Our mission is to ensure that your experience with hTMA is safe.

Find a Qualified hTMA Practitioner

Practitioner qualifications make an important difference in patient safety. The hTMA lab work provides nutritional and health status information that other medical screens do not, but how this information is applied depends on the practitioner. Skilled practitioners achive the best results with hTMA because they have clinical hTMA experience and professional medical training.

The science of hTMA is complex. Accurate hTMA interpretation requires extensive knowledge in molecular biology, toxicology and several related biomedical sciences. Essential practitioner qualifications include medical training, an advanced background in nutritional therapeutics, and clinical experience.

Directory listings are not necessarily the best way to find a great practitioner either, many are incomplete, some are paid listings. The best approach it to do your homework and interview the practitioner. It's important to find a qualified practitioner that you trust. A referral from someone you trust is helpful. Finally, trust your intuition.

Verify Practitioner's Medical Credentials

Verify the professional credentials of your practitioner. Please be aware that some practitioners who offer hair analysis do not have medical training. This is a health and safety concern. To prevent harm, if you have a serious health condition or are taking pharmaceuticals to control the symptoms of a condition, it is important to work with a practitioner that also has a medical background (e.g. DO, DAOM, L/C.Ac, MD, ND, PA, RN, etc.). A practitioner with professional medical training has the ability to assess medical complications and make the necessary recommendations to ensure patient safety.

Recommended Practitioners

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Because privacy is important, we do not publish practitioner names or contact information. However, if you are having difficulty finding a qualified practitioner, we are happy to provide you with a recommendation.

Please fill in the Practitioner Request Form and we will send you a recommendation for a qualified practitioner.

Practitioner Request Form
Type of hTMA you are interested in:
  • hTMA for a Person
  • hTMA for a Dog
  • hTMA for a Horse

A Brief Historical Background

TMA (Tissue Mineral Analysis) is an established clinical assay method used for biomonitoring by medical professionals and researchers worldwide. hTMA has been used for more than 100 years in animal research, and is widely used for identifying metal toxicity in humans today. In fact, hair analysis is recommended by the E.P.A. as a preferred testing protocol for metal toxicity (e.g., lead). Using hTMA for ‘biochemistry optimization’ is a recent advancement (40 years). Nutritional therapy guided by hTMA is an evolving science with proven clinical success.

The use of hTMA for directing nutritional therapy was first developed by colleagues Dr. Paul Eck [1925-1996] and Dr. David L. Watts during the 1970's and 80's. After Dr. Eck's untimely death, his family took over operation of his lab, Analytical Research Labs.

Dr. Watts founded the Trace Elements laboratory. Currently, Dr. Watts is the Director of Research at the lab, and in this position he has significantly advanced the science of hTMA for use in therapeutic nutrition. The lab's ongoing research projects, and its state-of-the-art technologies have led to highly precise analytical data. This is evident by reviewing a Trace Elements report.

Hair analysis can permit accurate diagnosis and treatment

Author: Jacquie Lynne Lemke, BSc, RNCP (article excerpt)

In my view what is absolutely necessary for a thorough analysis and interpretation of a hTMA is what Leo Galland, MD called "a patient-centered diagnosis." This comprehensive summary includes a patient profile consisting of, a physical examination (if possible), plus analysis of: present physical environment, past exposure to environmental toxins, medical history, physical symptoms, individual diet and lifestyle, medication history, supplementation, and a stress indication synopsis.

In reference to hTMA, Dr. Abram Hoffer and Dr. Morton Walker write, "The results are reproducible and reliable. They are very valuable for measuring the mineral status of the body using live tissue. The mineral status measured represents the status at the time the hair was still in the follicle. Heavy metal intoxication will produce hyperactivity in children, the schizophrenic syndrome in adults and probably some cases of senility." 7 My own experience concurs with these clinical findings. Adult patients I have seen with hTMA records of toxic copper status have been given allopathic diagnosis of depression, premenstrual syndrome, manic depression, schizophrenia, or have been told "there is nothing wrong with you; it's all in your head!" Many have not sought out conventional medicine fearing these very words.

Much of the controversy with hTMA comes from the laboratory procedures. Different labs presently use different sample preparation, washing procedures to no washing procedure, and quality control procedures. Dr. George Tamari, Director of Anamol Laboratories in Concord, Ontario Canada states, "Unfortunately, there isn't a generally accepted consensus in this matter" Unless this question is resolved, there is no hope to receive the expected identical results from the different laboratories.8

In conclusion, it has been established that the elemental composition of human scalp hair and animal hair is determined, partially, by a wide variety of external chemical compounds the donor has knowingly and unknowingly been exposed to, including endogenous and exogenous environments. It is equally certain that systemic intoxication of heavy metals is reflected by elevations of their concentrations in the hair and in other tissues.

Thirty-eight years ago, Strain et al. proposed the use of scalp hair as a "reliable, simple, and a traumatic method for assessing zinc body stores."1 Since that time there have been extensive discussions by Passwater and Cranton,2 Bland,3 Chart and Katz,4 Watts,5 Campbell,6 and others too numerous to mention, on personal research and clinical findings regarding how mineral nutrients and elemental pollutants affect human health, and how the determination of trace elements in human scalp hair may identify deficiencies of essential trace elements and exposures to toxic elements.

I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Rick Malter when he states, "We already have far too many cases of ‘clinical’ guesswork in standard medical and psychiatric practice," and Dr. Donald Carrow's statement, "There are as many bad doctors in alternative medicine as there is in orthodoxy." Many patients have come to me with hTMA reports handed to them with no explanation, or, with questionable and erroneous evaluations. Without a thorough knowledge of nutritional biochemistry, a background in biomedical science, and familiarity with biochemical research in the field of hTMA, accurate analysis and interpretation of hTMA lab reports will continue to be less than optimal.

  1. Strain, W.H., Steadman, L.T., Lankau, C.A., Berliner, W.P., and Pories, W.J., Lab. Clin. Med., 1966, 68, 244-249.
  2. Passwater, R.A., and Cranton, EM., Trace Elements, Hair Analysis, and Nutrition, Keats Pub. Co., 1983.
  3. Bland, J., Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, Northwest Diagnostics, 1980.
  4. Chatt, A., and Chatt, S.A., Hair Analysis: Applications in the Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, VCH Pub. 1988.
  5. Watts, D., Trace Elements and Other Essential Nutrients, Writer's B-L-O-C-K, 1999.
  6. Campbell, JD., Numerous published papers, plus personal communications.
  7. Hoffer, A., Walker, M., Putting It All Together: The New Orthomolecular Nutrition, Keats Pub. Co. 1996, 153, 156.
  8. Tamari, G., Anamol Lab Newsletter, Spring 2002.
  9. Pfeiffer, CC., Nutrition and Mental Illness, Healing Arts Press, 1987.
  10. LeClair, J.A., and Quig, D.W., Mineral Status, Toxic Metal Exposure and Children's Behavior, 2001, Vol. 16: 13-32, J. of Ortho. Med.; Hair Lead and Cadmium Levels and Depressive and Anxiety-Related Symptomology, 2003, Vol. 18: 97-107, J. of Ortho. Med.