Imagine the body as an empty barrel at birth. Then, with each contact with stressing substances in the environment, a little more is added to the barrel. The regulatory mechanisms in our bodies can usually prevent the barrel from overflowing by processing and eliminating the stressors but in some people, the barrel overflows and the result is illness.
This is known as the Total Body Load concept in Clinical Ecology. The size of the barrel represents the patient’s ‘Resistance’, the combined effect of their immune and detoxification systems. The Total Body Load is the accumulation of stressors. Someone with a large barrel can handle a lot more stressors before they notice anything going wrong. In patients with the same clinical picture, there are often different underlying causes because each individual has their unique ‘signature’ of stressors and treatment is different in each case.