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The Physiological Basis for Psychosomatic Medicine: A Historical View

Ann Intern Med. 1967;67(4):883-895. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-67-4-883
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Late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century medical thought was dominated by a concept of cellular disease that held that disorganization of cellular processes led to structural changes and, thus, to physiological or functional disturbances (1-3). Although this concept is still preeminent, present medical thought also includes the notion that cellular disease and structural change may occur as a consequence of functional disturbance. A variant of this later idea is the psychosomatic approach which holds that psychological conflict or stress can cause functional impairment that in turn may produce pathological or structural changes in the cells and the tissues. The purpose of


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