How I discovered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

When I was going through the beginning of my natural health journey, it really changed my life. As I realized that all of the pain and suffering I had dealt with for years could actually be reversed and not just managed, I really wanted to work on helping others to heal as well.

A friend at the time asked me, “Why don’t you go into nutrition?” And that was the first step I took to figure out what I wanted to do.

I quickly found some programs for Nutrition and Holistic Nutrition that I completed, but I found them lacking when it came to actually knowing how to heal people. They went over popular diets, conventional information for nutrition (our horrible food pyramid!), and just many things that weren’t really that helpful.

At the time I finished those programs, I was pregnant with my son and I decided to just take a break on figuring out what I wanted to do until after he was born.

Not long after my son arrived, I found information about HTMA and mineral balancing, and finally I felt like I hit the gold mine!

A test that showed our personal deficiencies, that could be used to determine how strong a person was, and a way to heal them?!

It sounded like fate that I came across this test. I quickly signed up for Dr. Malter’s HTMA course, and about a year later I ended up taking Dr. Wilson’s through my college.

I LOVED the information about minerals and how they related to health.

Now, I have my Bachelor of Science in Natural Health Sciences with a concentration in Clinical Nutrition. I have several certifications in herbal medicine, HTMA, and other natural health practices.

For about 5 years now, I have been using HTMA and whole food nutrition to help thousands of people heal their gut (and the rest of their bodies!). I have made it my mission to actually help people HEAL instead of getting dependent on pills forever, pills that don’t even always work.

An Intro to this HTMA Training Course

Mineral Balancing

The main purpose of HTMA is to balance minerals. HTMA needs to be interpreted in a specific way in order to truly understand the levels and ratios. High levels don't always mean you are getting too much of something, and low levels don't always mean that you should be supplementing with it. When the minerals are balanced, the body is strong and it is easier to prevent health issues.

Foundational Care

HTMA is the PERFECT test for Foundational Care. What exactly is Foundational Care? It's how we heal from the ground up! HTMA can help to determine the state of the gut, how the liver is functioning, what our oxidation rate is, and SO much more. A properly read HTMA can give so much useful information to a person on their healing journey.

Heavy Metals

HTMA tests for several common heavy metals like uranium, mercury, arsenic, and more. The main goal with HTMA is to balance the minerals and support the body's foundation first- then we can start detoxing heavy metals and other toxins more effecitively.

My Approach with HTMA

As I experimented with some of the common ways to balance minerals, I realized that I didn’t tolerate a lot of the usual recommendations- synthetic nutrients, sometimes in higher amounts than the RDA. I started having worsening of some symptoms, and I also developed new ones. Being in a lot of groups about health online, I started seeing this pattern with many others as well.

I realized that many of these popular suggestions might have been great 5-10+ years ago, but a LOT has changed in our world since then and people are much more sensitive these days. These weren’t even healing reactions- they were just straight up intolerance of everything we were trying to do!

I started working at figuring out how to truly BALANCE nutrients, and not just supplement with them. I researched foods, herbs, and even topical methods of raising mineral levels. I got further into what “holistic” truly means: whole body approach, using nutrients in their NATURAL state (not lab made), and truly healing the body instead of getting dependent on supplements forever.

The more HTMAs I saw, the more I realized that synthetic supplements often would never actually fix levels- either they stayed super low or they were incredibly high (because the body could not utilize them!).

The more I read about minerals, the more I realized that hyper-focusing on any one nutrient makes no sense. They can all create a cascade of changes in the body that can take months to fix. Balance is crucial, and the easiest way to find the perfect balance of these nutrients is through nutrient dense foods, herbs, and whole food supplements. We can no longer ignore that we need to heal the gut and liver as well- and I mean truly heal, not just throw band-aids like HCl and ox bile at it to take forever. Healing the entire body can take time- but that is what we should be aiming for in the long: to actually heal the body, not just cover up symptoms or pop pills all day long for the rest of your life

What this Course is about

My goal with this course is to give the absolute essentials needed to read and interpret HTMAs, and give you the confidence and knowledge needed to help others that embark on a mineral balancing protocol. My approach with HTMA uses a true holistic outlook with whole food nutrition and healing the body as a whole. HTMA is an essential test for anyone trying to heal from a chronic illness- proper interpretation can make a world of difference for your clients as you can gain so much information from just this one test.

