Ahava Health

Hair Mineral Analysis

and Nutritional Balancing

Sheila Dobson

Nutrition Consultant


Use Hair Mineral Analysis To Design Nutrition Plans?

Minerals are:

“The sparkplugs of life.”

– Henry A Schroeder, MD, PhD

Minerals from the soil form the basis of the tree’s ability to maintain health. Like the tree, our bodies need minerals in order to sustain life and growth and repair.

Introducing a window into your body’s needs that can be used to promote optimal health:

Hair Mineral Analysis & Nutritional Balancing

Focus on Your Health and The Rest of Life Begins to Improve Automatically!

When you focus on HEALTH, focus first on MINERALS. Why?

Minerals are required to activate thousands of enzymes in the human body. They are even more important than vitamins because without minerals, vitamins cannot function. Plants manufacture vitamins, and our bodies can manufacture a few vitamins, but most vitamins and all minerals must be obtained from the soil by plants, or from food or water by our bodies. Minerals work in pairs and groups, with one mineral affecting the levels and activities of at least one and often several others. Therefore, minerals must be in balance with one another — for example calcium in balance with magnesium and zinc in balance with copper — or there will be imbalance and thus impaired functioning in the body. For this reason, a particular mineral may be needed by virtually everyone in the modern world (for example, zinc) and yet when it is supplemented, it is found to be helpful for one person, yet detrimental to another even though it is needed! This is also why a person may supplement a particular mineral and benefit initially, but eventually stop benefiting; in such cases it is likely that there is an imbalance among the body’s minerals. For best health minerals need to be balanced. Only with proper testing and an understanding of mineral interactions is it possible to know whether a given person should take a particular mineral, and for how long.

Can you imagine having:

Excellent energy

Sound sleep

A Positive Outlook

A Sharp Mind

Greater Spiritual Connectedness

Freedom From Pain

What is your most prized “possession?” Is it not your HEALTH?

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

-Mahatma Gandhi-

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own…

I Corinthians 6:19

Where are you in your journey towards improving your health?

Would you like insight into your key nutritional needs?

Thinking of trying a special diet like keto, carnivore or GAPS?

Confused about what supplements are right for you?

A Hair Mineral Analysis and Individualized Nutrition Plan can help. I can create a nutrition plan for you that will give you information and recommendations tailored to you, not simply based on your age and generalities about your condition. Individualization is very important.

Two people can have the same health issues, for example, frequent infections and chronic back pain, yet their nutritional needs may differ greatly. A hair mineral analysis test can help reveal these individual differences and needs.

My Mission:

To enable clients to improve their health on all levels; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, through individualized and balanced nutrition and other simple, inexpensive modalities that support the body’s vitality.

Have you noticed that many of today’s approaches to improving health, whether “natural” or conventional, are more like bandaids than like real healing? Often the remedy works for a while, but then it stops working. Nutritional Balancing and healing through balanced, mineral nutrition are different. They are also, perhaps, slower, and a bit more work, but, they are methods of real prevention and improvement, and the solutions are lasting, because they address the root level of health, the body’s mineral system.

How We Achieve this: 

We achieve this through individualized guidance on diet, careful, balanced nutritional supplementation and detoxification techniques when necessary. We also use other powerful healing aids such as light therapy — either through the use of infrared sauna or stem cell activation patches and often also herbal medicine. In all of this the key foundation is to provide the minerals the body needs since these form the basis of the body’s ability to heal.

For more about the history and development of Nutritional Balancing see “Why Use Hair Mineral Analysis To Design Nutrition Plans?”

What Can Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis Help with?

Virtually any health problem that is made worse by inadequate nutrition and toxicity in the body. (Hint: this is how most health problems arise in the first place – through inadequate nutrition, imbalances and toxins.)

For example:

  • Low Immunity, frequent infections, chronic infections
  • Blood sugar regulation problems like “prediabetes,” diabetes and hypoglycemia
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Skin problems like acne, eczema and psoriasis
  • Digestive problems; gas and bloating as well as more involved problems like IBS and SIBO
  • Toxicity; particularly heavy metals like mercury and lead but also other toxins or potentially toxic minerals such as copper and nickel
  • Recovery from Infections, Surgery, Stress
  • Adrenal fatigue or burnout
  • Hypothyroidism
  • High blood pressure
  • Attention deficit
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering things, being alert and high functioning
  • PMS and other female hormonal problems
  • Impotence
  • Feeling stuck/like you’re not moving forward in life
  • Lack of joy and optimism and passion for one’s occupation or life
  • Apathy, depression, anxiety and other mental states that interfere with life
  • Emotional problems and trauma

Despite the power and effectiveness of this method, Nutritional Balancing is not a substitute for other forms of care that might be needed. Nutritional Balancing can improve the health of nearly everyone, as well as serve as a means of prevention, however, it is important to understand that deep correction of imbalances is a gradual process, and sometimes there are immediate needs that must be met with the more conventional approaches.

