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The #1 Reason Brain Detoxification Fails

by Jodi Cohen

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Your brain detoxifies while you are sleeping through a mechanism called your “glymphatic” system. During deep sleep, your brain literally shrinks making room for fluid to flow through and wash your brain, exiting down the neck, through the blood, to the liver, gall bladder and intestines for elimination.

If any of those functions are impaired or congested, metabolic garbage builds up in the brain, presenting as degenerative diseases. For example, the build-up of beta-amyloid protein is believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s as the excess beta-amyloid clump together and form plaques that collect between brain cells and disrupt cell function.

Supporting your optimal brain detoxification is one of the most important things you can do for your health. This means both getting optimal sleep, so the brain can shrink and get “washed” and ensuring that the exit route for the toxins – your neck – is not congested, so toxins can leave the brain.

You might think of the body like a hydraulics system where congested tissue downstream (like the neck or further down in the body liver the liver or gut) prevents optimal flow upstream (from the brain flowing down). More specifically, congested lymphatic vessels in the neck will impede drainage of toxins from the brain.

Your Neck is the Highway In and Out of Your Brain

Just as you would never yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater without first opening the exit doors, you want to ensure that your brain’s key exit route for draining toxins – the neck – is open and flowing freely before beginning any aggressive detoxification protocol that might mobilize toxins, like metals, from your brain.

The lack of proper drainage in the neck is often correlated with many negative detoxification reactions, like headaches, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety and pain. If toxins are mobilized and don’t leave the body, you will feel worse. Especially if you mobilize toxins in the brain and they recirculate in the brain, potentially relocating to a position where they cause more inflammation and damage.

Neck Congestion Impedes Toxin Drainage

Your neck is the critical intersection where your brain connects with your body. Oxygen, nutrients and stimuli are carried between the brain and the body through the nerves, blood vessels, veins and spinal cord that travel through your neck channel.

For example, your vagus nerve and lymphatic system run alongside the veins in the neck, in particular the carotid artery and internal jugular vein. Your sinuses also drain along the neck. What’s more, several muscles are activated by cranial nerves that travel through the neck , so any congestion in the neck area can be experienced as muscle fatigue or pain.

Congestion or inflammation any part of the neck – including the veins, lymphatic tissue or vagus nerve – can compromise function of the other systems in the neck and impede brain function and detoxification. Fresh, oxygenated blood can enter the brain only if blood and lymph are draining properly.

Chronic disease specialist Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt began taking ultrasounds of his patient’s necks and noticed a distinct correlation between inflammation in the vagus nerve, lymphatic tissue and vasculature and chronic illness. He consequently prioritizes opening the drainage pathways in neck channel with essential oils and other topical remedies, and notices a dramatic reduction inflammation in the drainage pathways, including the vagus nerve, which correlates with improved health.

Congestion = Symptoms

If lymph or blood flow in the neck is congested, fluid and pressure builds up in the brain, resulting in a variety of symptoms. The location of fluid build-up in the brain often dictates the symptoms that will occur. For example:

  • Fluid accumulation in the space below cerebellum (where the spinal cord meets the brain) may contribute to brainstem symptoms like blurred vision, vertigo, dizziness, numbness or loss of sensation.
  • Fluid accumulation in the subarachnoid space (the space between brain tissue and the skull) can place pressure on the brain and cranial nerves, resulting in symptoms like headaches and seizures. What’s more, pressure in the subarachnoid spaces inhibits oxygen flow to the brain, resulting in symptoms of brain fog, short-term memory deficits and loss of executive function.
  • Fluid accumulation that exerts pressure on the pituitary gland or blocks blood flow to or from the pituitary can compromise endocrine function, impacting hormone signals and mood.
  • Fluid accumulation can contribute to brain pressure that over time may also cause hypothalamic dysfunction, resulting in symptoms like obsessive-compulsive tendencies, anxiety and the tendency to overachieve.

