THE FOUR LOWS PATTERN
By Lawrence Wilson, MD
© January 2013, The Center For Development
One of the most important and interesting patterns on a hair analysis is called four low electrolytes or four lows. I consider its discovery and how to handle it one of the most important contributions to modern health science by Dr. Paul C. Eck.
Definition. The pattern is indicated when the hair levels are the following:
1. Calcium less than about 40 mg% or 400 ppm.
2. Magnesium less than about 6 mg% or 60 ppm.
3. Sodium less than about 25 mg% or 250 ppm.
4. Potassium less than about 10 mg% or 100 ppm.
Hair must not be washed at the laboratory to identify this pattern.
THE INCREASING INCIDENCE IN THE FOUR LOWS PATTERN
Thirty two years ago, when I began studying and using hair mineral analysis, four lows was a relatively rare pattern. It was seen mainly in hard-driving business executives. Now it shows up often in people of all ages, and even in children down to the age of even 1 year old. It also shows up more and more frequently in the process of healing or retracing. This article will help explain this trend.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE MINERAL LEVELS USED TO DETERMINE THE PATTERN
1. All four of the numbers must be in the ranges shown above. If even one of the minerals is even several mg outside this range, then often it is not a four lows pattern, and the material in this article does not apply. The range of accuracy of the pattern is quite amazing, and is a testimony to Dr. Eck’s research on the ideal mineral levels for a human being of any age, both sexes and probably all of the races of humanity. It is as if his ideal mineral values are part of the design specifications of a human being.
2. For accurate assessment, the hair sample must not be washed at the laboratory. If the hair is washed, this pattern cannot be accurately discerned. This is unfortunate, because four lows is one of the most critical patterns to identify in a hair mineral analysis, in our experience.
3. The four lows pattern has three different meanings, which must not be confused. These are:
A. Two of the meanings have to do with when it occurs on an initial hair test or a retest when it had appeared on the initial test.
B. The other meaning applies when it occurs only on a retest hair mineral analysis, and NOT ON THE INITIAL hair mineral test.
This article is therefore divided into three sections, each of which discusses one of the interpretations or meanings of the pattern.
FOUR LOWS PATTERN AND PREGNANCY
Here are a few important notes about a four lows pattern that occurs during a pregnancy:
1. One must add a multi-vitamin to the program such as Megapan to supply enough vitamins. Normally, a four lows nutritional balancing program does not contain a multi-vitamin-mineral. However, a small amount of general nutrients must be added to this program. This is not an issue if one is already taking a pre-natal vitamin, but it is important if you are not already taking a pre-natal multivitamin.
(We do not recommend taking pre-natal vitamin-mineral pills. They usually are not designed for one’s metabolic type so they will unbalance the body chemistry. Instead, a properly designed nutritional balancing program will supply all that is needed for pregnancy, and much more.)
2. If possible, do not become pregnant while in a four lows pattern. It is not quite as healthful and the likelihood of complications and problems is greater. Four lows should be a time of rest and reflection, and pregnancy is stressful and does not permit optimal rest.
ANALOGIES THAT MAY HELP TO UNDERSTAND THIS INTERESTING MINERAL PATTERN ON A FIRST HAIR ANALYSIS
Four analogies to help understand a four lows pattern:
A. A car that is spinning the wheels in a ditch and getting nowhere fast. Indeed, one is just wearing out the motor. People in a four lows pattern on an initial hair analysis may even say they feel like they are spinning their wheels.
B. A state of collapse in some manner. The pattern looks like a collapse on the calibrated chart from ARL.
C. Out in the cold without shelter. I say this because normally when the body is under a lot of chronic stress, after a while the sodium and potassium levels decrease and the calcium and magnesium levels rise. This increase in the level of calcium and magnesium acts like a form of protection or shelter that reduces the person’s stress in some ways, by literally suppressing alarm reactions in the body. However, with four lows pattern the ‘shelter’ does not arise, meaning that the calcium and magnesium levels remain low. So that is why one can say out in the cold without shelter.
D. In the tunnel of death. This is basically a type of shut-down sequence of events that takes place as one slowly dies. Some people report moving through a tunnel after they have had a near-death experience. When they come back to life, they also always report having to move back through a tunnel and coming out back in their bodies.
My understanding is that the tunnel idea is real. It is more like a type of repair shop or disassembly shop that we move through as we let go of the physical body as life in the body comes to an end. It is something like a recycling plant that takes things apart, separating out the parts, altering the materials to some degree, shutting down the systems of the device for safety and other reasons, to prepare one for one’s next step or next move out of the physical world.
