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In 1921 Henry Winsor, a medical doctor in Haveford, Pennsylvainia, 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 kindney disease, 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 chiropracic 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."
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 verterae 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.
Stomach- All nine cases of spinal misalignment in the mid-thoracic area (T5-T9) had stomach disease
Lung - All 26 cases of lung disease had spinal misalignments in the upper thoracic spine.
Liver - All 13 cases of liver diease had misalignments in the mid thoracic (T5-T9) area.
Gallstones - All five cases with gallstone disease had misalignments in the mid thoracics.
Pancreas - All three cases with pancreas disease had spinal misalignments in the mid thoracics.
Spleen- All 11 cases with spleen diseases had misalignments in the mid thoracics.
Kidney - All 17 cases with kidney disease were out of alignment in the lower thoracics.
Prostate and Bladder - All eight cases with kidney, prostate, and bladder disease had the lumbar (L2-L3) vertebrae misaligned.
Uterus - The two cases with the uterine conditions had the second lunbar misaligned.
Heart - All 20 cases with heart and pericardium conditions had the upper five thoracic vertebrae (T1-T5) misaligned.
Dr. Winsor's resultes are published in The Medical Times, November 1921, and are found in any medical library.
What is incredible is this was in 1921 and much more research has been done in recent years that shows 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 recieve 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! This is why it is important to get your spine checked by a professional even if you are not experiencing any current symptoms. The best health care is to prevent the disease from ever occuring in the first place not treating a disease that could have possibly been prevented by simply getting your spine checked.
Media reports of Swine Flu in Mexico and now several US cities are frightening to many Americans, who are made to feel helpless. As a result, many will turn to dangerous vaccines out of fear and a lack of honest information. This virus is a strain of H1N1, the same virus responsible for the 1918 Flu Pandemic (often referred to as the “Spanish Flu”).
At this point, most confirmed cases in the United States have been mild and there have been no confirmed fatalities. However, in Mexico there has been a high case fatality rate among young adults, 25-44, with atypical pneumonia, which has similarities with the 1918 flu pandemic.
The media is reporting that the 1918 pandemic was composed of a recombination of H1N1 seasonal flu and H1N1 swine flu. What you won’t hear reported in the main stream media is how chiropractic care afforded life saving relief to so many back in 1918.
The 1918 flu epidemic swept silently across the world bringing death and fear to homes in every land. More than one hundred million people died. In 1918 almost nothing was known about prevention, protection, treatment or cure of influenza. The whole world stood at its mercy, or lack of it.
Strangely enough, around that same time, chiropractic, the only American born health care profession, was close to extinction only 23 years after its discovery. In the time just after the end of World War I, laws against slander were so lenient that medical doctors were allowed to openly attack the chiropractic profession without any regard to truth, legality or the best interest of the patients.
Because medical doctors were making it so hard to have a practice, chiropractors were making mostly house calls. In 1918, chiropractors in Wisconsin began going door-to-door adjusting anyone who had the Flu.
As a result, an amazing thing occurred. Those who were adjusted by a chiropractor didn’t die.
The news about Chiropractic swept across Wisconsin and eventually the whole country. Within a short period of time, chiropractic became so well known as the best defense against the flu that chiropractors were being called “Flu Doctors”.
Out of this epidemic, the young science of chiropractic enjoyed a new measure of enthusiasm and respectability. If there had been any lack of enthusiasm among the doctors of chiropractic, or a depleting of the sources of new students, the epidemic took care of that. These chiropractic survivors of the flu epidemic were confident, assured, determined, and ready to fight any battle that came up. The effect of the epidemic becomes evident in interviews made with old-timers practicing in those years. The refrain comes repeatedly, “I was about to go out of business when the flu epidemic came – but when it was over, I was firmly established in practice.”
The answer is reasonably simple. Chiropractors got fantastic results from influenza patients while those under medical care died. Statistics reflect a most amazing, almost miraculous state of affairs. The medical profession was practically helpless with the flu victims but chiropractors seemed able to do no wrong.
 In Davenport, Iowa, 50 medical doctors treated 4,953 cases, with 274 deaths. In the same city, 150 chiropractors including students and faculty of the Palmer School of Chiropractic treated 1,635 cases with only one death.
In the state of Iowa, medical doctors treated 93,590 patients, with 6,116 deaths – a loss of one patient out of every 15. In the same state, excluding Davenport, 4,735 patients were treated by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 cases – a loss of one patient out of every 789.
National figures show that 1,142 chiropractors treated 46,394 patients for influenza during 1918, with a loss of 54 patients – one out of every 886.
In the same epidemic, New York health authorities (who kept records of flu as a reportable disease) showed that under chiropractic care, only 25 patients died of influenza out of every 10,000 cases; and only 100 patients died of pneumonia out of every 10,000 cases. This comparison is made more striking when viewed in the following table:
Under medical care 10,000 950
Under chiropractic care 10,000 25
Under medical care 10,000 6,400
Under chiropractic care 10,000 100
The same epidemic reports show that chiropractors in Oklahoma treated 3,490 cases of influenza with only 7 deaths. But the best part of this is, in Oklahoma there is a clear record showing that chiropractors were called in 233 cases where medical doctors had cared for the patients, and finally gave them up as lost. The chiropractors saved all these lost cases but 25.
