Ahava Health - Helping People Heal for Real

This page explains in more depth the Developmentmethod of healing, formerly  known as "Nutritional Balancing." 

Please be aware that other websites may use these terms in other fashions. For example many different styles of "Nutritional Balancing" are practiced today. The only one I refer to here is that taught by Dr. Larry Wilson, which is now called Development.  The term Development is more accurate, given that the ultimate goal of our method is true health and not simply resolution of symptoms. You will find others who utilize different methods and principles than those of Dr. Wilson, and yet call their process Nutritional Balancing, or even Development. Therefore it can be confusing. If you are in doubt about whether you are reading about the Dr. Larry Wilson method of Development / Nutritional Balancing, I suggest you refer to his page of approved practitioners for a list of those who are following his methods. You can find the list here: www.drlwilson.com.

What Is Development?
Development is a "health-based" approach to healing. Its focus is on how the body has departed from a state of balance and true health, rather than on symptoms and how to eliminate them.

Of course, we all want to eliminate our symptoms, BUT, when the goal is to just do that, we often make things worse. Typically with symptom-suppression, the problem is not solved, and often the underlying imbalance gets worse!

With Development, imbalances in mineral levels and the energy production processes of the body are corrected so that healing proceeds naturally. Corrections are made through adjustments in diet, drinking water, lifestyle and nutritional supplementation. Detoxification therapies are also used, particularly near-infrared sauna therapy and detoxification enemas.

What Kinds of Problems Can it Help With?
Nutritional Balancing has proven effective in improving the health of people suffering from problems like fatigue, headaches, PMS, arthritis, brain dysfunction problems like ADD, digestive problems, thyroid imbalances, adrenal exhaustion and burnout, blood pressure and blood cholesterol abnormalities, frequent infections, poor wound healing, and many more problems too numerous to mention.

It has helped people with more deep-seated conditions such as autoimmune diseases and even some cancers. Dr. Wilson is cautious to state however, that it is NOT appropriate as a stand alone approach to combat cancer. For more on this see the article, "Cancer and Alternative Therapies" on Dr. Wilson's site.

It is  effective for most mental and emotional problems such as lingering effects of trauma. If you would like to read testimonials from individuals who have healed using the Development approach, please read Nutritional Balancing Testimonials on Dr. Wilson's website.

Even though it is not offered as treatment for disease, following a Development program often improves a person's health so much that their health problems disappear.

In fact, it sometimes happens that problems a client wasn't even trying to get help for resolve as general health improves. For example, the person attains a healthy weight while following a program to help with painful arthritis. Or dandruff or acne disappears when a person started a program to improve a state of chronic fatigue.

In fact, through the process of healing on a Development program, we learn very well that our bodies don't heal things in a compartmentalized way. The body has its own set of priorities, which it will follow to bring about deeper healing if only it is supported to do so.

How does the Development Approach work?
Nutritional Balancing uses hair mineral analysis testing to discover the details of how the body is functioning. If you are unfamiliar with this type of test, please see the following articles for more information:

Why use Hair Mineral Analysis?
Hair provides an ideal tissue sample to allow the body's metabolism and stress response to be analyzed. This works because the minerals the body uses in its enzymes and in building and maintenance are excreted into the hair. Thus, hair provides a record of how the cells and glands are working, and in particular, how the body is responding to stress.

Essentially with a hair analysis we can see a metabolic blueprint of the body's various processes, at the current time. It is constantly changing. Its a little analogous to using tree rings to find out about the "metabolism" of the tree over time. With hair however, we are looking at an average excretion of minerals over a given window of time.

One critical factor to keep in mind in regard to the use of hair mineral analysis is that not all practitioners look at a hair test the same way. Many practitioners interpret a hair test in a direct and simple way. For example, they think that a high calcium level means an individual has excess levels of calcium, or that the they are getting more than adequate calcium in the diet. This is not usually the case.

Another example might be to assume that a low level of copper on a test means a low level of copper in the body, which is definitely not true. The point is, reading a test is far from straight-forward. It takes about five years of practice following certification to become competent at analyzing a properly performed test. It takes even longer to learn to devise programs correctly. It took the founders of this method, Dr. Paul Eck and Dr. Lawrence Wilson a total of around 45 years to develop the method to its current level of effectiveness.

Some People Say Hair Testing Is Not Accurate or Helpful for Assessing Health
Most conventional practitioners in health and medical fields are not in favor of the use of hair mineral analysis to devise health or nutrition programs or for any purpose, for that matter. However, that is generally because they don't know how  Development and Nutritional Balancing work. Also, they may have come into contact with those who use the tests in a simplistic way like that outlined above, which is rather ineffective and possibly dangerous.