How to Remove Stagnation in the Neck

In order to help your brain drain and detoxify better, and improve the delivery of oxygen, nutrients and stimuli to the brain, it’s important to help ensure optimal function in the following systems in the neck:

1. Improve Lymphatic Flow

Your lymphatic system carries toxins out of the brain down the neck channel. If there is congestion in the lymphatic system in the neck or downstream in the body, it will impair drainage from the brain. If you think of the body like a hydraulics system where congested tissue downstream prevents optimal flow upstream, congested lymphatic vessels in the neck will impede drainage of toxins from the brain.

As you may know, your lymphatic system permeates every part of the body, serving as a complementary system to our circulatory system. It draws fluid from the cells and carries it through a series of lymphatic ducts and nodes back to the circulatory system, establishing the link between the smallest blood vessels – the capillaries – and the cells. As such, it helps remove toxins and infections and other waste from every cell in your body. It works as the body’s septic system, removing the by-products and wastes created from metabolizing our nutrients. Just like the drains in your home, the lymphatic system can get congested and stagnant and toxins can build up.

Unfortunately, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump and lymphatic fluid can accumulate and stagnate (learn more about the Lymphatic System here). This stagnation can be due to an overload of acidity, animal protein, gluten, infection, toxins or adhesions of the connective tissue, such as scars.

Did you ever start on a healing protocol or a detox and feel just terrible? Perhaps you noticed a headache,To enhance lymphatic flow and drainage, generously apply Lymph™ around the sides of the neck to relieve congestion, improve drainage and reduce brain inflammation.

2. Enhance Circulation

Your lymphatic system flows along the veins of the neck. Your circulatory system also controls blood flow into and out of the brain. Slow or blocked blood flow through the veins or arteries can impede the ability of toxins to drain.

If Veins and arteries are narrow, lax, scarred or malformed, or the blood cells can be too large, effective blood flow is restricted, which creates pressure and prevents toxins from draining from the brain. Your veins can also be a target for infections. For example, a lot of bugs hang out in the endothelium or the lining of the jugular veins and the venous system causing congestion. Dr. Klinghardt likes to put himself in the mind of the bug, hypothesizing that “If I were a bug, I would want to be waiting downstream from the most nutrient rich blood in the body, and that’s coming out of the brain.”

Essential oils, like Circulation™, can help improve circulation by relaxing the blood vessels and improving the health of the blood vessels. This helps more blood circulate through them, improving circulation in the process. Essential oils can also be used to help the veins contract, stimulating blood flow.

Apply 2- 3 drops of Circulation™ on the sides or back of the neck, over the left clavicle, to help support circulation. When blood circulation to the brain becomes sluggish, it can impact your physical and mental abilities, including your ability to focus and concentrate. Poor circulation in the brain can also contribute to fatigue, vertigo, dizziness, memory loss, and frequent and unexplained headaches.

Circulation™ works especially well in combination with Lymph™ to help flush out toxins and reduce inflammation of the blood vessels, which further improves blood flow throughout the body. Read More about Circulation HERE.

3. Healthy Vagus Nerve 

As you may know, your vagus nerve is one of the most important channels for sending messages to and from the brain to the body.  It starts at the base of the brain and travel down the neck on both sides of the body.  The microbes in the mouth – like heavy metals, pathogens, infections, viruses or environmental toxins – drain along your trigeminal nerve and intersect with the vagus nerve in the neck.

Nerves have a high affinity for toxins, especially metals, which can be absorbed by the vagus nerve, known as vagus nerve toxicity (Read More about Vagus Nerve Toxicity HERE), contributing to inflammation which further compromise the flow of fluids in the neck channel.

The vagus nerve travels down both sides of the neck and infections in that vicinity can be taken into the nerve and impede the ability of the nerve to trigger the parasympathetic state.  Topically applying Parasympathetic™ blend on the vagal nerve behind the on the neck can help manually override the infection and help reset the autonomic nervous system for optimal drainage from the brain.

4. Support Healthy Sinus and Tonsil Drainage

Infections in the neck area, including the your sinus cavity or tonsils can inflame the neck and impede toxins from properly draining from the brain.