OTHER WAYS TO UNDERSTAND A FOUR LOWS PATTERN ON AN INITIAL HAIR MINERAL ANALYSIS
1. Perhaps an attitude or lifestyle pattern. Some cases of four lows on a first hair analysis are what I call a lifestyle pattern. That is, the pattern is often related to a person’s attitudes or lifestyle. This is also why it may take a little longer to correct in many people who are not willing or easily able to change their lifestyle.
Lifestyle factors that may cause or contribute to the attitude are working too much or too hard, being much too hard on oneself or others, being in an oppressed or very stressful situation of some kind, or compulsive or obsessive tendencies that wear out the body.
Attitudes that could drive a person into a four lows pattern might include intense rage or anger, intense fear, even intense guilt or some other emotion that wears down or depletes the body.
While improving the attitudes and lifestyle are important for all healing, they are most important for this pattern when it occurs on a first hair analysis. Recall that if the pattern only occurs on a retest, it is not as important.
2. A yin pattern. This means the body is quite yin in Chinese medical terminology. Yin means cold, expanded, and often quite ill. In fact, four lows can be a death pattern, or end-of-life pattern.
3. An autonomic nervous system imbalance. This pattern represents an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system. It is an extreme sympathetic dominance pattern. This means the autonomic nervous system is involved and is not regulating itself properly.
Using the analogy of an automobile stuck in the mud or ice with the wheels spinning and getting nowhere, it is as if the person is disconnected from reality in a way and just keeps spinning the wheels instead of realizing he is not getting anywhere and should try a different way of living, thinking or acting.
4. A type of stalled transition pattern from fast to slow oxidation in most cases. This means that the person was formerly in fast oxidation, but the body cannot sustain the fast oxidation. As a result, the sodium and potassium levels have fallen. However, the person is not yet in full slow oxidation with elevated calcium and magnesium levels. This is the meaning of a stalled transition pattern. Others are four highs, sympathetic dominance and fast oxidation with a very low sodium/potassium ratio.
This also means that the resolution or outcome as one exits four lows is usually for the person to become a slow oxidizer. This may involve a psychological transition one must make, not just a biochemical one.
5. A possible H-P-A Axis Disconnect or Disengagement Of the Gearshift Pattern. The four lows pattern can represent a type of imbalance that affects what is called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis or H-P-A axis.
This means the normal feedback mechanisms that control the adrenal and thyroid glandular activity through the sympathetic nervous system are not working quite right. An interesting theoretical consideration is that it may be related to excessive copper, mercury or perhaps other toxins that affect the glands and the feedback system involving them.
6. A separate metabolic type. While it is true that a person with four lows on the initial hair analysis can be a fast, mixed or slow metabolic type, Dr. Eck believed that four lows is actually a separate metabolic type. This means that it has qualities and supplement requirements all its own, independent of whether the calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium levels indicate a state of fast, mixed or slow oxidation.
It is as though another pattern of stress or metabolism has been superimposed upon the basic system of fast, slow or mixed oxidation. This has important implications for the diet and supplement and lifestyle recommendations for this pattern, as explained later in this article.
Paul Eck, a pioneer of mineral analysis, found that people with four-lows often
do not respond well to standard nutritional balancing programs, or for that
matter, to most all healing programs.
Often they have consulted many doctors with poor results. Figuring out the meaning of four lows
and how to help these individuals took a lot of effort and was a tremendous
breakthrough for him that took 11 years or more of research.
8. A calcium dysregulation pattern. Four lows might have to do with calcium dysregulation, causing the hair calcium to remain very low for some reason. Vitamin D, however, does not seem to be closely involved.
9. Clinically, we always address this pattern first on a hair mineral analysis. Only when the person is out of the four lows pattern, can we address most other imbalances on the test. This means that in every single instance, so far, we do not address most other factors on a hair mineral test until the four lows pattern is addressed and corrected.
An analogy, again, is to first get the car out of the ditch where it is stuck, before trying to fix other problems with it. One reason is that trying to fix a person while he is “spinning his wheels” just does not work well. In contrast, the proper method of handling these cases works wonderfully in most cases.
10. A need for taurine, calcium, magnesium zinc, copper and trimethylglycine only. This is very important. The latest addition is that any adult with a four lows pattern will benefit from taking 500 mg of trimethylglycine. Children need less depending on their size and weight.
PHYSIOLOGY OF FOUR LOWS ON A FIRST MINERAL ANALYSIS
Two high and two low electrolytes are most common on hair analyses. Normally, on a hair mineral analysis, one may see elevated sodium and potassium levels with low calcium and magnesium levels. This tends to correspond to an alarm stage of stress, also called a fast oxidation rate.
One also may see the reverse - elevated calcium and magnesium levels with low sodium and potassium levels. This is generally an exhaustion stage of stress, also called slow oxidation.
