence, to the degree one maintained a healthy nerve system, one free of interference and aberrant communication in relation to the spine, is to the degree one was able to express the fullest potential for life and health.

Chiropractors influence the function of the nerve system through the spine and spinal subsystems thereby allowing the body to increase its own inborn ability to sef-regulate and self-heal.

Why Don’t M.D.s Recognize the Importance of Nerve Function?

Fast forward 110 years later. I can’t tell you how many times I have a person in front of me to whom I explain these simple workings of the importance of nerve function in the role of their health. I know I am not the only chiropractor who hears this next line all too frequently, "Why didn’t my M.D. tell me that?"

My answer is usually something along the lines of, "Maybe they just simply don’t know and you should explain it to them." In truth I do not know the answer, but my best guess would be that these understandings were firstly and continue to be associated with chiropractic and chiropractors. Their biasness professionally is that chiropractic ideas have not come from any medical research or any allopathic physician and therefore are not valid.

Well fret no longer; thanks to a wonderful M.D. who spent many long hours in the lab we have results that support the basics of the chiropractic view of a life and death relationship between the nerves and the function of the organs as they relate to the spine.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

The Winsor Autopsies

Henry Winsor, a medical doctor in Haverford, Pennsylvania, asked the question:

"Chiropractors claim that by adjusting one vertebra, they can relieve stomach troubles and ulcers; by adjusting another, menstrual cramps; and by adjusting others conditions such as kidney diseases, constipation, heart disease, thyroid conditions, and lung disease may resolve–but how?"

Dr. Winsor decided to investigate this new science and art of healing, chiropractic.


After graduating from medical school, Dr. Winsor was inspired by chiropractic and osteopathic literature to experiment. He planned to dissect human and animal cadavers to see if there was a relationship between any diseased internal organ discovered on autopsy and the vertebrae associated with the nerves that went to the organ. As he wrote:

"The object of these necropsies (dissections) was to determine whether any connection existed between minor curvatures of the spine, on the one hand, and diseased organs on the other; or whether the two were entirely independent of each other."

University Permission

The University of Pennsylvania gave Dr. Winsor permission to carry out his experiments. In a series of three studies he dissected a total of 75 human and 22 cat cadavers. The following are Dr. Winsor’s results:

"Two hundred twenty-one structures other than the spine were found diseased. Of these, 212 were observed to belong to the same sympathetic (nerve) segments as the vertebrae in curvature. Nine diseased organs belonged to different sympathetic segments from the vertebrae out of line.

These figures cannot be expected to exactly coincide ... for an organ may receive sympathetic filaments from several spinal segments and several organs may be supplied with sympathetic (nerve) filaments from the same spinal segments. In other words, there was nearly a 100 percent correlation between minor curvatures of the spine and diseases of the internal organs.

Diseases examined:

*Stomach Diseases
All nine cases of spinal misalignment in the mid-thoracic area (T5-T9) had stomach disease.

*Lung Disease
All 26 cases of lung disease had spinal misalignments in the upper thoracic spine.

*Liver Disease
All 13 cases of liver disease had misalignments in the mid thoracic (T5-T9)

All five cases with gallstone disease had spinal misalignments in the mid thoracic.

All three cases with pancreas disease had spinal misalignments in the mid thoracics.

All 11 cases with spleen diseases had spinal misalignments in the mid thoracics.

All 17 cases with kidney disease were out of alignment in the lower thoracics.

*Prostate and Bladder Disease
All eight cases with kidney, prostate and bladder disease had the lumbar (L2-L3) vertebrae misaligned

The two cases with the uterine conditions had the second lumbar misaligned.

*Heart Disease
All 20 cases with heart and pericardium conditions had the upper five thoracic vertebrae (T1-T5) misaligned.

Dr. Winsor’s results are published in The Medical Times, November 1921, and are found in any medical library.

That’s right, folks: 1921 !!!!!

Modern Research Also Shows Benefits of Chiropractic

What is incredible is that there is much more research, a majority of it done in recent years, that shows the benefit of chiropractic care in many aspects of health such as the immune system. Wouldn’t you want to know that chiropractic care could allow your family’s immune systems to be as healthy as they are meant to be?

The latest research shows people without any symptoms at all who receive chiropractic care IMPROVE their health.

That means there is valid scientific documentation that as you incorporate chiropractic care into your lifestyle you continue to get healthier even if you don't have any current symptoms!

Now let me just acknowledge that many in our profession of chiropractic educate people to know that judging their health based upon symptoms is not wise and that even in the absence of symptoms someone can be quite sick. I am not disagreeing with that at all.

However, I am simply shifting the focus onto creating health, wellness and wholeness. We have no choice in that life is a continuous process that goes on with or without us. We do have a choice in either taking a passive and unaware role in the processes of creating a downward spiral of sickness and disease, or an informed and active one in creating an upward spiral of health and vitality. Which would you choose for yourself? How about for your child?

How Many of us Receive Chiropractic Care?

Our profession has been educating, talking about, asking, and sometimes pleading with people to get checked for nerve interference by a chiropractor for over 100 years. Over 85 years ago the medical community itself validated chiropractic’s reasoning with science.

Sadly to this day only 10 percent to 18 percent of our country’s population has gotten under some type of chiropractic care according to various statistics.

We continue to get sicker as a country that encompasses something like 5 percent of the world’s population, who consume around 60 percent of the world’s pharmaceuticals. This concept of better health through better drugs is not working and, more importantly, it is killing us. Conservatively speaking, the third leading cause of death in this country is the medical profession.

So whether you have a disease, an illness or symptoms, are without a symptom and want to create more health, or want to find out more about your body, the state of your spine, if you have nerve interference and more importantly how much or little you are expressing your health potential, you could benefit from a chiropractor.

Many of my colleagues across the country and world give health care classes, new patient orientations and speak to all sorts of groups. Please see the wonderful chiropractor locator and schedule yourself an appointment, or at the very least find out when the chiropractor nearest you is giving a talk about health, wellness and chiropractic as it relates to you and your family’s lives.

I promise you it is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your family, now that you have started to understand how the body actually works!


Much of this article was modified from an original article from Tedd Koren, D.C.

All quotes from: Winsor, H. Sympathetic segmental disturbances -- II. The evidences of the association, in dissected cadavers, of visceral disease with vertebral deformities of the same sympathetic segments, The Medical Times, November 1921, pp./ 267-271