I learned a very important lesson from my mom in her career. She’s a naturopath and biofeedback technician and one day we were talking about detoxification. I was speaking as if detoxification was the be all end all, as it is very important.
She agreed with the importance of it, but taught me a very valuable lesson that I’d like to share with you today. We often hear health experts and teachers discuss detoxification and the importance of it but we do are left out of the full equation. There is more to detoxification than we were told.
In fact, if we simply “detox” or “detoxify” then we’re only doing so much good, and could actually be doing more damage to our body.
is the process of pulling toxins and toxic compounds out at the cellular level, even the organ level. This doesn’t mean that these chemical, toxic/synthetic compounds are exiting the body however.
Detoxification starts with the cells, organs and tissues. Everything from the lymphatic system down in the funnel below represents drainage, which actually allows these things to be excreted from the body.
The process beyond detoxication. Drainage is utilizing the pathway through which unwanted substances leave the body, having been excreted by the metabolic organs. The liver/colon etc.
Which is More Important? Detoxification or Drainage?
There is no correct answer here. Detoxification is just as important as drainage. They are both necessary and work together to excrete toxicity from the body. One hands off to the other and they both have such valuable use for our health both on the micro and macro level. On the cellular level, all the way to the organ level, and system level.
Detoxification comes first so it may appear that detoxification may be more important. But don’t assume so quickly! What happens if your body is detoxifying and excreting on a cellular and even an organ level but your liver, colon and lymphatic system are plugged up? The drainage of these toxins gets blocked and the body simply recirculates them throughout the body.
I have seen this firsthand in my life. One time I gave a friend a multi-herbal liquid blend of herbs that help to boost circulation. Within about 15 minutes she had a headache. Why? The toxins in her body were simply circulating. She needed a multi-herbal that supported the gut, the colon, liver and lymphatic system. If that would have came first her body would have released these toxic compounds and then the circulation product would have been more effective.
The circulation product worked, it just came in the wrong order! To answer the question “Which is more important?” — Neither.
Drainage should be prioritized however because if the body is not draining then all the money, time and energy spent with detoxification will go to waste. The body may release these toxins from the cells, muscles and some organs but if the key drainage systems of the body are plugged it won’t do much.
So, thankfully this isn’t a chicken and the egg scenario. We know that both are important and to prioritize drainage.
And ladies, good new for you. Skincare just happens to be on the drainage list. Not the detoxification list.
Long story short, the drainage systems of the body would serve your body and health best if optimized first before focusing on detoxification. Focus on the organs and systems below to optimize their health with key practices and once you feel like your digestive organs, metabolism and lymphatic system. Once these are humming then focus on releasing toxins at the cellular level.
Draining Toxins From The Body Exits With These Pathways:
The first and key portion of the body to focus on is the lymphatic system. The 3 key components of the lymphatic system are movement, oxygen and water. Just remember to M.O.W. your Lymph (Movement, Oxygen, Water) The word “Lymph” in Latin means “Goddess of water” and in Greek it translates to “Goddess of spring” so stay hydrated. Hydration doesn’t simply mean to drink more water. If you drink more water and pee it all out your body is not staying hydrated.
Hydrated means to drink enough water but also to have enough electrolytes paired with water so that it can be moved throughout the body. The body goes through a process called ‘osmosis’ in which these electrolytes and their electrical charge move water throughout the body inside the cell. A good rule of thumb is to drink 50% of your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you weight 120 pounds for example you’ll want to drink 60 ounces of water each day.
You need sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphate as key electrolytes to stay hydrated.
Just remember to M.O.W. (move, oxygen, water) your lymph system daily!
The lungs are a fun one. Your will use your lungs more when you M.O.W. your lymphatic system. Remember that! You’ll breathe more and oxygenate your body. Deep breathing exercises are also beneficial for the lungs as a whole. Did you know that up to 84% of fat loss comes from breathing? It’s true. Read this article here to learn more.
It simply takes a few minutes to sit down and do some deep breathing exercises. Breathe in through your nose and deep into your diaphragm (stomach). Do this a few minutes daily to keep your lungs conditioned and to exhale toxins that have been stored in your lungs.
I love skincare. It’s a fun process to enjoy. I taught natural and holistic skincare from the inside out for years and have a lot of expertise in this area. Some of the best ways to keep your skin healthy and draining toxins are to break a sweat in a sauna, or in the hot sun. I’ll also sit in my hot car and keep the windows closed to break a nice sweat every once in a while!
Clay masks such as Aztec clay mixed with apple cider vinegar (ACV) are also great for pulling impurities out of the skin. The nice thing about sweating, clay and acv masks are that these not only drain toxins out of the body but they leave your skin with a nice beautiful glow!
Liver & Bile:
The liver and bile play such important roles in the body. Did you know that the liver has over 500 vital functions in the human body? It is an INCREDIBLY valuable organ. Some of the healthiest foods for liver health are beets, lemon water in the morning, green tea, grapefruit, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, cruciferous vegetables and fatty fish. Olive oil is great for the liver too. Organic is always preferable.
Bile is incredibly important and often ignored by health experts. It’s a greenish liquid the body produces for two main functions. One is to break down fat into fatty acids. The other is to carry waste out of the body. Quite literally ‘drainage’ what we’re looking to do here!
Approximately 85% of bile is made from water. H20. Hydrogen and oxygen. Drink more and get those key electrolytes in so that 85% of the bile recipe is there to begin with. Beyond that dark leafy green vegetables, beetroot, artichoke, lemon, hibiscus, fenugreek, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger all help to stimulate bile.
The colon is very important. The core job of the colon is to process waste matter and to separate water from digested food. If the colon is not working properly your body will be backed up and you will not be pooping regularly. A healthy colon shows if you’re having regular bowel movements.
The colon needs healthy bacteria to thrive. These bacteria help to feed on and breakdown food. You can get probiotics from foods such as saurkraut, kimchi and other fermented vegetables such as pickled turnips, beets, pickles and more. You can get probiotics from drinks as well in the form of kefir water, kombucha, or other fermented beverages.
While probiotics are very important it is also important to eat foods rich in prebiotics. Prebiotics are the precursors to probiotics forming. Prebiotics are really just a specific type of fiber that clear the way and allow for healthy bacteria to grow inside. Rich sources of prebiotics include chicory root, dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, banana, apple, cacao and more! These are some of the best sources however.
Distinction Between Drainage & Detoxification:
Unfortunately we hear about detoxification way too often and not about drainage nearly as much. Detoxification is the hot buzz word and we get caught up in it because it’s what the doctors and health experts are talking about. If we focus on drainage first and foremost, detoxification will be much more effective and we’ll benefit from this in the long run!