Is there a method to detecting trauma within the body by simply looking to a ratio via HTMA?
You might be surprised to to know there is...
According to Dr.Paul Eck, biochemist who founded hair tissue testing, chronic stress stemming from emotional trauma, whether it be frustration, anger, hostility, deep sadness, and/or fear was correlated to a low Na/K ratio.
How so? Let’s get into it.
Our Na/K ratio is recognized as the “Life and death ratio”. It provides insight into our own energy reserve and vitality. We understand that recurring and chronic stress can deplete someone’s “vital reserve”, which makes perfect sense in this case, for if our nervous system is continuously badgered we become depleted both physically and mentally. Our first line of defense when it comes to any stress is our adrenals and kidneys. The adrenals job is to pump out stress hormones to provide us with enough energy to defend ourselves from whatever we may be facing, whereas our kidneys regulate adrenal function through how we absorb and secrete sodium and potassium. These two minerals are the foundational nutrients our adrenal glands work off of. Once the adrenals go, our thyroid starts to try and step up, and this makes perfect sense with this ratio for sodium is representative of the adrenals and potassium is representative of the thyroid. One lowers and the other one tries to step up to the plate and help.
In the case of unresolved trauma, when the Na/K ratio dips below 1 (we realistically want to keep the ratio between a 1.4-3.4) Dr.Eck found that the individual starts developing a “reduced sense of awareness”, meaning they sink into a state of denial that there is even a problem. Once they start working on their emotional issues however, the ratio begins to rise, as well as the pain they unconsciously pushed down. Other key symptoms are constipation, low body temperature, low cortisol levels, depression, bloating, chronic fatigue, burnout syndrome and lack of motivation.
Being the main solvents of the body, energetically speaking, sodium is a mineral of “power”, “aggression”, “masculine energy” and potassium is a mineral of “will”, “fluidity” and “feminine energy”. You cannot have “will power” without one or the other, like you can’t have yin or yang, or masculine and feminine. Power is the force of one’s action, where as Will is the desire to act. In the case of a low Na/K ratio, we lack the “power” to “act” because our reserves are depleted and we struggle to create the energy required to come up with that force or stimulation.
If we were to look at this more physiologically speaking, when we have higher levels of sodium, we tend to have higher levels of aldosterone, a hormone, which its main function is to regulate blood pressure, and higher levels of cortisol and other stress hormones. When low, we can see symptoms like dizziness, apathy, fatigue, low stomach acidity and an inability to digest food properly-particularly protein. Sounding familiar?
In reference to potassium though, yes it plays a role in blood pressure, but also plays a role in nerve conduction and thyroid function. When high it can come up as depression, muscle spasms and/or weakness, as well as blood sugar instability because we are literally losing it through the hair.
We can see here just looking to the physical symptoms of how these minerals can influence us also correlate to how trauma can manifest itself physically.
So now the big question arises; how do we fix this?
- Include more salt in the diet, especially if you’re active. The average adult who exercises regularly needs about 4000mg of sodium a day to function.
- Support the body in retaining the potassium being lost. Antagonistic minerals that may be low in helping lower potassium are calcium, sodium and vitamins like D3, B1 and B12.
- Support stomach acidity by salting one’s food generously, including bioavailable protein in one’s diet (such as meat, poultry, fish and dairy) and making sure one’s zinc levels are adequate.
- Lasty, do some trauma work and work with a trusted practitioner.
Rooting for your health,
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach