Hair Analysis or tissue mineral analysis has been around for decades now. Essentially sophisticated machines are used to determine the levels of minerals, trace minerals and certain toxic metals in the hair. Simple right!
The next concept is that the minerals in the hair are representative of the nutritional status of the tissues that grew the hair. Therefore, that the hair mineral or toxin levels can translate into body or cellular levels. This one has proved to be a bit more controversial.
Therefore this painless test could give us information on certain nutritional deficiencies, or malabsorbtions – or even an excess of a particular mineral or heavy metal.
It is also possible for an experienced interpreter to take the test to another level. Then the balances or ratios of certain important ratios are considered. There is a reason Calcium and Magnesium are typically sold together, they are an important mineral pair and the levels in the body should ideally be in balance – an imbalance here could have certain specific effects on our health. Another thing to remember about minerals, is that the body has the ability to retain or excrete them. An example of this would be diuretics (where the natural balance can be affected by medication) that can cause sodium loss via the kidneys. Similarly the levels of certain hormones (like stress hormones) can affect the mineral balance of the body. Meaning that it might also be possible to determine something about the endocrine system by studying these mineral balances.
So this simple, painless test can potentially give us information about deficiencies, absorption and hormonal balance but what about the toxins. This would be the more well known application for the test – checking for heavy metals. Heavy metals have become a bit of a buzz word, where they have been blamed for pretty much everything under the sun. While I do not think that they are the cause of all that ails us, I would certainly consider checking them, at least, in cases of auto-immune disease, Autism or even severe ADD / ADHD.
So, my personal thoughts? I have been doing hair analysis and writing my own reports for at least the past 12 years and have found it to be a useful test. Considering how difficult it is to test for heavy metals it is still my test of choice in any case where this underlying toxin could conceivably be involved. Another plus is the fact that it is perfectly safe for pregnant women and children, and that there is no need to use a needle – a big plus for parents and children.
The laboratory that I have used for many years is Analytical Research Labs in Phoenix Arizona http://www.arltma.com/