The new mother was told that her twin babies had died after birth. However the truth was far different: they were sent to an institute near Moscow to be studied. This was to be the fate of "Masha" and "Dasha", one of the most unusual sets of "Siamese" or conjoined twins ever born.
Identical twins are formed when a fertilized egg divides into two eggs. The two eggs grow into two babies that are identical in every respect. Conjoined or Siamese twins are formed in the same way as identical twins but the eggs, for some reason, don’t completely separate; instead, they remain partially attached. It was the unique way in which the twins were connected that caused Soviet scientists to take such an interest in them.
Although Masha and Dasha have four arms, they have only three legs. They stand on two of their legs, one controlled by Masha, one by Dasha (they were five before they learned how to walk) while a third, vestigial leg remains in the air behind them. Their upper intestines are separated but they share a single lower intestine and rectum. They have four kidneys and one bladder, and often disagree on when to urinate. They have a common reproductive system.
Because their circulatory systems are inter connected, the twins share each other’s blood. Therefore, a bacterium or virus that enters one twin’s bloodstream will soon be seen in the blood of her sister. Yet surprisingly, illness affects them differently. Dasha is short-sighted, prone to colds and right-handed. Masha smokes occasionally, has a healthier constitution, higher blood pressure than her sister, good eyesight and is left-handed.
The twins differing health patterns present a mystery. Why did one become ill with a childhood disease, like measles for example, while the other did not? The measles "bug" was in both of their bodies, in their collective bloodstream; so why didn’t both get the measles?
Evidently there is more to "getting the measles" than having the measles "bug". This phenomenon was seen over and over again with the girls (flu, colds, other childhood diseases were all experienced separately). If germs alone had the power to cause infectious diseases, why would one of the twins be disease-free while the other was ill? What was it in their makeup that differentiated one from the other?
The answer was not far to seek. Although Masha and Dasha had common circulatory, digestive, excretory, lymphatic, endocrine and skeletal systems (they were joined at the hips), they had separate spinal columns and spinal cords. This was the only important difference between the two girls.
In Masha and Dasha, nature’s "laboratory" devised an experiment that no human researcher could ever duplicate. These extraordinary twins are an invaluable example confirming that there is much more to "catching" a disease than simply breathing in germs; germs can make you sick if and only if your body provides fertile ground to grow in.
The state of your nerve system can determine whether you have high or low resistance to disease. If you are suffering from disease, the health of your nerve system will play a decisive role in whether or not (and how rapidly) you will recover. By keeping your spinal column and nerve system free of subluxations, chiropractic care helps you optimize your overall state of health.
Masha and Dasha became celebrities when they appeared on a popular national television program in Russia. They were reunited with their mother (their father had since died) and are hopeful: "The past forty years haven’t been so good, but things are looking up for the next forty," said Dasha.