Everyone wants to detox, but ‘drainage’ should come first

Everyone wants to detox, but ‘drainage’ should come first

All of our bodies have a built in system of waste management. This is known as our ‘drainage system’ or, more specifically, ‘drainage pathways’. These drainage pathways help our bodies to take out the trash by showing toxins and pathogens the exit from the body. 

Our drainage pathways are an interconnected network that work like a funnel all over the body. Drainage pathways are comprised of cells, tissues, organs and the lymphatic system and they cover the whole body, working together so that the whole body can ‘drain’ the bad stuff out - wherever it is in the body - helping to keep your body balanced, working in homeostasis and being able to do the job that it needs to. It’s really important that these drainage pathways remain open, flowing and functioning properly, so that the body can consistently remove waste substances that are not beneficial for our body.

The problem? Many of us do not have fully functioning drainage pathways and if there is stagnation or blockage at any point in the system, everything upstream can’t drain properly downstream as it is meant to. When this happens, it’s like a blockage in the sink - making it impossible to drain a sink properly and instead watching everything getting blocked and backed up in a dirty swamp in the sink.

If there is a blockage in the drainage system, the body will try to show toxic substances the exit, but they won’t be able to leave the body, meaning that they re-circulate into places they aren’t supposed to be in and overloading the body in ways they are not meant to.

Ok, so is drainage the same as detoxing?

No - and understanding the difference between them is really important because they are *not* the same but they work closely together.

Drainage is the first step towards effective detoxification. Once the drainage pathways are open, the body can effectively detox. And detox it needs to - because we come into contact with so many toxins in our day to day life. They are everywhere, including the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat, the cookware we use, our personal care products, cleaning products, home furnishings, medications, EMFs, radioactive elements, Diesel (gas/petrol), BPA(plastic bottles), Lead (in paint), dry cleaning, food pesticides and more!

With so many toxins coming into the body, our body needs a way to get them out of our cells and this is detoxification or ‘detoxing’.

Detoxification is the process of actively pulling out the toxins from cells, systems and organs within the body.

Detoxing or 'killing' without laying the groundwork can make you very ill. Major flare-ups during detox are due to mobilized toxins having nowhere to go. So before you detox or parasite cleanse, you need to know your body can drain properly.

Drainage comes next - removing these substances from the body via the drainage pathways.

How do they leave the body?

There are multiple drainage pathways and we all have the same ones.

These include:

The colon - this is the main drainage pathway and how we predominantly remove waste via our bowel movements. If this drainage system is backed up, it means that the vast majority of toxins are not leaving our body, so it can cause other symptoms along the line. Frequent bowel movements are critical!;
The Liver - the liver processes what is going on in the blood and pulls toxins from it. These then get transferred into the bile. When these get backed up, it can then overflow into the bloodstream, meaning that the toxins are moving around the body in ways that they are not meant to;
The Kidneys - a natural filtration system to help remove waste, toxins and excess water;
The Skin - the skin is actually our biggest organ, which means that it helps us to drain toxins from the body via sweating. If you do not sweat, this is actually often a sign that your drainage pathways are not working properly - so this is not something to be proud of!;
The Lymphatic System - this is the system, built up from lymph nodes and lymph networks that covers our full body. It helps to filter out toxins, viruses and bacteria from the fluid that sits in our tissues all over our bodies. We also have the Glymphatic System in which the same process happens but specifically involves the draining of toxins from our brain.

So, the main drainage pathways are the colon, liver, skin, kidneys and lymphatic & glymphatic system and when all of our drainage pathways are working and moving efficiently, then the body can work and detox properly as it is meant to.

Your body needs to remove these waste products through these drainage systems every single day and if that is not working as it is meant to, the body will start to show you. Symptoms of ‘closed’ or weakly functioning drainage pathways include:

Cellulite (no, it’s not genetic!);
Puffiness / swelling;
Constipation / lack of bowel movements;
Stiffness and joint pain (the toxins backing up into your joints);
Lack of sweating;
Low energy / brain fog / low moods;
Skin conditions (psoriasis, eczema, acne, etc); and more.

How do you open your drainage pathways?

There are lots of ways you can work to open your drainage pathways that don’t cost a lot of money or involve taking tons of supplements.

Some more general tips include staying hydrated - this is key as it helps keep everything moving. Always aim for the highest quality water possible). Dry brushing your body can help to move and power the lymphatic system (because, unlike the bloodstream, it is not powered by a pump). Infra-red saunas (or at-home sauna blankets) can help to open up your drainage pathways, as can super hot baths (and add ginger for some extra heat!).

If you know that one of your drainage pathways is not working as it should be, you can also work on more specific solutions such as supporting your:

1. Colon pathway - increasing your distilled water intake, increasing your fiber, adding magnesium to your diet, increasing the fermented foods in your diet, increasing your exercise, colonics, and testing out castor oil packs over your liver.

2. Liver and bile function - increasing your distilled water intake, focusing on liver-supportive foods (like bitter greens, cruciferous vegetables, lemon, flax and healthy fats), as well as working with castor oil packs, coffee enemas, reducing your alcohol and sugar intake or supporting with a TUDCA supplement.

3. Kidneys - staying hydrated with high quality water, adding lemon and trace minerals to your distilled water when possible, and focusing on kidney supportive foods, herbs and nutrients like milk thistle, parsley, beetroot and marshmallow root.

4. Lymphatic (& glymphatic) system - dry brushing, rebounding or jump rope, increased exercise levels, sauna therapy, epsom and hot water baths and body work / massage, deep sleep.

5. Cells / mitochondria - getting enough sleep (ideally 7-9 hours a night), increasing natural sunlight exposure (safely), incorporating healthy stress (hormesis) into the body through cold bath, ice bath or plunges.

If you are working to really overhaul your detoxification processes and drainage pathways, you should also look to avoid processed foods, artificial preservatives, sweeteners, excess sodium, hydrogenated oils, MSG, artificial colors, Omega 6 oils (like corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, soy oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, grapeseed oil) - as well as gluten, wheat, sugar, dairy, inorganic meat (always go for grass-fed, hormone-free, organic) and starchy carbohydrates  (potatoes, white rice, bread, corn, pasta) and alcohol.

So, if you are constipated, constantly tired, living in pain, with cellulite or just feeling rough - look into your drainage pathways. There is a high chance that they are not functioning as they should, and toxins are backing up into the system.

Love Jena x