The effect of long term stress, and the stress damage and maladapted stress response that is the result of it, is the root cause of chronic illness and chronic fatigue. Over the years of accumulated damage and adaptation to the stress, the body resorts to a wide range of defenses in order to cope and continue to live and work. To correct and recover from chronic fatigue and illness, these adaptations must be understood, identified and corrected. This is the purpose of Dr. Paul Eck's Nutritional Balancing system.
Standard nutritional therapies are
based on a deficiency paradigm in which the only purpose of nutrient
supplementation is to replace a nutrient that is 'deficient'. The
deficiencies themselves are judged based on averages which may or may
not be the best levels for a specific individual. The body's needs
vary depending on the current circumstances it is dealing with and
the effects of past stress and damage. In addition, nutrients that
appear deficient may only be blocked or biounavailable due to other
nutrient imbalances. Nutritional Balancing identifies and addresses
all of these subtle and intricate interactions in the cellular
Nature's Law of Minerals:
Every mineral has an effect on every other mineral. It is scientifically impossible to change the level of even one mineral, without simultaneously affecting the levels of all other minerals.
Here is Dr. Eck's explanation of some of these issues:
Healthview: Why is the replacement theory wrong?
Dr. Paul Eck: For
one thing, it assumes that the person is 'deficient' in a certain
nutrient. It assumes that this is necessarily bad and must be
corrected. But how does the therapist know whether the so-called
deficiency is not part of the body's defense system? For example, an
analysis on myself once revealed a severe zinc deficiency. I took
zinc and had less energy. I didn't know at that time that my zinc
'deficiency' was a compensation to increase my adrenal activity.
Another problem is
that popular nutrients recommended by almost everyone to combat
stress can actually increase stress. For example, vitamin C is
supposed to be beneficial for people under stress. The trouble is,
this isn't true for everyone.
If the person has
a low copper level – as in 50 to 60% of the people being evaluated
– the vitamin C can worsen the copper deficiency. This will result
in more stress, not less stress. Also, if the person has excess
copper, the vitamin C may release more copper than the person has the
ability to excrete. Furthermore, when copper is eliminated, other
nutrients are made deficient. And unless these nutrients are
replaced at the proper times, vitamin C may actually cause
deficiencies that were non-existent in the first place.
Another problem is
that most doctors and nutritionists do not understand why a nutrient
deficiency is present in the first place. Does the deficiency exist
because of a deficient dietary intake? Or does a certain nutrient
appear to be deficient only because an excess of another nutrient may
be blocking its action? This is often the case. For example, if
iron levels are high in the tissues, this will suppress copper
levels. The true problem then, is an iron excess, not a copper
Another fallacy of
traditional nutritional theory is that it assumes that if there are
heavy metals such as lead or cadmium present in a person's analysis,
that these metals should be immediately eliminated. What they don't
realize is that in many cases, the heavy metals serve as a back-up
system. When the primary nutritional minerals are insufficient to
protect the person, Nature uses substitutes.
For example, lead
can substitute for some of the functions of calcium. In bones, lead
can substitute for calcium if calcium is deficient or cannot be
utilized. Of course, lead will also make the bones brittle, but this
is just a price that must be paid for using a back-up system.
Then there is
cadmium. Few realize that cadmium raises sodium levels. It is a
toxic metal. Nevertheless, it is frequently retained in the body to
support adrenal activity. In this way, it helps the individual avoid
Many nutritionists and researchers consider cadmium to be detrimental because it causes a loss of zinc from the body. What they don't realize is that the body may purposefully accumulate cadmium in order to reduce excessive zinc levels. It is only by reducing zinc levels that the body can raise sodium levels. As the zinc levels decline, adrenal activity increases – within certain limits.
[All quotations are from Energy by Colin & Loren Chatsworth]
The general lack of understanding and application of the real functions of nutrients in the metabolism can result in actually making yourself worse with even a typical multiple mineral and vitamin formula. These are just a very general combination of nutrients that your body might be able to use, or it might not.
Dr. Paul Eck:...The idea behind taking a multiple mineral and vitamin supplement is logical. But you have to make sure that the multiple supplement is 'balanced' for your particular metabolism. The whole philosophy of everyone's taking the same kind of multiple supplement is just as absurd as everyone wearing the same shoe size.
But for the sake of argument, let's say that a balanced supplement just has the minerals which your body needs for your particular metabolism. Now the question is, “Are all the minerals in the right ratios to one another?” Most people do not realize it but the ratios of minerals in relation to one another are just as important as the minerals themselves.
...Suppose your shoe size was just one-half inch shorter than it should be. This would mean that your shoes were only a mere 5% too short. And who could complain of a small difference of only 5%? It seems like hardly anything.
