chapter  5
The Psychosomatic Stomach: British Society, Wartime Dyspepsia and the Return of the Patient, c. 1920–45
Pages 18

Pathological anatomy, physiological enquiry and abdominal surgery had all presented increasingly reductionist models of the stomach, focusing less and less upon the organ as a whole and its relationship with the bodily system, and instead concentrating more intensely on its various constituent parts. Gastric illness came to occupy a central space within the discourses that emerged between competing medical disciplines. An array of procedures and technologies had been developed in line with the reductionist approach to provide for the scienti c management of gastric complaints. Yet the nature and application of these contrasted sharply with earlier methods of investigation which had focused intensely upon the patient; emphasized the relationship between stomach and mind; provided space for discussion of a highly interactive internal constitution; and which had o en prioritized readjustment to external environments.2