Statistics alone, however, don’t tell the whole story.
Dr. Helen B. Mason [DC], whose son, when only a year old, became very ill with bronchitis explains: “My husband and I took him to several medical specialists without any worthwhile results. We called a chiropractor, as a last resort, and were amazed at the rapidity of his recovery. We discussed this amazing cure at length and came to the decision that if chiropractic could do as much for the health of other individuals as it had done for our son we wanted to become chiropractors.”
Dr. M. L. Stanphill [DC] recounts his experiences: “I had quite a bit of practice in 1918 when the flu broke out. I stayed in Van Alstyne (Texas) until the flu was over and had the greatest success, taking many cases that had been given up and restoring them back to health. During the flu we didn’t have the automobile. I went horseback and drove a buggy day and night. I stayed overnight when the patients were real bad. When the rain and snow came I just stayed it out. There wasn’t a member of my family that had the flu.”
When he came to Denison, he said, “I had a lot of trouble with pneumonia when I first came. Once again I took all the cases that had been given up. C. R. Crabetree, who lived about 18 miles west of Denison, had double pneumonia and I went and stayed all night with him and until he came to the next morning. He is still living today. That gave me a boost on the west side of town.”
And when interviews of other old timers are made it is evident that each still vividly remembers the 1918 influenza epidemic. We now know about 100 million persons around the world died of the flu with about 500,000 Americans among that number. But most chiropractors and their patients were miraculously spared. Even today, we repeatedly hear about those decisions to become a chiropractor after a remarkable recovery or when a close family member given up for dead suddenly came back to vibrant health.
Some of these heroic chiropractors who served faithfully during the 1918 crisis went on to become the major characters thrust upon the profession’s stage in the 20′s and 30′s and they had the courage, the background and the conviction to withstand all that would shortly be thrown against them [including being thrown in jail for practicing medicine without a license]. The publicity and reputation of such effectiveness in handling flu cases also brought new patients and much acclaim from people who knew nothing of chiropractic before 1918.
Chiropractic’s journey into health care took a huge leap forward thanks to its incredible effect on thousands of Americans during the flu crisis. [2,3,4] When you get adjusted, you increase immune function, among many other benefits. An increase in immune function is important for everything from the cold and runny nose to influenza, cancer, and heart disease, not to mention the great enhancing effects on a healthy individual. This is why everyone should have their spine checked and adjusted if needed. An adjustment may stimulate your immune system to better fight off any challenge, including influenza.
Remember, regular visits to your chiropractor will assure that your body is always operating at 100% of your optimal health potential. And that is good news.
1. Rhodes WR: “The Official History of Chiropractic in Texas.” Texas Chiropractic Association. Austin, TX. 1978.
2. Kent C: “Neuroimmunology — an update.” The Chiropractic Journal. August, 2001. http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2001/aug/aug2001kent.htm
3. Kent C: “Neuroimmunology and chiropractic.” The Chiropractic Journal. October, 1995. http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/1995/oct/oct1995kent.htm
4. Kent C: “The mental impulse-biochemical and immunologic aspects.” The Chiropractic Journal. February, 1999. http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/1999/feb/feb1999kent.htm
Ear pain is the number one reason for child visits to chiropractors. Many chiropractors believe that there is a strong link between the birthing process and recurrent ear infection, also known as otitis media. During the birthing process, cervical (neck) vertebrae can become misaligned, disrupting nerve function, which can affect the eustachian tube. This may lead to fluid buildup in the middle ear and cause otitis media.
Ear infection or otitis media accounts for over 35% of all pediatrician visits in the United States. Antibiotics, the usual treatment, are not always effective and may even lead to a recurrence of ear infections. Many children are dealing with a continuing cycle of repeat ear infections, which lands them back at the pediatrician for more antibiotics. For nearly 100 years, the chiropractic profession has claimed that ear and other upper respiratory infections respond favorably to chiropractic adjustments.
A promising study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics indicates that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. 332 children with chronic ear infections participated in the study. Each child, ranging in age from 27 days to 5 years, was given a series of chiropractic adjustments. The results show that close to 80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits. The six-month period included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks. Joan M. Fallon, D.C., the author of the study and the chiropractor who treated the children in the study, states that this pilot study can serve as a starting point from which the chiropractic profession can begin to examine its role in the treatment of children with chronic ear infections. She asserts that large-scale clinical trials need to be undertaken in the field.
Even though this study is not definitive and more scientific research needs to be done in this area, chiropractic treatment is a conservative, drug-less approach to consider trying if your child has a history of chronic ear infections. Under normal circumstances, chiropractic adjustments are painless and will not hurt your child. There are no invasive procedures and chiropractors do not use drugs that can have harmful side effects.
Serious side effects from spinal adjustments appear to be rare. A recent article in Integrative Medicine reported the low risk of serious complications from neck and low back adjustments. According to the literature review, the estimated risk for serious complications from neck adjustments is 6.39 per 10 million adjustments. For low back adjustments, it is 1 per 100 million adjustments.