Nearly every New Year’s resolution list includes a call to take better care of your health. This year is no different. Although pandemic-related concerns will continue to dominate at least the first half of the new year, it is important that you remain focused on your overall health, promoting optimal function and preparing your defenses should the worst arrive. One thing is certain – you need to have a healthy functioning system, and to optimize your health you need to allow your system to efficiently drain and detoxify.
A Brief Recap of Toxins
Toxic accumulation occurs from external and internal sources.
External sources include potentially harmful chemicals in the air that you breathe, the food and drink you consume, the surfaces you touch and the products that you use.
Internal sources are byproducts of metabolism from biological toxins, such as candida (yeast), bacteria/viruses living in your body, or heavy metals. Our own hormonal and cellular natural metabolic wastes such as carbon dioxide and uric acid can also become toxins if your liver and kidneys have difficulty processing them efficiently and/or if they accumulate in excessive amounts. Our body is constantly working to neutralize and eliminate toxins and your level of health can be determined by how well you eliminate these threats from your body over a period of time.
Some of the factors that can affect the general ability to eliminate toxins from the system include your genetic makeup and predispositions, your diet and nutritional status, your lifestyle and individual exposures, your history of antibiotic or drug use, and your emotional well-being. When toxins inside the body accumulate faster than can be eliminated, the body becomes out of balance. This may cause symptoms or a progression of disease or illness. Symptoms that may be associated with excessive toxins include fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pain, mood imbalances, cognitive and neurological problems, immune deficiencies, and skin problems, among others.
What is Biotherapeutic Drainage?
Biotherapeutic drainage is a philosophy in modern natural medicine that encourages the proper detoxification of the body on a regular basis (as opposed to periods of fasting or cleansing to “detox”) by supporting the natural eliminatory mechanisms.
Drainage acts on three levels: cellular, tissue, and organ, preparing an efficient route for toxin elimination.
The majority of elimination occurs via main pathways of detoxification, called the primary drainage pathways. If they are not working efficiently the secondary drainage pathways will kick in to aid in elimination and to prevent symptoms of toxicity.
Only when the elimination pathways are working efficiently can you start the detoxification process, which removes toxins from the tissues. But if these elimination pathways are not working correctly, the toxins will be reabsorbed.
Primary Drainage Pathways:
Liver and intestines remove solid waste
Kidney and urinary bladder eliminate liquid waste
Lungs exhale gaseous waste
Skin eliminate toxicity through sweat
Secondary Drainage Pathways:
Mucous membranes of the nasal passages and urogenital, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts
There are several steps of drainage that must flow in coordination to achieve effective elimination.
If your colon is not functioning optimally it will not efficiently remove the wastes and toxins your body needs to clean out. Toxicity can change the amount and type of good bacteria in your digestive tract and wreak havoc on your immune system. Also, when gut flora is imbalanced, unfriendly gram-negative bacteria can release endotoxins that lead to inflammation of the gut lining and leaky gut syndrome. Chronic inflammation leads to oxidative stress, putting further strain on the body’s drainage and detoxification abilities.
Liver and Bile Ducts
The liver detoxifies the body through a two-stage process. Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification push 80% of toxins into the bile.
The bile is released through the common bile duct into your small intestine during digestion. Some of the bile is caught up in your stools and eliminated, which helps lower your toxin level.
When your liver can’t push bile into your bowels the toxic bile acids may end up in other organs and damage their lining.
The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood and helping to release toxins from your body through urine. They filter and eliminate toxic byproducts of protein metabolism and maintain fluid, mineral, and blood pressure homeostasis.
The kidneys also control hydration of the colon. If the kidneys are weak or stressed, your colons become dehydrated and you are likely to experience constipation.
Toxins can also be inhaled. Your lungs are then responsible for filtering out carbon dioxide, fumes, mold, and other airborne toxins.
Your skin, the largest organ in the body, plays a role by excreting toxins that have found their way inside, as well as protecting the body from bacteria, viruses, and chemical toxins from entering in the first place. Skin needs to be an open pathway for drainage via perspiration. If a person does not sweat, that is another sign their drainage pathways may be compromised.
One of your lymphatic system’s jobs is to collect body fluid and return it to your blood. But first, your lymph nodes filter out viruses, bacteria, and toxins so your immune cells can deal with them.
The lymphatics won’t efficiently drain if there is sluggishness, clogging, or blockage downstream. The lymphatics must flow into the liver/bile duct drain.
Glymphatic System - Brain
Drainage occurs in the brain through the glymphatic system. These lymph vessels in the brain grab toxic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and deliver it to the body’s lymphatic system, particularly the lymph nodes in the sinuses and neck, for removal. Many neurotoxic heavy metals and fat-soluble environmental toxins find their way into your brain tissue. If this pathway becomes blocked then toxins, wastes, and pathogens may build up in the spaces around the brain cells.
Congestion of these brain lymphatics by pathogens, waste, and toxins have been linked to cognitive and mood-related issues, brain inflammation, infections, and autoimmune concerns.
The toxins that accumulate inside the cell may cause mitochondrial dysfunction and impair energy production to support efficient drainage and detoxification.
Here's the Bottom Line
Once the drainage pathways are up and running efficiently, the power of detoxification can be realized. But restoring and sustaining proper drainage is a process. Each time when you are exposed to pathogens or toxicity or under increased physical, chemical or emotional stress these drainage pathways become overwhelmed and need to be supported in order to achieve optimal health and well-being.