Nutritional Balancing does not target the problem that you are having with remedies, instead, the needs of the body are addressed and then healing occurs in the body’s own timing. This often involves “retracing” and healing crises. For more about these phenomena, please see the  Information, Articles and Updates page. This means our work as practitioner and client is to provide for the body’s needs, and let the body do the rest.  


I have been doing this work since 2011. I have studied natural health and healing, diet, nutrition, the use of herbs, homeopathy and detoxification techniques since 2001. I studied and learned while actually using these approaches to solve my own and my childrens’ health issues, and later I obtained certification and then advanced training in this field.  

I have a science teaching background and training in basic health sciences at the college level as well as certification in Nutritional Balancing Science from Westbrook University. Following certification I worked for 11 years with Dr. Lawrence Wilson MD, the developer of one of the most popular forms of Nutritional Balancing.  For more detailed information about my background and training, please see About Me, below. For a history of Nutritional Balancing, please see the Information, Articles and Updates page.

In my work, I utilize a hair mineral analysis test to gain insight into a person’s state of health, stage of stress and their nutrition needs. Then I devise a nutrition plan tailored to the individual. Beyond this we also use special diets, detoxification techniques such as near infrared sauna and hydrotherapy, and other approaches such as safe and gentle herbs.   I may also recommend that a client pursue such therapies as acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, colon hydrotherapy, coffee enemas and so forth.

What is Hair Mineral Analysis?

Hair mineral analysis is called a screening test because it gives valuable information but it is not diagnostic. It is done through a chemical analysis technique called spectroscopy. While there are a handful of labs in the US that provide this service, I use almost exclusively Analytical Research Laboratories in Phoenix, Az, a CDC approved Laboratory. Occasionally testing may be done at Trace Elements Incorporated laboratory in Texas, if more of the trace mineral levels are desired.

This test very accurately and precisely measures mineral levels in the hair. Hair is a tissue into which the body excretes minerals. Because all cellular functions are based on enzymes which are based on minerals, the body’s excretion of minerals tells us about its cellular and other functions. For example it can show “fast” or “slow” thyroid and adrenal function, weaknesses such as poor sugar and carbohydrate handling ability, liver and kidney stress, good or poor vitality and much more, even emotional tendencies. Ratios between minerals are also valuable indicators. For example, a low sodium to potassium ratio tends to indicate poor immune function and adrenal weakness, as well as a tendency toward frustration and resentment.

A hair test can reveal trends towards diabetes, hypoglycemia, digestive weakness, osteoporosis, depression, fatigue, weak immunity and much more.

NOT A Diagnostic Test:

Hair mineral testing is not a diagnostic test, but it is still very useful for the information it provides. Long before a person qualifies for diagnosis of a disease, they are headed toward that disease state. How much better is it to catch the problem before it manifests than to wait until the problem is severe enough to qualify for a physician’s diagnosis?

A hair test shows us the stage of stress that a person’s body is in, for example, alarm, resistance, exhaustion, etc. These are the stages of stress identified by the well known Dr. Hans Seyle, MD, PhD., an endocrinologist who originated from Austria in the early 1900’s and went on to do groundbreaking research into the nature and effects of stress on our bodies. A hair test also shows levels of twenty one nutrient minerals in the body, levels of toxins such as lead, mercury and arsenic, and four different mineral ratios that are important indicators of glandular health as well as overall vitality.

The hair mineral analysis test on the right is showing a resistance stress response with features of the exhaustion stage showing. It also shows toxic levels of nickel and mercury, low thyroid function and weak adrenal function.

One Very Important Note About Hair Mineral Analysis:

In order for a hair mineral analysis test to properly reveal the true values of certain nutrients, the hair sample must not be washed at the laboratory. Many laboratories utilize a wash procedure before the analysis is done. This wash is done with harsh chemical stripping agents designed to remove “external contaminants” which at the same time removes a portion of the more soluble elements from the hair. This skews test results so that they cannot be used to assist in the understanding of a person’s metabolic state and nutritional needs. The two laboratories in the USA that do NOT wash the hair before analysis are Analytical Research Laboratories and Trace Elements Incorporated.

Dr. Lawrence Wilson, MD, from whom I learned the science and art of Nutritional Balancing and hair mineral has a thorough discussion of the issue around washing the hair at the laboratory which is found here.

