The Bowl Pattern

The bowl pattern is a common pattern seen on hair mineral analyses.  The hair must not be washed at the laboratory for accurate assessment of this pattern.

The pattern is defined as a combination of a low sodium/potassium ratio along with a high calcium/magnesium ratio.  More specifically, the sodium/potassium ratio must be less than about 2.5 and the calcium/magnesium ratio must be greater than about 9.5 or 10.

This pattern is associated with feeling stuck, mentally and emotionally, as though one has few options.  One is “in the thick of it” right now.

This pattern is often related to nutritional imbalances.


To understand this pattern, consider the two ratios that it consists of.  A low sodium/potassium ratio is associated with exhaustion, chronic stress, and often frustration, resentment and hostility.

This is combined with a high calcium/magnesium ratio.  This is associated with defensiveness.  One may be defending a lifestyle factor or an attitude that is not helpful for a person.

The combination of these two situations – fatigue, hostility, resentment, frustration – along with defensiveness, it is not surprising that one begins to feel stuck emotionally, mentally and perhaps physically as well.  This is an example of how two interesting patterns on a hair mineral analysis can combine to form another interesting and more complex pattern.

Visual understanding. The bowl pattern is so named because the first four macrominerals on a hair analysis from ARL appear to form the shape of a bowl (this is less obvious when looking at a Trace Elements chart or others), unless one or more of the numbers are off the chart, in which case one cannot use the visual cue to identify the pattern.


The bowl pattern can indicate that a person is confused, lost or clueless.  This is another interpretation of the bowl pattern that may be helpful for some people.  It is the opposite of the Hill pattern, which is a knowing pattern.