Spiritual Defensiveness or Lifestyle Stress Pattern

This is a very interesting hair mineral analysis pattern. It can be called the lifestyle pattern, or out of integrity pattern.

Definition. The pattern is present whenever the calcium/magnesium ratio in a hair sample that has not been washed at the laboratory is greater than 13.5:1. The higher the ratio above 13.5, the more important is the imbalance.

Basic meaning. When this pattern is present on an initial or a retest hair analysis, it indicates that something in a person’s lifestyle or outer life is interfering with health.

Basic causes. Situations that cause this pattern are somewhat different in adults and in children.

In adults, the causes are:

– Job or career problems.

– Close relationship difficulties, such as remaining in a marriage when one should leave, or not being willing to work on the marriage to improve it.

– Drug use, including any use of marijuana. Social drinking of alcohol, however, does not cause the pattern. This seems unusual, but it is true. This is one reason I cannot ever recommend the use of pot or CBD oil.

– A bad attitude, usually a negative attitude about life.

In children, causes are:

– Family or parent-related issues. A common one is a bad attitude of a child toward his parents. Child abuse will also cause the pattern.

– School problems.

History. This pattern was discovered after Dr. Paul Eck’s passing in 1996. We have observed it many hundreds of times, since then.


When the calcium/magnesium ratio is above about 13.5 on an initial hair mineral analysis, the following appears to be the case:

1. It is not about carbohydrates in the diet, or only about the diet. This is important as the elevated Ca/Mg previously was thought to relate only to the amount of carbohydrates in the diet.

It is possible that the carbohydrates are excessive and one is exceeding one’s carbohydrate tolerance, but the spiritual defensiveness pattern means far more than this.

2. It has to do with a factor in a person’s lifestyle or attitude that no longer serves the person. This might be:

a. A personal relationship that is not working well for a person. This could be a marriage, but it can also be any personal relationship, such as parent to child or some other.

b. A work or job-related relationship or situation that is not working to the person’s best interest. This could be the type of work, or the office situation, or something else to do with one’s work, job or career.

c. Another relationship, including a relationship with drugs, for example, or an attitude, which is a relationship with an idea in one’s head.

d. Drug use. The use of any recreational drug often causes this pattern. This includes all marijuana use.

It does not occur with the use of prescription medicine, however. It also does not occur with the use of alcohol, in most cases.

e. Rarely, it may have to do with a generally sloppy or disorganized lifestyle, rather than a particular lifestyle factor.

f. Another situation. Occasionally, the pattern has to do with one’s schooling, one’s location, a family matter or something else that impacts the lifestyle.

3. This is a very important pattern for counseling a client. If we see this pattern, often there is a situation that needs changing. It is a “need to let go” pattern.

Note that spiritual defensiveness pattern may not show up on an initial hair mineral test, and may only be revealed on retests. This is discussed below.

4. Meaning of the pattern on retests. The spiritual defensiveness pattern may have a slightly different meaning on hair mineral analysis retests:

a. On a retest hair analysis, an elevated calcium/magnesium ratio may indicate the elimination of biounavailable calcium or “metastatic calcium” through the hair. This is excess calcium that was building up in the body in the wrong places, hence the name metastatic. It accumulates in places such as the arteries, kidneys, brain and elsewhere.

This can be a good sign on a retest, although it will unbalance the calcium/magnesium ratio temporarily.

b. The pattern can be a retracing of an old decision or lifestyle pattern.

c. If, however, the pattern shows up on the first mineral test and persists on the second or third test, most likely it is not an elimination of excessive calcium, but rather indicates a spiritual defensiveness pattern that has not been dealt with yet.

d. If the pattern shows up just on a retest, or becomes worse (the Ca/Mg ratio increases), it may also be because something in the lifestyle needs to be corrected, and the nutritional balancing program is bringing out this fact. For example, as one heals during a nutritional/mineral balancing program, it can become even more important to stop using marijuana, for example, or to let go of a toxic relationship that is harmful and no longer needed.

5. Other meanings. A very high calcium/magnesium ratio could be due to a kidney imbalance that is affecting calcium and magnesium. These minerals are regulated through the kidneys, as are most minerals. However, usually it is a lifestyle pattern, as well.