What I Offer

Hair Mineral Analysis Test

Nutrition Consultations

Nutrition Plan and Dietary Advice


Here’s an overview of the process:

1) Choose from among the packages I offer. Start with a 20 minute free, pre-test consultation if you like (offered for all packages except the Economy package).

2) Schedule your pre-test consult and post-test consult and pay for your package. The post test consult should be scheduled for 2 1/2 weeks after you put your hair sample in the mail to me. If you wish, you can request that I send you a hair sample test kit; this can make it easier to cut the sample. To do so, include your mailing address when you make your appointment online OR send me an email with your address.

3) Cut a hair sample and send it to me, or have me cut it if you are in the Tucson area. Please make an appointment for this service and add the fee when you do so.  

4) Fill out the forms. For a first hair test this includes the General Information Sheet, Request for Services and Membership Agreement. If you have questions about the Membership Agreement, please call me at 602-421-1242. If it is a retest, please just fill out the Retest Forms. Forms are found at the bottom of the Services page; they may be mailed by regular mail or email.

5) When I receive results, I analyze them and create an interpretation so that you understand what the results show. I then draw up recommendations, called the Nutrition Plan. I send the plan to you by email. I also send either my interpretation or the laboratory booklet to help you understand the results. You review these and then you and I meet to discuss the recommendations.

6) You work on implementing the recommendations.

7) We follow up with additional meetings to support you in the implementation of the plan, or handle questions or problems you encounter along the way.

The process differs a little depending on which of several options you choose.

In approximately 3 to 4 months, the hair test should be repeated in order to update the plan, and the above process starts over.

I offer several packages to meet the needs of just about everyone.

What My Clients Say

“I have only been following the nutritional balancing protocol for a little over 5 weeks, and I can truly say that it has changed my life.

After experiencing a few traumas in my early teen years, I began to develop severe anxiety. Soon after that, I became extremely fatigued and plagued with brain fog. I tried everything — 6 different medications, therapy, naturopathic medicine, reading every self-help book I could get my hands on, and I spent hours googling symptoms and remedies. My therapist told me, “sorry, you will probably be anxious for the rest of your life and that’s something you will need to accept.”

When I was 19 I developed depersonalization/derealization disorder which was triggered by extreme stress and anxiety. I battled with this for about a year until it faded away. Throughout my college years, I would have 3+ panic attacks a day. I was nauseous, and uneasy. Soon after my college graduation, depersonalization and derealization set back in. Accompanying these symptoms were migraines, body pain, blurry vision, extreme fatigue and much more. These were undoubtedly the scariest months of my life. I tried 4 different therapists. I spent hundreds of dollars on lab tests. Nothing worked. It wasn’t until my mom (who has been a follower of the program for a while) convinced me to give it a go. I was hesitant. I started taking the supplements and I immediately saw improvements! My anxiety subsided for the first time in my life.  I was able to transition off all my prescribed medication and I could finally breathe again. I decided to start following the diet and the severity of my symptoms for depersonalization/derealization dropped from a 10 to a 2. I have energy and I am experiencing joy again! After being on the program, I have the strength to set boundaries in my life (which I was unable to do before). Although I have a long way to go, I feel as though I am on the right path and that I would of never healed if I hadn’t found this program. I am so thankful for Sheila Dobson who has guided me through this scary time. For the first time, I am looking forward to the future!” 

— A. T. – Seattle, WA

Dear Sheila;

Thank you very much for being an amazing person and nutritional consultant! I was in a tough, dark spot in life and I felt stuck. The first time I talked to you on the phone I felt hope…hope that I will feel better. I appreciate your help, support, time on the phone and email responses. I feel a tiny bit better with trying to follow the diet and I know I will feel better and stronger as time goes on. Sincerely

— J.C. — Phoenix, AZ

My fasting blood glucose has dropped. In 2015 it was steady at 115. Jan 2017 dropped to 105… And in last 30 days has dropped into the 90’s. I’ve also dropped 10 lbs and have a bit more energy. Also I switched my name back to my given name.

— P.B. — North Carolina

I thought it might be a good idea to let you know a bit about how I am feeling about NB in general. It sounds crazy but, overall, I am super happy with the process. Though it has been ridiculously hard at times and I have had to give up doing pretty much anything else at all for over a year, I find that it fits well with my usual approach to health and healing and I would not trade the lessons I have come away with for anything.

I don’t think I can describe how I look at the healing but it is not about the uncomfortable symptoms and it is not about the test results. It is about something much deeper and richer and more important to me…. I have found you to be an excellent guide in this process and love the way you do a sort of stream-of-consciousness explaining at times that often ends up giving me many new ideas or understandings. You have offered me valuable input even when I didn’t ask the question because I didn’t even know there was a question to ask!