In the article titled, "Hair Mineral Analysis, An Introduction," Dr. Wilson discusses some of the criticisms made by conventional doctors and others. He explains why hair analysis is in fact very effective and valid. He says it is the ONLY way he knows of to correct metabolic problems in the body and to know which minerals someone needs and when they need them.

Hair mineral testing has been used in research worldwide, for decades, and has well-understood limits and principles. The tests are used in research on people and animals particularly to assess toxin levels. 

What Kinds of Things Can be Known from a Hair Test?
Hair test results and the correct interpretation of them can show health factors as:
  • metabolic rate: i.e. whether the body is in a state of fast oxidation or slow --
  • thyroid and adrenal strength and activity -i.e. whether the glands are over- or under-active 
  • carbohydrate tolerance - whether the person is overeating carbohydrates
  • presence of certain toxins such as lead, aluminum, mercury, etc.
  • mineral balance / imbalance such as  the ratio of sodium to potassium or calcium to magnesium -- these two ratios are among the most important factors that show on a test!
  • patterns relating to lifestyle and stress level, such as "sympathetic dominance" (over-using the sympathetic aspect of the nervous system) or a "Four Highs" pattern which indicates a person is under a great deal of stress and pushing themselves hard
  • other important patterns include "poor elimination" (most toxins and some nutritive minerals should be above certain critical levels. If they are very low, we know there is an excretion problem.)
  • tendencies for organ stress or dysfunction  --  indicated by some mineral ratio patterns...for example, kidney stress, chronic infections (showing as a low Na/K ratio), low thyroid function (a high Ca/K ratio), or excessive inflammation (a high Na/K ratio)

The amount of information that can be gained from a hair test is rather stunning. However, it is important to understand that we focus in Development / Nutritional Balancing on a relatively small number of factors which are the ones of greatest importance. Much of the remaining information, while interesting to note, is not essential in devising the program.

What Is Done With The Results From The Test?
The results are analyzed by the helper / practitioner. This involves a process of comparing ratios with ideal values, counting up a certain 'indicators' for various patterns and looking to some degree at single mineral levels and toxin levels.

This analysis process results in a picture of the client's functioning on various levels. It is also often possible to infer that certain problems may be present which are not revealed in an obvious way on the current test. 

All these factors, when correctly analyzed and placed in perspective, let the practitioner determine the client's healing program in a very detailed way. Based on the analysis, the Development program is devised and given to the client. From this, the client understands what the test shows and how to proceed with the healing lifestyle.

The program is adjusted and monitored as needed. Adjustments may be needed because sometimes people have difficulty with a certain supplement, even when their body needs it. Sometimes there are difficulties with other aspects of the program such as the detoxification procedures.

The practitioner's job is to help the client through these problems, as well as to recognize the retracing process when it is occurring, as this may be confusing to the client, and also to assist with many different types of issues that may arise on the journey to better health.

How Long Does a Given Program Last and How Long Does A Person Need to Do the Development program?
After about three to four months on a given program, a retest hair mineral analysis is done. The retest shows areas of progress and allows adjustments to be made to the program as the client's body chemistry changes.

This process of testing and program revision is done repeatedly. It usually takes two years to make significant progress, although noticable postive changes will be evident much earlier.

The body heals at deeper and deeper levels as the person progresses with their programs. It is the proverbial, "peeling of the onion" process -- which is how the body detoxifies. This is one of the most poorly understood aspects of true healing. The body cannot fix problems that originate at a deeper level than that of the body's "current operating system" so-to-speak. So, in other words, if a person has had a bronchial infection since they were 6 months old, they may still have that infection in some form until they detoxify to such a level as to lift out toxins and infections that took hold in the body at the time that they were 6 months old.

How long to stay on a program is more a matter of an individual's desire for a specific level of health. Some people are happy to stop the program once their chief complaint is gone or markedly improved; others want to gain the highest level of functioning that they can.

The time needed to heal depends upon the degree and severity of illness, as well as the length of time a person has been ill. Those who were very ill and/or toxic from an early age can expect it to take much longer than two years, usually, to reach a high level of health.

What Exactly Does a Nutritional Balancing Program Do/How Does it Adjust A Person's Biochemistry?
The key in Nutritional Balancing is always to balance body chemistry. By this we mean:
  • slow down a fast metabolism
  • speed up a slow metabolism
  • balance the nervous system (i.e. sympathetic vs. parasympathetic activity)
  • balance the stress response (calm an overactive one and support a weak/ ineffective one)
  • correct ineffective mineral ratios i.e. a sodium-potassium "inversion"
When these factors are pushed from imbalance toward balance, the body suddenly becomes effective at solving its own problems.

Why Does it Work?
Nutritional Balancing works because it is based on sound knowledge about how the human body actually functions, not how we wish it would function!