6. Defensiveness, in general. An elevated calcium/magnesium ratio, especially with an elevated level of calcium and of magnesium, is indicative of defensiveness, in general. This was a discovery of Dr. Eck many years ago. In the spiritual defensiveness pattern, a person often is consciously or unconsciously defending a lifestyle factor or attitude that is not serving the person and really needs to change.

7. It can be an “ending pattern”. This means that something in a person’s lifestyle or attitude is no longer appropriate and needs to end.

8. Energetic meaning. Magnesium is associated with energy, while calcium is associated with structure, stability, hardness and protection. We may surmise that a spiritual defensiveness pattern is associated with excessive structure in relation to the amount of energy expended.

A somewhat related understanding is that one is expending too much energy in some way, but not getting much in return.


Defensiveness can be:

Active. This is an active resistance to change, perhaps with denial or running away to avoid change. It can be due to ignorance, laziness, fear, resentment or inertia. It is common, especially as one ages and tires out.

Passive. This is simply holding on to an attitude or idea from the past. The attitude may have served in the past, but no longer serves one.

This is an aspect of living in the past and not wanting to change. It is a kind of inertia of the personality that often sets in as one gets older, in particular, although it can occur even in a child. One simply does what one has always done, or thinks as one has always thought. This amounts to defensiveness even if one is not trying to defend one’s lifestyle or attitude.

Either way, if the pattern persists, it can eventually cause burnout and a four lows pattern. The body gets completely worn out from doing something that is useless and harmful, even if it seems to be okay.


Nutritional/mineral balancing program often helps this pattern by improving a person’s adaptive energy and healing old traumas that can hold a person in an old lifestyle pattern.

Pointing out the presence of the pattern is also very useful for our clients. It can often help one to realize that something in one’s life is out of integrity and not working well.


Dr. Eck felt that the calcium/magnesium ratio has to do with pretending or pretentiousness. One may be pretending or imagining that a situation is correct or good when, in fact, it is not.


Pretending is an act of will and ego stubbornness in which one wishes something were a certain way, so one just assumes that is the way it is, even though it is not true. This is a common human trait.

Spiritual defensive pattern can be about a stubborn will that is being misused to defend or protect an attitude or other lifestyle factor or attitude.


When a spiritual defensiveness pattern shows up, it means that nothing is really holding you back from changing your situation. One may say, “but I have to stay in this relationship, or I have to stay in this job”. However, the pattern usually indicates that, in fact, one can now leave the situation without serious consequences.

There may seem to be factors holding the person in the situation, but at the deepest level there is nothing holding the person to it and one can move on, and needs to move on.

Sometimes one may need to be in a situation, a job, a relationship, or one may even need an illness for some reason such as to learn some type of lesson. The spiritual defensiveness pattern seems to indicate that the situation or attitude is no longer needed. Perhaps the lesson, or debt has been completed or resolved.


A spiritual defensiveness pattern may be associated with another curious and newer observed phenomenon. At times, a life situation that is not working well will cause a depression of the hair magnesium level.

Physiologically, I do not know why this occurs. A psychological or more metaphysical reason is that magnesium, as an element, is bright and shining. It is possible that when a person remains with an attitude or lifestyle that is not appropriate, somehow it ‘dims one’s light ’, and this is associated with a lowering of the tissue magnesium level in relation to the calcium level.


This is a name given to a calcium/magnesium ratio greater than about 40. This is a subject of research.


By way of reference, Dr. Eck called the calcium/magnesium ratio the blood sugar ratio. He found that when this ratio is between about 10 and 12, one is exceeding one’s carbohydrate tolerance. This means one is eating more carbohydrates than are optimal.

Exceeding one’s tolerance. The ratio is not about a specific amount of dietary carbohydrate, because this varies from person to person. It is about exceeding one’s tolerance level. For one person, this may mean a lot of carbohydrate foods, whereas another person may not be able to eat nearly as much carbohydrate without exceeding his or her tolerance for this food.

A diabetic trend. He also felt that a calcium/magnesium ratio greater than 12 was a diabetic trend. However, I have not been able to confirm this.

It is rare that I alter one of Dr. Eck’s discoveries. However, in this case I use 9.5 to 13.5 as the indicator for exceeding one’s carbohydrate tolerance. A ratio greater than 13.5 is spiritual defensive, not diabetes.