Thus we find that calcium and magnesium levels tend to move in opposite directions to the sodium and potassium levels. This may be stated as they have an inverse relationship. As one set (calcium and magnesium) goes up, the other set (sodium and potassium) tends to go down.
While the reasons for this are complex, one simple chemical way to understand it is that sodium and potassium tend to solubilize or dissolve out calcium and magnesium from the body, lowering the levels in the tissues. Sodium and potassium are monovalent elements that are highly water soluble. Calcium and magnesium are divalent elements that are more like metals – forming hard, solid compounds. The two oppose each other as complementary opposites in our bodies in a unique balance of yin (sodium and potassium) and yang (calcium and magnesium). The normal tendency is that when less sodium and potassium are present, calcium and magnesium rise, and vice versa.
Four lows pattern on an initial hair mineral analysis only appears to be an exception. (the other exception is four highs pattern). In the case of four lows on a first tissue mineral analysis, we do not see two high and two low electrolytes. Sodium and potassium levels are decreased, indicating a state of adrenal exhaustion. However, calcium and magnesium are low, indicating an alarm reaction. So this pattern represents a combination or mixup of the stages of stress to some degree.
An ineffective alarm response in stress theory. One is exhausted, but keeps pushing oneself to try to produce an alarm response. However, it does not work and one just becomes tired out. The adrenal and thyroid glands just do not respond as they normally should. This is a way to understand the pattern from a stress theory perspective.
The reason could be, in part, due to a mental/emotional factor or a lifestyle or attitude, but toxic metals and other chemical imbalances may also play a role.
Why standard nutritional and medical approaches don’t work as well with a first-test four lows pattern. Standard nutrition programs and even many medical interventions often do not work as well because most seek to increase the person’s energy by enhancing the oxidation rate - increasing sympathetic nervous system activity. This is precisely what these people cannot do.
If they try to raise their sodium and potassium levels, the body tends to lower the calcium and magnesium levels further. However, since this would be very dangerous, it does not happen and the person does not respond or may get worse.
For example, medical and even holistic doctors often give these clients adrenal support, herbs for the adrenals, or thyroid hormones, in part to improve their energy level and often because the serum thyroid hormone levels are low due to increased cell permeability or other problems with the thyroid gland in these cases. Not only does this therapy fail, but the person usually gets worse. We find that, at times and for the best results, the person must stop taking the adrenal support glandulars or herbs, and must stop the thyroid hormones in order to get well.
Much more could be said about the physiology of the four lows pattern, but this is a basic introduction to what is going on in terms of the minerals, the hormones, and stress theory.
TYPES OF FOUR LOW PATTERNS BY THEIR CAUSE
It seems that there are different reasons why a four lows pattern occurs in different people. Common reasons are:
1. Lifestyle four lows. This type is due to overwork, lack of rest, and perhaps an attitude of driving oneself, being too hard on oneself, and perhaps a kind of cynicism, negativity and/or depression.
2. Psycho-spiritual four lows. This appears to be a type of defensive posturing by the body that I sometimes call ‘hiding in the ditch” or “hiding in the tunnel of death”.
This pattern, however, is not about death, but rather about a “resting ” It is not that uncommon in some very sensitive individuals, both men and women. It seems to be a way for the person to “hide” or protect the inner self until the person can get his or her bearings and emerge as an adult. It is seen most often in adults between the ages of about 15 and 25, and at times in younger adolescents and some children, as well.
Usually, there are few physical symptoms except perhaps fatigue and fears. It is a much less dangerous pattern, and it can respond faster in some cases than other causes for four lows.
3. Toxic metal four lows, with nutrient depletion. This is the most common type of four lows. It is simply an exhaustion metabolic type caused mainly by multiple toxic metals and other metabolic imbalances that cumulatively result in this pattern.
4. Other. Four lows can be a type of end of life pattern for other reasons, perhaps associated with certain diseases or other factors.
5. Retracing. This situation is discussed at the end of this article.
SYMPTOMS OF FOUR LOWS ON A FIRST TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS
Although one can have many symptoms, the most common ones are:
Fatigue: This is usually present. However, those who have not been in a four lows pattern for too long may not be in touch with their fatigue and may function very well with few complaints. They may continue to push themselves and use stimulants, activities, worry or other mental habits to drive themselves.
Allergies: This is probably due to a combination of exhausted adrenal glands, low adrenal reserves, possibly increased cell permeability, and perhaps other physiological imbalances and nutrient deficiencies.
Anxiety, irritability, insomnia, muscle tightness and muscle cramps: All of these symptoms are often due to low levels of available tissue calcium and magnesium.
Hidden copper toxicity or imbalance. In our experience, everyone with four lows has a copper imbaalnce, regardless of whether they have other indicators of hidden or overt copper imbalance and usually toxicity.
