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The Winsor Autopsies

As early as 1921, the medical profession validated chiropractic.


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 research.  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.”




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


“221 structures other than the spine were found diseased. Of these, 212 were observed to belong to  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% correlation between minor curvatures of the spine and diseases of the internal organs.”


Let us examine some of these disease categories:


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

  • Lung Disease – All twenty-six cases of lung disease had spinal misalignments in the upper thoracic spine.

  • Liver Disease – All thirteen cases of liver disease had misalignments in the mid thoracic (T5-T9).

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

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

  • Spleen – All eleven cases with spleen diseases had spinal misalignments in the mid thoracics.

  • Kidney – All seventeen 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.

  • Uterus – Both cases with the uterine conditions had the second lumbar misaligned.

  • Heart Disease – All twenty 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 and are found in any medical library. Winsor was not alone in his findings. Similar studies by other researchers have confirmed Dr. Winsor’s conclusion that degenerated and misaligned spines have a high correlation with disease processes.


Despite the continued research and literature correlating the maintenance of health with the maintenance of the spine and the nervous system, chiropractic is the only modern health profession that takes this approach toward health. An unhealthy spine and nerve pressure will cause the body to function at less than 100%. When the body is not functioning properly, it is more susceptible to disease. A chiropractic spinal check-up and adjustment can help in the care and prevention of sickness and disease through a properly functioning nervous system.




Dr. Henry Winsor’s insights and research are prophetic. Scientists from many parts of the world that continued to research the relationship between spinal misalignments (vertebral subluxation complex) and internal organ disease have expanded upon his studies. This field of somato-visceral disease relationship (its scientific term) is one of the fastest growing and most exciting areas of research in the health care sciences – and chiropractic thrives as its leading advocate.


The age of the study quoted is intentional to illustrate that the notion of health correlating with integrity of the spinal column was as true 80 years ago as it still is today.

As you floss your teeth, you should “floss your spine.”  Practice proper spinal hygiene.



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.

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