Drainage Vs. Detox
To support any health journey, proper drainage and detox is needed. The terms “drainage” and “detox” sound similar, but they serve different purposes in the healing process. Unfortunately, we all deal with toxins from our environment and many of us will need extra support for our detoxification system.
Drainage is the mechanism by which toxins leave or “drain” out from the body.
Detoxing is when we pull out toxins and harmful substances from individual cells and organs. Toxins need a way to get out (drain) before they are released from our organs (detox) so we don’t get a backup.
Tamara’s Tip: Think of a clogged toilet. If you are trying to flush something down a clogged toilet, you will have a messy problem. First, you have to unclog the toilet. This is drainge. Then you can flush the waste down the toilet. This is detox!
The Drainage Funnel
On the left is your body’s drainage funnel when the toxin load is low and your body is draining toxins out from the cells and out via bowel movements.
On the right is your body’s drainage funnel if toxin exposure is high or any of the six rings are blocked or not functioning optimally. Not only do we see a higher number of toxins entering our body, but we can see that toxins are flowing out in places we don’t want them to. A leak in the drainage funnel manifests physically as symptoms – rashes, brain fog, GI issues, etc.
Starting from the bottom, we have the colon! One of the main routes of excreting toxins is via our bowel movements.
Symptoms of a Blocked Colon:
- SIBO or other gut bacterial imbalances
*Symptoms of other pathways listed below are also possible signs of a backed-up colon as the colon is at the bottom of the funnel
Liver and Bile Ducts:
The next area of drainage is the liver and gallbladder/bile ducts. Most people need extra love here! Normally, the liver processes toxins which get dumped into the bile, then into the intestines, and out with the stool. When the liver or bile ducts are backed up, toxins can leak into the bloodstream rather than the colon. This will then cause systemic inflammation in other areas of the body.
Symptoms of blocked liver and bile ducts:
- Itching on skin
- Skin rashes
- Light brown or gray stool
- Floating stool
- Undigested food in stool
- Horrible hangovers from alcohol
- Unable to drink caffeine
- Inflammed liver, high liver enzymes (AST/ALT)
Next, comes the lymphatic system, an unsung hero! The lymphatic system is made of lymph vessels and lymph nodes throughout our body. Our lymphatic system helps maintain a healthy fluid balance, drains toxins from tissues, and plays an important role in our immune system. For example, we need good lymph flow in order for the brain to clean itself out while we are sleeping. Toxins can then move from the lymph to the liver to the gallbladder and out through the colon.
Symptoms of a blocked lymphatic system:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Tonsil issues
- Swelling and puffiness (edema)
- Brain fog
- Memory issues
- Poor concentration
- Worsened allergies and food sensitivities
- Joint pain and arthritis
- Poor sleep
In this context, organs refer to any organ system not otherwise noted in the drainage funnel. For example, our brain, thyroid, skin, kidneys, etc. The symptoms of blocked organs will vary by each organ system.
Last but not least, without the support of healthy cells, organs will not have the energy to function properly. We learned in high school that the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. We need properly functioning cells that will allow the mitochondria to make energy to power the entire drainage funnel.
Symptoms of blocked cells:
- Brain fog
- Low energy/fatigue
- Inability to sweat