Hidden lead toxicity: Other common symptoms include a tendency for lead toxicity because lead will replace calcium as calcium becomes more deficient. The elevated lead will not be revealed on the first several hair mineral analyses due to an inability to mobilize lead from tissue storage. Only later, as the body’s energy improves with therapy will the lead often be revealed. Toxicity with other metals such as copper is also very common.
Impaired digestion and often food intolerances: This is due to stress, low digestive enzyme secretion and perhaps copper toxicity. Deficient amounts of gastric hydrochloric acid is associated with low levels of sodium and potassium. Food allergies are also often present.
Thus attention to diet and digestion is important. It is also one reason that pancreatin and perhaps hydrochloric acid are important supplements for them.
To assist digestion, excellent eating habits are important. These include quiet, regular, sit-down meals, thorough chewing and eating slowly. Others are avoiding overeating and complicated food combinations, and resting 15 minutes after eating before resuming activities.
Degenerative diseases: If one remains in the pattern for several years, degenerative disease and cancer, in particular, may develop. Other symptoms develop as a result of chronic fatigue, chronic inflammation, chronic allergies and digestive difficulties.
Early and late symptoms. In fact, almost any symptom can appear later as part of a four lows pattern. At this time, it is difficult to assess on an initial hair analysis how long a person has been in a four lows pattern, except by a perusal of the rest of the hair chart. In some cases, the other numbers are quite normal-looking, and this is an indicator that the four lows pattern is “early”, or has not been present for too long. It could have other meaning, however, such as that it is a psycho-spiritual four lows pattern.
THE FOUR LOWS PERSONALITY TYPE (ONLY WHEN THE PATTERN IS ON AN INITIAL HAIR ANALYSIS)
There may be a definite personality tendency associated with the four-low-electrolyte pattern when it appears on a first mineral analysis and is due to stress, mainly, rather than due mainly to toxic metals and nutrient deficiencies or to an illness. The four lows personality characteristics seem to include:
Š Intense, productive, driven and often self-critical and/or critical of others.
Š Often the adults work very hard and do not know how to relax.
Š They enjoy the intense drama of life, although they may not admit it. It is as though they enjoy the sound of the spinning of the car tires stuck in the ditch.
Š They are often quite unaware of their personality pattern and how it affects them and others around them.
Š Many are frustrated, negative and cynical. They have all given up at some level, perhaps because they have sought help without result.
Š They have a definite death wish. They are not happy people, as a general rule.
Š They are usually fast oxidizer personalities or stress seekers, whether or not they are aware of it. However, they are tired and unable to maintain this lifestyle and keep up their health.
Š They may also have somewhat of a compulsive and perfectionistic tendency in their personality.
Š Many are good people who have given up at some level and just ‘hanging in there’, but are not too open to changing themselves at deep levels.
the personality issue can be important to correct a four-lows pattern when it appears
on a first mineral test. One who
becomes aware of the personality pattern and makes lifestyle and attitudinal
changes will respond much faster.
SABOTAGING THE PROGRAM
Some people with four lows on the first tissue mineral analysis are actually running away from life with their activities, worries, etc. For these people, slowing down is indeed frightening and perhaps painful as old memories and traumas may surface.
These people need large doses of self-love and compassion for oneself. These can help one face whatever comes up and realize that one can get through it, and it is best to let go of old traumas rather than keep them bottled up inside.
Sabotage. Some people with four low electrolytes believe their condition is just getting worse if they slow down, and may consciously or unconsciously fight the program. This just slows their progress.
Perhaps you know people who believe the only way to get a car out of the ice is to spin the wheels fast. Any other approach feels like giving up. Understanding the pattern thoroughly is helpful so that one realizes that slowing down is needed, even if one is unsure what that entails.
If one does not understand this, one is likely to sabotage the program when the feeling of fatigue and relaxation occurs. One may begin using stimulants like caffeine, thyroid or adrenal hormones, stimulant herbs, or taking high-dose B complex vitamins "just to get a boost". This can seem harmless enough, but it is not. I attempt to explain that these may be okay once one is out of the pattern, but until then it only slows down progress.
It is as though, if the car is stuck in the ice, one tells the driver to slow down the wheels, so that one can place a piece of wood or other material under the wheels to improve traction. Just as you are placing the wood, the driver decides to step on the gas again.
A case history of four lows. Years ago, a lawyer consulted me who had the four-lows pattern on his first hair mineral analysis. He began a nutritional correction program and he felt better within a month.
However, instead of listening to the advice about slowing down, this client took on more work, and in fact proudly reported he could now work seven days a week. One day he called, concerned because he felt dependent on the supplements.
