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Cadaver Dissection and Chiropractic?!

It is true that chiropractors have always been considered a little different. But what does a cadaver (dead body) dissection have to do with it?

In 1895 when chiropractic was born (almost 5000 years after the recorded birth of medicine) few people were considered more “different” than the founder of chiropractic, DD Palmer, and his son, BJ Palmer, the developer of chiropractic. But even in their unusual practice, the importance of the knowledge obtained by autopsy did not become clear for some 30 years.

nerve tracing vol 6 green book

nerve tracing was proven valid by cadaver dissection

DD Palmer was keen to answers the fundamental question – why did some people get sick and others who were eating at the same table and sleeping in the same house did not. The germ theory of disease could not explain this.

Chiropractors have always been fascinated by the relationship of the spine to the nerves to disease. So much so that in the early years much study was done on “nerve-tracing” which is the process of tracing sensitive inflamed nerves. BJ Palmer wrote a book on the subject. It later became Vol 6. of his famous Green Book collection – The Philosophy, Science, and Art of Chiropractic Nerve tracing.

Nerve Tracing

Indeed DD Palmer wrote, “The Chiropractor finds by nerve tracing, the occluded intervertebral foramina, which by nerve impingement, is the cause of abnormal functions. He then relieves the pressure by adjusting the displaced vertebra, by so doing, he opens the spinal foramen to its normal size.”

The Windsor Autopsies

Some years later a medical doctor came to the same conclusion, that a disease could be caused by nerve compromise when he printed research based on an extensive study. Dr Henry Windsor MD of the University of Pennsylvania did cadaver dissections on 50 bodies and isolated 139 diseased organs.

In each case he traced the nerve supply back to the spine. In 128 out of 139 cases of diseased organs he observed that there were significant misalignment at the spine that had potentially compromised the nerve supply. In 10 of the remaining 11 he found significant spinal imbalance in the spinal segment below or above the primary site. His research was published in the November 1921 issue of the Medical Times.

Windsor summarized his findings with the following quote: “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.”

At Loving Life Chiropractic our aim is to bring back balance and thus youth back to your spine and and its ability to heal.

Remember: “You don’t stop playing because you grow old… you grow old because you stop playing!”

And we want to keep you playing!

Have a great December and a playful Christmas

Dr Craig, Dr Marie-Claude and the Team

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