— L.D. – Massachusetts

About Me

My name is Sheila Dobson. I am a Nutrition Consultant trained in Nutritional Balancing Science by Dr. Larry Wilson, MD. I received my certification in Nutritional Balancing Science from Westbrook University in 2011 and I have been a practitioner since 2011.

I enjoy my work immensely!

To contact me, please call me at 602-421-1242 or email me at sheila@ahavahealth.com.

Before becoming a Nutrition Consultant, I worked in public schools for over a decade. Prior to that I was a full-time mom and homemaker for many years.

My formal education includes completion of a certification program in Nutritional Balancing Science from Westbrook University –my initial formal training under Dr. Lawrence Wilson, MD.  After this I commenced the advanced studies working under him and seeing clients, for the next 11 years.

I also have a teaching degree in Earth Science from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Arizona. During my undergraduate studies I minored in Chemistry and Earth Science/Geology.

I have completed formal coursework in Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology and other basic health sciences at the college level. At the time I took these courses, I planned to become a Naturopathic physician, however I changed my mind and decided to pursue hair mineral analysis and nutrition after finding out how powerful these methods could be to promote healing.

My background also includes teaching math and science mainly at the high school level. I also taught all subjects to at-risk 6th, 7th and 8th graders; Gardening to student from kindergarten through high school and to students on the Pascua Yaqui reservation near Tucson, Arizona.

I am self-taught in many areas of health and healing, including homeopathy, herbal therapies and other approaches, and I am currently enrolled in an Herbalism certification course. I have studied natural health topics in earnest since about 2001. These areas of self-directed study have allowed me to understand people, the human body, the body’s energetic system, and the healing process with more and more depth and breadth over the years.  I began this study over two decades ago because of my childrens’ health problems as well as my own. For my story, please scroll down.

I am an educator more than a health practitioner because that is how natural healing really works. In true healing the practitioner or helper acts as a guide and assistant rather than as a provider of a remedy or cure. Healing truly is a somewhat mysterious process; flowing from the divine or the “unmanifest” to the manifest. It is, at its deepest levels, a spiritual process.

My Story

I was so sick in 2001 that I had no real life beyond just surviving and trying to figure out what was wrong with my health. My main diagnosis was “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” which evolved into Chronic Fatigue with Fibromyalgia. I was given this diagnosis when I was 33 even though the illness started, and I had all the criteria for its diagnosis when I was only 19 years old.

As I learned later, many people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) have what is called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). In many research papers and other literature the condition is referred to as both; thus the acronym “CFS/ME.”  

The CDC adjusted the criterion and the name of the disease in 1988 so that it was henceforth to be called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome rather than Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. This was the same year I first became ill with the condition.

The CDC created this “garbage basket” name “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” replacing the more descriptive term Myalgic Encephalomyelitis,  even though most people with CFS actually have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. This may not seem important but in fact it is when you are trying to find answers. When I finally learned of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, I realized this was truly what I had.To me the latter name made so much sense, because I could clearly see the effects on my muscles and brain. It also appeared clear to me that viral infection was probably the major cause of the syndrome in my own case. Now I know that this is not necessarily true, or at least, it is not likely just viral infection that was causing my problems.

For a concise history of the illness known as Myalgic Encephalitis and the changes in name and diagnostic criteria, see  The History of M.E. by Lisa Petrison, PhD.

The attendant health issues that accompanied my case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephlalomyelitis were:

  • fibromyalgia (widespread body pain)
  • adrenal exhaustion
  • hypothyroidism
  • Attention Deficit problems
  • encephalopathy
  • migraine headaches
  • occipital neuritis – inflammation of the nerve running down the back of the head and neck in the occiput area
  • episodes of ataxia (difficulty walking normally)  and other weird neurological phenomena
  • vasculitis – autoimmune inflammation of the blood vessels
  • low blood  pressure
  • low blood cholesterol
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • muscle weakness and atrophy
  • arthritis
  • lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes)
  • gluten sensitivity – a disorder in which gluten,  a protein in cereal grains, triggers an allergic response or an autoimmune attack (or both) on the intestines, nerves, skin or other tissues such as the thyroid  
  • severe food allergies and intolerance or “immune dysregulation” (i.e. allergic to everything)
  • multiple chemical sensitivity
  • severe PMS, ovarian dysfunction and cysts as well as early peri-menopausal symptoms
  • chronic infections such as sinus, GI, and a jaw infection
  • nerve pain and numbness to the point that areas of my body were numb for years
  • anemia that was lifelong, and responded poorly to supplemental iron and other common approaches
  • hypomagnesemia (low magnesium) that was resistant to supplementation
  • asperger’s-like syndrome in which I found communication and social situations extremely difficult; though on the other hand, it gave me some attributes that helped me solve problems

I did not have all of the above problems all at the same time, but at any given time I had a number of them.