I again explained the personality connection. However, he refused to slow down. I realized I was unable to do more for him as long as he stubbornly maintained his breakneck, compulsive lifestyle. I consider this case a failure on my part because I could not educate the client sufficiently for him to change his lifestyle. However, this article had not been written – maybe it will help others like him, of which there are many today.
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL - COMMON CAUSES OR REASONS FOR FOUR LOWS ON A FIRST HAIR TEST (from Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis, 4th edition, 2010)
To help reverse a four lows pattern, it is helpful to know how and why a person may move into the pattern. Some reasons are described below:
1. END OF LIFE PATTERN.
Causes. A combination of nutritional depletion, fatigue, perhaps, and mental decay cause a degree of wanting to move on from this lifetime. Medical doctors may subtly communicate to older people that they are needing to die soon. This happens because the medical doctor cannot really rebuild the older person’s body using drugs, so the only alternative is to let the patient die. The habit of drugging the elderly just speeds the process along. I all this ‘medical disease’, and it is very prevalent today. As a result of all the above, the seventh chakra that brings life energy into the body begins to close and life comes to an end.
Whom. Millions over the age of 55-70, or very ill people at any age.
What they need and how to help them. Nutritional balancing is fabulous to help reverse the death wish and revive a desire to live.
2. LIFESTYLE CAVE IN.
Causes. Feeling overwhelmed, such as from a job loss, becoming ill or disabled, or some other stress such as a divorce. The person is also often toxic from unhealthy diets and other reasons. This adds to the problem, but is not the total cause. All the stress causes a “cave in”.
Whom. This is the most common cause of four lows in America. It occurs in men, as much or more than in women. Most are hard-working, white-collar or blue-collar workers.
How to help them: They can do well on a nutritional balancing program. The problem is getting them to stay with the program, as it requires more discipline, especially dietary discipline, than most are accustomed to.
3. EXHAUSTED AND DEPLETED.
Causes. Collapse occurs due mainly to nutritional depletion. Many are vegetarians or
have followed raw food or other extreme or deficient diets for years. Other types of stress add to the problem, but are not the major cause.
Whom. Affects men, women and children equally, mainly in Western societies where the diets are mainly refined foods, and the bodies are further weakened by chlorinated and fluoridated water, medical drugs, vaccines, air pollution and other insults to the bodies.
What they need and how to help them. They absolutely require the correct nutrition, along with a few supplements, but not too many, and often they require much more rest.
Causes. A delicate nervous system, along with neurosis, a faulty attitude or excessive stress of another kind, causes extreme anxiety and finally a collapse. Copper imbalance is often prominent, contributing to anxiety, fears and emotionality.
Whom. Mainly women over 25 with delicate nervous systems. However, it could be anyone who cannot relax because they worry constantly, even though they may sleep a lot.
What they need and how to help them. In addition to nutritional balancing, these people need the Roy Masters meditation and relaxation methods such as breathing, gentle walking or other methods to calm the mind.
5. SEXUAL ADDICTION AND DEPLETION.
Causes. Collapse is caused by overdoing on sexual activity.
Whom: Less common, but occurs in hetero- and homosexual men and some women.
What they need and how to help them. They are easy to help with nutritional balancing if they will reduce their sexual activity.
6. BLOWN OUT OR STRUNG OUT.
Causes. Collapse is caused by a combination of factors. However, the main one is being ‘strung out’ on a drug. It is most often sugar or caffeine, but it could be due to marijuana, methamphetamines or others. This leads to extra stress, confused thinking and poor quality lifestyle decisions. After a few years of living this way, the nervous system is ‘fried’ or becomes overwhelmed, causing one to collapse into four lows.
Whom. Common among some groups of Americans and Europeans, in particular.
What they need and how to help them. They need a new lifestyle, a clean diet, no stimulants or drugs, and a four lows nutritional balancing program. Progress will be slow if the body is loaded with drugs. Sauna therapy is most helpful to remove some of them. Advanced cases are more difficult to heal due to the poisoning of the nervous system with drugs.
7. DISEASED, OPPRESSED AND VICTIMIZED.
Causes. Collapse is due to inner stress from fear, starvation, disease and working too hard to survive. This is aggravated by stress from outside the body such as frequent wars, political unrest and often outright oppression by vampire-like governments. This results in epidemics of serious illnesses such as AIDS that further weaken the body until it collapses, often at a young age. Most do not live long lives.
Whom. Very common in developing nations, but it is not seen much in Western capitalist societies that are more prosperous and respect the rights of individuals and women, in particular.
What they need and how to help them. They are quite easy to help if they could afford good food, and if they could rest, which most cannot as they are kept poor and almost in slavery by their corrupt governments.
