Hair Tissue mineral analysis, aka HTMA of hair provides a window into how your body is doing, specifically the most recent 3 months despite how short or long your hair is (hair can be sampled from the scalp, pubic region, or underarms.
So why is hair such a good measurement of how your body is doing?
The answer lies in the speed of which it grows - hair is very tortoise-like in its growth rate and unlike blood, it does not fluctuate daily, providing inherent accuracy that blood testing simply cannot match.
So what is the draw back from hair testing / hair analysis?
The only drawback is that compared to blood you take the sample by clipping a little bit of hair yourself from your (pick one of these and mark which one you chose on the sample) scalp, pubic region, or underarm, but as far a diagnostic view point, hair is far more accurate than blood.
Sampling advantages over blood:
1. Convenience and Time Savings. Another advantage is that many minerals can be tested with one hair sample.
2. No needles! How many times have you done blood work and had several to have several blood draws and more than one "stick"?
3. Heavy metals can also be tested at the same time for the same sample of hair. These heavy metals include metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and aluminum.
4. Results are accurate. Blood is a snapshot, hair is a video - in terms of data we glean.
5. Cost. The value is unbeatable when compared to blood testing. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on screening tests and get nowhere, or worse than nowhere (some testing results are so confusing that they have you spinning in circles.
Recently, a patient who scheduled a time slot to discuss her HTMA results and do some coaching for the new year had undergone extensive blood work costing several thousand dollars!
All tests were negative and showed no abnormalities so her doctor had suggested she repeat all the tests (does that sound like a good idea?). She instead decided that she would submit a hair sample and after following suggestions based in fact, gleaned from the hair analysis about 10 days prior, she began to improve dramatically within about 3 weeks.
In her case, she was chronically deficient in several minerals, including chromium and magnesium and had lots of heavy metals interrupting her body's ability to carry out necessary functions.
After 5 days of supplementing with Upgraded Magnesium she wrote an email to say thank you since she had already noticed an improvement in her sleep, a reduction in her anxiety and more mental energy - this last one is due to the cell needing plenty of MG 2+ to make energy (ATP) in the cell.
Note: Usually much anxiety can be eliminated when we no longer feel tired and can have the energy, mentally, to think calmly and clearly.
"Ok I don't like needles much so how often should I sample?"
A hair test should be done every 3 months, every 2 if you are pregnant or looking for an edge? Why? Because as we change what we eat and drink and supplement, we change our biochemistry and thus our levels change. This is particularly true if we are taking large doses of single minerals, especially calcium or Vitamin D, which I always recommend be taken in conjunction with magnesium to help avoid causing further imbalances in the body which can happen quickly in the case of calcium and several others.
In conclusion, even if you only do a hair analysis once or twice per year it is the single best tool for dialing in your health.
Nutritionist, Founder, and Meditator at Upgraded Formulas