Who this course is for

This course is best for current health professionals that want to add HTMA to their existing practice or those that just want to learn all about HTMA and mineral balancing the Sassy Holistics way. There will be an optional final test to complete that you will be able to email directly to me in order to get a Certificate of Completion. You will also have the chance to join our small Facebook group of class participants that are either other practitioners or HTMA enthusiasts.

So far, I have had about half and half: half of the people that took this course are practitioners themselves, and the other half has been taken by people that just want to learn even more about HTMA and mineral balancing.

What you get with this course

You will get hours of content explaining all of the important information pertaining to HTMA. You get all of the notes that I have on these topics, as well as links for more learning if desired. If you are a practitioner doing this course, you have the option to do the Final Test option, which I look over and provide some more materials (ideas for intake forms, how to start a blog, my favorite remedies, and more). Also, there is an option for further 1-on-1 training if needed.

This course has 8 modules and 20 lessons total. You will get a video on each main topic as well as all of the notes I have on these lessons. There is also a final test to complete if you are a practitioner that wants to complete this course 100%.

This course has over 3 hours of video. Most students take about 3-4 weeks to complete the videos, notes, and the final test.

This ULTIMATE Course comes with a total of FOUR other courses as well: How to Heal your Gut Naturally, Holistic Detox Support, Whole Food Nutrition, and How to Heal Adrenal Fatigue Naturally. I have had many practitioners ask for this bundle since they loved all of these courses together. Upgrade your nutritional practice by learning all of the methods and remedies we use at Sassy Holistics.

Course Curriculum

Module 1: Intro to HTMA

This module will go over the history of HTMA, a basic breakdown on what it tests for, as well as how to take hair samples.

Module 2: The Ratios on the HTMA

This module will teach you all about the 7 main ratios that HTMA focuses on. These ratios are what shows us insight on adrenals, metabolism, thyroid, and more. It is CRUCIAL to learn what these ratios are in order to read HTMA correctly.

Module 3:Four Main Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium

This module will go over the first 4 main minerals on HTMA, as they are the most important levels to understand on the entire test. These are the “big players” in the mineral world- when they are out of balance, all of the other nutrients are as well. Once we balance these 4, it can be a lot easier to balance everything else.

Module 4:Next Four Main Minerals: Zinc, Copper, Phosphorus, and Iron

The next module will go over the next 4 most important minerals on the HTMA. Zinc, copper, and iron are huge topics in the health world right now, and there is a lot of misinformation out there about them. This course will help show you how to truly work on fixing deficiencies and imbalances of these minerals.

Module 5:Other Minerals on the HTMA

This next module is all about the rest of the minerals that are tested on HTMA, as well as 3 other minerals that aren’t tested (but are important enough to mention). This section also has information on nutrient interactions- how all of these minerals either work with or against each other.

Module 6: Heavy Metals

You will learn all about the heavy metals that HTMA tests for, how to actually detox these metals, common sources of exposure, and more.

Module 7:Overall Healing: Gut, Liver, Kidneys, Lymph and more

This module will teach you ALL about my favorite remedies for holistic healing as they pertain to mineral balancing. This course is all about how to heal the body as a whole, so my approach to mineral balancing includes how to heal everything.

Module 8: Other information

This last module has quite a few extras for you. You will get a video about the most common patterns on HTMA and how I approach helping people with those patterns. You'll get a list of other tests that can be helpful to use in conjunction with HTMA, as well as more resources about mineral balancing and HTMA. You can find the optional test in this section as well if you want to complete and submit that to get a certificate of completion from me. Finally, you will get my short guide on Tips for Success, and a whole video on how to approach retests with HTMA.

