The healing protocol known as Nutritional Balancing is gaining popularity. When I first started the program almost a year ago, I had quite a bit of difficulty finding others who were on the program as well. In the past several months, I've noticed that Nutritional Balancing is appearing on blogs and sites with increasing frequency.
Today, I want to introduce you to Nutritional Balancing (NB). If you experience unresolved or mysterious health issues that don't seem to improve with dietary changes alone, it may be time for something a little more intense.
Nutritional Balancing Defined
According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, one of the pioneering practitioners of NB,
Nutritional balancing is a sophisticated, integrated system for healing the body at a very deep level. It uses older principles…, traditional naturopathy, and the use of specific foods and nutrients to increase the vitality level of the body. It also employs modern theories such as the stress theory of disease, metabolic typing, cybernetics, holography, fractal mathematics, chaos theory, biological transmutation of the elements, and other physics and engineering concepts. These are combined with up-to-date Western medical physiology and biochemistry.
In layman's terms, NB is a healing approach that is scientifically based, not symptoms-based, and utilizes both old and new principles and sciences to correct nutrient deficiencies and heal metabolism, which in turn, heals the body, mind, and spirit.
I completely believe in natural medicine and unconventional treatments. However, I've personally experienced that many of these modalities — such as chiropractic, NAET, applied kinesiology, and dietary (the GAPS diet) treatments — usually lack scientific testing to determine the exact imbalances, deficiencies, hormone levels, and other contributors to autoimmune and metabolic disease. I tried three chiropractors, two nutritionists, and one NAET-certified naturopath, and not one of them recommended or provided any type of blood, stool, urine, or hair testing to determine the root cause of my health issues. As my health worsened, I felt like the practitioners I trusted were merely “shooting in the dark” to figure out what was wrong with me.
When I found a Nutritional Balancing practitioner, I was properly tested to know precisely what was going on in my body. This test, a simple and non-invasive hair test, is known as the hair mineral analysis.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
The foundation of any NB program is the hair tissue mineral analysis. From this test, a NB practitioner can determine exactly what the patient's mineral imbalances and deficiencies are, the patient's metabolic type, heavy metals that may be present or not eliminating properly, energy levels, stress patterns, autonomic nervous system assessment, thyroid and adrenal function, and more (source). The accuracy is estimated to be within 3%, which is very good.
The hair is cut at the scalp, and approximately one inch of hair is needed from each cut. Hair is placed on a paper scale, weighed to get the correct amount needed for the test, and then sent to Analytical Research Labs in Phoenix, Arizona. Hair testing must be performed at this lab, as it is the only one that does not wash the hair prior to testing — unwashed hair is crucial to the accuracy of the test. Expect to pay between $100 and $200 for your hair analysis, depending on your practitioner.
Results take about two weeks to get back from the lab to your practitioner. NB practitioners train with Dr. Lawrence Wilson, who often consults on each patient's test. My personal practitioner goes over all his patients' hair tests with Dr. Wilson before discussing results and recommendations with the patients. Once the results of the test are in, you will have scientific proof of what is occurring in your body and receive a four-pronged approach to treatment, specific to your results.
Hair testing is repeated at three- to six-month intervals to monitor progress on the program and so your practitioner can make changes to your program as needed. It is essential to the success of the program to do these repeat hair tests. As detoxification and healing occur, heavy metal toxicity and mineral ratios will change and your specific program, especially supplementation, must change as well.
Although each patient's program will be specific to his or her test results, the approach is the same for everyone following a NB program. The four key elements of a good NB program are: supplementation, detoxification, diet, and lifestyle changes.
Supplementation: High quality supplements are prescribed based upon the mineral deficiencies and imbalances that need to be corrected. Because of the mineral depletion of our soil, our food cannot supply all the necessary nutrients people need, especially if one has an autoimmune condition or metabolic disorder, both of which are becoming increasingly common. Add to this the toxicity of our environment, including exposure to xeno- and phytoestrogens, poor air quality, volatile organic compounds, and more. It's easy to see why our bodies struggle to maintain proper mineral balance.
Several supplements are standard to the NB program: sea kelp, calcium, quality fish oil, and digestive aids such as betaine hydro-chloride and/or ox bile. After that, a specific supplement regimen is designed according to the individual's needs. My own supplement program involves zinc, selenium, a potent multivitamin, a thyroid supplement, and a kidney supplement, in addition to the standard NB supplements. Your supplement program will likely be different, as your hair test will certainly show different metabolic rate, imbalances, deficiencies, nervous system function, and thyroid and adrenal function.
It is important to take only the supplements your NB practitioner prescribes for you. I was tempted in the beginning to add in a bunch of stuff because I was convinced that the supplements given to me weren't going to be enough. I trusted my practitioner's experience, however, and those supplements were enough. Of course, if you are taking prescription medications, it is vital that you work with your NB practitioner to determine if and when you can reduce or completely eliminate those medications.
