We are often asked how to assure the best possible results with nutritional balancing programs and why some health care professionals achieve much better results than others. The most common causes for poor results include using replacement therapy, symptomatic therapy, adding or deleting key products and substituting products in ways that negate the value of the protocol. Other factors that affect program outcome but are not covered in this bulletin are non-adherence to the diet recommendations and lifestyle factors such as lack of rest and sleep.
Replacement therapy is basically a therapeutic method in which one supplements minerals that appear low on a hair mineral analysis and avoiding foods and supplements containing minerals that appear elevated on the test. We cannot emphasize enough that this method does not work well most of the time.
Replacement therapy, however, is an easy trap to fall into. For example, if zinc appears low on a hair mineral analysis, the temptation is to supplement with a lot of zinc. Usually, this does not raise the zinc level. A low or a high level of a mineral is often a compensation for another imbalance. Attempting to raise the low level by supplementing the low mineral does nothing to correct the compensatory process, so the affected mineral level remains low and may even become lower. This is a common occurrence.
Iron or potassium may also appear very low on the hair mineral analysis and yet these minerals may not be recommended. This is done because we prefer, when possible, that patients obtain potassium and iron from food.
Potassium is abundant in vegetables and many other foods, and most often supplementation is unnecessary if one eats well. Patients with low potassium often eat plenty of vegetables. Their low hair potassium level is due to fatigue, which affects adrenal and kidney activity, not a potassium deficiency. Taking potassium, in our experience, may at times cause some symptomatic relief but will not raise the potassium level.
Iron is present in all meats, poultry, eggs and dark green vegetables. Iron is easily absorbed from natural food sources, particularly meats. In fact, many people get too much iron from enriched flour products. Excessive iron can cause severe health problems. Those who stay on nutritional balancing programs often begin to eliminate excessive iron after several months to several years, although at first their hair iron reading appears low. A low reading, in other words, does not necessarily mean a deficiency state. Also, iron deficiency states may have more to do with copper imbalance, which may also be hidden on early charts.
We recommend an excellent digestive aid, usually GB-3, that will assist the absorption of vital trace elements. Also, we strongly recommend a healthful diet and excellent eating habits as these also greatly facilitate the absorption of all vital minerals and other nutrients.
Symptomatic therapy is the use of foods and supplementary nutrients to address symptoms. It is a common method, even among holistic practitioners. It is very tempting at times, as patients want immediate relief of symptoms and do not understand how symptoms are usually a product of deeper imbalances.
Symptomatic nutritional therapy is excellent when a symptom must be addressed quickly. However, it has the following problems: 1) It does not address deeper metabolic imbalances. 2) It often masks more serious problems. 3) It can make the patient worse by further unbalancing the body chemistry.
For these reasons, we much prefer balancing body chemistry as our basic modality. This causes an increase in energy production, along with improvement in detoxification, elimination, nutrition and many other factors. As a result of these improvements, many symptoms will then go away on their own.
However, we recognize that at times it is important to address specific symptoms. If one understands the principles of nutritional balancing, additional diet, supplement or lifestyle modifications can be made that preserve the objective of balancing the body chemistry.
Also, our computer is programmed so that if you list symptoms on the laboratory hair analysis form, some of them may be addressed in the recommended program in a manner that does not imbalance the program. Once you learn the mineral balancing system, you can apply symptomatic remedies where needed without compromising the deeper correction that is so much more important in the long run.
Another very tempting idea is to substitute products that you, the practitioner, feel would be better than the ones recommended on the program. Substitution can work and indeed may be needed at times. However, the key is preserve the balancing principles so that you do not unbalance the program. This requires that you understand why products are recommended in the exact dosages that they are recommended.
Most of the time, substitution does not work well. This occurs because the substitute products, while they may be of excellent quality, do not help balance chemistry and in fact often unbalance it further. This is particularly true of the use of bio-identical hormone products, although it occurs with all types of herbs, vitamins and other types of health products.
We can only urge you to take the time to understand the mineral balancing system. It is based on balancing the oxidation rate as revealed in the readings of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. It also involves balancing the key ratios, particularly the sodium/potassium ratio. As you do this, you will appreciate the product choices, you will understand the dosages of products used and can work with the system to add or substitute other products if needed.
For example, fast oxidizers need copper and those with a fast oxidation rate and a low sodium/potassium ratio need extra copper, as well as magnesium in higher doses. These are empirical findings based on Dr. Paul Eck's research with some 400,000 hair mineral analyses. Dosages do matter, and the proportions of the nutrients matter as well. Our products are designed to balance specific ratios. If you use other products, we recommend making sure the dosages are about the same as what has been found most effective.
We are also delighted to have you report to us ways you have found to balance chemistry faster, and new findings are incorporated into our recommendations.
It is often tempting to reduce the size of a program because the patient prefers a smaller program or to reduce its cost. As a practitioner may not completely understand the need for a specific product, we encourage you to call us and we will help you reduce programs if needed. Otherwise, too often the basic program is compromised and the outcome is less favorable. We make every effort not to give products we do not feel are most important. We also realize that at times a smaller program is needed.
The mineral balancing system is quite unique and powerful when applied correctly. It takes a while to learn and is well worth the effort. We have books, seminar tapes and newer CD programs to help you better understand it. Our consultants can also help with any questions related to hair analysis interpretation and program design.