We all know what a bowl looks like right?
An object that technically looks leveled, but if we were to perceive it through an areal view we see it cave in, thus forming the actual bowl. No one ever thinks of a bowl as more than just a bowl, but if were to think of a bowl as more than just an object, but a way in which we can feel or live through life, you can start feeling a pit in your stomach bubble up- just like if you were on a roller coaster about to tip over.
A hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) has a series of different patterns which can all signify something. This is why looking solely at the individual minerals or ratios is not enough, because patterns also tell us a story on someone's mental or emotional state, or how the body is reacting to its current environment.
The bowl pattern on an HTMA is when one can visually see the shape of a bowl being formed between the first 4 main minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. The exact levels aren't necessarily important, but essentially what would happen is that the trend would look like the client has a high ca:mg ratio (meaning calcium would be higher than magnesium) and a lower na:mg ratio, meaning sodium would be lower than potassium. This would show both the first and last mineral (calcium and potassium) as the tips of the bowl, for they would be the highest out of the 4.
As a note, we'd like to mention there are different variations of "the bowl pattern" but today we'd just like to focus on the first and most simple pattern that solely includes the first 4 major electrolytes.
Now if you haven't read our blogs on how a low Na:K ratio is a sign of trauma and a high Ca:Mg ratio could be a sign of over working and buffering emotions, check them out here and here. It's important to understand this because this pattern an HTMA is associated with feeling stuck, whether it be mentally or emotionally, and can't really get out of this "sticky situation". It's literally like being stuck in a bowl and you keep sliding down the sides of it because it's too high. This could be an indicator that the client is feeling like they're putting a ton of energy into something but not getting anywhere.
This makes sense if we understand how these two ratios express themselves on an HTMA and how we see them play out in someone's health.
A low Na:K ratio is a sign of burn out. This is because sodium is a stimulatory mineral, and without that "electrical energy", it can leave people feeling fatigued, brain foggy, depressed and even hostile in their situation. That being said, potassium is still important for energy, but it's a gentler mineral. It's not there to stimulate but rather to sensitize the body to the environment and allow things to enter. If you think about it on a physiological level, potassium is important for sensitizing the cells to glucose as well as thyroid hormone, meaning without it we wouldn't be able to absorb this type of energy. Energetically, we can see a higher potassium level in relation to sodium as being overwhelmed by life and not having the energy to be productive against it.
A high Ca:Mg ratio on the other hand is a sign of going "too hard in life". Calcium is a buffering mineral and can thus shield us from emotions. Ever heard of a "calcium shell"? It's a protective mechanism the body uses as a means to calm down an over active nervous system if it's under chronic stress for too long because calcium acts as a sedative. When calcium accumulates in the soft tissue, it can affect our emotions as well, and we become very rigid and defensive of things, even if they're irrational.
So put these two ratios together and you have a stubborn situation where you're trying to solve a problem but you can't see past the tunnel vision you're experiencing and feeling overwhelmed over the fact nothing is changing. That's hard.
Solving a bowl pattern takes time and requires more than just a nutritional and supplemental intervention, but also a lifestyle and psychological change. It's important to acknowledge that our minds are very powerful, and with the support of minerals and the will to change some patterns that no longer serve us, communication between the body and mind can come much easier.
If you're interested in this support, we recommend booking a call and getting a HTMA done with us by clicking the following link here!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach