Definition of belligerence pattern.  A hair tissue magnesium that is less than 3 mg%.  The hair must not be washed at the laboratory for accurate mineral readings.

            What is belligerence It is a feisty, confrontational, and perhaps warlike quality.  Dictionaries also define it as aggressive.  However, Dr. Paul Eck felt it is not the same as aggressiveness, which is associated with a low hair calcium level.

Perhaps the distinction is not important, but Dr. Eck felt it was different.  Belligerence is often more benign, but can be very annoying to be around.

Magnesium deficiency is widespread. Magnesium is widely deficient in modern diets due to low soil levels of magnesium, refined food diets, and the fact that magnesium is low in dairy products and meats.

Good food sources of magnesium are whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds. [restrict userlevel=”subscriber” message=” “] Among the nuts and seeds, I only recommend toasted almond butter.  This is because most nuts are somewhat toxic, and hard to digest.[/restrict]

Role of magnesium. Magnesium is required for thousands of enzymes in our bodies.  In some of these, other minerals cannot substitute for the magnesium.


            In addition to belligerence, common symptoms of low tissue magnesium include nervousness, irritability, anger, Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactivity or hyperkinesis, muscle tension, muscle cramps, and often cardiovascular symptoms.

Cardiovascular symptoms. They may include high blood pressure, angina, and impaired circulation.  Low magnesium can also result in a fatal heart attack or stroke.

Sympathetic nervous system heart attacks.  These are fast oxidizer heart attacks in which all of the coronary arteries constrict in a cascade effect.  This is far worse than having one or more blocked arteries.  For this reason, these heart attacks are often fatal.  However, they are completely preventable with nutrition.


            The reasons include:

  1. It is a form of aggressiveness that can get out of hand if it becomes extreme.It could lead to violence, for example.
  2. It puts great stress on one’s body.As stated above, this can cause high blood pressure and even fatal heart attacks and strokes.  These are quite common, in fact.
  3. Belligerence gets in the way of a person’s mental and spiritual growth.This is an important problem for both adults and children.

For example, if a child is belligerent and tends toward hyperactivity, he or she may not learn well in school, even though the child is very intelligent.  This will set the child back and can also seriously impair self esteem and confidence.  It could even lead to suicide, and it does.

So, for all these reasons, belligerence pattern on a hair mineral analysis should never be ignored or minimized.


            The level of magnesium on a hair mineral analysis does not correlate well with the magnesium in the diet.  Nor does it correlate with the total amount of magnesium in the body.

An alarm stage of stress.  Instead, it has to do with the response of the body to stress.  In the stress theory of disease proposed by Hans Selye, MD about 70 years ago, a low hair tissue magnesium level is associated with a fight-or-flight response or alarm reaction of the sympathetic nervous system.  This is the same as a fast oxidation rate.

This is an early stage of stress.  It involves calcium and magnesium excretion due to a fight-or-flight reaction of the body.

Exhaustion stage of stress.  Later on, in the exhaustion stage of stress, the hair tissue magnesium rises above the ideal level of 6 mg%.  This is due to a completely different phenomenon.

In the exhaustion stage of stress, a biounavailable form of magnesium (along with calcium) deposits in the soft tissues of the body.  Since hair is a soft tissue, the magnesium level rises in this tissue as the body becomes more and more exhausted and moves into slow oxidation.

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  1. Three high macro minerals with a low magnesium level.
  2. Two high macro minerals.In this case, magnesium and one other of the macrominerals are low, while the other two are elevated.
  3. Three lows pattern.In this case, magnesium is low, along with two other macrominerals.
  4. A four lows pattern.In this situation, all four macromineral levels are below the ideal level.

Possible patterns associated with a very low magnesium level are:

  1. Fast oxidation.Here, the calcium and magnesium levels are low, while sodium and potassium levels are higher.
  2. Bowl pattern.In this case, magnesium and sodium are lower, while calcium and potassium levels are higher.  This forms a pattern that looks like a bowl on a calibrated chart from ARL.
  3. Double high ratio pattern.In this case, the calcium and sodium are higher, and the magnesium and potassium levels are lower.  This forms a sawblade pattern on a calibrated chart, with a high calcium/magnesium ratio and a high sodium/potassium ratio.  Hence the name, double high ratio.
  4. L pattern.Here the calcium is elevated, while the magnesium, sodium and potassium are low and fairly even across the graph.  It looks like a capital L and it means a lifestyle problem pattern.
  5. Reverse L pattern. Here the calcium, magnesium and sodium are low and their bar graphs are straight across the chart.  However, the hair potassium level is elevated.  This is a chronic stress pattern.  This pattern is discussed in the L Pattern article mentioned above.
  6. Step up pattern. This is similar to a reverse L pattern, except that the four macrominerals look like steps going up as one moves to the right.  This is another chronic stress pattern associated with a quick death from a heart attack or stroke.  We rarely see this pattern because the clients often die before they come for a consultation.  For this reason, the Tibetan acupuncturists call this pattern stepping out of life.



A belligerence pattern is usually seen with a low hair tissue calcium level, as well.  These two minerals often go up and down together.

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