Initially, my body was able to “recover,” though incompletely, from the first dramatic health decline that I experienced at age 19. I was forced to drop out of college for a semester due to the fatigue and dysfunction, but I returned to school and work within 6 months. But there came a time years later when my body simply could not adapt and the pathogens and dysfunctions began to take hold at deeper levels. The fatigue and dysfunction reached a point such that I could not work. It was very difficult just to take care of myself, let alone a home, marriage and two children.  

So How Did Such Poor Health Evolve?

As a kid I did not have remarkably good or poor health, and none of my seemingly minor problems were of any great concern to my parents. Probably the most notable issue for me as a child was poor dental health. I also had poor vision and tended to be a little ‘spacey’ as a kid – sometimes walking into things due to lack of awareness. I also had some awkwardness and isolation socially that was noticed by my parents around the age of 5.

While in high school, some problems started to appear that I couldn’t help but notice. I began to have severe blood-sugar regulation problems, mood swings, PMS, ADD-type symptoms and pronounced fatigue. I remember going hiking at one point and not taking a snack with me, and barely making it down the mountain due to the shakiness from low blood sugar. Also, I had been a competitive swimmer in high school but had to give it up in the middle of my high school years due to  fatigue. Prior to high school I had been a gymnast but also had to give it up due to problems with my joints and injuries. Most of these problems were first noticed or greatly worsened after I had an infection with mononucleosis or  Epstein Barr Virus around the age of 16.

At age 19, while in college, I had the above mentioned health breakdown. This occurred about a year after I was given the MMR vaccine required for college entrance. Knowing now that vaccines can be significant triggers for autoimmune syndromes, I have wondered if there might be a connection to what followed. The health breakdown started with headaches that lasted for days at times. I also had swollen lymph nodes all over my body, a low grade fever, general aches and pains, brain dysfunction, severe back pain and other symptoms. The year was 1988. This happens to be the same year a group of experts devised criterion for what they called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which they linked to the Epstein Barr virus. At that time, it was thought that Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were different entities, however, later it became clear that there was no substantial difference between the two.

I visited about 5 doctors at this time and they performed a number of diagnostic tests; mostly looking for infections. I showed some laboratory and symptom indicators for Lupus but did not qualify for that diagnosis since I did not have the right pattern of lab test results. I had some of the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, but again, labwork did not confirm it. I had swollen lymph nodes in various locations, headaches, and low grade fevers, daily. These symptoms went on for a most of a year. The only tests that were positive were one for antinuclear antibodies (a sign of autoimmunity) and a newly developed test that showed that my body was currently making antibodies to the Epstein Barr Virus. The EBV test was quite new at the time and it was uncertain how to interpret the test.

In The World of Conventional Medicine, If You Don’t Fit A Disease Pattern Then You Don’t Have An Illness

After many tests, and because I did not fit a known disease pattern the doctors said my illness was psychosomatic. This was devastating because of the effect it had on those who were close to me from whom I needed support. I was offered counseling but I declined. The silver lining here is that I did not qualify for a treatment so I was spared the toxicity and harm of many of the conventional approaches. I also learned many lessons.

I knew that the doctors were wrong about it being all in my head.  They seemed to work within a system which assumes that they have omniscience and infallibility. I was a student of philosophy at the time so I was steeping in theories about how we know what we know and why we believe one theory or fact over another.  It just did not make sense to me that there was nothing “wrong” just because they could not find the problem.

At that time, I did not look elsewhere for help or continue the search for a doctor who could find the problem. I just adapted my expectations and my life to chronic fatigue.

The problems continued through college and afterward. College is difficult when you have severe concentration problems, but I somehow managed. I always privately wondered however, how I was going to manage when it came time for me to work a regular job. I coped by scaling back my endeavors and trying to accept things as they were. I eventually completed my studies and entered the world of work.

Ignoring Health Problems Doesn’t Make Them Go Away

I began working full-time as a teacher. Rather promptly, my fears about how I was going to manage working a regular job manifested into reality.   All my various problems became much more severe – at this time those problems were fatigue, poor concentration, skin issues, as well as occasional headaches. I had trouble with PMS and ovarian cysts. In addition, the physical pain of fibromyalgia set in. Depression and anxiety became more frequent. Nonetheless I chose to manage on my own for the most part. I did see doctors but did not ask for help with fatigue since I knew they could do nothing about it. At this point I had not been diagnosed with CFS even though I had the symptoms to qualify for the diagnosis. 

