“Cells release wastes and toxins into the surrounding tissues. Drainage is the process ensuring that these wastes and toxins are carried by blood and lymph out of cells and tissues toward the excretory organs for their elimination.”
– Dr. Gerard Gueniot and Dr. Pierre Tondelier
Biotherapeutic Drainage, also called Biological Medicine, is a system of medicine that supports the body in balancing itself and eliminating disease through encouragement of the innate detoxification processes of the body. The approach of Biotherapeutic Drainage supports not just detoxification but restoration of function all the way from the level of the cells to the organs to the organism (you!).
It is both a powerful and gentle healing process that restores the body to its natural state of health and vitality in a long-lasting and effective way. The approach is also holistic as it can address physical, mental, and emotional issues. Drainage treatment plans are not based on the name of the disease (i.e. Hashimoto’s, arthritis, hypertension, MS, acne, Lyme Disease, etc.) but rather on an individualized assessment of the patient that takes into consideration current symptoms, health history (physical and emotional), the person’s unique reaction patterns, and the functioning of their emunctories.
We all have built in routes of elimination and detoxification which are referred to as emunctories by Naturopathic Doctors. These emunctories remove the endogenous waste our cells produce and the exogenous toxins we take in from our environment. You have primary emunctories which include the skin, liver, digestive tract, kidneys, lungs, and emotions. These primary emunctories are the best, most efficient, preferred routes of elimination for the body.
You also have secondary emunctories including your skin, muscles, joints, bones, mucus membranes, and emotions. These less efficient routes of elimination are used when the primary emunctories are overburdened- some of the secondary emunctories actually work more like storage sites than routes of elimination. Skin and emotions are on both the primary and secondary emunctory lists. When your skin is sweating a reasonable amount, it is functioning as a primary emunctory; if you develop acne, eczema, psoriasis, discolorations, or mystery rashes, your skin is functioning as a secondary emunctory because it is compensating for overburdened primary emunctories. Emotions are similar. It is normal to have ups and downs, but when we develop depression, anxiety, easy weeping, or easy anger, it is evidence that your emotions have become a secondary emunctory.
Other symptoms of reliance on secondary emunctories include repeat vaginal, urinary tract, and sinus infections as evidence that mucus membranes are being used as detoxification routes. Excess inflammation after exercise, arthritis, and fibromyalgia are a range of issues associated with the body depositing toxins in the musculoskeletal system. There are many ways these elimination routes can become inefficient: genetics, developmental events, lifestyle choices, coping mechanisms, environmental exposures, and many other circumstances. All autoimmune disease and other chronic conditions have evidence of dysfunction in the emunctories.
Drainage vs Detoxification
Drainage is not synonymous with detoxification. Detoxification, for example through saunaing, works to remove extracellular toxins but does not restore function to cells. Drainage supports removal of toxins from inside the cells and helps to restore normal function. Biotherapuetic Drainage seeks to optimize and restore function to these routes of elimination through a variety of methods. The medicinal tools of drainage include:
- Herbal preparations, often in the form of gemmotherapies which are typically made from the small buds of plants and then extracted through water, glycerin, and alcohol to ensure all the healing constituents of the plants are captured and potent.
- Combination drainage remedies composed of plants, metals, and minerals which have been prepared through homeopathic dilution and succusion; the different combinations are formulated to target specific cells and tissues. The combination remedies are very different from those targeting specific conditions and are commonly found at health and natural food stores (these are very unspecific). UNDA Numbered Compounds are the main combination remedies used here at Healing Roots Natural Medicine.
- Single Homeopathic Remedies*
- Other: tissue salts, oligoelements, spagyrics, immunemetabolic remedies, and phytogens
The Whole Picture
At Healing Roots Natural Medicine, these tools are always combined with therapeutic diets and lifestyle recommendations as well as specialized testing and tools from functional medicine to support the healing process. Drainage prescriptions are dynamic and reassessed at every visit to meet the needs of patients as their bodies heal and respond to therapy.
This case study published in the journal Explore! was co-authored by Dr. Erika Enos, a registered Naturopathic Doctor in the state of Colorado, and illustrates treatment with drainage therapies. For every person, the healing journey using drainage is and will look unique.
*Homeopathy is a safe, effective, and gentle modality. Adversaries of homeopathy often claim there is no scientific proof that homeopathy works beyond the placebo effect. This paper, compiled by Robert Medhurst, an Australian researcher and homeopath, contains the abstracts of over 400 studies showing the efficacy of homeopathy. The type of study, form of homeopathy, condition, and publishing journals vary widely. Homeopathic and biotherapeutic drainage practitioners continue to be engaged in publishing and supporting research to validate these indispensable modalities.