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December 26, 1953

Vegetative Konstitutionstherapie

JAMA. 1953;153(17):1595. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940340097033

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Conceived as a pioneer work to explore the relation of constitution to therapy, this book begins with some undeniable anatomic facts about the autonomic nervous system, moves on to the shaky ground of human typology, and then attempts to explain practically everything in pathology, pharmacodynamics, and physical therapy in terms of vagotonia and sympathicotonia. The effects of various antibiotics are explained by their assumed effects on the nerves (pages 146 to 150). Sunlight (page 256) is stated to cause a discharge of electrons from the skin by the familiar process of photoelectric emission, so that the vagus loses its charge and lets the sympathetic nerves get the upper hand; hence one need only ask a patient whether he tolerates sunlight, for if he does he is a vagotonic. There are no indications that the author appreciates the importance of contratests or understands statistical methods; his ideas are based on a

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