I did not want to take drugs for my mental state. My thyroid and other tests were normal even though I had nearly all the hallmarks of hypothyroidism. Years later, in fact, I had a palpably swollen thyroid and the lab tests were still normal. I always had anemia which had proven impossible to correct even with iron pills.  I had a little bit of a high blood pressure problem starting to occur, a heart murmur, and a few other problems starting to show up, such as a worsening case of ovarian dysfunction probably related to PCOS-like problems. Other than these minor issues, however, doctors told me, I was fine. After all, that is what the lab tests were showing. And yet I had so much pain and so many problems. I took over-the-counter medications for pain if it was particularly severe, but otherwise, I just carried on. After about four years of this, I added some massage therapy to help with the physical pain of the fibromyalgia. I tried chiropractic and some herbal therapies but by and large, nothing really helped much.

When I married and had two children the problems became enough worse that they could no longer be ignored. At this point, some abnormalities even showed on lab tests, such as the hypothyroidism. My stress level increased with caring for my children, and as you might have guessed, the children had some health problems. They had difficulty sleeping well, one of them had severe colic, both had frequent infections, and both had some behavioral abnormalities that later were diagnosed as “sensory integration disorder.” My husband and I were headed toward diagnoses of autism or mild autism with the children but we did not pursue it to the final verdict, preferring to avoid the label.  With all this to deal with I could no longer just cope, I simply had to find answers.

I Began To Experiment and Research

I started to read every book I could find about natural health. I spent countless hours on the internet. This was the early 2000’s so the internet was ablaze with discussion groups for every major health disorder, especially many of the epidemics affecting children.

My research led me to discover the role of diet and particularly food allergy/intolerance in our health. Previously, I had discovered when my first child was an infant that he was sensitive to certain foods if I ate them because the proteins came through in breastmilk. I soon after discovered that I had gluten sensitivity.  A short time later, when the kids were just toddlers, I discovered that all three of us had several food allergies in common. We went on allergen avoidance diets. If we stayed on the right diet for each of us, the behavior issues, frequent infections, colic and other digestive problems would go away, and for the most part so would my fatigue and brain dysfunction. If we ate the offending foods, we would see problems return.

After a year or two of researching, I discovered that toxin build up and nutritional deficiency were supposed to be at the root of most of the problems we had. I tried to remedy the nutritional deficiencies, and our toxicity problems. I supplemented carefully, and we saw great improvements. We cautiously used a gentle, oral form of chelation, and saw tremendous improvements. This included one of my children pulling through kindergarten during the last three months of the year, after we had been told the child would need to repeat the grade. This child was unable to connect the sounds of the letters with the letters of the alphabet, or learn the names of classmates. Twenty years later, he functions extremely well intellectually and socially.

Despite many improvements in my childrens’ and my health as a result of the special diets and other interventions, my family for the most part thought I was on the wrong track (that’s putting it nicely) and they just put up with my approach. A few family members were medical professionals who were sure I was only making all the problems worse with the interventions. It was impossible for them to understand that anyone could be reactive to that many foods or need such a tightly controlled diet.  They didn’t even see the problems that I saw with the health of my two children. I was aghast at what other people were willing to pass off as ‘normal’ in a young child who should have vibrant health, not a host of behavioral and physical oddities that restricts their health and happiness.

Two Steps Forward And One Step Backwards

The vigilance required of me was huge….I had to continually adjust my diet and that of each child as the allergies changed. We started with only three allergies but later after pulling out the three allergenic foods from our diets, each of us became allergic to new foods that were eaten frequently. So I had to continue to figure out who was reacting to what. Eventually, we began to rotate foods, which helped a lot, but this was even more demanding.  I continued to supplement us, and use a low dose oral chelation regime to help detoxify us from heavy metals, carefully, under supervision of a Naturopathic doctor.

Despite all of this effort, our problems continued in one form or another. I was managing the problems, and seeing the symptom-pictures change, but not making the kind of progress that I expected. I wanted all of us to have real health. Now, many years later, I know why we were struggling with new allergies continually developing, but back then, I didn’t know how to heal a “leaky gut.”

Over those years we did many therapies and saw numerous health professionals of all varieties, both conventional and holistic. Many of them helped somewhat, but, with most treatments, there would be some other problem that would show up, or some way in which we got worse in a different area. Thus it seemed that with the majority of the treatments we tried, even the supplemental nutrients I knew we needed, one thing would get better and something else would get worse. The proverbial, “Two steps forward and one step backward.”

