Of course, looking back on it, I could smack myself on the forehead and mutter, “What a stupid thing to do!” But at the time, the significance of my clinical decision did not seem so important.
Evey was a young mother with severe post-partum depression and anxiety. She couldn’t sleep, had obsessive thoughts of self-harm, and had not bonded with her son after delivery. When she started her supplements, most of her troubling symptoms resolved within one week. She was ecstatic, and I was rather pleased myself.
After the second week of treatment, she announced that she had stopped her hemp protein supplement, because I had accidentally mailed one that was plain rather than vanilla flavored. She was at the time taking 4 ? teaspoons per day. I told her that it was fine, and that I would mail her the right flavor of hemp protein, and she can get back to it as soon as she receive it. Between delays caused by holiday mail schedules (and perhaps also due to being lulled into a false sense of security), a week passed by before she began her hemp protein again. She had weathered the week quite well, but she began to notice towards the end of the week that some of her anxiety and nausea was coming back.
By week four, things became a mess. Evey’s biochemistry was off track. Some of her supplements needed to be decreased, and some changed from needing to be decreased to needing to remain. The result was a confusing picture of anxiety, nausea, lack of motivation, and decreased appetite with the muscle testing showing a paradoxical need to DECREASE some of her supplements while keeping other supplements on board that initially she was ready to stop. Who would’ve known that 4 ? teaspoons of hemp protein for one week could be so important!
With muscle testing to guide us, some of Evey’s supplements were decreased, while other supplements had to stay on board a while longer. With these adjustments, Evey called back after two days with the report that she “had a great day yesterday. Everything was much improved.”
The lessons learned are the following:
1) Never assume that changing or dropping one supplement among many would have little effect on overall functioning. All supplements work together as a whole. One can’t ride a tricycle without the third wheel!
2) People who respond very fast to supplements often have a tendency to also need a rapid reduction in supplements very soon after the supplements have been started. For example in Evey’s case, many of her supplements needed to be decreased by the fourth week of use.
3) Always double check with muscle testing before passing clinical judgment on how to adjust supplements. The biochemistry is too complex to take any chances. Muscle testing will help in guiding the clinician when medical training causes the doctor to want to use MORE and not LESS to achieve wellness.
4) Don’t ever get lulled into a feeling of confidence and security when a patient’s condition improves “simply and quickly” with the use of supplements. Just because a patient gets well quickly and easily DOES NOT mean that the patient can easily remain well due to increased physical resilience. Resilience may take more time than the process of getting rid of negative symptoms.