8. MENTALLY EXHAUSTED.
Causes. This occurs in some cases of multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease and others. The person is mentally very intense, and not mentally balanced. Eventually the nervous system ‘crashes’ due to overwork, lack of rest, nutritional depletion and lack of mental control. This is very different from a lack of emotional control. Mental control has to do with resting the mind during the day instead of running it full bore all the time. In a few cases, the person’s mentality could be described as “loopy” meaning going in circles and without direction or much clear intent.
Whom. Relatively rare, and seen in cases of multiple sclerosis and perhaps other mercury toxicity syndromes.
What they need and how to help them. This pattern may be difficult to help with nutritional balancing, especially in long-standing cases. One must help the person to slow down mentally, which they do not like and/or have great difficulty with, thanks to mercury or other metal toxicity and perhaps mental problems. The Roy Masters meditation is most helpful, but they often do not like it because it raises awareness and can go around the conscious mind.
(end of excerpt from Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis)
CORRECTION OF A FOUR LOWS PATTERN ON A FIRST TEST
Analogies for how to correct a four lows pattern are:
1. Rebooting the computer. You shut the machine down and start it up again, and for whatever reason, it works.
2. Putting the adrenals to bed.
3. Slowing the wheels of the car to get it out of the ditch.
4. Reversing the shut-down sequence and backing out of the tunnel of death.
5. Helping to rebuild the boat so that it can leave dry dock.
Principles of correction.
1. Do not use foods, supplements, drugs, herbs or other measures that tend to increase the sodium and potassium levels. Most people in four lows on a first test are tired, so the obvious principle would be to give them foods, herbs and supplemental nutrients to support their glandular activity.
However, when sodium and potassium increase, calcium and magnesium levels tend to decrease. In these people, calcium and magnesium are already low. The body does not permit further decreases, as this could be harmful.
For this reason, programs designed to boost thyroid and adrenal glandular activity, or other ways to increase energy production usually do not work. The person may feel better for a time, and then crashes or just does not respond well ever.
2. Put the adrenals to bed. The correction of four-lows depends on suppressing or turning off the sympathetic nervous system enough so that the adrenal and thyroid glands can rest and rebuild. This is analogous to slowing the wheels of a car that are spinning out of control.
Another analogy is rebooting or restarting a computer because it is stuck in a loop. It is like pushing the reset button on an electrical appliance. This is a very crude analogy, but it appears to be valid in some instances.
3. Lifestyle alone may be enough in a few cases. Resting a lot more, sleeping more, slowing down one’s life and adopting a positive, relaxed attitude could alone take a person out of the four lows pattern, theoretically, though it rarely seems to be enough.
4. More precise nutritional correction, however, is most helpful in most cases. Most of the time lifestyle changes are not enough, in our experience. Otherwise, the pattern tends to persist and can be quite intractable. Dr. Eck figured out how to do this, as follows:
DIET, SUPPLEMENT AND LIFESTYLE PROGRAM OUTLINE
I do not like to provide supplement recommendations without a hair mineral analysis, because at times, programs must be altered. However, I can give the broad outline of the approach to use with supplements.
1. It involves higher doses of only a few supplements. These always include calcium, magnesium, zinc, a powerful digestive aid, taurine, fish oil, vitamin D and kelp. At times, one may need to add copper and manganese. Lately, I have added TMG or trimethylglycine with excellent results. Avoid most other supplements until the pattern corrects. This is critical!
2. A very few other products may be used as options. They include Renamide, a kidney support product, a food-based selenium product, and perhaps ICMN, a relaxing product that contains inositol, choline, methionine and niacinamide. These are lipotropic factors that are occasionally helpful, but usually not used. In general, avoid all other food supplements. This is hard to do because the patients feel exhausted and have other symptoms, but is necessary.
3. Warning: Taking other supplements, especially B-complex, vitamin C or E, adrenal or thyroid support, stimulating herbs like ginseng or others, will usually wreck the program. Thyroid medication will also wreck the program and must be stopped.
4. For children, one must modify the dosages according to weight and age. However, at times, children need much higher doses of the above nutrients than their weight or size would indicate.
5. Diet modification, as explained elsewhere in this article, is most important with a four lows pattern. All sugars, fruit, sweets, juices, yin foods, and stimulants such as caffeine and hot, spicy foods, should be eliminated. One should use the diet that is correct for the oxidation type.
6. Lifestyle modification is also very helpful. This includes items such as much more rest and sleep, slowing one's pace of life, relaxation, slow walking, meditation and relaxation exercises, and deep breathing.
7. Mental/emotional correction. Equally important in a few cases is to reduce worry, fear, compulsiveness, anger, cynicism and other negative emotional factors that tend to drive and stimulate the sympathetic system.