It also works because it leaves nothing out; it does not oversimplify the body, and it allows the body to be the master of its healing process. The body is not just a collection of parts, but a very sophisticated, interconnected system of systems with myriad interconnections. Often those who try to help us heal grossly oversimplify the human body, effectively treating it more like you would treat a car or a refrigerator, not a multi-level organism of vast complexity!

Take the following examples:
  • when someone has adrenal exhaustion, their adrenal glands will be unable to heal if the diet contains excessive carbohydrates, insufficient protein, too little chromium and perhaps also deficiencies of manganese and zinc. It will also be impossible to heal if the person will not rest adequately. Furthemore detoxification procedures may be essential. Unless enough of the right changes are made, the adrenals may never heal completely

  • In a case of poor blood sugar regulation, leading to a "pre-diabetic" state, there is usually some level of deficiency of zinc and manganese, as well as chromium. There may also be weakness or other problems in the pancreas which manufactures insulin. The "pre-diabetic" condition may never be impacted much even if the needed minerals are in fact supplemented if the condition of the pancreas is not improved.  Nutrients alone even when they are needed may not be enough.

It is actually somewhat difficult to convey the degree of precision and depth with which Development / Nutritional Balancing sees the body. It seeks to correct the conditions in the body with the utmost respect for nature and synergy and the overall balance of the organism.

To embark on a program requires some degree of trust and patience since the goal is to truly heal and not to just make the symptoms go away as quickly as possible.

The Healing Process
Usually problems are unraveled in reverse order from how they began. The body essentially has its "current operating system" which is the "superficial" level or layer. However, below that are other layers of older patterns and physiological states. This can be hard to understand at first, but as healing takes place we really begin to see that it is truly how our bodies work. This is the meaning of the term "retracing" which Dr. Wilson uses to refer to the process of the body going back to an earlier physiology in order to heal it, and thus heal overall at a deeper level.

Why Emphasize Health and Balance ?
Real health will never be reached as long as the body is basically weak and cannot make adequate energy.  Therefore, the Development process seeks to strengthen the body and improve its energy-making capacity. This is precisely how it succeeds in promoting healing. Energy is the currency of the body. When there is not enough, the body just maintains or even falls behind in maintaining the "status quo." When energy levels increase, the extra energy goes toward healing.

We can seem to eliminate the symptoms caused by bodily weakness and low energy, but those problems will return or worsen at deeper levels if the body is not made strong through rebuilding.  This is why many of the symptomatic treatments and remedies in use in other healing modalities seem to work for a while but ultimately fail.

A paradigm of symptom suppression will get you just that, not real health. A paradigm of healing based on the idea that health is a state of balance and vitality can potentially help you attain real, true health as defined on this website.

What Specific Factors Does Nutritional Balancing Focus On?
Nutritional Balancing focuses on the body's energy production processes and the glands and organs involved. So, we look at the strength of the thyroid and adrenals, for example and nourish these with special nutrient combinations and glandulars to help them heal.

It also focuses on mineral levels and ratios that affect other mineral levels; for example if we need to raise potassium in order to balance a stress response, we give zinc; if the sodium level is too low relative to potassium we give a special combination of three minerals. The body uses the "trace" or minor minerals to support, control and balance the major or macro-minerals. This is why, in our current state of mineral depletion, due to deficient diets and incorrect farming, we have such rampant disease and low vitality. Food today has from 1/10 to 1/100 as much nutritional value (i.e. mineral content) as it did a few decades ago.

There is a high degree of interconnectedness of the minerals and of organ and gland function in the human body. Only when this is known and taken into account can things be carefully nudged in the right direction to get healing to occur.

If The Body Can Heal Itself, Then Why Have I Not Already Healed?
The idea that the body will heal given the right circumstances may be somewhat difficult to accept at first, especially for those who have tried many approaches which have failed. Some people have come to believe, as I once did, that our health problems are so severe, or are genetically determined, such that real health and healing is not possible. This is not true in most cases.

The body can heal when it has what it needs. Genes can be turned on or off based on nutritional factors. The field of epigenetics is devoted to the impact environment has on the expression of genes. In most cases our genes are not our destiny.

When we cut a finger it usually heals without our doing anything special. In like manner, deeper problems can also be healed, but for this to occur we need to continually balance and re-balance the body and we need to replenish missing nutrients and get rid of toxins.

What Are Some of the Scientific Theories on Which Nutritional Balancing is Based?
The role of stress as a cause of poor health and disease is an important part of Nutritional Balancing Science. The idea of the various stages of the stress response is also critical. The famous Hans Selye, MD, elucidated these ideas early in the last century.

