Other Modalities of Healing that can aid in your healing

modalities of healing

Other Modalities of Healing that are Amazing!

I am such a huge lover of HTMA and true holistic mineral balancing, but over the years I have learned about so many other awesome modalities to heal.  HTMA is a great base- at the end of the day, your minerals HAVE to be balanced in order for the body to heal.  We need a solid nutrition base in order to fix any health issues, period.  So it works pretty well in tandem with a lot of other forms of natural healing.

I wanted to make a good list of other modalities because I have noticed that everyone can be so different with what forms work for them.  Since we are ALL different, it is important to realize that not everything will work the same for all of us.  For example, I know plenty of people that love EFT (tapping) but it never really helped me (whether I was on my own or with a practitioner).  I do very well with acupuncture, but I’ve heard from many that did it for months and it didn’t help them.  You have to learn about a few methods and go with what seems best to you.

I think that there is merit in picking a few modalities in your healing journey.  Depending on what you are dealing with, you will NEED more than one thing to help you through this crazy path of healing!  Read and research some of these methods and go with your gut on what sounds best to you.  It is our responsibility to be our own best health advocate- there will not be one doctor or health care practitioner that can know or do it all so it’s best to keep looking for other options!

So here are some of the best natural modalities out there (I covered some of these in my post about emotional healing as well if you want to check that out for other ideas on healing emotional trauma specifically!):

HTMA

HTMA stands for hair tissue mineral analysis.  This is a simple, non-invasive test that looks at the mineral balance in about a heaping teaspoon of hair.  We look at the ratios between these minerals to determine things like adrenal strength, poor nutrient absorption, how the body is responding to stress, and more.

When people first learn about HTMA, they usually think about the old school methods- lots of synthetic supplements (some recommend about 30 pills or more a day).  This is NOT what we do here at Sassy Holistics. We try to take a true holistic method with our HTMA protocols- whole foods, food-based supplements when needed, stress management, herbs, and more.  We work on healing the gut and liver for a majority of people because if these functions aren’t up to par then the entire body can suffer. We work on healing the ROOTS of our health issues.  Nutrition is everything- we have to eat too so why not get it tailored to your specific needs?

Chiropractic

According to the ACA: “Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.”

Chiropractic care can help the whole body as well- there is a lot of evidence that different vertebrae correlate with different parts of the body.  Here is a cool chart that outlines this! (I experienced this first hand when my little bubba was only a few months old- he was a gassy little monkey and his first adjustment allowed his little body to release all of that stuck gas. It was rather funny- my chiro adjusted him, we put him back in his car seat, he farted louder than he had in his whole life, and then went right to sleep! LOL)

Chiropractic care was one of the first natural healing modalities I ever used- I actually depended on it quite a bit for about a year or 2.  It helped me SO much with my chronic pain issues- I was dealing with fibromyalgia, costochondritis, and countless other health issues at the time.   I had only wished that I knew about mineral balancing back then because as I started balancing my minerals I needed the chiro less and less- it would have saved a lot of pain and money if I was instructed in nutrition back then! This is why multiple modalities can be so helpful- it seems like even in the natural health world, doctors and practitioners chose one “specialty” and neglect other systems.  A copper imbalance is a huge reason why people have issues with holding chiropractic adjustments as well!  For me, as I balanced my copper, I no longer had joint issues like I used to.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy has been documented since 400BC, but became more popular in the 1800s when Samuel Hahnemann became the main founder of it and added a lot more research to it.  This form of natural health is safe, gentle, and truly holistic. Kids, pregnant women, pets, and anyone else can safely benefit from homeopathy, whether it is an acute or chronic issue. Homeopathy is all about “Like cures like”: something that causes symptoms in one person can cure another. No one will end up with the same remedies even if they have the same symptoms- it is truly individualized and holistic. In the early 1900s, 20% of US docs were homeopaths. 500 million people worldwide practice homeopathy! So for those that think homeopathy is not effective or relevant can learn a bit from the rest of the world.

Working with a great homeopath is best- don’t go it alone for chronic conditions!  I highly recommend Khush Mark– she is who I worked with and I found great healing with her recommendations. I was still keeping up with my HTMA protocol for myself as well- and it was huge proof that these 2 modalities can work very well together.

Massage

I’m pretty sure there is no need to explain what massage is- everyone knows it and most people love it.  There are many forms of massage out there, but the best thing to look for is a legitimate massage therapist that knows what they are doing.  Massage is quite trendy so there are a lot of people that just do it as an add-on service at salons or at the mall.  Just do your research and find the best for you.  Deep tissue, lymphatic drainage, relaxation- no matter what your purpose is, massage can help! Massage helps to increase circulation, can help to remove toxins from the body, stimulates the lymph system, reduces pain, and it also can help with releasing deep emotional trauma that is stored in tissues.

I recently invested in this home massager that I’m loving- it’s helping my lymph a lot and it’s been an invaluable tool during my recent healing of EBV.  This massager specifically has almost 3000 reviews on Amazon and has a 4.5 rating- pretty amazing! It has several attachments for different spots of the body.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is another one of my favorite methods of healing.  It basically just helps your body do what it is trying to do. It makes the healing process easier as it opens up the energy blockages.  Acupuncture can pretty much help with any health issue- depression, infertility, chronic pain, obesity, digestive issues, and so much more.  Length of treatment will depend on the severity of your issues- the most common recommendation I have seen is about 10 weeks of weekly appointments.  Just like with anything else, make sure the acupuncturist you are seeing is properly trained.  Even better if you can find someone that you found by a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone that had success with that particular acupuncturist.

Most people get a little scared of the needle aspect of acupuncture but they really are very small!  There are many studies backing up the effectiveness of acupuncture as well- you can read a bit more about this here. For most people, acupuncture can create an almost immediate increase in energy and a boost in mood.  For those that are actively trying to heal, it can take several sessions before you feel a huge difference. Healing reactions are absolutely possible with acupuncture (and any other modality out there). My first few sessions made me absolutely exhausted for a day or 2 but then I started to feel so amazing after each session.

