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Stress Contributes to Post-Holiday Edema and Weight Gain

By Michael Schwartz
January 4, 2016
File under: Health Concerns, Herbs, Natural Remedies, Stress Relief

A shocking nine out of ten adult diets in the U.S. contain too much sodium. Most of the sodium in the American diet comes from processed foods such as, pizza and cookies, animal products and restaurant fare… all of which are indulged to excess during the Holidays.

Excess salt creates an imbalance between sodium and potassium and causes the body to retain water.

Water retention (edema), is a serious health problem and directly contributes to obesity. Water retention can have several causes, but generally stems from an imbalance in the potassium – sodium relationship.

Stress can easily disturb this balance and depletes nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. When calcium is depleted, the potassium – sodium ratio is upset, causing water to be retained.

A person under stress may gain five to fifteen pounds almost immediately. This is water weight, which places additional strain on the heart muscle and joints, and can influence emotional wellbeing.

There are nutrients and herbs that assist in regaining proper water balance. Potassium and vitamin B-6 work together and are essential to maintain the balance of fluids in the body. Buchu leaf corn silk, hydrangea, parsley, uva-ursi and watermelon are excellent diuretics.

Stress is the result of how you respond to what you see and hear.  People have a tendency towards doubt and fear. This energy influences them to become more enmeshed in the material plane as a sense of security. Being heavy is one example.

Symbolically, water retention represents holding on to material things, on one level, to provide security. Security in material reality is fleeting; one day you have money, the next day, unemployed and at the mercy of external forces.

It is important to remember that you are never placed in a situation that you cannot overcome and master. Should you find yourself in tough straits, think back on that old adage about lemons and lemonade…and get squeezing!

Water retention bloats the body, making it larger. This can symbolize a need for protection. By making the body unappealing, the individual is spared certain physical interactions and emotional connections and could be rooted in an uncomfortable experience from childhoo

As with weight gain, fluid retention could also indicate the need to express power by throwing one’s weight around. A key physical and also symbolic difference here is apart from fluid retention’s contribution to the condition, weight gain can be related to poor metabolism, whereas water retention represents an internal imbalance.

Water retention has its own nutritional requirements and symbolic interpretations. Both potassium and vitamin B-6 are fundamentals for balance and harmony in the material plane. Symbolically, both share the same energy and that energy is regulation.

Vitamin B-6, which is a coenzyme, and the mineral potassium, which is a cofactor both work in helping the body to maintain proper balance.

Symbolically, edema indicates that you must have proper balance in dealing with life. You cannot be too materialistic nor should you be overly spiritualistic; taking either position or attitude is an indication of an imbalance.

Vitamin B-6 is involved in many transactions where the individual requires protection and regulation. It provides some protection from imbalances, but is also involved in other aspects of thought.

You might say that regulation leads to protection and that the consciousness of protecting self leads to having a balanced approach to life, one that reduces the possibility for exposure.

An example of this would be playing outdoors during the winter. In this situation, it’s best to dress in layers so that if you become overheated, you can remove one layer of clothing at a time. This allows the body to maintain a fairly constant body temperature without the dangers of getting too hot or too cold.

Michael Schwartz is a holistic nutritional consultant, lecturer, author of the Disease Symbology Handbook and host of Healthy Self Radio



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