Course Curriculum For the Orginal HTMA Course

  Intro to HTMA
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  The Ratios on the HTMA
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  Four Main Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium
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  Next Four Main MInerals: Zinc, Copper, Phosphorus, and Iron
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  Other Minerals on the HTMA
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  Heavy Metals
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  Overall Healing: Gut, Liver, Kidneys, Lymph and more
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  Other Information
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BONUSES Included with this course

Over 100 pages of my personal notes on HTMA and mineral balancing (Valued at $75, yours free)

Each lesson of this course comes with my personal notes that I have made over the last 5 years. These are priceless!

Tips for Success Guide

You will get my guide on tips for success, specifically for those that are using HTMA in their nutritional practice.

Lesson on HTMA Retests

I added an entire lesson just about retests with HTMAs that goes over common pattern changes that I tend to see with my clients.

Access to my free Facebook Group just for practitioners

My group is full of amazing people that have taken this course, and you have the option to make new connections in the HTMA world, with like-minded individuals.

Also, you can have the option for further personal training with me after you finish this class.

I currently offer a few different options for further mentoring support for those that complete this whole course. You can find the information in the Facebook group!

Select a pricing plan and sign up

Certificate with only be awarded after course is paid in full.

HTMA tests for a LOT with just a small amount of hair:

Minerals that HTMA tests for:















and 14 trace minerals including lithium and germanium

Heavy metals: Antimony, Uranium, Mercury, Arsenic, Aluminum, Lead, Cadmium, Beryllium

With all of these mineral levels, we can get an idea on these issues based on the ratios between the minerals:

Metabolic Rate/ Nervous system health: Calcium/Phosphorus

Vitality, Adrenals, and Life/Death Ratio: Sodium/Potassium

Thyroid : Calcium/Potassium

Hormone (Estrogen/testosterone/progesterone): Zinc/Copper

Adrenals: Sodium/Magnesium

Blood Sugar/Cardiovascular Health: Calcium/Magnesium

Underlying infection ratio: Iron/Copper

Sample HTMA Report

This is the raw data that you get from the lab, just the first page. The minerals in blue are the MAIN focus of this test. The Red section has the heavy metals. The Green section has trace nutrients, which aren't as crucial as the MAIN minerals to focus on. As you balance the minerals in the blue section, everything else rebalances.

Minerals are ESSENTIAL for our health

Minerals are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, inhibitors or even as the enzyme themselves. Enzymes are what keeps our bodies running. When we are low on minerals or if they are imbalanced, our bodies cannot physically function correctly. We look at the whole picture with HTMA- levels, ratios, and the person’s individual symptoms.

I wrote this entire post for resources that show the importance of minerals. They are need for hormones, energy levels, adrenals, thyroid, colon, brain, muscles, joints, and literally every part of our bodies. Mineral deficiencies are at the root of nearly all major chronic illnesses these days, and they are essential to work on for every single person.

I created this course because there is nothing else like it. Most HTMA courses teach just the basics and expect you to use the recommended supplements that are on the printout you get with each report. I did not think this was right! People deserve more than just a printed out paper from the lab. In order to truly appreciate HTMA, you have to learn everything about mineral balancing. Only then can you appreciate the value in this testing.

Why Food is Medicine

Food isn’t important just for vitamins and minerals. There are SO many other components to food that you will never find in synthetic supplements: phytochemicals, fiber, fat, protein, carbs, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, plant pigments, amino acids, fatty acids, isothicyanates. indoles, coumarins, antioxidants, enzymes, and more! Some of these components (like bioflavoinoids) used to be considered vitamins all on their own because of their importance to our health.

Many of these components have been studied in their roles to help to protect against cancer and other serious illnesses. However, most of these studies show that they work best when in a WHOLE FOOD and not as an isolated substance, and especially not in very high doses.

However, we shouldn’t need studies to prove that food is healthy (hello! how far have we verged from common sense and holistic health that I need to say that?!).

