We hear a lot these days about “stress” and how it causes illness. It is certainly true that symptoms are like the red emergency warning light on the dashboard of a car. They are there to highlight some deeper dis-ease that needs addressing. However, the dis-ease that each person experiences is unique to them and it is important to realise that one person’s stress might be another person’s delight.Successful Homeopathy depends on fully understanding each individual’s dis-ease and removing it. Then they can return to a state of ease and harmony, where those warning symptoms are no longer necessary. Generally, if people are allowed to talk freely, they will keep coming back to the issues they find most difficult or distressing, highlighting the same point in many different ways. To see how this works in practice let’s look at two, very different, individuals, who kindly gave me permission to refer to their cases. A young boy came to see me with persistent sharp abdominal pains. He was critical of my consulting room saying it was messy (to be honest, it’s not that bad!). He liked to keep his own room very tidy and hated it if anyone moved anything out of place. He didn’t enjoy visiting friends and had a very strong desire to stay at home, where he kept to a very strict routine of his own devising. He loved to eat eggs, but they had to be cooked for a very precise number of seconds or he didn’t enjoy them at all. The theme running through everything he said was his strong need for structure in order to feel safe and protected. Even the eggs he so loved represented a safe, protective structure. His many disturbing physical symptoms responded beautifully to a dose of Calcarea carbonica, made from the lining of the inside of an oyster shell, another naturally occurring example of security. The great thing about Homeopathy is that it really respects and acknowledges how different we all are. Let's compare this young boys stress to the stress experienced by a teenage girl who visited me with extremely violent menstrual pains. The cause of her dis-ease was almost the exact opposite. She had a horror or routine of any kind. It would make her feel suffocated and trapped. She hated tight clothing, especially around the neck, for the same reason. She loved to be in company, to talk, to dance and generally have fun. The funny thing about her period pains was that they came before menstruation and disappeared almost as soon as the period began, as this represented a type of release. The pains completely went with one dose of Lachesis (extremely diluted and potentized venom of the Bushmaster snake). Lachesis is particularly well-suited to people who hate to be constricted in any way. If you came for constitutional treatment with me I would always pay close attention to anything that aroused strong emotions in you. I'd also explore what being, angry, scared, anxious or overwhelmed feels like for you, concentrating on the sensations you get in your body. The way for me to be effective is to have you put me into your shoes, in fact inside your skin! I know what it feels like in my body when I'm anxious, but I don't assume that my experience is anything like yours. In this way I am able to hone in on exactly the right remedy to restore your health and well being. Homeopathy is great for first aid situations and minor illnesses - just use your homeopathy kit. If you need help with a chronic complaint arrange to have constitutional treatment.