In the majority of cases the patient will locate the trouble without your asking question, as :
“Doctor, my head is troubling me.”
It may be headache, vertigo or an eruption. It may be in the chest, as pneumonia, pleurisy, pericarditis or organic heart trouble; or, it may be in the abdomen in the region of stomach, liver, kidneys, or pelvic organs. In all such cases the patient will locate the pain, or other suffering, and we must if possible interpret in the light of our knowledge as physicians, and at the same time bear in wind the remedies known to produce similar pain and suffering in the same localities. Or, if not borne in mind, all that remains for us to do is to hunt for them in our repertories, or Materia Medica.
For instance : Is there a pain in the upper right chest? Arsenicum acts characteristically there.
Right middle chest? Belladonna, Sanguinaria, Calcarea ostrearum etc.
Lower right? Chelidonium, Kali carbonicum, Mercurius. Left upper? Myrtus, Pix liquida, Theridion Sulphur, Tuberculinum, etc.
Left lower? Natrum sulphuricum, Phosphorus.
Here I have named a few remedies that have a particular affinity for these locations in the chest, and in all these cases, this is generally in connection with lung troubles, and further examination will disclose the one remedy most appropriate.
If such pains in the chest region should occur outside the lung itself, it might indicate Bryonia, Squilla or Sulphur in pleuritic troubles, or Arnica, Cimicifuga, Ranunculus or Rhus toxicodendron in rheumatic pleurodynia, or intercostal rheumatism.
It is not the province of this writing to draw the distinctions between remedies, which the case in all its local manifestations, concomitants and modalities would suggest, but to impress upon our minds the importance that must attach to locality.
But one will truly object that sometimes the sickness or suffering does not localize. The patient, in answer to the question as to where the pain or suffering is located, answers:
“All over, I feel badly all over; weak, aching, sore and trembling.”
This might be a case of incipient typhoid and Gelsemium or Baptisia would be in place, or the prostration might be result of some drain on the system, as haemorrhage, leucorrhoea or loss of semen, and call for such remedies as China, Phosphoric acid, Natrum muriaticum, Kali carbonicum or Stannum, etc.
Still, although the trouble does not manifest itself in any particulars part of organ (and some would relegate it to the realm of Sensation), I think it might come under the head of location, like absence of pain would come under the head of sensation. It is located all over in no particular part. It is under the head of location in a negative sense, and significant.