These days, we work on healing the gut first more than anything to help with nutrient assimilation. As we work on detox pathways and calm stress down internally, it is easier to utilize and hold onto nutrients better as well. Many HTMAs have 5+ imbalances or deficiencies- this shouldn’t mean that we need 5+ isolated synthetic nutrients to “fix” the levels. I have seen people given upwards of 30 supplements based on an HTMA report- it’s absolutely insane to me, and proves that some people are not using HTMA the way it should be used. We fix the gut and work on the terrain, and food becomes easier to utilize correctly again.

Why I love HTMA

HTMA is gaining popularity in the natural health world, but using it in a “holistic” manner isn’t as common as you’d think. Many are still stuck with the synthetic supplements and allopathic thinking, and many more don’t even get proper training with HTMA- they just use the printout they get from the lab with the generic recommendations on there. I got SO much hate and disrespect from other practitioners when I started to question things too, but I just knew that there needed to be a different way of doing things that made more sense.

Reading an HTMA is not like a blood test. Meaning, high levels don’t always mean high, and low levels don’t always mean you need to add more of that nutrient in. It is meant to be viewed as a whole- the levels, the ratios, and the person that is being tested. The value is in the interpretation you get from a qualified practitioner.

HTMA shows a longer stretch of time than other tests

Blood, saliva, urine, and stool samples are only able to show that exact moment in time that they were tested. They are a snapshot of what is going on, and they can change significantly within minutes or hours. A hair sample shows us about 3-4 months of time so it gives a MUCH better view on how you are using your minerals.

Because of this time frame, it is easier to manage plans and protocols. Testing every 3-4 months is a long enough time to start seeing changes in symptoms, and when we’re retesting we’re able to adjust the plan when needed so healing becomes more streamlined. HTMA is not a test for 1 time use- things can change quickly when you are starting a plan, and external factors can start to change results too (especially stress!).

Select a pricing plan and enroll now:

Certificate with only be awarded after course is paid in full.

Testimonials for HTMA and Mineral Balancing Course

The HTMA and Mineral balancing course provided by Sassy Holistics Kristin Merizalde is an absolute wealth of knowledge, carefully prepared, with supporting documentation, podcast options (my favourite), detailed ratios, patterns, tips and "tricks" for all those interested in how to balance minerals and trace elements as well as how to analyse and interpret samples and results.

It also highlights the importance of nutrition and gut health, offers "solutions" to various imbalances, why it is important to re-test and which blood test should accompany the HTMA analysis. One serious approach to one's health.

The non-stop access to the course and the freedom to complete it on our own pace offers a pressureless approach to educating all those wanting to help themselves and others.

I could not thank Ms. Merizalde enough for educating one chemistry analyst!

PS: I cannot wait for the Gut Healing Course!


"I absolutely LOVED the course. It was a great education on how healing the body works. I especially like the information on how imbalances come about and the practical steps on how to fix them. Setting up the body to heal itself using a holistic nutrition approach seems so common sense to me. The recommendations are easy to understand, simple to follow and extremely cost-effective to implement. It doesn't have to cost an arm-and-a-leg to heal... people just need the right information."

~Karen Higgins, FNTP~

"Loved the class! Definitely helped me understand HTMA more and I love your approach to balancing minerals with food and letting the body heal in its own time on its own schedule. I still don’t understand how you know if a mineral is actually what the HTMA says or its being dumped, but I need to study more on my own and look at lots of HTMA’s. I also love that you have tried everything that you suggest and I plan to do the same. I won’t recommend something unless I have tried it. Thanks Kristin!!!”

“Kristin, I cannot thank you enough for providing such an informative and well-structured course on mineral balancing. The course has given me a strong understanding and wealth of knowledge when reading and interpreting Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. The biggest thing I have learnt is to use Whole Food Nutrition for best results when embarking on a mineral balancing protocol. Whole food nutrition is far more superior and results in better outcomes than synthetic products/supplements and isolated nutrients (and I can attest to this in my own mineral balancing journey). Using HTMA and working personally with Kristin has made the biggest impact on my own health and I am truly grateful for Kristin’s passion and level of expertise in this field.”

