In the late 1990’s, two friends stood outside of one of New York’s skyscrapers feeling elated, exhausted, powerful, and humble. It was a strange mix of emotions that was enviable after letting something to that you have poured your life into for the last twenty-some years. “Let’s grab dinner,” said Paul. “Are we gonna do it?” asked Steve. “We didn’t come all this way for nothing did we?” was the reply and they both laughed.
Dinner that night would be the celebration of the sale of their company. The two were lifelong friends having grown up three doors down from each other in a large Midwest city. It was their freshman year in high school when they had a crazy idea to start a business together. They poured all their spare time into working odd jobs to save their money and spent late nights dreaming about how the company would work. These two young entrepreneurs were committed. Halfway through their senior year, they took the plunge and opened their business. The quickly realized that graduation could not come quickly enough because they were…working.
The business grew, and over the next ten years, they expanded rapidly. They each married and had their first child within a few months of each other. Over the next ten years, they grew the foundation of their business and became a regional powerhouse. Other national companies began to take notice to the small guys that were running an outstanding operation. They received their first buyout offer after eighteen years in business. They declined, but their wives told them to think about accepting one if it looked good, so they could have more time with their family.
That offer came after they celebrated twenty years in business. In fact, the proposal was more than generous, and they would guarantee that every worker would not only keep their job but also get a bonus and raise. It took a little over a year and a half to finalize the details. It was now officially over. The business was sold.
They had never been to New York before, and they had always talked about eating in Chinatown at a real hole-in-the-wall place for some authentic Chinese food. That is precisely where they were headed for dinner tonight. They were going to wander around Chinatown until they found the place that was calling them.
Dinner was exactly as they thought it would be. They were the only two in the place that spoke English, at least that is what they told themselves as they sat there. They convinced each other that this was no different than sitting in a little place in Beijing.
In the middle of the night, Steve woke up and he instantly knew things were very wrong. His stomach felt like it was trying to leave his body through his mouth. He ran to the bathroom and ended up spending the next four hours there as the food from that evening’s meal found its way out of his body in ways he had never imagined. After everything calmed down, he was exhausted. He climbed back in bed and fell asleep. A few hours later he was rudely awakened by the hotel’s blaring alarm clock.
He felt off but not nearly as bad as he thought he would after the tumultuous night in the bathroom. He showered and shaved, packed his clothes and was out the door right on time to meet his friend in the lobby for the ride to the airport. Fifteen minutes passed and his habitually early friend was a no-show. He went over the front desk and had them call the room. No answer. He spoke with the manager on duty about his situation. Maybe it was the concern in his voice, or perhaps it was just a moment of compassion, but the manager accompanied him up to his friend’s room. No answer at the door. The manager unlocked the door and the entered. They found him lying in bed. He had died during the night, and his body was cold. There were no signs of foul play or even signs of pain on his face.
This is where the story moves to the coroner’s office. The coroner on duty that Saturday morning was relatively new and still not too jaded by his job. In fact, he loved the discovery process. Not in a morbid way, instead he was interested in truth; what really happened. Because of his nature, he read a great deal of research to further sharpen his skills for his job. Recently he had become attracted to studies and comments that had been published in the 1920’s. Thankfully, last night had been a quiet night in The Big Apple, and there were no pressing cases for him this morning until a body was brought in from an upscale hotel. The body appeared to be in good physical condition and with no signs of abuse or distress. All the bodily fluids would be tested to help determine the cause of death. Unlike others he worked with, he did not instantly assume a drug overdose. He let the physiology and anatomy tell him what happened.
Per requirements, all unknown causes of death in New York City require an autopsy. This was his job, and he went to work. All his organs appeared healthy, but something caught his eyes. The nerves that emanated from the spine and innervated his intestines appeared “thin and thread-like.” He would not normally use a phrase like that, but he had just read it the night before in a study that was published by Dr. Windsor in the 1920’s. He studied the appearance of nerves in relation to the organic cause of death. For example, if a person died of heart disease, he studied the presentation of the nerves that fed the heart. In almost every circumstance, he noticed that the organ associated with a natural cause of death would have “thin and thread-like” nerves compared to healthy robust nerves.
The contents of the stomach had already been sent off to the lab, and he would have the results sometime later that day. He began reading over the police report. It didn’t take long before the telltale signs he was looking for were revealed. Cutting through the policeman’s parlance, he discovered that the night before the “victim” and a friend ate at a seedy Chinese restaurant. The friend was up most of the night with severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. He had it! For some reason, the victim’s body did not get rid of the toxins, and the foul food killed him while he was sleeping. The victim’s body was unable to perceive the presence of the toxin. That got him thinking of the nerves again. Specifically, the nerves that go to the digestive organs that were “thin and thread-like.”
He had a hunch and called his brother-in-law. His sister had married a Chiropractor, and his practice was not far from the coroner’s office in Manhattan. He was curious and wanted to know if the presentation of the victim’s spine was subluxated. A subluxation is an interference in the nervous system that creates a myriad of problems from immune changes to joint dysfunction. Later that afternoon his brother-in-law showed up despite his hesitation and agreed to have a look. There was no doubt about it. The vertebrae that were associated with the abnormal nerves were subluxated. In fact, several joints had advanced arthritis.
This case was stuck in his mind for months. He and his brother-in-law would discuss it often. Finally, after six months of deliberation, he did something he never thought he would do, he called the friend of the victim. He needed answers to calm his racing mind. The conversation was difficult, but his suspicions were confirmed. The victim never visited a chiropractor, and his friend had been adjusted from a very early age. One family was against “that back cracking,” and the other had adopted it as a lifestyle.
As much as the two friends were similar and grew up just a few houses apart there was one vital difference in that one was well adjusted, the other was chronically subluxated. One man was able to respond in a perfectly healthy fashion and expel the toxins from his body to preserve life. The other man was not and died from the toxins with no symptom other than death.
Each person takes something different away from this story. Some realize that symptoms are not “bad.” Others call and make an appointment with their chiropractors. Still, others dismiss the story as propaganda. But a few take something bigger away from it, they invite their chiropractor to eat with them every time they go out for Chinese!