EMDR

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  This is a “psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. ” (source)

I’ve known many people that have had success with EMDR and absolutely love it. It has sparked my interest as well as it seems to be another method that is supposed to help you heal with the minimum amount of discomfort.

EFT

Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.  Many people swear by this method.  My suggestion for this is to find a good practitioner that knows all about EFT and how to properly do it because it seems to be much more powerful this way. Doing EFT on your own can help too, but some only notice the benefit if they speak with a practitioner. YouTube has plenty of how-to videos too!

No matter what healing therapy you choose, just remember that healing can take time. We don’t get sick overnight so it will take awhile before we regain our health completely.  Don’t give up! Have patience, faith, and determination.  Consistency is key as well!

modalities of healing

Why Healing From a Chronic Illness Can Take So Long- And why you shouldn’t give up!

 

Healing can take a long time- but you shouldn’t give up!

I know the healing journey can be long and sometimes frustrating. I also know that I see so many people looking for that “one thing” that is going to fix them. There is no one thing, I’m sorry to say. Our bodies are so multi-faceted and we really need to look at the whole picture. There really is no need to complicate things though- going back to the basics (especially when you are feeling stuck) can make a big difference, especially at the beginning of your journey.
 
I see it time and time again that people look in nooks and crannies for obscure answers when in reality they are overlooking the basics like healing the gut, getting rid of processed foods, eliminating toxins in the home, looking for underlying infections, or even something like living in a very toxic situation where people are constantly using you or creating negativity.

Why can healing take so long?

1) We didn’t get sick overnight

Many of us are trying to heal from years, decades, or even generations of poor health.  Deficiencies and toxicities can be inherited from our parents, and then most of us continue to live that lifestyle that gave them these issues in the first place. It seems like each generation is getting worse and worse earlier in life too.  So many kids are dealing with autism, seizures, cancer, and more- they’re getting the brunt of the damage thanks to what continues to get passed on through each generation.
You can read my entire post on why we’re all so sick these days right here– it’s a good one to share, especially with those that just don’t believe in WHY so many people are jumping onto the natural healing bandwagon.

2) The Body is a Whole

Healing is NOT easy. It’s not meant to be easy because our bodies are so complex.  If you have one issue going on (like hypothyroidism) there is always going to be other systems out of balance (like the gut or liver).  When we heal, we have to take into consideration all of these parts of the whole- gut, liver, lymph, adrenals, etc as well as the emotional healing side of things.  You can’t neglect the emotional side while trying to heal the physical and I often see people think that there is no need to even heal past traumas.

It’s going to take time, commitment, faith, and a lot of patience to heal.  Even though there are lot of things that are bundled into healing, we don’t need to make things complicated.  If we look at healing in stages instead of trying to work on fixing ALL THE THINGS at once, it gets overwhelming and we’re bound to give up easily.

3) Healing is not Linear

Most of us grew up with the mentality of “take this and be cured”. That is an absolute lie that is perpetuated by conventional medicine.  These days, most people are dealing with many nutritional imbalances, toxicities, and even chronic underlying infections.  Healing happens in stages and in layers- you will feel better for a time, and then feel a bit worse as the body gets through the next layer. Healing reactions, healing crisis, die-off, no matter what you call it, it can happen.  When we suppress symptoms for so long (with conventional medicine), we eventually have to deal with these things as they pop up.

Our bodies heal the way that THEY want to heal us, working from the most important layer to the least.  Often, the last things to resolve are the things we want fixed the fastest- energy, weight loss, brain clarity, etc.  Our bodies are meant to heal and they WILL if we give them time and the right tools.  There will be ups and downs though- you will have good days and bad days, but as time goes on the good will start to outweigh the bad.  A good rule of thumb that I learned when I first started my own healing journey- count on at least 1 month of healing for every year you’ve been sick.

4) Sometimes we just approach things incorrectly at first

There has been so much more info lately about about chronic infections (like Lyme and EBV), heavy metals, and parasites.  More often then not, when we learn about these bad things we just jump right into trying to trying to eradicate, kill off, or detox these things.  So many people overlook the basic foundational care that is needed before even attempting to work on these issues.  You *have* to heal the gut, work on the detox system, clean up your environment,  get overall strength in the body up, and more before working on these issues.  If you dive right into detoxing, you are likely to crash and set yourself back months or even years- I say this not to scare people but just because it is what I have seen so many times.

With our HTMA package, we do try to look at the whole picture and we try to work on the most critical pieces of the puzzle right from the start-which usually involves general foundational care first to start getting the body stronger before getting into these infections and other toxins.  

Healing can be hard, but you can’t give up!

Overall, we really need to start looking at health in a different light- there are no quick fixes, there will be ups and downs, and there will be times you want to give up.  But holding onto the GOOD things that are changing can make the biggest difference (sometimes we forget how much worse we used to be as we start healing- we forget the progress we’ve already made and we keep focusing on the symptoms that are still there).

Stay on your path, learn as much as you can, and have faith that your body is doing what it needs to be doing. You will get there!

Why we do Retests for Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

Did you know that the best way to get results with HTMA is to retest on time?

Hair tissue mineral analysis shows us about 3 months of time- it’s a very solid view on what your body has been doing when it comes to your mineral levels over a longer period of time (versus blood or other tests).   The main reason why we retest the HTMA every 3-4 months is huge- you want to make sure that you are still needing the program that you were originally put on!

I spoke with a client recently about this and it became so clear to me how important retesting truly is! On a retest, we saw how just in 3 months a significant change in one mineral level can start throwing off a few others. In this case, magnesium was getting pretty high in relation to the other nutrients but sodium barely budged. If we hadn’t retested and seen these changes, this person could have been still taking in too much magnesium and could potentially start to lower their sodium further as time goes on.