Another important idea is that of human beings as complex, self-regulating systems, as elucidated by Dr. Paul C. Eck,  the original founder of Nutritional Balancing Science. Dr. Eck developed the understanding of how the interrelated systems in the body work and how mineral levels are affected by these systems. For example, he figured out how the minor and trace elements impacted the levels of the macrominerals, and used this information to adjust the stress response from a less to a more healthy one. This formed, essentially, the beginning of Nutritional Balancing as a science and a therapeutic methodology.

Dr. Eck determined that mineral levels and ratios in hair can tell us such things as:
  1. the overall stage of stress of the body
  2. which glands or organs are over or under- active
  3. whether the body is burning fuel too  rapidly or too slowly
  4. other important information such as how well the body is eliminating toxins.
The knowledge gained by Dr. Eck to understand these relationships is truly phenomenal and a gift to all of us. It has the power to allow us to fine tune body chemistry in order to achieve the best function. Because of this, it can help prevent most conditions caused by imbalance and nutritional deficiency. It also has the potential to slow the aging process.

Orthomolecular medicine also informs and shares some features with Nutritional Balancing Science. It emphasizes the importance of identifying and correcting mineral deficiencies. Orthomolecular medicine uses nutrients in some cases almost like drugs to effect certain changes in physiology. This helps to avoid more toxic approaches. The famous nobel-prize-winning chemist, Dr. Linus Pauling, PhD and  a well known and remarkably long-lived Canadian physician, Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD are both well known for their work in this field called Orthomolecular Medicine. 

Also very important in Nutritional Balancing is the understanding that every mineral level in the body affects the levels of several other minerals. In turn, these can affect other mineral levels as well as the activities of vitamins and other substances. This fact can be almost staggering to contemplate when it is truly realized. It is one reason why Development / Nutritional Balancing is done very carefully, with the aim of letting the body regulate mineral levels according to its own wisdom, as much as possible.

What About Toxins and Detoxification?
A hair mineral analysis test can show how well the body is eliminating toxic elements such as arsenic, lead and cadmium. If the body has low vitality usually it is eliminating poorly. This means that most conditions of poor health involve toxin build up.

Nutritional Balancing helps remove toxins in a gentler way than therapies such as chelation, which can be very dangerous. Specific therapies such as sauna therapy and coffee enemas are used in Nutritional Balancing programs to aid in detoxification. Toxins can be more safely and effectively excreted through the skin and bowels when these therapies are used.

Supplementing the right minerals, in the right amount and at the right time also drives and improves detoxification. Additionally, supportive glandulars and nutrients are used to help the body cope with the high toxin levels in our world today.

It is truly astounding how toxic many of us are even without knowing it. This is why it can take a number of years to detoxify the body.

Isn't Hair Mineral Analysis Unreliable?
No. Hair mineral analysis is like other tests done on human tissues; in fact in many ways, for assessing overall health and mineral balance, it is better. Blood and urine mineral levels are subject to fluctuations that do not affect hair tests. They can be influenced by what the person ate at the last meal, their stress level at the moment the sample was taken, and other more fleeting factors. Hair levels of minerals, on the other hand, portray an average mineral excretion over a period of time. This provides a view of how the body's cells are functioning overall, not just at a single moment.

It is important for a hair test to be performed by a high quality lab. Dr. Wilson recommends only one lab, Analytical Research Labs (ARL), which has excellent accuracy and reliability. Dr. Wilson also repeatedly cautions that it is not good practice for laboratories to wash the hair prior to doing the hair mineral analysis. This is because washing the hair can selectively remove certain water soluble minerals, making the test invalid for some of the main purposes of doing the test.

In Summary...
The overall goal of Nutritional Balancing is to improve the health and development of individuals through balancing body chemistry, optimizing energy production and correcting deficiency and toxicity.

These corrections result in improved vitality and physical, mental, emotional and spiritual  healing.

The approach is based in adjustments to diet and lifestyle along with careful nutritional supplementation and detoxification therapies.

Following a Nutritional Balancing Program can lead to real health and deeper healing of the body and mind. It can lead to Development, or the unfolding of the true, often hidden potential inherent in every individual.

Get Started Toward Real Health Today
If you would like to have a hair test and get your individualized Development program started, please go to the Order Your Hair Test page and follow the instructions there.

Email me at sdruch@att.net if you have any questions, or call 602-421-1242. I am based in Phoenix, Arizona but I can work with individuals across the US, and internationally.

If you would like to know more about Nutritional Balancing, please find more information by reading the articles offered on Dr. Lawrence Wilson's website, at www.drlwilson.com.

Disclosure and Disclaimer: Nutritional Balancing does not diagnose, treat, cure  or prescribe treatment for diseases or conditions of any kind. Nutritional Balancing is a means of restoring balance and vitality through nutrition and lifestyle modification. This often results in improvement in health and wellbeing.

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