Suppose every time you went to buy gasoline, the gas station attendant added just one small teaspoon of water to each gallon. Even though the gasoline was 99% pure, you would probably have trouble starting your car. And this is a difference of less than 1%.
People don't realize it, but the human body is a highly precise organism – far more precise than most people would ever imagine. Little changes make a big difference.
Nutritional Balancing programs are given according to a special type of hair tissue mineral analysis test. Most hair tests are toxicity tests and the hair is subjected to washing and solvents at the lab. This helps to reveal more toxic metal in the test. At Analytical Research Labs, the lab founded by Dr. Paul Eck, the hair is not washed at the lab as the focus of the test is the nutrient minerals, not heavy metals. Some heavy metals do show up, but it is primarily a metabolic test, not a toxicity test.
The four major electrolyte minerals have the most testing significance and they can definitely be changed by washing. Once we have the results of a properly done hair tissue mineral analysis, we have a great deal of information about the metabolism, including endocrine function, glucose handling, protein utilization, current stress, chronic stress, and stress damage. We will see the effects of these metabolic states on nutrient levels, ratios and requirements. We may see some heavy metals, but in many cases they do not show up at all on the first test as the body sequesters the metals for protection from the toxic effects.
Heathview: I think we should bring out something you and I have discussed many times in the past. It is that a person in burnout not only suffers from specific nutrient deficiencies, but they also have excesses of various nutrients in their tissues.
Nutritional science only talks about replacing missing or depleted nutrients. They almost totally ignore the elimination of excess nutrients – which is even more important.
Perhaps a person is accumulating iron and they are taking it. Or perhaps they are accumulating calcium and they are taking it. They cannot assume that they are merely replacing what they have lost. Instead of being low on something, they may actually have an excess of it.
Dr. Paul Eck: That's right. There is always a corresponding action and reaction to everything in life. So if one mineral becomes deficient, another mineral will accumulate. That is, it will become excessive. It is Nature's system of checks and balances.
When sodium and potassium levels go down, calcium and magnesium levels will rise. If copper drops, iron increases. If zinc accumulates in tissues, copper levels will decrease. If zinc levels decrease, copper levels will increase. If iron levels rise, chromium levels diminish, and so forth.
Each of these checks and balances is part of Nature's defense system to maintain homeostasis and to combat stress. For example, an excessive accumulation of copper is not necessarily bad. In certain cases, it is actually beneficial – a purpose is being served. Do you realize that copper raises sodium levels? Sodium is involved in the production of the mineralcorticoids – the mineral-regulating hormones produced by the adrenal glands.
The body will raise copper levels in an attempt to shore up the plummeting sodium levels. It is a defense mechanism. Also, copper is involved in the final step in energy production in the Krebs cycle, one of the main energy producing cycles of your body. So although an accumulation of copper may in the long run cause neurological damage and other dysfunctions, it also serves a purpose.
In addition, the body loses zinc under stress, which by itself may be a defense reaction. As zinc levels drop, sodium levels increase and you are better able to respond to stress. Also, a reduced level of zinc in the tissues – up to a point – automatically increases the availability of copper in the tissues – resulting in increased oxidative respiration in the cells.
You can see that it get pretty complicated. There are different stages of stress. Each stage represents another of the body's stress holding patterns. The body collapses in stages.
Healthview: At each stage, the body tries to draw the line, regroup its defenses – just like an army. And just like an army, it goes into a holding pattern that it tries to maintain as long as possible.
Dr. Paul Eck: That's right. Each of the minerals that accumulates represents an action taken as part of the body's defense system. So although the stored copper, zinc or whatever, all cause severe problems in the long run – in the short run they are the best the body can do under the circumstances.
When the body's energy producing ability is reduced, it is forced to make compensations – even if these compensations are highly destructive in the long run. For example, earlier I mentioned that increasing serum cholesterol is part of the body's defense system. Now obviously, a high cholesterol has its harmful consequences. But, under the circumstances, this is the best compensation the body can make.
The same analogy holds true of the increase of calcium that occurs during burnout. In the long run, calcification of the tissues occurs. But in the short run, the increase of calcium suppresses adrenal function in order to prevent further exhaustion.
Oftentimes, the body may actually create a magnesium deficiency so as to enhance your energy levels. In the long run, this magnesium deficiency (or low magnesium compared to calcium) can result in serious blood sugar problems.
But in the short run, this shortage of available magnesium actually prevents the adrenal glands from going into complete collapse – burnout! Unless the doctor understands these checks and balances, it is almost impossible to nutritionally guide a person out of burnout.
Nutritional Balancing is accomplished through the use of specific, balanced nutrient formulas created by Dr. Eck. These are the Endo-Met Laboratories formulas. It is nearly impossible to get the deep healing benefits of Nutritional Balancing without these formulas as they are very specific and precise. To try to mimic them means taking a separate pill for each individual nutrient in the recommended program and paying quite a bit more for it.
