It is defined as a combination of sympathetic dominance pattern (low potassium) with spiritual defensiveness pattern (an elevated calcium/magnesium ratio).

                  The pattern is seen in women more than men, and in adults more than in children.  Middle-aged and younger adults seem to show the pattern more than older adults.  One reason may be that is quite an extreme stress pattern.  If it were to continue into older age, the person might not live that long to become elderly.


                  The reason for the name of this pattern is that it involves two kinds of stress.  Sympathetic dominance is a willful stress from within.  Spiritual defensive pattern is to some degree a stress from without, at times due to a lifestyle factor. 

However, this pattern may simply be a combination of two different kinds of stressors, as follows.

1. Sympathetic dominance pattern. This stress pattern is due to willfulness, or feeling a need to push oneself all the time.  One lives literally as though chased by a tiger much of the time.  The person has great difficulty relaxing, slowing down, “doing nothing”, and often does not allow himself or herself to rest sufficiently.  The body is in a continuous fight-or-flight state that is very hard on the body and is quite catabolic, meaning it tends to break down the body and inhibit digestion, elimination and the immune response, among other critical body systems.

                  The person often does not sit down and eat slowly, is often constipated, and in general is not caring for the body well at all.  The person is pretending, in a way, to be in fast oxidation when the body has “burned out” and is in slow oxidation.  Dr. Eck called sympathetic dominance “a mind without a body”.  He meant that the mind is extremely active, but the body is exhausted in all cases.

                  Sympathetic dominance is often an ego-based, less mature pattern.  Most often there is a great need for grounding and centering, and greater awareness.  We call it a fast-to-slow oxidizer transition pattern.  Often, the person is living as in the past – as a fast oxidizer – when it is no longer appropriate, but the person does not want to change.  One either runs around too much or worries too much.  It is a high copper pattern as well.  Sometimes toxic metals sustain the pattern in a powerful way, adding to the difficulty in changing it.  The combination of a stubbornness with the presence of copper and other toxic metals and a lack of grounding make it one of the hardest patterns to change, and an important cause of diseases like cancer.

2. Spiritual defensiveness.  This is stress due to staying in a relationship, job, school situation, location, attitude or other situation that is no longer appropriate.  In other words, the person is “holding on” to something, someone, some place, job or attitude that is no longer working or appropriate, though it may seem okay.  At times, it may not be voluntary, such as when it occurs in a child, although the child may be ‘going along’ when he should be rebelling or acting differently in some way.

We all do this to some extent.  However, when the pattern shows up it means that it is in some way interfering with one’s health or one’s spiritual path.  Dr. Eck used the word pretentiousness or pretending to describe a high calcium/magnesium ratio.

One is literally living in the past, in most cases, or perhaps just living in fear of change.  So this is the second type of stress seen with this pattern.  Thus, it is a double-trouble stress pattern that requires a lot of lifestyle and habit change in some cases, so that it is not easy to correct.  Fortunately, often as one follows a mineral balancing program that enhances awareness and increases one’s energy significantly, it becomes far easier for a person to make the necessary changes to move out of this stressful pattern.