The hair test shows us about 3 months of time, so once you do start healing we can really see quick changes happen with our minerals. Retesting ensures that we’re either on the right track still and do not need to deviate too much from what we are doing, OR it could actually be that things have shifted so significantly that it would be time to change everything around.

I’ve also seen in just 3-4 months where the minerals get significantly better and then we can move onto the next stages of healing depending on what the person is going through- usually more detox support for things like EBV, parasites, heavy metals, etc.  Retesting gives us the best insight on how strong a person is getting in the process and when we can start introducing more into the healing program.

Retesting on time is the best way to ensure that you’re healing is on track and that you aren’t wasting time and money on things you no longer need.

We do offer a retest price for those that have tested with us in the last 6 months as well- you can check that out here.

 

(sometimes we extend the time to retest to 5-6 months if we started super duper Turtle speed on the protocol though- when you speak to your consultant, they will likely give you a time-frame for you!)

Long Term Healing

long term healing

Long Term Healing

When I first got into natural health, I fell into the trap of using lots of isolated supplements and I was always matching my ill to a pill. As time went on, I realized how absolutely NOT holistic or natural this was! We are not just symptoms- we are a whole person. Allopathic natural health is REAL and it needs to stop.  It wasn’t until I found HTMA that I finally felt like I had a solid path to figure out what we all need as individuals.  It really reinforced my thoughts about why “popping and praying” isn’t the answer.

All of the research done for HTMA and mineral balancing includes a lot of information about co-factors and antagonists of all of the main minerals.  I have an outline on the major interactions here that you can check out.  Hopefully when you read it you will be able to see how absolutely insane it is to promote usage of isolated “nutrients”, especially for long term use. One nutrient can mess up the balance of many others in the body! How does that make sense?  What really throws me off is that even with all of this awesome research, many people that use HTMA and mineral balancing are STILL using these methods of 20+ isolated nutrients in their plans.

Call me crazy, but that is just against all common sense. Especially when we KNOW that one nutrient taken on its own can throw many others out of balance.

 

This is why I am all about LONG TERM HEALING. What exactly does that mean to me? It means NOT creating further imbalances as we heal. It means looking at the body as a whole, not in fragmented parts. It means creating plans for sustainable healing where you will not become dependent on 10+ pills a day just to maintain your nutrient levels. It means healing at a deeper level so you will actually HEAL, not just cover up symptoms forever.

Long Term Healing is mostly about not getting dependent on supplements for life

When we use as much food/herbs/natural methods to heal, we are looking at things in the long term. I have seen so many people that start protocols that require 10,20, 30+ capsules a day and they might feel better for a time. But then they try to get off of their supplements, and lo and behold- their symptoms come back! When we make dietary changes as well as work to fully heal the gut and liver (which are the biggest keys here!!), we are making LONG TERM changes so you do not become dependent on supplements forever.

There are SO many other components to food that you will never find in synthetic supplements: phytochemicals, fiber, fat, protein, carbs, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, plant pigments, amino acids, fatty acids, isothicyanates. indoles, coumarins, antioxidants, enzymes, and more! Some of these components (like bioflavoinoids) used to be considered vitamins all on their own because of their importance to our health.

Sure, crutches can be helpful as we’re healing to help with symptom management. But I am always thinking of the long term. Taking certain supplements in isolation long term can create further imbalances in the body. This method will make you constantly chase the next imbalance to work on! The whole food/whole body approach takes time but it is the deepest, more complete way to heal.

Negative impact of isolated supplementation

One of the biggest reasons why I am so adamant about this is because I have SEEN the negative side effects of isolated supplementation. I have seen people take 15-150mg of zinc at once at the suggestion of a doctor or practitioner, and I have heard from them about how they felt severe symptoms like paranoia, extreme OCD type symptoms, or they dealt with severe panic attacks because of how quickly copper can get antagonized.

I have seen HUNDREDS of people that have crashed from isolated magnesium supplementation at this point (because magnesium LOWERS adrenal function and LOWERS sodium, and it can especially be detrimental in slow oxidizers, which 80% of people are!).  I have heard from people that developed yeast infections, tinnitus, and more from even moderate doses of ascorbic acid.

Another main reason why I am adamant on this stance is because I have seen the impact that isolated nutrients have on the HTMAs over the last few years. LEVELS RARELY CHANGE! I have known people that have been on certain isolated nutrients for years, and their HTMA levels NEVER budge. When I tell them how these supplements are not very bio-available to the body and never really resolve things, they usually admit that if they stop the supplement their symptoms come back in a few days!

That is not solving anything- I want to try and prevent people from falling into this false sense of security that more is better and that these “nutrients” are actually used by the body. In comparison, many of my clients that were on massive doses of isolated nutrients for years and then switched to my whole food method were not only seeing changes in their tests, but their symptoms no longer returned, even when taking breaks on the foods/herbs that we had them doing. When we use food, you are getting the natural co-factors of the nutrients PLUS so much more.

It WILL take time to heal

There is no getting around the fact that it takes time to fully heal. Many of us are dealing with years, decades, or even generations of poor health (because nutritional deficiencies and toxicities can be passed on from mother to child).  All of the main issues with health started in the WWII era due to the introduction of the high estrogen birth control pill, supermarkets with processed foods, the increase of toxic chemical use in our everyday products, and more. We are ALL sick these days– and it will take time to undo all of this damage. My goal is to do this in the easiest, most effective way possible with our nutritional plans. Many people are dealing with dozens of nutrient imbalances and toxicities these days.  It is a much more complex issue than just popping a handful of supplements a few times a day unfortunately.

Mineral balancing research (and in my experience) says that it commonly takes about 18 months to 2 years to full heal the body.  These days it can take longer as we are dealing with more complex issues: Lyme, Mold illness, vaccine damage, antibiotic damage, heavy metals, EMF exposure, etc. When the body starts getting what it needs, healing can start rapidly though and many people start noticing changes in a few weeks- a few months. FULL healing will take longer.