Detoxification: This is a key component of NB and should not be neglected. Coffee enemas and the use of a near-infrared sauna are required. Heavy metals are typically stored in the body's deep tissues, such as the brain, bone marrow, and liver, therefore deep detox methods must be used to rid the body of these harmful substances, which contribute to impaired hormone production and mineral deficiencies. It is also necessary to detoxify the body of any remnants of toxic prescription drugs, tobacco or recreational drugs, vaccine chemicals, and even chemicals from conventional dentistry procedures.
Those of us with metabolic disease typically are more prone to be poor eliminators of these toxic substances. Our bodies, because of sympathetic-dominant nervous systems, low body temperature, impaired thyroid and/or adrenal function, and slow digestion, are prime spots for parasites, yeast overgrowth, and acute or recurring infections. The coffee enemas and sauna therapy really assist in the elimination of these harmful things and allow our bodies to heal more quickly and efficiently.
Diet: A patient's diet is determined by their rate of oxidation (metabolism), which is either slow, fast, or mixed. The basic NB diet is high in certain cooked vegetables such as leafy greens, root vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables. Meals are based around cooked veggies; it is recommended to consume 8 to 9 cups of cooked vegetables per day. This is because vegetables are high in minerals and also very healing to the body. Good protein is also part of the program. Grass-fed beef, bison, and lamb, wild-caught sardines, and pastured poultry are staples. A small amount of raw milk daily is fine for those who tolerate it. Also, fresh carrot juice is an integral part of the diet. High quality sea salt is encouraged because of the high mineral content of the salt. Butter, raw cheese, and olive oil are encouraged sources of good fat.
All sugar, including fruit, should be avoided. This is because simple carbohydrates can wreak havoc on blood sugar, which tends to be unstable in individuals who require this type of program. Low-glycemic berries may be eaten occasionally. Grains, including gluten-free grains, are also avoided most of the time. Nightshades, like eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes, should not be eaten because they are very inflammatory. Table, or iodized, salt is full of aluminum and also not recommended. Dr. Wilson advises people to avoid shellfish and wild-caught fish like tuna and salmon because of mercury contamination. (I, personally, still eat salmon. I'm not convinced that mercury is as big of a problem as many make it out to be. You should decide for yourself.) Soy, legumes, most nuts and seeds, and all processed foods are avoided as well. In many ways with slight variations, NB resembles the Autoimmune Protocol.
The dietary aspect of NB is another reason why you should work closely with a practitioner and not attempt to do a lesser version of the program on your own. There are several foods which Dr. Wilson says to avoid that my practitioner encourages me to eat regularly. Examples of these foods are coconut oil, sweet potatoes, and avocados. I tolerate these foods with no issues, and they have been very healing to me so far.
I will note that simply following the NB eating plans probably won't be enough to produce noticeable healing results. The program is designed to include all of the four components, not just one or two.
Lifestyle: All of the supplements, coffee enemas, and healthy food in the world won't do a person much good if they aren't able to get their stress levels under control. The role stress plays in the development of disease is astounding. Physical (overexertion, too much hard exercise) and emotional (childhood traumas, anxiety, financial) stress, racing thoughts, fear, and busyness contribute to wearing down our bodies, especially if we are not taking the time to prepare and eat nutrient-dense foods, release and forgive those who have hurt us, scale down our outside time commitments, or even transition out of a high-stress job to a more enjoyable one.
A discussion on spirituality, mysticism, and meditation is beyond the scope of this article, but I believe meditation can be extremely healing to quiet one's mind, focus on thankfulness, blessings, and Scripture, and just be for a few minutes every day. No matter whether you meditate or not, taking an inventory of your life and editing out anything that doesn't contribute to your health and well-being is wise. I have learned to set boundaries with time and people, say no to overcommitment, and have made it my goal to live as simply and stress-free as possible. This allows me to chill out and let my parasympathetic nervous system take over at times — something I used to be unable to do. 🙂
How You Can Benefit from Nutritional Balancing
As you can tell, Nutritional Balancing is a complex program that slowly and gently brings balance back to the body and allows it to heal from numerous conditions. Amazingly, people of all types can heal: children, pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, men, and women. In children, conditions such as ADHD, recurring runny noses, ear infections, or sore throats, allergies, and asthma have the potential to be reversed quickly through a NB program. Children usually respond to treatment more quickly than adults, require fewer supplements, and can reach stages of development that may have been delayed before if poor nutrition or mineral imbalances were the cause of delay (source).
In adults, a number of ailments (physical and mental) respond well to NB:
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain and/or arthritis
- thyroid and adrenal dysfunction
- acute or severe infections such as parasites, Lyme disease, and Epstein-Barr virus
- addictions (NB should be used along with counseling and other treatments for addiction)
- heavy metal toxicity and hidden copper toxicity
If you are experiencing a health condition that doesn't seem to improve no matter what you try, I encourage you to contact a NB practitioner and have a hair mineral analysis done. This science-based program is safe, effective, and totally holistic since it is designed to deeply heal mind, body, and spirit.
Have you ever heard of Nutritional Balancing? Are any of you currently working with a practitioner on your own NB program? Please share your experiences, comments, and questions below!
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