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March 5, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(10):655. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490550029016

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The influence of the mind over the body is perhaps nowhere better illustrated than in the relation between psychic conditions and digestion. We recently emphasized the value of the deliberate and thorough mastication of food, and took occasion to say that how one eats is often of more importance than what one eats. In the treatment of dyspepsia, it is important to secure freedom from anxiety, pleasant surroundings and such other accompaniments as conduce to enjoyment in eating. Pawlow's classical experiments on gastric secretion in dogs led him to some important conclusions on this subject. One of them is that food eaten without relish and without appetite, although in itself most nutritious and supposedly easy of digestion, may remain for hours in the stomach undigested. The same result often follows when food is eaten while the mind is diverted to other things, especially in case of anger, anxiety, preoccupation, etc.

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