8. Near infrared sauna therapy, coffee enemas, and the Roy Masters meditation are extremely helpful for this pattern.
9. Other relaxing therapies that may help inhibit excessive sympathetic or fight-or-flight nervous system activity include massage, gentle chiropractic, other bodywork such as Rolfing, meditation, or other gentle therapies.
Adverse effects of four lows programs. At times, high doses to calcium, magnesium and zinc can make the four-lows individual more tired for a while. It is wise to warn the patient of this possibility. If the fatigue is very annoying, the dosages may be reduced slightly.
Rarely, someone gets diarrhea from all the magnesium in a four lows supplement program. In this case, reduce the magnesium component of the program only. This is surprisingly rare, however, indicating that these individuals must require enormous amounts of magnesium when in this metabolic condition.
Four lows programs and enzyme inhibition. I suspect that taking a lot of calcium, in particular, acts as an enzyme inhibitor in cases of four lows. In some way, this can shift the body out of this pattern. I do not know exactly how Dr. Paul Eck learned about giving up to 2200 mg of calcium and about 1600 mg of magnesium in four lows cases, but it usually works wonderfully, and perhaps this is part of the mechanism.
Role of taurine. Taurine in a four lows program seem to assist cell membrane function. It is known that as we age, unmethylated phospholipids build up in the cell membranes. These inhibit proper functioning of the cell membranes. Taurine in large doses, (3 grams daily for adults) can help reverse some of this and thus speed a person out of the four lows pattern.
EMERGING FROM A FOUR LOWS PATTERN
Adults should exit a four lows pattern into a standard slow oxidizer pattern. Rarely, a person exits into a fast oxidizer pattern. This is called “backing out of the tunnel”. It occurs during some nutritional balancing programs and is okay. However, at times, if this occurs, the person will soon go back into four lows, perhaps bouncing in and out of the pattern several times, until they finally exit into slow oxidation.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO EXIT FROM A FOUR LOWS PATTERN ON A FIRST TEST?
Since many factors can contribute to the four lows pattern, the time required to come out of the pattern varies widely.
In some people, four-lows is very temporary. It may show up on one test, and then disappear on the next. In other cases, a year or even longer required to come out of the pattern, though this is less common.
Taking TMG will often speed a person through the four lows experience.
CHILDREN WITH FOUR-LOWS ON A FIRST TEST
Possible causes for four-lows on the first mineral analysis of a young child are:
1. A parent has the four-lows pattern and the child picks up the personality tendency from a stressed parent. Usually the parent is demanding of the child, and the child responds with the four-lows type of stress response.
2. More and more children today are born so nutritionally depleted or toxic, or with a tendency for the four lows personality pattern that they are predisposed to develop the pattern at a young age. It is seen in some children who have been diagnosed autistic or ADHD, but is found in others, too.
3. Some children seem to like four lows as a defensive psychological posturing for a while. However, these children are all nutritionally depleted, so this may be considered just a variant or the second reason above.
Fortunately, children's personalities are less set and thus correction often occurs faster than in adults. The same principles of correction apply: to reduce stress of every kind, rest more, and give only a small supplement program. Give the same basic products - calcium, magnesium, zinc, taurine, TMG, kelp, and possibly copper if the sodium/potassium ratio is less than 2.5. Most children also need a little supplementary fish oil or vitamin D if they are older than about age 4 or 5.
Giving a digestive aid to a child with a four lows pattern may also be helpful.
PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL FOUR LOWS PATTERN - A “SAFE” AND MORE RESTFUL BIOCHEMICAL PLACE OR SITUATION
We have observed that some people love a four lows program. This seems odd because it involves taking a large amount of calcium, magnesium and often zinc, which have a somewhat depressing effect upon body chemistry. In seeking to explain this, it appears that a four lows pattern can act as an adaptation to stress in that it may be a protective pattern for some people.
A crude analogy is an inexperienced driver who knows that rather than drive in the snow, he is better off spinning his wheels in a ditch safely at the side of the road. Another crude analogy is a mentally unstable person who prefers to be locked away in jail rather than out on the streets so that he will not harm himself or others.
Four lows can thus apparently act as a “safe haven” in some ways, for some people. These are usually very emotional or sensitive individuals who may not feel comfortable at a particular time of their life. They usually emerge easily from the pattern with a nutritional balancing program that gets rid of their biochemical imbalances.
VARIANTS ON THE FOUR LOWS PATTERN
Recent research indicates there are variants on the four lows pattern. They include:
1. Low four lows. This is a four lows pattern with extremely low levels of at least two of the four macromineral numbers. One might call it deep in the tunnel of death. Dr. Eck realized that the lower the hair analysis numbers in a four lows pattern, the more severe the pattern, in general. It can be handled with the same type of nutritional balancing program, but it indicates even less vitality, more toxicity, and it may take longer to emerge from.