BUT PEOPLE DO HEAL. And that is the main thing to focus on. My purpose of this post is to explain why we at  Sassy Holistics have such a different approach than most health coaches out there. We are not looking to mask symptoms- we are looking to truly help you find better health and wellness. We know how frustrating it can be to be on the healing journey, trust me! We have been there, and we have healed.

Use this new year to get back on track with true long term healing with HTMA!

 

long term healing

Preparing for a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy

happy, healthy pregnancy

Preparing for a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy- naturally!

We really need to start working on our health YEARS before even thinking about conception. There are a few main reasons why:

  1. So many women are dealing with postpartum depression (or other postpartum issues) these days.
  2. Kids are dealing with extreme health issues these days, and now they have shorter life spans than we do. (more on this here!)
  3. We need to break this cycle of depleted, toxic, and burnt out people having children that start life out with these same issues. Cases of children with adrenal burnout have been reported since the 90s (source)! It’s time for change!

It can take a few years to fully undo the damage of a Standard American diet coupled with a fast-paced, stress-filled lifestyle. Most of us don’t even think about taking care of our health until a few months before we want to get pregnant (or worse- we don’t make changes UNTIL we are pregnant!). If we want to have happy, healthy pregnancies that lead to happy, healthy babies we need to start making changes sooner. Let’s go over the main changes to make and what we can do to really have a great pregnancy!

Nutrition

The absolute first step on the road to better health is to get an HTMA. This is the best way to determine your personal mineral imbalances, your adrenal strength, and your metabolic rate to figure out what YOU need as an individual.  With an HTMA protocol, you will get the ultimate start on healing your body and preparing for pregnancy.  Plus, HTMA is something great to keep up with during pregnancy and in the postpartum period to make sure your body is running as well as it can.

What are the basics of fixing our nutrition though?

  1. Nutrient Dense Foods- Fruits, vegetables; full fat foods like butter, ghee, and coconut oil; organic/grass-fed whole milk dairy products; fermented foods; eggs; grass-fed meat; beef liver every so often if you can handle it! You can see my whole post on general diet recommendations here, including what to avoid.
  2. Herbal Infusions– Nettles and Red Raspberry leaf are the 2 best herbs for pregnancy and nursing. Nettle infusions are full of vitamin K, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium, and they help the kidneys, liver, and adrenals.  Red Raspberry leaf is a well-known uterine tonic and helps to keep hormones balanced, especially after birth. Both of these are great to use pre-conception to heal hormones and replenish nutrient levels.  Nettles are best for everyday use, while RRL is best for use around your menstrual cycle. (If you are dealing with menstrual cycle issues, check this post out here).
  3. Focus on Gut Health– we need sufficient stomach acid and bile to digest a lot of our nutrients and to take care of nasty things like bacteria and parasites. Using either a probiotic or eating fermented foods is essential as well.
  4. Heal your liver! What does the liver have to do with pregnancy?! Quite a bit! We need happy livers to keep copper balanced (which is something that can get extremely imbalanced during pregnancy as copper tends to triple!). We also need happy livers to utilize fats and fat soluble nutrients, and to keep our detoxification system working properly. My favorite liver lovers are Liver Life from BioRay, dandelion root tea, nettle infusions, ACV, lemon, beets, sunflower lecithin, and castor oil packs.
  5. I recently spoke to someone at BioRay about what is best for use while pregnant or preparing for pregnancy. They recommend the Total Body Detox as the best solution if possible. If not, then go for Detox Quartet, followed by Lady Passion for women and Red Rooster for men until you are pregnant. . Loving Energy, Liver Life, and Belly Mend are ok to use with guidance during pregnancy as well. Check out the chart with more info here! Plus, you can use the code SASSY at checkout for a discount!

Clean up your home!

No, I’m not talking about spraying the whole house with disinfectant. I am talking about switching out all of your current household products for CLEANER versions. This includes soap, shampoo, deodorant, candles, laundry detergent, and even furniture if possible!

Why, you ask?

There has been at least one study done on US infants about how babies are born with about 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood (source). This was done in 2004, so imagine how much worse it is these days, especially knowing that there are 82,000 known chemicals used in everyday household items, and most of them have never been tested for safety. These chemicals are cancer causing, hormone disrupting (especially causing infertility), and skin irritants. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and using these harsh products on our skin daily is truly wreaking havoc for our health. Not only do WE absorb these- these can be passed on in utero to our babies!

Here is my entire list of things to switch out in the home, and what I use personally!

There you have it- my top tips for preparing for a happy, healthy pregnancy! As you can see, it can take a lot of time, effort, and commitment to prepare for this, which is why we need to start taking care of our health from an earlier age. But, baby steps are fine! Start with one thing at a time to ease into the changes. The sooner we do this, the sooner we can create a healthier generation that has a brighter future with less chronic illness.

Achieving Health and Wellness with Sassy Holistics

Achieving Health and Wellness with Sassy Holistics

The natural health world can be complicated at times. There are many different products and programs that promise quick-fixes that may or may not even have benefit for you. In reality, there are no quick fixes when we want to heal. I went through this all myself, and found that way too many people hyper-focus on one organ, one specific illness, one diet, or one nutrient.

True holistic health focuses on the body as a whole. We don’t work on just the thyroid, or try to get you to drop 20 pounds in 10 days. We don’t take 20+ supplements a day, nor do we starve ourselves or do strict diets.  My programs are designed with biochemical individuality in mind: we are all different and we all need different plans to heal.  We also try to make things simple!

