Could 50 Autopsies in 1921 Have Revealed the Keys to Long Life?

In 1921, Dr. Henry Windsor wanted to see if there was a connection between diseased organs and the structure of the body. He conducted 50 autopsies at the University of Pennsylvania and published his results in the Medical Times in November of that same year.

His findings were overwhelmingly conclusive that maintaining a healthy structure of your body is vital to enjoying a long, healthy life. Hopefully what Dr. Windsor learned can teach you a new perspective about how to take care of your own health.

After performing autopsies on 50 cadavers, Dr. Windsor had isolated a total 139 diseased organs. The diseased organs included the heart, lungs, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidney, prostate, bladder and uterus.

He then traced the nerve that went that organ all the way back to the spine. He examined the condition of the vertebrae at that spinal level to see if there was any correlation between it and the diseased organ.

Dr. Windsor found minor curvatures and/or misalignments of the spine in 128 of the 139 diseased organs. In the remaining 10 diseased organs, he found similar problems in the spinal segment just above or below the primary site.

He concluded that if he included the cadavers with “faint curve and slight visceral pathology” that the correlation was 139 out of 139 for 100%!

The types of disease he documented included:
Larynx cancer, fatty degeneration of the thymus, pleural adhesions, pleural effusions, pneumonia, tuberculosis, pulmonary edema, pulmonary congestion, lung fibrosis, bronchitis, enlarged lymph nodes, influenza, heart endocarditis, heart dilatation, heart muscle degeneration, pericarditis, aortic aneurysm, liver cirrhosis, liver swelling, liver tumors, enlarged spleen, atrophied spleen, inflamed spleen, pancreas degeneration, cystic kidneys, appendicitis, uterine adhesions, prostate hypertrophy, prostate atrophy, cystitis, hydrocele, and osteomyelitis of the tibia.

Dr. Windsor went on to explain that the reason he believed this occurred was because when a spinal segment was mispositioned, it irritated the sympathetic nerve ganglia adjacent to that area causing vaso-motor spasm. More simply stated, when the vertebra was misaligned, the irritation caused a decrease in the blood flow to the organ that was innervated at that level.

He described that first the spine became fixated and much later, painful joints could be felt. Then the nerve irritation caused blood flow to decrease to the organ. After years of this slight decrease in optimal blood flow, the organ then started deteriorating and eventually became diseased.

You can see which level of the spine goes to which organ in your body here.

This process could take decades and could easily be prevented if the alignment of the spine was corrected and proper motion of the spine was maintained.

Dr. Windsor then stated:

“The disease appears to precede old age and to cause it. The spine becomes stiff first and old age follows. Therefore, we may say a man is as old as his spine, the arteries becoming hardened later from constant vaso-motor spasm, following sympathetic irritation.”
Another fascinating part of this story is Dr. Windsor was a Medical Doctor who was questioning chiropractors’ claims that by adjusting vertebrae they can relieve physical aliments and restore health. He set out to prove chiropractors wrong and in fact, did the exact opposite. He provided evidence that spinal health was vital to the health of your organs which in turn will determine how long you live.
So what can you learn from Dr. Windsor’s autopsies?

  • Curvatures and/or misalignments of the spine negatively affect the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Since the sympathetic nervous system controls the blood supply to your organs, prolonged abnormal curvatures and poor posture can negatively affect the functioning of any/all of your organs.
  • Spinal disease precedes old age and causes old age.
  • Restoring the normal function of your spine and improving your posture will help keep your organs healthy and you alive for a lot longer.

So what can you do for yourself now that you know this information?

You can start working to increase your flexibility in your spine. Start stretching your body. Take a yoga class.

Get stronger and start exercising. Move your body. Start walking, running, riding your bike or anything else that you enjoy and gets you moving.

Get your spine checked. Chiropractors are obviously the spine specialists trained to correct these types of spinal problems. Massage will also increase the flexibility of the spine and soft tissues so that you get optimal blood flow throughout your body. Other forms of bodywork can also help you restore and maintain your health in a proactive way as well.

This is why I believe spinal health is so important. If your nervous system and spine are healthy, you will be healthy.

Don’t let the information that these 50 cadavers revealed go to waste. Get moving, stretch and get your spine checked.

About the Author

Dr. Jay Warren has been a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor for 17 years. He is also the Wellness Care Coordinator at the CAP Wellness Center in San Diego, CA where 90% of his practice is pregnant or postpartum women and babies under one year old. Dr. Jay is a proud member of the ICPA and APPPAH (the Association or Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health) and the host of the podcast “Healthy Births, Happy Babies” in iTunes. His online program, “Connecting with Baby” guides pregnant women through processes to strengthen maternal bonding for a happier pregnancy, gentler birth and easier post-partum experience. Dr. Jay is also the proud father of his 3 year old son, Niko who keeps him very busy (and happy) outside of the office.