2. Four lows with a low sodium/potassium ratio. This is also a more severe four lows pattern that may take longer to emerge from and usually indicates a lower vitality level.
3. Four lows may also be seen with a very low phosphorus reading or more than 3 or 4 poor eliminator patterns. This also tends to indicate a more severe situation.
Four lows also combines with many other patterns, such as a slow oxidizer bowl, a fast oxidizer bowl, a double low ratio, a double high ratio, a hill (rarely), or others. These are less important, I believe, in most cases.
FOUR LOWS ON A RETEST ONLY
(In other words, the first test or tests did not show a four low pattern, and it only shows up on a retest).
A celebration pattern. If a four lows pattern shows up only on a retest hair mineral analysis when a person is following a nutritional balancing program, it most often has a very different meaning. The meaning seems to be that the body goes back into the tunnel or the “repair facility” for a process of re-planning one’s life because life is going to be extended, and life is going to be a lot healthier as well. It is truly a celebration of life and restoration of life.
Uncommon except with a nutritional balancing program. This happens regularly on a nutritional balancing program, but not in too many other situations, to my knowledge. In other words, it does not tend to occur with other medical or natural healing programs in most cases.
Analogies to help understand this pattern. The following analogies may seem corny, but they convey the meaning of four lows pattern on a retest very well.
1. Back in the tunnel. One does apparently re-enter the tunnel of death, but not to die. Instead, a repatterning of the soul, or new life planning process takes place. It is as though the person is reconfigured and prepared to live a longer, more full life when a person goes into a four lows pattern on a retest. I know this may sound strange, but that is what people sometimes report.
2. The dog is resting in the dog house. This pattern reminds me of a dog who comes in after a hard day or a fight, and just curls up in the corner to heal for a week or a month, or longer. This is accurate, in that it is a low energy state, and requires mostly rest to move through most easily and quickly.
3. Car in the repair shop for an overhaul. Retracing a four lows pattern is also analogous to leaving your car at the repair shop for a major overhaul because you have decided to keep the old car, and you have told the mechanic to go over every inch of the car and attend to every possible problem and fix everything for the future.
4. The boat is in dry dock for repairs. This analogy is one of the best. The supplement program apparently “shores up the boat while it is in dry dock”. This is like the boards and beams used to keep the boat upright while it is in dry dock, so it can be worked on. The supplements literally give certain souls the opportunity to refurbish the body and soul to a degree, so it can be once again released into the ocean of life.
Diet and supplements for four lows on a retest. These are generally the same as the supplement program for a four lows on an initial hair mineral analysis. However, at times, less taurine is needed. I am not sure why this is so, but some people report needing less taurine when four lows pattern only occurs on a retest.
Emerging from four lows that shows up on a retest. Surprisingly, coming out of a four lows pattern on a retest can take up to a year or more. I am not sure why it may take this long. However, it is not a problem at all, though some people become discouraged or believe the program is not working for them. Taking more TMG may speed up the process – up to 1000 mg daily.
My observation in these instances is that the program is working perfectly, but for some reason the four lows pattern is best for a while. So please do not be discouraged if it takes a while to emerge from this pattern during the course of following a nutritional balancing program.
Re-entering a four lows pattern several times. This is possible. In other words, one may enter the pattern, emerge for a while, and then retrace the pattern once again. This is perfectly okay, and apparently just is what is needed in this instance. Be sure to adjust the diet, lifestyle and supplement programs accordingly.
Other celebration patterns are the hill pattern, and the step-down pattern or stepping into life pattern. Another one is the coming alive pattern and the up elevator pattern on retests. Others that are usually celebration patterns include any major increase in the oxidation rate on a retest, and in most cases any major improvement in the sodium/potassium ratio.
Notes about Trace Elements, Inc. and Other Labs In Regard To The Four Lows Pattern
At this time, Trace Elements, Inc., in their hair test interpretations, does not recognize the four lows pattern. Also, they do not offer the special supplement programs required for its correction that Dr. Eck discovered.
Also, determining a four lows pattern from a Trace Elements, Inc. hair analysis is definitely more difficult because the ideal values were changed and the ideals are not printed on the chart. Their corrective programs are also not good enough, so I cannot recommend this lab for hair testing.
Using other labs for hair testing is even worse. They tend to wash the hair, so the four lows pattern is very hard to recognize, if not impossible. I only suggest using Analytical Research Labs for this reason.
FOUR HIGHS AND THE HIGH TUNNEL
A somewhat related pattern is a very high four highs pattern. This means that all four of the macrominerals – calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium – are quite high and off the graph.
This pattern is also akin to the tunnel of death, in some ways. However, it is much less severe than four lows pattern, and it does not seem to require a special program, as does four lows.