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Winsor Autopsie Study

Henry Winsor, a medical doctor in Haverford, Pennsylvania was inspired by chiropractic and osteopathic claims that there was a relationship between the shape of the spine and the health of the internal organs.  "How can that be?" he wondered.  He planned a unique experiment - he would dissect human and animal cadavers and observe the alignment of the vertebrae and any diseased organs that their nerves connect to.

The object of these [dissections] was to determine whether any connection existed between minor curvatures of the spine, on the one had, 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 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% correlation between "minor curvatures" of the spine and diseases of the internal organs.  Let us examine some of these disease categories:

Heart Disease

All twenty cases with heart and pericardium conditions had the upper five thoracic vertebrae (T1-5) misaligned.

Lung Disease

All twenty-six cases of lung disease had spinal misalignments in the upper thoracic.

Stomach Disease

All nine cases of spinal misalignment in the mid-thoracic (T5-9) area had stomach disease.

Liver Disease

All thirteen cases of liver disease had misalignments in the mid-thoracic (T5-9)


All five cases with gallstone disease had spinal misalignments in the mid-thoracic (T5-9).


All three cases with pancreas disease had spinal misalignments in the mid-thoracic (T5-9).


All eleven cases with spleen disease had spinal misalignments in the mid-thoracic (T5-9).


All seventeen cases with kidney disease were out of alignment in the lower thoracic (T10-12) area.

Prostate and Bladder Disease

All eight cases with prostate and bladder disease had the lumber (L1-3) vertebrae misaligned.


The two cases with uterine conditions had the second lumbar (L2) misaligned.

Chiropractic can Help!

There was a strict correlation found between diseased organs and misaligned bones in the spine.  Years of chiropractic success with patients with all kinds of organ disease does lend credence to the chiropractic premise that an unhealthy spine can damage spinal nerves and organs.  The Winsor autopsies are intriguing and it is hoped that future research will be done in this area.  Unfortunately the medical profession has largely chosen to ignore Dr. Winsor's work even though it was published in a respected peer-reviewed medical journal.

Among many things contributing to your health: the quality of the air, food and water you take in; how you handle emotional stress; your inherited weaknesses and strengths; your use of drugs; exercise; and relaxation - a healthy spine is absolutely essential.  In some people it is a major factor and can make the difference between a life of health, strength and vitality or a life of disease, weakness and disability.



The Winsor Autopsies



Spinal Condition

Stomach Diseases


Spine not aligned in mid-dorsal, or thoracic spine (between shoulder blades)

Lung Diseases


Spine not aligned in upper dorsal spinal region (area slightly below the neck)

Liver Diseases


Spine not aligned in lower mid-dorsal spinal region



Spine not aligned in related regions.



Spine not aligned in related regions



Spine not aligned in related regions.



Spine not aligned in lower thoracic (10th, 11th and 12th) vertebrae)

Prostate & Bladder


Spine not aligned in lower back vertebrae (1st, 2nd and 3rd lumbar vertebrae)



Spine not aligned in second lumbar

Heart Diseases


Spine not aligned in upper five thoracic vertebrae

Thymus Diseases


Spine not aligned in lower neck and upper back

[Source: Winsor, H., Sympathetic segmental disturbances--11; The evidence of the association in dissected cadavers, of visceral disease with vertebrae deformities of the same sympathetic segments. Medical Times 49:1-7, Nov. 1921.]




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