The Calcium Shell

"As excess copper and calcium increase in the cells and tissues, a calcium "shell" will build that will tend to block more and more feelings until the person no longer is aware of what is being felt and experienced. Such a person often talks of "not feeling anything" or being "numb" and "dead" emotionally. As the calcium shell builds, a person's perception and awareness diminish.  The overall psychological effect of excess copper is a loss of emotional control and awareness accompanied by diminished feelings and numbness." 

~Dr. Rick Malter, Ph.D.

"The greater the degree of exhaustion, the higher the ratio between calcium and magnesium... Emotionally, their problems and true feelings are often deeply buried and difficult to get to... Calcium, by reducing the person’s energy levels, makes him less responsive to stress. This doesn’t mean he is better. It just means he doesn’t feel the stress as much."  

~Eck & Chatsworth (1985 'Energy')

"My desk has a stack of HTMA's of women ranging from their 20's to their 70's who are copper toxic, with calcium shells. Their lives have been devastated and no one has been able 

to explain to them why." 

~Abdul Saad, Clinical Psychologist

One of the symptoms of copper toxicity that can result at higher levels is a calcium shell. Physically, the calcium shell is excess soft tissue calcium that forms a 'shell' around the outside of the cell, slowing down nutrients from entering and exiting. The psychological effects are just as important to understand. In most cases, a very high level of calcium on an HTMA is a result of copper imbalance. The stress caused by rising bio-unavailable copper in the body allows calcium to rise as a form of defence against the stress. A calcium level above 165mg% is indicative of the calcium shell pattern.  ​ It creates a numbing, deadening effect along with apathy, withdrawal, rigidity, and being somewhat out of touch with reality. The calcium shell dulls the emotional response, while also slowing the previously racing mind down, giving the individual a sense of normalcy, though in reality it is not at all a sign of healthy improvement.

The following offers a great background and is taken from Dr. Rick Malter's (Ph.D.) article in the The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Volume 9, Number 2, 1994:


"The Slow Oxidizer has elevated tissue levels of calcium and magnesium. A person's sense of awareness may be affected by tissue levels of calcium and magnesium. The higher levels of calcium and magnesium in the Slow Oxidizer tend to be associated with emotional blocking and deadening of feelings. The excess calcium and magnesium provide a natural barrier between outside stimuli and the inner emotions. The high levels of calcium and magnesium tend to provide a protective shell at the cost of emotional blocking and deadening of feelings. This allows a person to more easily cope with stress or abusive situations because awareness is blocked and feelings are deadened.

A high tissue level of calcium tends to block natural cellular functioning, especially that involved in energy production. Lowered cellular energy production tends to be associated with emotional blocking, numbing of feelings, depression, low self-esteem, pessimism, and feelings of inferiority. The more need there is for emotional blocking and deadening of feelings, the more the TMA calcium will tend to exceed magnesium. As the Ca/ Mg ratio increases, blood sugar problems will increase along with neuromuscular problems such as spasms.

In alcoholic or other dysfunctional families, there seems to be a strong tendency for a child to develop a calcium "shell" as a natural self-protective mechanism which helps to constantly deaden feelings of vulnerability and anxiety. In chronically unpredictable and threatening situations, these feelings would become intolerable without the aid of the calcium shell. However, this calcium shell can become a chronic entrenched mineral pattern affecting glucose metabolism and neuromuscular functions. By adversely affecting glucose metabolism, the high Ca/Mg ratio also tends to predispose the individual to a higher risk of alcoholism or other addictions. Thus, TMA profiles allow us to observe and explain how psychological stress within a dysfunctional family can affect critical mineral patterns which then increase the person's risk to repeat the addictive and dysfunctional behavior. Over an extended period of time from childhood to adolescence, a high Ca/Mg ratio may become chronic and entrenched.

Psychologically, a chronic high Ca/Mg ratio tends to be associated with denial or covering up a problem with which the individual cannot or will not deal. TMA research allows us to see how regulatory minerals can be affected by psychological and emotional factors which then have a profound physical effect. In the case of an elevated Ca/Mg ratio, the associated physiological craving for sugar, alcohol, or other substances can lead to an addictive pattern." [21]


Along with the high Ca/Mg ratio as mentioned in the quote above, comes an associated high level of sugar in the blood. This then affects neurons in the brain and further suffocates emotional awareness. At extreme Ca/Mg ratios > 20:1, emotions and deeply buried problems can become so suppressed that the individual finds himself in a state of continuous false euphoria.    (In addition to the summary of the calcium shell as excerpted above, another detailed description of the calcium shell, this one described by Dr. Lawrence Wilson, is available at:  

Another key concept is the inherent psychological tendency of the slow metabolizer. The slow metabolizer's mineral pattern is easily evidenced on an HTMA profile, generally showing high copper and calcium, with reduced sodium and potassium. The more extreme this pattern, the more the tendency for introversion, depression, despair, and lowered emotional expression [37].  These personality 'symptoms' can of course also have a profound impact on relationships. 

click here to learn about copper's effect on the adrenals

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