What we do to help you heal:

  1. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis: HTMA is the best first step in figuring your your personal biochemistry.  Minerals are at the base of our health: they influence our hormones, can impact our neurotransmitters, play a huge role in our genetic expressions, and more. HTMA gives us insight on how your body reacts to stress as well as what minerals you are deficient or toxic in.  My plans with HTMAs include the following as well:
  2. Gut healing: Leaky gut is rampant these days. HTMA gives us a lot of insight on how well you are utilizing certain nutrients so we can see if you are dealing with low stomach acid, poor bile flow, or having issues with protein metabolism. In order to heal, we HAVE to heal your gut!
  3. Detoxification Support: We live in a toxic world. When our bodies are overloaded with toxins, we become tired, grumpy, and sick.  My plans include gentle support in healing the liver, the lymph, the kidneys, and the whole detoxification system. As we work on balancing minerals, the body works up more strength to get rid of toxins (heavy metals, parasites, etc), so we add in extra support to make healing easier.
  4. Individualized nutrition: Since HTMA gives us a good view on what nutritional imbalances you have, we can make some changes to make sure we get more of what you need.  We all have to eat: why not make the most of your diet with nutrient dense foods?
  5. Focus on your main symptoms: We try to work on the worst of what is bothering you right now. Having issues with sleep? Or bloating? Anxiety? Based on your symptoms and HTMA, we will find a way to help you start healing your biggest concerns first if we can so healing is more comfortable for you.  Deep healing takes time, but we can absolutely make huge leaps in progress when we start introducing the nutrients we need.
  6. Weight Loss: Often, dealing with weight issues is a sign of a sluggish liver. As we heal, weight is something that the body starts to fix. Many of the things I use on my plans are intended to really get weight moving- but it is NOT a priority for the body. Some people lose weight quickly when we start healing, and for many others it is one of the last things to resolve. Part of my goal with HTMA and my healing protocols is to get people to stop looking at weight as a measurement of health.  Part of this healing journey is learning how to really take care of yourself and accepting yourself as a whole (struggles included!). I’ve recently been investigating more ways to help with healthy weight loss as we heal, and if they are applicable to your needs, then I add them to our whole protocol.

Read more here!

Amazing Resources on the Importance of Minerals

importance of minerals

I love HTMA and Mineral Balancing!

I was asked yesterday for some awesome resources that would help explain mineral balancing and HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) to those that are either skeptical about the importance of nutrients or those that are just getting into holistic nutrition. I realized that while I have hundreds of links saved on my bookmarks bar, I haven’t ever put the best links into a post yet. I am a HUGE advocate for everyone to constantly learn more about health! I think that we all need to be our own best advocates and the only way to do that is to learn, research, and read, read, read!

So here are my FAVORITE links on HTMA, mineral balancing, and nutrition in general. Some are studies, some are articles, and some a big hard to decipher if you aren’t used to the jargon. But the more you read, the more you learn and that is the most important part.

Directly from the 2 main HTMA Labs (ARL and TEI)

From TEI labs: A list of all of the studies that proof the reliability of HTMA

From TEI labs: All of their published articles on specific minerals (and vitamin A)

From TEI Labs: “Blood analysis for minerals is a good indicator of the transport of minerals to and from the storage areas of the body (extracellular).
Hair tissue mineral analysis is a good indicator of the metabolic processes occurring within the cells (intracellular).” (source)

From TEI Labs: All of their published newsletters on specific conditions and how they relate to HTMA (from 1985-present)

From ARL Labs: A breakdown on what HTMA is exactly.

From ARL Labs: Specific information on each mineral and heavy metal

From ARL labs: Their Newsletters and Published articles.

Studies and Articles about Minerals

Magnesium and Zinc involvement in Tobacco Addiction

Copper Dysregulation: Basics, Pyroluria, Bipolar, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, Thyroid health, hormonal balancing,

Amazing Articles from Dr. Malter

Zinc: Responsible for about 300 enzymes

Magnesium: physiology and pharmacology, diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, info on mag and about 30 other illnesses,   Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment

Copper: Metals and the Mind | Weston A Price , Copper-Zinc Imbalance: Unrecognized Consequence of Plant-Based Diets and a Contributor to Chronic Fatigue | Weston A Price , Copper deficiency symptoms, Type IX Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Menkes syndrome: the decrease in lysyl oxidase activity is associated with a corresponding deficiency in the enzyme protein.

More on Copper: Role in neurological disorders, The role it plays in lipid metabolism (fats and cholesterol, it is SUPER important!), health benefits of copper, All about Ceruloplasmin (the copper binding protein-this report is 119 pages long and incredibly in-depth)

Iron: How to really balance iron, the higher the iron the higher the risk of heart issues, the role of ceruloplasmin in iron balancing,

The Great Iodine Debate | Weston A Price

Breakdown of major minerals and their uses.

Studies and Articles about Vitamins

Vitamin A: Vitamin A: The Key to A Tolerant Immune System? | Clinical Education

The Daily Lipid: Vitamin A Plays an Essential Role in Setting the Circadian Rhythm and Allowing Good Sleep

Infants, Vitamin D WAPF

Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C

The Importance and Uses of Vitamins

 

 

Balancing 3 of the Main Minerals: Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium

Balancing Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium

Hair tissue mineral analysis is an amazing tool to use to determine how your body is handling stress, how well your adrenals are working, and where your mineral levels are. Minerals are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, inhibitors or even as the enzyme themselves. Enzymes are what keeps our bodies running. When we are low on minerals or if they are imbalanced, our bodies cannot physically function correctly. We look at the whole picture with HTMA- levels, ratios, and the person’s individual symptoms.

In this post though, we are going to go over 3 of the main minerals in HTMA which include: Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium.  Our goal with HTMA is to BALANCE these minerals. These 3 have a very delicate balance, but they are all incredibly important.  (and Calcium makes up the 4th main mineral- but it doesn’t seem to be as hard to balance as the other 3 for most people).

Balancing Mg/Na/K: A Delicate Mineral Dance!

In the mineral balancing world, magnesium lowers sodium, which in turn can mess with the sodium/potassium ratio. From ARL Labs: “Sodium and magnesium tend to be antagonistic. As one goes up the other goes down. The ratio of the two minerals often gives a better picture of adrenal activity than the sodium level alone. “

If both sodium and potassium are low and one takes their dose of mag (whether it be the RDA of 400mg or their body-weight dose of about 800+), one can experience both low sodium and low potassium signs. Also, while potassium might not directly be affected by mag, it is very closely related to cortisol on its own and magnesium can lower cortisol. So a very low potassium reading on the HTMA can indicate low cortisol output (roughly), which would indicate an issue with tolerating magnesium.