“This course was very well done. It did help me understand so much more about balancing the minerals and understand why certain people will react they way they do based on what comes back in their tests. I’m glad you recorded everything and I noticed you put the chat screens up on some of them too. I think that will be so helpful to go back over as I start analyzing tests.”

“Most balanced HTMA class I have ever taken, plus there is such a bigger focus on actually using food, herbs, and more holistic ways to heal instead of popping 20 pills a day. Having gone through the HTMA process with Kristin personally myself, I found this class to be enlightening and I understand the WHY behind it all so much better now. This course is for those that was a more modern take on mineral balancing and for those that want to break free from the protocols, synthetic supplements, and isolated nutrients. This class is packed with info, especially considering the price- most other classes out there are more than double the price and still don’t explain things this well!”

“Kristin’s class was incredibly informational and was made easy to understand even to a novice. She made sure to answer any question posed and was very pleasant to work with. I would recommend her class to anyone interested in HTMAs or just the body’s minerals in general.”

"This course will prepare all nutritionists who really adopt a "food nutrition" focus in their practice to help clients, and not the supplement pushing focus to help their clients because I think there's a big difference. Kristin is very passionate in her craft and she teaches this course as such. This course is a must-have for all Holistic Nutritionists who want to grow."

~Terry, Health Coach~

"As a Naturopath, I researched many HTMA courses before buying Kristin's. Now that I have finished the course I feel that I made a great decision. Kristin thoroughly covered all aspects of the HTMA test and explained everything so clearly. I am also using her suggestions and support to heal my own gut health issues and feeling better every day. I would highly recommend her course."

~Karin Byrd, ND The Natural Path~

Kristin has been utilizing HTMA in her nutritional practice for nearly 5 years now. It is the single most effective test at figuring out a person's personal biochemistry. HTMA shows the base of our health: our mineral levels! Minerals are what run the enzyme reactions in the body. Without them, we just cannot function. Kristin's approach to HTMA is different than most because she uses true whole-body healing and food-based nutrition in her protocols. No massive amounts of pills each day, no crazy detox programs, no strict diets- just a common sense nutritional approach that is easy, effective, and well-tailored to individuals.

Kristin runs the holistic website where you can learn more about mineral balancing and its importance in overall health. She has been helping people heal from chronic illnesses over the last few years with her nutritional practice and is now working on sharing her methods with other practitioners so that they can do the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own. You will also get all updates to this course when I add them.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 15 days and we will give you a full refund.

What is the best HTMA lab?

For those with the ability to get your own lab account I highly recommend TEI, but ARL is also good. You should be able to start your own HTMA consulting with your own account. *Please keep in mind that some states/countries have restrictions on who can order HTMAs. For example, in the USA, New York state does not allow HTMA (as well as many other health related tests). Check with the labs to see if you are able to order from them first. The labs are pretty lenient with who can open an account with them too, so I recommend calling or emailing them to find out if you qualify.

If you don't qualify, you can also take a course with Metabolic Healing which gives you the option to order HTMA tests from ARL Labs (as well as other tests). My HTMA course and the Functional Lab Analysis course from Metabolic Healing are the perfect start for HTMA practitioners.

This course is best for those that are already health practitioners of some sort, or for those that really just want to learn more about minerals even if you don’t plan on starting a practice of your own. I highly recommend doing some more holistic nutrition courses as well to further your knowledge in this area. Never stop learning!

Is there an option for 1-on-1 training?

Yes, I now offer further training if needed after this course. Details can be found in the FB group upon enrollment.

Do I have to be a practitioner to understand this course?

Not at all! Anyone can take this course. I have had many people that took it just to learn about HTMA and how I use it so that they can help their families heal. If you are a practitioner, you can easily earn back the courses price within your first few clients as well!