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What are the Channels of Elimination? Why What Goes Out Matters Almost as Much as What Comes In

ExpertsPost Category - ExpertsExpertsWellnessPost Category - WellnessWellness - Post Category - HealthHealth - Post Category - NutritionNutrition

Women’s health expert and nutritionist Tracy Savill breaks down the four channels of elimination

Ok, this is a topic that I have found many people don’t quite think about or consider in terms of their health, but when I first found out about this, I must say it not only made so much sense, it also changed my health in a really positive way!

So what are the channels of elimination? Well, it really is just that… they are the ways in which our bodies eliminate waste.

Here’s how it works: our bodies take in so many things from food, to products we use on our skin, to the air we breathe, to the drinks we consume. All of these have to then be processed within our body – a role assigned to our beautiful liver to detoxify, or alternatively for the liver to send nutrients to specific areas or organs of the body. Anything that is of no ‘value’ is considered waste, and the liver then has to find a way to eliminate it.

Which leads us to the various channels of elimination that it uses to eliminate waste.

There are four main channels that our bodies use to eliminate waste:

  • Respiration
  • Perspiration
  • Urination
  • Defecation

The thing is that often these channels can get rather backed up, or blocked, so what ends up happening is we start to build up toxicity and inflammation in the body because of this. Sounds awful, right?

Let’s take a closer look:

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We all breathe – otherwise I guess we wouldn’t be alive! But it’s not about just breathing, its about HOW we breathe, as well as the quality of air we take in that makes a huge difference and impact on our body, and how much of a load this may or may not place on our liver.

Let’s face it, we breathe every single second, it’s what keeps us alive – but are we breathing fresh, clean, non-toxic fumes? Or are we exposed to toxic, polluted, or chemically laden air? All of these have an impact on our liver as it has to work hard to detoxify it! Breathing in a short, shallow way is also something that can cause biochemical processes to then signal to our body to release adrenaline, thinking that we are in ‘danger’. This build-up of adrenaline then further causes inflammation in the body.

What can we do to help our body with this channel of elimination? For starters, improve the quality of the air we are exposed to – try to avoid toxic and chemical fumes from insecticides, household cleaning products, fragrances, skincare, and pollution. Of course, sometimes all of this is difficult for us to control, but where we can we take the steps to minimise this.

Fill your home with plants, especially things like peace lilies, palms, and money plants, as these are great for helping to clean and oxygenate the air.

Also practicing deep, diaphragmatic breathing is a great way to reduce stress and inflammation, as is meditation.

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Perspiration seems seems pretty easy to do, given that you probably live in a pretty warm climate in Asia! But not everyone perspires enough; our skin has been known as our “second kidney” because it is how we can eliminate toxins and waste. So, ensure that you get out and break a sweat regularly to help the skin do some eliminating for you! Exercise, movement, saunas and dry skin brushing are all great ways to support this elimination channel!

Read more: 10 Super Fun and Unique Fitness Classes for Mamas


The next channel of elimination is urination, which pretty much says it all, yet I have had SOOOOO many clients who just do not support this channel enough! Our urine is essentially our blood that has been filtered. In order for this process to work efficiently, we have to help our kidneys do this crucial work of filtering our blood, and the thing that helps this is ensuring we are drinking enough water.

The benefits of water are too long to list, but suffice to say that it is critical in this process. Did you know that we need to drink at least 1 litre of water per 22kgs of body weight to be well-hydrated and to support all of the biochemical and metabolic functions of our body? Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?


This final channel is one that many people don’t like speaking about (unless they’re in Kindergarten, in my experience! –Ed.), but let’s face it it’s a part of life that happens daily (or should!).

If you are suffering from constipation or difficulty going to the toilet, then this is an area that needs to be addressed. Obviously this process is all about eliminating all the things we consume through food. This is where it is vital to be eating foods that are high in fibre, plus fresh vegetables and fruit juices that are high in nutrient value as they are easier to digest. It places much less load on the digestive system to try and then break it down, absorb the nutrients and then finally get rid of the waste.

Many clients I’ve seen have found that their digestive systems have not worked effectively for years due to the high consumption of processed foods and sugars, having food sensitivities, allergies and intolerances have also contributed to the breakdown of their digestive health. Indeed I have found that this channel of elimination is by far the one that most people have challenges with and the one that usually is the leading cause of various illnesses.

Hippocrates got it right when he said that all disease begins in the gut, so if health is something you want to be more PRO-active about, then its time to start with looking at these areas that you can help to decongest your liver, but more importantly to support your body and health to thrive!

Read more:

Listen Up, Ladies: How to Keep Your Hormones Happy
How ‘Good’ Gut Bacteria Affects Weight and Energy

Lead image sourced via Flickr; prune image sourced via Getty

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