At times, a retest hair mineral analysis may show little change, yet one may feel significantly better, or perhaps worse. On other occasions, the test shows dramatic improvement, yet one feels the same. To understand this phenomenon, it is important to realize that a hair analysis represents: 1) deep metabolic patterns, 2) the body's response to stress and 3) an average of several months of accumulation of minerals in the hair tissue.
The main reason one occasionally sees little change on a hair test when symptoms improve is that symptomatic improvement may occur first, while deeper metabolic change takes longer to occur. Since the hair test reveals the deeper patterns, one must wait - perhaps six months or more - for the deeper changes to be revealed on a tissue mineral analysis. In other words, a lag occurs between the symptomatic change and the deep correction of body chemistry.
Another possibility is that a particular nutrient or a change in the diet has corrected a deficiency, allergic condition or other type of imbalance that results in a noticeable improvement in one's symptoms. However, this does not necessarily mean that deep correction of body chemistry has occurred. In this case, while one feels better, underlying biochemical patterns may not have changed significantly. This occurs often with drug therapy and with other symptomatic approaches to health care. It can also occur with nutrient therapy.
A hair tissue mineral test reveals the way the body is responding to stress. The test is a metabolic blueprint of a homeostatic state or stress response. It is possible to have symptomatic change, yet the basic way in which the body responds to stress may remain the same.
Occasionally a retest mineral analysis reveals significant or even dramatic improvement, yet one feels the same. One reason this occurs is that at times deep metabolic change precedes symptomatic improvement. The hair test is acting like an early indicator of correction. Improvement of symptoms will follow.
A related reason is that with a nutritional balancing program, the body corrects the most important imbalances first. The most important imbalance may not be one's main symptom, however. Therefore, one may not feel better immediately, even though positive change is occurring. Some understanding of the correction process is required in order to continue with the program in spite of little apparent symptom change.
For example, often the first thing to be corrected is a latent and perhaps serious health condition such as a threatened heart attack or the beginnings of a cancer. These conditions usually have no obvious symptoms and one is unaware of the developing pathology.
Since there are no obvious symptoms of pathology, one is also often not aware of the correction of the latent pathology either. Therefore, one might think that nothing has occurred after a few months on a program, when in fact an important healing has occurred. The hair analysis may be the only indicator of the healing.
For instance, a tissue mineral retest may reveal the elimination of excess cadmium or mercury. This is an excellent event, as either of these can contribute to severe illness. Yet at times one may not feel the benefit, as the changes in body chemistry may be subtle, especially at first.
Meanwhile, one's more 'pressing' symptoms may not change. In reality, these may be much less important, however, than the elimination of a toxic metal and will be dealt with later.
This occurs often on hair mineral tests. The main reason is that imbalances in body chemistry are unwound or uncovered layer by layer. Often, a superficial layer does not appear that abnormal. However, a deeper layer reveals hidden toxic metals and other imbalances that are more aberrant.
This is not a cause for alarm, but for gratitude that one is uncovering and correcting deeper imbalances. Usually one feels better as these are uncovered, as it means one must no longer spend energy compensating and adapting to underlying imbalances. Adaptive energy that was tied up in this way is now freed and one often feels better.
In those following a nutritional balancing program, blood, urine and other tests may also be skewed temporarily as the unwinding of layers of adaptations proceeds. One simply addresses the imbalances that are present without placing too much emphasis on the seemingly worsened appearance of the mineral or other test.
The most common reason a retest reveals improvement when one feels worse is a healing reaction or retracing reaction. This may be a temporary flare-up of an old infection or due to the removal of a toxic substance. A healing reaction may also be a decompensation in which metabolism slows, or the healing of some other old condition that causes a temporary aggravation of symptoms.
Many people are very out of touch with the messages the body is sending. Many are not in touch with the severity of their biochemical imbalances. Either they are used to the way they feel, or they are used to ignoring or minimizing their symptoms. As body chemistry begins to improve, often one becomes more in touch with one's condition, and this may be perceived as feeling worse. For example, giving up coffee, soda pop or sugar can cause one's true fatigue condition to become apparent. One may feel worse for a while, although in fact health is improving.
Mental and emotional changes that accompany an improvement in body chemistry can also cause annoying symptoms at times. These may include increased awareness and increased emotional sensitivity. This can lead to temporary symptoms of anxiety or fear as one sees aspects of one's life more clearly.
Also, changes in the oxidation rate may be healthier, but not necessarily more comfortable. For example, many slow oxidizers feel anxious when their metabolism speeds up to normal. Fast oxidizers may feel tired or "too relaxed" when their oxidation rate slows down to normal. I have had patients go so far as to quit the nutritional balancing program due to this type of discomfort even though their hair tests clearly showed they were functioning better. In one case, the patient admitted feeling better but was uncomfortable with the change.