With HTMA, there are clear indications if someone truly can handle mag or not. About 80% of people in general are slow oxidizers, which means that adrenals are sluggish. Magnesium *decreases* adrenal function, while sodium supports it. Mag *lowers* sodium and further decreases adrenal activity. For some, it can take months and other it takes years to see the negative effect. HTMA is about balancing in the long run, not taking massive doses of any one nutrient.

I am seeing that *so many people* are reacting poorly to magnesium.

Adrenal crashes, severe insomnia, anxiety, low blood pressure, dizziness- these are all of the side effects of too much mag and not enough sodium and potassium. I know it can be frustrating, as there are oodles of articles out there coming out about how magnesium can be a cure-all mineral for so many illnesses. Magnesium is crucial but when we have low sodium and potassium, it can be hard to tolerate any amount of magnesium. This is why the HTMA is important so we can determine your sodium and potassium, as well as the state of your adrenals. The whole point is to get a personalized plan. Healing happens in stages: we cannot fix everything all at once!

You can read my whole post on the sodium/magnesium ratio here and how it relates to adrenal health. In short: Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).  Usually with over-active adrenals, one will have high cortisol and high sodium levels- taking magnesium can help balance this. Those with under-active adrenals are more complicated, as they tend to have mixed cortisol and very low sodium- so magnesium *might* help someone if they deal with high nighttime cortisol, but overall they need to focus more on sodium through the day to support the adrenals.

So how much Mag, Potassium, and Sodium do we need?

Looking at the minerals separately: Magnesium recommended daily amount is about 400mg. Potassium RDA is about 4700mg. Sodium RDA is about 2300mg. (These obviously approximates as the RDA doesn’t always cut it when it comes to info- just using these as a reference). That is a pretty big difference here: 400-4700-2300. So if you are using more than that amount of mag, imagine how much more sodium and potassium you would need to properly balance it. Many are doing 800+mg of magnesium, and doing maybe 2-3 adrenal cocktails (which have about 500g of potassium and about 500mg of sodium).

Needs for each mineral will vary person to person depending on HTMA results and symptoms, as well as what a person tolerates. A majority of people are not getting nearly enough potassium in their diet. Unless you are focusing on potassium intake, it is extremely hard to get to that almost 5000mg amount!  Usually I suggest going for about 3000 a day just to get used to getting more potassium and that way we slowly introduce it instead of flooding the body with it (especially as potassium can cause copper dumping!). Read my post on potassium here for more info and my giant list of favorite potassium rich foods.

Sodium intake seems to vary person to person. Many people with adrenal fatigue crave salt like crazy. We have the potential to waste up to 30,000mg of sodium a day when adrenals are stressed (and I cannot find the source I had for this as I read it several years ago now- but it is an alarming amount, and mineral balancing agrees at least that sodium is the first mineral that we start burning through like crazy in adrenal fatigue.) I usually have people listen to their body on this: if it tastes good to you, go for it! Eventually your body shouldn’t crave it as much as levels are replenished. Adrenal cocktails, salt water sole, doing sea salt baths, making your own salt capsules, and obviously just salting food are all helpful.

When sodium, potassium, and magnesium are all low it is VERY hard for someone to raise all 3 at once. They all have to be in balance because too much of one can bump another around. It can be easy to determine which one is the lowest when looking at an HTMA though, and that is usually the main one that people need to focus on. I try to tell people to take note of their symptoms: low sodium signs include dizziness, low blood pressure, muscle weakness or a very rapid heartbeat. Low potassium signs include a hard, thumping heartbeat; thirst; insomnia; or muscle cramps. Low magnesium signs include muscle pain/stiffness, headaches, and skipped heartbeats.

My favorite way to use magnesium is topically. It seems to have less of a chance to mess with sodium this way, and I’m seeing people raise levels well with it. There was a study that showed that in only 12 weeks of use, most of the people rose their magnesium levels by almost 60%! Compare that to oral supplementation which can take 9-24 months to raise mag levels. (Source)

You can try mag oil baths or foot baths: try 1-2 ounces mag oil (or ½ cup to 1 cup of flakes), 1 cup of baking soda (for increased mag absorption and to neutralize chlorine in the water); add ½ cup of pink salt if desired so you can get the balance between sodium and magnesium. Soak for 20-40 minutes at least twice a week.

Or you can use magnesium lotion! I love this mag lotion for adults (250mg per tsp), and this one for kids(150mg per tsp), but you can also see this recipe to make your own.

Common questions I get:

“But don’t we burn through magnesium like crazy under stress?” Yes we do. We can also burn through sodium, potassium, zinc, and even copper (technically, stored copper can get pushed out under stress, along with other toxins). Magnesium is not the *only* mineral that has to do with stress!

“Our soils are so depleted of mag, don’t we need high doses?” Yes, our soils are depleted. A Standard American diet is also very devoid of most nutrients. Switching to a whole foods diet can help increase nutrients in your diet (plus healing your gut– we need stomach acid to utilize many nutrients). If you look in nature, you will *never* find any food right now with the whole RDA of magnesium in it. The most you will find is about 150mg in a cup of cooked spinach or an ounce of pumpkin/squash seeds- plus you will be getting SO much more from the food: enzymes, co-factors, more minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, protein, etc.  You can check a list of high magnesium foods here. Also, nettle and oatstraw infusions are very magnesium rich. More is not always better. We need to look at nutrients in a complex, not in isolation, especially when you are trying to heal your body and not just treat symptoms.

“I NEED magnesium for xyz reason. I can’t live without it.” Yes, I believe that. Magnesium supplementation acts like a crutch (sort of like any other isolated nutrient). I’m coming across many people that supplement with mag or any other nutrient in isolation for years and their symptoms are managed, but their levels never rise much, or they even drop. Isolated oral magnesium is not the kind that your body utilizes so while you might find symptom relief, it isn’t solving the actual deficiency. As soon as one stops supplementation for a day or 2, their symptoms come right back.

