Outwitting Our Nerves eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 270 pages of information about Outwitting Our Nerves.

     A. By understanding himself.

     Q. How may he express his inner feelings?

     A. By choosing a better way.

     Q. How can he forget his fatigue?

     A. By ignoring it.

     Q. How can he ignore it?

     A. By finding a good stiff job.

     If he wants advice in a nutshell, here it is:  Get understanding! 
     Get courage!  Get busy!

CHAPTER X

In which the ban is lifted

DIETARY TABOOS

MISUNDERSTOOD STOMACHS

=Modern Improvements.= Most people have heard the story of the little girl who wanted to know what made her hair snap.  After she had been informed that there was probably electricity in her hair, she sat quiet for a few minutes and then exclaimed:  “Our family has all the modern improvements!  I have electricity in my hair and Grandma has gas on her stomach!” Judged by this standard many American families are well abreast of the times; and if we include among the modern improvements not only gas on the stomach but also nervous dyspepsia, acid stomach, indigestion, sick-headache, and biliousness, we must conclude that a good proportion of the population is both modern and improved.

Despite all this the stomach is one of the best-equipped mechanisms in the world.  It, at least, is not modern.  After their age-long development the organs of the body are remarkably standardized and adapted to the work required of them.  It is safe to say that ninety per cent. of all so-called “stomach trouble” is due not to any inherent weakness of the organ itself but to a misunderstanding between the stomach and its owner.

=Organic Trouble.= Unfortunately, there are a few real organic causes for trouble.  There are a few cancers of the stomach and a certain number of ulcers.  But if the patients whom I have seen are in any way typical, the ulcers that really are cannot compare in number with the ulcers that are supposed to be.  Patients go to physicians with so many tales of digestive distress that even the best doctors are fooled unless they are especially alert to the ways of “nerves.”  They must find some explanation for all the various functional disturbances which the patients report, and as they are in the habit of taking only the body into account, they find the diagnosis of stomach ulcer as satisfactory as any.

There is, of course, such a thing as an enlarged or sagging stomach.  But it is only in the rarest of cases that such a condition leads to any functional disturbances unless complicated by suggestion.  In most cases a person can go about his business as happily as ever unless he gets the idea that ptosis must inevitably lead to pain and discomfort.

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Outwitting Our Nerves from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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