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Understanding Biotherapeutic Drainage

Our bodies are influenced by environmental or exogenous (from outside the body) toxins as well as endogenous (from inside the body) toxins produced by human cells. Toxic material has detrimental effects on the body and leads to organ dysfunction and disease.

A toxin is anything that the body cannot use or causes harm to the body. Toxins can be from environmental sources such as chemical pollutants, pesticides, inorganic/organic wastes to food chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavouring and colouring agents. Toxins can also be created internally from waste byproducts.

Dr. Dickson Thom, ND, describes biotherapeutic drainage as the process of “opening the doorways of the body to remove unwanted waste.” Drainage remedies are remedies which promote the excretory functions of a particular organ or organ system. The goal in biotherapeutic drainage, and naturopathic medicine is to assist movement towards a higher state of health balance.

The reason this is necessary can be compared to repainting your car. Before you paint your car, you must first wash the car, sand the rust spots, repair the holes, tape the edges and then clean the surface again for painting. If you paint the wall before removing impurities, the finished job will be flawed and will eventually have to be re-done. The same is true for healing the body. The body must be able to remove toxins through the proper drainage channels before proper healing can begin.

Dr. Mikhael Adams, ND, one of the pioneering practitioners of drainage in North America, defines dainage as, “the process of detoxifying the body by opening the routes of elimination (emunctories) and discharging the toxic accumulations.” These drainage routes (or emunctories as they were historically called) are separated into two categories: primary, which includes most of the abdominal organs such as the liver, kidney, intestines, lungs, stomach and pancreas and secondary, which includes the other naturally existing routes of elimination such as the skin, mucus membranes, nose and genitals. These natural routes of elimination may not be active and functioning at all times which leads to an unnatural accumulation of toxins. These toxins in the body may be the cause of different symptoms and diseases. That is to say that your present health concerns may be a result of toxic accumulations in your tissues.

Dr. Michel Bouko Levy of France, a medical doctor and a drainage practitioner gives this explanation of drainage: “Cleaning and fortifying of the body is maintained by the emunctories. In most cases you need to help and stimulate the organs touched by chronic disease. This is drainage.” Therefore, drainage is involved not only in helping to eliminate toxic accumulation, but also serves to stimulate the organs in order to improve the patient’s overall health.

Once there has been the gentle elimination of toxins, other therapeutic remedies are utilized to help achieve and maintain a level of optimal health. Drainage helps to start the process of cleansing and clearing tissues of toxic accumulations that will help you on your path to a higher level of health.