I had to acknowledge at that time that we were still plagued with problems even after years of effort to resolve them. And I had to admit that my life revolved around keeping up with the special diets, supplements and chelation. This was not the life I wanted for me or my children. I continued searching for answers and eventually I found Dr. Wilson and later Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

The real progress came through slowly sorting out the causes on my own. Perhaps if I had continued seeking more and more different professionals’ advice, I might have finally found health care advisors who understood the situation. Certainly now, many years after that time (the early 2000’s) there is a much greater understanding of the phenomena we were dealing with.  Back then, however, most doctors did not understand the problems we were having, nor did they have effective methods for dealing with them. Doctors like Dr. Larry Wilson who developed Nutritional Balancing, and Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride who developed the GAPS diet are rare individuals. What we needed were both approaches, since we were very toxic and deficient in minerals as well as immune-impaired with severely compromised gut health.

Nutritional Balancing And Special Diets Bring Healing

It was about ten years into the journey that I came across the work of Dr. Lawrence Wilson, MD. I found his explanations to absolutely fit with everything I had learned about replenishing the body’s minerals and detoxifying from heavy metals. For example, he explained why you cannot just put into the body the minerals it needs and expect this to work. He also explained that you can’t just take the toxins out, say, with chelators, and expect that to work either.  His emphasis on rebuilding the body’s vitality so that it can heal on its own made sense. He explained how we can succeed in rebuilding the body, and increase vitality to promote healing. I quit the other therapies I had come to rely on and began to get hair mineral analysis tests done and to follow a Nutritional Balancing program. Although the diet seemed impossibly strict to me at first, I did manage to get myself on it, and I did most of the other recommendations too.

It was evident within a few months that I was making great progress on this program. I could just feel it. True healing actually feels different in the body than symptom suppression. Its because there is a deep, inner knowing that something fundamental is being addressed and making things better. In the beginning the progress barely showed on my hair test results, but I knew that things were changing because I began to feel stronger mentally and emotionally. I also began to feel calm and in control compared to before. After so many years of anxiously searching and wondering if I could or would ever become well, this provided great relief!

As I progressed in those early years with Nutritional Balancing, I went through many so-called “healing crises.” These are episodes of slightly or dramatically increased symptoms as the body heals some old infection or pushes out a load of toxins. It seems I had vast numbers of viruses burdening  my body. They would erupt periodically as warts, itchy spots or other manifestations  on my skin. I had so many infections, one on top of the other, and so much fatigue because of these infections draining my vitality, that it was almost unbelievable.  I had other varieties of healing crises also, including an ongoing string of emotional purging reactions that seemed tied in with the physical healing reactions.

Eventually I managed to see a pattern that tended to repeat with my healing, which was: build and strengthen, get to feeling stronger and more energetic and then get hit with a healing crisis…then the crisis would resolve and I would begin to feel better again, gradually, until things were going really well, and then another healing crisis would take place. And all along my awareness gradually increased and I realized that parts of my life just did not make sense! And I began to change my life. It happened naturally, but it wasn’t necessarily easy. The awareness increases also followed a pattern for me, and generally there would be some sudden realizations, followed by anger, followed by sadness, followed by some emotional purging and finally resolution and a new way of thinking and behaving. So I realized that with nutritional balancing I was not only getting my health back, I was getting my life back.

Although the process of healing can be sped up or slowed down to some degree by adjusting a person’s nutrients, I really wanted to get through these difficulties so I could begin a more normal life. That is just what happened, and after about two and a half years, the bulk of the most difficult healing was done, in my case. The most difficult aspects for me were getting off of supplemental adrenal and thyroid hormones which I had taken for many years. The other big hurdle was to develop the patience to allow the healing to happen rather than to push to make it happen faster, or add supplements so that I could function. I literally needed a ton of downtime in order for the healing to proceed, in those early years. In fact I was unable to work for about a year and a half, and I now see how great the reward is for taking that time. At the time, however, it was frightening, as I saw my financial reserves dwindling and was immersed in one healing crisis after another, not knowing how long it would take.

I used nutritional balancing for just half a year before determining that I wanted to become a practitioner. I had seen so much improvement with the approach that I was eager to share it with others. I knew that with my teaching background and experience of healing myself, that I could help others. The technique is not a panacea, but it is powerful and it does promote real healing – not like the application of remedies.

About a year before I discovered Nutritional Balancing, I discovered the SCD diet, or Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This diet was developed by Elaine Gottschall as she utilized the recommendations of Dr. Elson Haas MD, to help heal her young daughter who had a severe wasting disease along with many distressing psychological symptoms. Ms. Gottschall went on to write the book, Breaking The Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet. This diet helped me immensely and was another important factor in my health recovery.

A Companion on My Journey

During most of the years that I was trying to solve the mystery of my childrens’ and my health problems, I had been conversing with my friend Barb, whom I met via an internet discussion group. She was doing the same thing as me; trying to heal herself and her two children from immune, allergy and brain function problems, among others. She was a critical source of information and support as I progressed during those early years.

Having support when you are healing is very important. My friend and I had only one another for support for a number of years. Our families did not really understand what we were dealing with.   