Each formula has a specific metabolic job to do. The hair tissue analysis will show which metabolic corrections and balancing that you specifically need. Giving these specific nutrient formulas according to the results of the hair tissue analysis is why these nutrients have effects that other nutritional programs and systems don't.
Then we retest the hair to track the effects of the program and update it if needed. Often the second or third test will be the most accurate in terms of the underlying metabolic state of the body.
We may be using any number
of stimulants and crutches when the first test is done. After a few
months of correction and possibly even the release of toxic metals or excess
nutrients, a very different picture can be revealed.
The first test is mainly about your coping strategy. What types of compensations and adaptations are the being utilized in order to keep you alive and functioning? What is that doing to your metabolic balance? What are some main sources of internal stress such as glucose intolerance, adrenal burnout or metal toxicity?
The first test is certainly plenty to get started with but as time goes on and the surface stresses and imbalances are cleared, we will dig deeper into older and chronic imbalances. This is where the real work is and where the miracles can happen. I do consider the curing my 30 years of epilepsy with Nutritional Balancing a miracle. I certainly wasn't expecting it.
Nutritional Balancing is a powerful way to correct a maladapted stress response and get back into a healing state. Sympathetic dominance and the fight or flight stress reactions are the drivers of chronic stress and the compensations the body must make to keep going.
The All Four Lows Pattern
This can eventually take you all the way into a freeze state which is seen on the hair tissue analysis as the 'all four lows' pattern. All four of the major electrolyte minerals are below the ideal levels. Dr. Eck called it 'give up'. This is where the only way to save you is to shut your system down to the bare minimum. Nutritional Balancing is the only system that detects and corrects this stress pattern. Standard nutritional therapies will always get it wrong and the treatments will make it worse.
This is generally true for fast oxidation and adrenal burnout as well. Standard fatigue and adrenal support programs will make all of these stress states worse. They can even cause them as most of these programs are over-stimulating to the metabolism.
Restoring Detoxification and Other Metabolic Functions
Many people mistake Nutritional Balancing for a detox program because restoring effective metabolism does result in giving the body what it needs for all the important metabolic functions including detoxification.
In addition, making the minerals bio-available and functional, allows the body to switch out the toxic metals it may have been using as substitutes for deficient or bio-unavailable nutrient minerals. This is a truly deep cleaning that comes about when the body is ready. But it could be called a side effect of the real purpose of the program; which is deep restoration of the body and full reversal of stress damage and the compensations and adaptations the body has resorted to.
As this deep healing process continues, retracing of old conditions can occur for a time as the body goes back to complete unfinished healing that may exist throughout the body. When energy is always inadequate, the body must make hard choices about where to put it.
Many things end up on the back burner waiting for a turn that may never come or will be too short. I call it duct tape and bailing wire -- just doing enough to hold it all together and keep going. This becomes a source of internal stress in itself.
As more and more
compensations are cleared, more free energy becomes available to the
body and it knows right where to put it. The program restores
balance at a deep level and then gets out of the way. The body knows
exactly what to do once it has the resources to do it.
Nutritional Balancing Trusts the Wisdom of the Body
Highly manipulative programs can cause as many side effects as drugs, and for a similar reason. The drug is designed to control symptoms, period. It is all about controlling that one disturbed function. They have their place and can be life savers, but they all cause side effects because they are disrupting the overall balance of the body.
Aggressive nutrient protocols, detox programs, and extreme diets are forcing the body into specific metabolic pathways whether it is the most important healing work to be done, or not. Overdoing detox can and will block deeper healing processes as the energies are diverted, and more stress is generated, due to the forcing of the body. Purgative therapies are draining and can have a very weakening effect on people who are already exhausted. They can have a time and place but are not for everyone.
Support and balancing allow the body to right itself and restore the deep sources of life and energy. Many other balancing, calming and stabilizing therapies can improve the results of Nutritional Balancing including Chinese Herbal Therapy which is also a balancing and energy based system. Meditation, careful exercise, nourishing food, and balanced rest contribute to coming out of the chronic stress patterns and freeing energy for healing and for life.
Bioenergetic scanning and correction through the NES Health program very clearly speeds up Nutritional Balancing significantly and works on important areas for healing such as the effects of trauma. It opens energy drains and blocks in the meridian system as described by Chinese Medicine. Biochemistry and bioenergetics are two sides of the same coin and work together very effectively.
It is called Nutritional Balancing for a reason and balancing is always the primary purpose of this powerful and deep healing nutritional program. To get a hair tissue mineral analysis to begin a Nutritional Balancing program, go to my Contact page.