Ready to detox or have been experiencing detoxification symptoms and want to keep your drainage pathways open and moving?
In this article we will take a closer look at the pathways of elimination and give suggestions for keeping them open.
Drainage and Detoxification Pathways
These names describe the same thing: the collection, transportation, and elimination of substances from the body. In terms of detoxification, the substances to be eliminated are chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, xenoestrogens, plastics, heavy metals etc.
All of these substances need to be eliminated from the body by first being transported via the lymph to the liver.
What is the lymph exactly?
Lymph (from Latin, meaning water) is an extra cellular substance that transports not only toxins but minerals, fats, and lymphocytes to help fight infections and ward off cancer cells. It is part of the lymphatic system which includes the lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, and liver.
The lymphatic fluid moves in fine vessels that in contrast to blood vessels, do not have valves or a pump such as the heart. Lymph fluid is dependent on your muscles for movement. Therefore, the main way to keep lymph fluid flowing is through movement, staying hydrated and activating the lymph nodes.
Fun fact: Just 7 years ago it was discovered that the brain has its own lymph system called the glymphatic system. Something as simple as sleeping with your mattress slightly elevated can assist glymphatic flow and decrease morning headaches.
Main Detox Organs and Pathways
organs: lungs, kidneys, liver, colon, skin
pathways: lymph, sweat, urine, feces, menstruation
It is extremely important to support your organs of elimination before and during a detoxification protocol. The following are some ideas in order of priority.
First things first: the colon
The colon excretes the majority of toxicants through bowel movements. If the bowels are not moving, it creates a backlog of junk that can clog up the body and create detoxification symptoms. Having 2 -3 bowel movements a day is important. You cannot detoxify properly without daily bowel movements, it is that simple. Lack of bowel movements is like having an internal stopped up bathroom sink. If the drain is clogged then the water cannot flow out and the water level gets higher and higher in the sink. Free up the pipe, nothing backs up and the water flows smoothly again.
If you need help in this department, here are some ideas. Enemas, particularly coffee enemas can be a blessing for those that are irregular, see below.
Your liver and kidneys are the main filters in your body. When it comes to detoxification, the majority of substances will be filtered and conjugated by your liver. The liver performs a number of different functions from hormone detoxification, converting thyroid hormones, glycogen storage, to producing bile to name a few.
Giving your liver some extra love with castor oil packs or liver supporting supplements and herbs is helpful. The liver also likes to stay warm and have a break with breaking down fats while detoxing. Eating less meat or less fatty meats is a good idea while detoxifying.
In Eastern traditions, emotional expression, making and carrying out plans, and movement support liver health. If the liver does not receive these things, its energy can become stagnant. Take a moment and consider your emotional expression habits such as speaking with a friend, writing in a journal, etc. In the west we do not take into consideration non-physical attributes of an organ that are nonetheless drivers of overall health.
Coffee enemas increase bile and glutathione production thereby increasing the elimination of toxicants. Drinking coffee has a different effect. In fact, many people that cannot drink coffee or stand caffeine can easily perform coffee enemas. The oils from the coffee stimulate the liver to do its job more effectively. Additional benefits are clearing the colon and stimulating the vagus nerve.
Did someone mention the word massage? All types of massage are good for moving lymph. If you don’t have the time or resources for that, no worries. Stimulating lymph flow can be done via dry brushing with a natural bristle brush before showering. It only takes 2-3 minutes and really gives the lymph a great start in the morning after it has been clearing the body from harmful substances overnight.
Added bonus: take a cold shower. Start with 30 seconds (at the end of your shower) and increase over time. There is nothing like it to flood the internal organs with fresh blood and stimulate lymph. Have a sensitive system? Then expose your hands and feet to cold water at the beginning of your shower to get the stimulation going and only take a full cold shower when you are able to. Slow and easy is the way.
Movement and exercise:
As previously mentioned, lymph is dependent upon muscle movement for its circulation. As so many of us have desk jobs, it is essential to get up at regular intervals and get moving. Every hour do one exercise intensely to get a little sweat going. I like to stream Ibiza Global Radio and do any or all of the following for 1-3 minutes:
frog squats for hormones (my personal favorite)
freakout ecstatic dancing (benefit of working from home)
jogging in place
yoga stretches including pigeon pose
Starting your day by working at a high desk where you have to stand is also another way to get movement in your day. Shifting your weight back and forth while standing is good for the body and eases the pressure on the lower back.
More ways to open drainage pathways:
moving on a rebounder every day is the bomb when it comes to supporting the lympahtic system
sweat, ideally every day. Sauna, exercising outside, working out with weights or youtube videos are a great way to get in shape, support hormonal health and detoxification. My partner and I enjoy HIIT workouts featuring Juice and Toya. Many of them are only 20 minutes long. Kids love working out with these videos, too
drink more water. Lymph is mostly water so drinking water will help keep it moving
Lymph drainage massage – you can do this yourself. Follow detox doctor for how-to reels
Castor oil packs – on the liver or abdomen stimulate lympahtic flow and detoxification
Sex – it counts as exercise in my book
While sitting at a desk draw the alphabet in the air with your feet. Helpful for avoiding edema on long haul flights, too
Go outside every day. Movement and the natural rays of the sun (infra red light) are good for detoxification even if it is cloudy or rainy. Exposure to the elements is what we are made for
Sun bathing. This has gone out of fashion but is thankfully making a revival. Full body sunbathing with a hat on 10 minutes on each side (20 minutes total) not during prime hours of 11:30 am – 3pm gives us vitamin D, infra red light, works up a sweat and makes us feel good in the summer. No need for supplements when we get vitamin D this way
Don’t sweat much? Put castor oil on your abdomen or liver before working out or using the sauna. If that isn’t enough, put coconut oil or olive oil on your arms in addition to castor oil on the abdomen.
These are some fun ways to keep your drainage pathways open. Enjoy! Let me know how you get on with them.
This article was 100% written by a human.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog and on this website are for educational purposes only. The information is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. Please speak with your medical provider concerning your particular needs.