Conclusion

I preach caution with high doses of anything in general, but magnesium is the most common one right now that is creating so many issues for people. In our quest for better health, we see to believe the “more is better” lie. We became ill because our diet was imbalanced to begin with- flooding your body with the full RDA of each nutrient (or more) is not the way to get yourself back in balance. There is a huge difference between treating an illness and healing your body. The more that time goes on, the more I am an advocate for whole food nutrition, nutrient dense foods, and focusing on the body as a whole.

If you want more of an idea on how I do approach healing, you can check out my posts: The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Healing and my ultimate collection of favorite remedies for specific conditions.

Need more reading?

Adrenaladvice.com: “If you are unfortunate enough to get to the exhaustion stage ……too much magnesium can cause you to crash since it lowers sodium.”

ARL Labs: Sodium and the Adrenals

ARL other mineral articles

Nutrient interactions: what happens when you take one nutrient on its own and the other nutrients it can lower/raise

How to Balance Hormones the truly natural way

balance hormones

Healing your Hormones the Sassy Holistics Way!

Hormonal imbalances are so incredibly common these days- so much so that even young kids are dealing with them! A majority of doctors or natural practitioners out there approach hormonal imbalances with actual hormones. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty about that, but I’m going to share the way that I believe we should be approaching this issue. I don’t agree with the hormonal balancing approaches typically, and you’ll understand why in this post!

What is the ROOT CAUSE of hormonal imbalances?

If your hormones are out of balance, adding in all of the separate hormones you are deficient in makes zero sense to me. Besides the fact that this is not how we’re meant to keep our hormones balanced, this can be extremely hard on the body, especially the liver and adrenals. Hormonal imbalances have 3 main root causes: a sluggish liver, stressed adrenals, and a copper imbalance (and these 3 are all connected too!).

Why is the Liver so important in hormonal health?

Our livers have about 500 different functions in the body. One of the main functions is to keep our hormones balanced, both by creating hormones as needed and filtering out excess hormones that we either make or are exposed to. Our livers also make a majority of our cholesterol but can only do so if it is happy and functioning properly. ALL OF OUR HORMONES ARE MADE FROM CHOLESTEROL. That is the fact that drives me nuts about using individual hormones.

ALL of the hormones that run the adrenals need cholesterol to be made. The lie that cholesterol is bad for us is a primary reason why we are all so deficient in hormones. We need cholesterol to create pregnenolone, which in turn can be used to make the rest of the hormones like estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, and aldosterone. But we need healthy livers to regulate cholesterol. If you want to see a chart that explains the hormone/cholesterol relationship, check it out here.

We have a completely obvious root cause here to address, but most docs/practitioners will go straight to the individual hormones (again, “natural pharmacology” or “allopathic natural health“: treat the symptoms, not the cause).  If you are dealing with estrogen dominance, it is more likely that your liver is having trouble clearing the excess estrogen- if you add progesterone to antagonize/balance estrogen, where is the estrogen going to go if the liver is still angry? The problem in the first place was that the body couldn’t get rid of the excess estrogen in the first place. Heal your liver, fix your hormones.

How is a copper imbalance related to hormonal health?

In the mineral balancing world, we know that estrogen and copper go hand in hand, just like zinc goes along with testosterone and progesterone. Women are copper dominant and men are zinc dominant. When the liver and adrenals are stressed, they have a VERY hard time keeping copper and zinc balanced.

I mentioned above how adding progesterone to “fix” and estrogen dominance issue makes no sense if the liver can get rid of the excess copper in the first place: It is EXACTLY the same issue with copper/zinc. Zinc can mobilize stored copper but it doesn’t excrete it! (bile is the key for that, which I talk about below) Messing with the individual hormones or nutrients doesn’t solve the root issue, which is that the liver is angry and the minerals aren’t able to balance.

Balancing copper is one of the main things I focus on for most of my clients. I RARELY see someone with balanced copper. That is how common this issue is. Keeping copper balanced involved happy adrenals and livers, as well as true vitamin A (from cod liver oil, beef liver, eggs, and butter- all things that many people didn’t eat growing up as there has been fear mongering on each of these foods!). Those that have been vegetarian/vegan, been on birth control of any sort, had copper pipes in their house, or women that just recently had a child are the most common people to be effected by a copper imbalance.

When we are dealing with a sluggish liver and stressed adrenals, it is hard for the body to utilize vitamin A, which is one of the keys needed for making ceruloplasmin, the copper binding protein. When ceruloplasmin cannot be made, copper can build up in the body (as excess, unbound copper rises, estrogen tends to rise as well). This creates a huge issue in the body: the excess copper can become antagonistic to zinc and other nutrients and it creates it own host of symptoms as it basically irritates the body, but you can also deal with copper deficiency symptoms since you cannot use this excess copper. You can read the giant lists of copper excess and copper deficiency signs here, as well as the whole story about copper dysregulation.

How are the adrenals related to hormonal health?

When people start to feel fatigued or just not as well as they used to, most people will automatically tell them to go test their thyroid. In reality, the adrenals play an even bigger role in overall health as they are higher up on the totem pole in the endocrine system (AKA the HPA Axis!). The adrenals play a big role in metabolism, hormonal balance, and overall vitality.

The adrenal glands are two little pea-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex, secretes the corticosteroid hormones including cortisol that monitor the body’s metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure. The adrenal medulla is the inner part which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that respond to stressors. When the adrenal medulla fires, it increases the heart rate, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and creates a surge of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. This mechanism evolved so we could draw from a quick burst of energy in a fight-or-flight situation. The adrenals are extremely vital to our health and well-being!

This fight-or-flight response can becoming chronic for many people, and eventually the adrenals can get into burnout. You can read a bit more on how we can use HTMA to determine the health of the adrenals and how we can support their function better.

