Medicine: Nailing a Habit

The average physician sees plenty of onychophagy in his practice, but never bothers to do anything about it. After all, it is only nail-biting, and it is not the reason for the patient's visit. Also, it gets little attention in medical texts. When Dr. James M. Hesser, of Benson, out in the yucca-and-mesquite mesas of Arizona, wanted to know more about the cause & cure of nail-biting, he asked the A.M.A. Journal to fill him in. Last week the Journal replied:

"It is an automatic, unconscious and frequently impulsive act . . . an expression of tenseness, usually...

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