Through the years of my recovery from CFS/ME I have had many other wonderful friendships with others on similar journeys of healing, several of whom are practitioners themselves now, offering Nutritional Balancing, or the Root Cause Protocol, or other approaches.

The Journey Continues

We are well into the 2020’s and most of the above story was written when I published the first version of this website in 2011.

I wish I could say that Nutritional Balancing and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet ended all my health concerns for good, but rarely is it that simple, except perhaps when working with children.

With the perspective I have now, I can say that Nutritional Balancing did the following things for me:

  • detoxified my body quite thoroughly of a modest burden of heavy metals, especially lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic and nickel  
  • remineralized my body with certain nutrients, most especially calcium, zinc, manganese, chromium and a few others
  • removed my need for supplemental thyroid and adrenal hormones
  • helped rebuild my energy making glands
  • healed and eliminated a number of infections, including fungal, bacterial and viral and parasitic infections
  • helped to heal multiple food allergies such that I could return to eating all but two of the foods I had for many years avoided
  • caused a long string of healings of traumas and stored emotional baggage
  • eliminated the more severe forms of fatigue I had suffered from for a couple decades
  • eliminated headaches and nerve pain and inflammation for the most part
  • eliminated PMS and other female hormonal imbalances and associated symptoms
  • helped me to feel awake and connected spiritually and was a major impetus in my choice to choose a spiritual path as a follower of Christ

Nutritional Balancing did all this, but it did not remove one very critical problem that was causing a great deal of trouble and of which I was only partially aware. It was not able to rebalance my imbalanced immune system. Our body’s immune systems are like a tree with branches, and if one branch is weak and the other too dominant, then the immune function overall will be inadequate and this can lead to autoimmunity or cancer or other problems.. It did improve my immune function greatly, which allowed me to eliminate a number of infections, however there were some infections that were so deeply rooted that they were not fully eliminated. In fact most people never eliminate these types of infections, however, “healthy” people also don’t struggle with them – rather – their immune system is able to keep these infections dormant. These are infections like Epstein Barr Virus which is postulated to be a major cause of many cases of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis.

A Wake Up Call

When new infectious challenges came along, in the form of a novel infection that can act as a trigger for autoimmunity, ie Covid, and when other infections that tend to be a challenge for most people with imperfect immune function entered my life – my system could no longer keep it all under control.  Lyme disease and a co-infection of Lyme called Bartonella, alongside mold were the triumvirate monsters that swallowed up a year of my life and made me so sick I thought I would be better off dead. This transpired in the end of 2021 and through most of 2022, following three years of greater than usual life-stress. Add to this the fact that I’ve aged a bit….yes, wonderful as Nutritional Balancing is, it does not stop ageing, but it and some of the other modalities we use can definitely slow the process and make it milder.

To read more about this recent illness and how I overcame it, please read Anatomy of An Illness on the Articles and Information page.

With the Lyme-Bartonella-Mold combo as my teacher, I learned a good deal more about addressing the kinds of issues that are common today with both the body’s mineral system and the immune system.

A More Complete Understanding

In particular, I now understand when it is inappropriate to use the standard recommendations of Nutritional Balancing science as developed by Dr. Paul C. Eck and Dr. Lawrence Wilson. In my experience, Nutritional Balancing works rather well when you do it ‘by the book’ for the first 3 years or so. At the same time, the diet, detoxification procedures and adequate rest must be in place, for good results to occur, and the person must have sufficient vitality to start with, or they must build their vitality before they begin. After these initial three or so years, the focus needs to change to that of nourishing the body with the nutritive minerals, in amounts correct for that particular person’s oxidation rate and individual characteristics. Traumas and emotional factors that have yet to be resolved will need to be addressed more directly at this point. Immune system balance may need to be addressed. No longer can relatively large amounts of most of the nutrients be used, nor can extensive use of glandulars be made. Detoxification strategies may need to become more gentle.

There are other differences as well, but those are described in more detail in other articles.

Moving into the Future with Nutritional Balancing

The standard approach to Nutritional Balancing uses certain minerals extensively: Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Chromium and Manganese and at times some Selenium. As we look to the future we find that the “trace” and ultratrace elements of Boron, Lithium, Rubidium, Vanadium, Silicon and a few others are turning out to be of great importance for some individuals and for some health scenarios.

Nutritional Balancing is evolving. There is a growing number of practitioners worldwide who are using this approach to assist people in important and fundamental ways with their health and vitality. As those of us dedicated to this practice continue to learn, we bring an important and often neglected aspect of health and nutrition into a realm of understandability and practical action for health seekers everywhere.

“For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,”
says the Lord.

Jeremiah 30:17