How to truly fix a hormonal balance

1) Heal your Liver and get that bile flowing! Many of my ladies need a LOT of liver loving/bile support. It seems that when we start healing, the body goes a bit into overdrive and tries to do all the things at once. We need bile to flush out the toxins: the excess copper, the estrogen, the heavy metals, parasites, yeast, etc. But we also need bile for fat utilization and cholesterol balancing. From what I’m seeing, most bodies choose to detox FIRST. The more bile support we add, the easier the process gets. You can read my whole post on bile support here, but my favorites include dandelion root, sunflower lecithin, Gaia Herbs or Herb Pharm Bitter herbs supplements, castor oil packs, and staying hydrated. Bile is one of the main keys for healing constipation too- keeping your colon happy is key in healing from any illness. Also, anything you do to support your overall liver function will help your bile flow!

2) Heal your Adrenals. A general course of action for adrenal fatigue will include good fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats (fat and cholesterol are needed for hormone production), Whole food vitamin C (NOT ascorbic acid), high quality proteins like collagen or whey, animal based vitamin A that you would find in Cod Liver Oil, butter and beef liver, and the most important things are rest, sleep, more rest, and more sleep! It depends on the person’s Na/Mg ratio on the HTMA whether they will need magnesium or a good quality salt like Pink Himalayan, Celtic, Redmond’s Real Salt. Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).

3) Balance your minerals. As mentioned above, the main mineral imbalance that is involved in hormonal issues is the copper/zinc balance. Get an HTMA and a blood panel for copper, zinc, and ceruloplasmin to determine your full status on these minerals. HTMA also can give us insight on how well your adrenals, thyroid, and liver are working which also plays a big role in hormonal health.

4) Reducing environmental toxins is also an essential step to healing your liver and hormones.  Many of the chemicals used in beauty products are carcinogenic and are known hormone disruptors, and they mostly mess with estrogen. There are about 82,000 chemicals used in personal care products and most of them are not tested for safety, or how they react to other chemicals. What you use on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream- reducing the amount of toxins you are exposed to helps take strain off of your liver so it can do its job better.

5) SLEEP!!!! Sleep is perhaps the number 1 most critical thing needed to heal from every illness. And yet it is one of the first things that suffers when health starts to suffer.This is the most underestimated healer out there.  We just need sleep! It’s not just because it keeps us happy- it helps us regenerate and heal, as well as helping us to eliminate toxins because our LIVERS work the hardest at night.

If we are always on the go during the day and we aren’t sleeping enough at night, we simply cannot function well.  The first part of ANY healing plan should be to evaluate your sleep.  If you aren’t getting enough because of your schedule, then it is time to cut down on things to take care of yourself no matter how hard this might be.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”  If you are healing from any illness, you have to focus on yourself as much as you can in order to truly heal.  This may be hard for a lot of people but it is crucial!If you having any trouble sleeping, there are a variety of reasons why this could be happening. Read my post on how to bust insomnia here.  You can also check out this article from ARL about the importance of sleep.

More reading:

This awesome article by Dr. Lam was sent to me yesterday which prompted me to finally write about my approach to balancing hormones. He goes over the negative effects of improper progesterone supplementing.

What is Biochemical Individuality?

biochemical individuality

Biochemical Individuality

There is no denying that as humans, we are all connected in some way. At the same time though, we are all unique individuals! The old saying “what is good for the goose is good for the gander” is NOT true when it comes to healing illnesses. While we might all have similar deficiencies and and imbalances, there are so many other factors to consider while healing.

Biochemical individuality is essentially a concept that the nutritional and chemical makeup of a person is unique. Because of this, nutritional needs will vary from person to person. Dr. Roger Williams was the biochemist that pioneered this concept in the 1950s, when people were just starting to feel the damage done by poor nutritional advice, depleted soils, and pharmaceutical medications.

This issue is just getting worse as time goes on!

This issue has just become even more complicated as time has gone on- now we are dealing with an epigentics epidemic! The environment and the state of our food is in an even more terrifying state these days, and the need for individualized nutrition is even more dire.  People are in varying stages of the same illness (like adrenal fatigue for instance: one person can be dealing with overactive adrenals and another can be dealing with underactive). 10 people with the same exact diagnosis can be dealing with completely different symptoms, and they will all have different healing journeys.

So if someone is trying to tell you that we ALL need the same supplements in the same exact amounts at the same exact time- please reconsider this! This is NOT how people heal. This is another way of allopathic thinking, a one-size-fits-all approach.  Becoming your own best health advocate is the BEST way for you to heal. Instinct and intuition are invaluable as well, because you need to learn to listen to your body’s signs when you are trying to heal from illness.

Things that influence our health and individuality:

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • How we react to stress
  • Genetics
  • Job
  • Hobbies (because of exposure to chemicals or climates)
  • Environment (toxins, climate, stress, etc)
  • Past traumas
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Tobacco or alcohol use
  • Drug use (whether illicit or pharmaceutical)
  • Attitude
  • Sleep habits
  • Detoxification ability
  • Metablism
  • Temperament
  • Digestive status
  • And the list goes on!

I hope this post is helpful! I am seeing wayyyyy too many people getting injured from one-size-fits-all recommendations, especially since people are being told just to “push through the pain”!What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa. This is why there are SO many aspects and modalities for healing: nature has given us a wide array of choices!

There are dozens of generalized protocols out there that are all supposedly designed to be for the good of everyone, no matter what stage of health they are at. This is just not true. If you aren’t sure about what a doctor or practitioner is recommending you, please question them! We should all be aiming to help people heal on their own terms.

More Reading:

TEI labs on Individuality

Biochemical Individuality by Dr. Roger Williams, the original expert on this topic. Written in 1956!

Whole Food Nutrition: The Missing Link in Vitamin Therapy: The Difference Between Nutrients WITHIN Foods vs. Isolated Vitamins & how they affect your health by Dr. Vic Shayne