The sinuses drain down the back of the throat when you swallow.  If the sinus passages become blocked or fail to let the sinuses drain effectively, the resulting pressure can cause inflammation and congestion that is often correlated with neck pain.

Similarly, all waste that leaves the brain passes through the tonsils which is why Dr. Klinghardt refers to the tonsils as “the toilet of the brain.” If your tonsils are congested or infected, they can act like a dam on the lymphatic system, preventing the glymphatic system of the brain from being able to properly drain. For example, lymph from the teeth drain into the tonsils, potentially compromising the health of the tonsils.  The tonsils are also in close proximity to, and can infect your vagus nerve.

Essential oils like Histamine Balance™  and Sinus Support™ may help modulate the immune response to sinus and tonsil infections.  As you may know, Histamine is a chemical compound released by the cells in response to injury, allergic or inflammatory reactions, causing contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries.  While the release of histamine is a normal defense mechanism, an exaggerated histamine response can bind to cell receptor sites, causing irritation and chronic inflammation. This inflammatory response can cause sneezing, runny nose, watery, red, itchy eyes, rashes, breathing troubles such as wheezing, severe coughs, asthma, or hiccups. The goal is to balance, not block, the histamine response as histamine performs critical functions in body. The essential oils in the Histamine Balance™ blend are uniquely suited to help modulate excess histamine excretion, balancing histamine levels and helping to reset the immune response and reduce allergic reactions and infections in the sinus cavity and tonsils. To learn more about balancing the Histamine Reaction to mold, CLICK HERE.

As you may know, your sinuses are a connected system of hollow cavities in the skull drain into your nose.  When your sinuses are inflamed, thick mucus fills the nasal cavity causing your tissue to swell and blocking drainage openings including those into the neck nose so fluid can no longer escape. This then leads to the common symptoms of sinusitis: headaches, facial pressure and even toothaches form surrounding nerve impingement.

Essentials oils can easily travel into the small holes to loosen mucous and promote drainage. Sinus Support™ works as local decongestants that break up mucus, stimulate drainage of the nose and sinuses and relieve head pressure.  Essential oils are also antimicrobial, to help resolve infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungus in the sinuses and nasal cavity.  Sinus Support™ is designed for aromatic and topical use. If using topically, we recommend apply 2 – 3 drops to a Q-tip and swabbing the inside of the nasal passages 2 – 6 times daily.  For optimal effectiveness, you can leave the Q-tip in the nasal passage for up to 20 minutes. Try to relax and focus on breathing through the nose.

5. Reduce Toxicity in the Mouth  

Oil pulling is a powerful tactic to help reduce bacteria, fungi, and parasites formations  in the mouth. Oil pulling consists of swishing 1-2 teaspoons of edible oil (like coconut oil or sesame oil) in your mouth around your teeth and gums, similar to how you might swish mouthwash.  The longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more pathogens are pulled free, so be careful not to swallow any. spit out the oil after for 10 – 20 minutes.  The oil is able to reach and attract harmful substances between teeth and in the gums like bacteria and plaque much the way a powerful magnet attracts metal bits.

You can optimize the benefits even more by adding essential oils like Clove (found in Parasympathetic™) and Peppermint™ to your oil pulling routine.  For example, Clove oil contains the active ingredient eugenol, which helps naturally numb and reduce pain and anti-inflame.  A study found that eugenol is more effective at reducing pain, inflammation, and infection than another type of analgesic toothpaste.

My friend Katie Wells at Wellness Mama created this easy recipe for oil pulling chews with essential oils to make the process even easier.

6. Structural Alignment 

To optimize the highway in and out of the brain, it’s important to make sure that the cervical spine is aligned.  Injuries including whiplash, concussions or traumatic brain injury can negatively affect lymph drainage along with other health concerns as your spinal cord is the main pathway for information connecting the brain and peripheral nervous system.

Essential oils, like Uplift™ and Nerve Repair™, can be topically applied after structural alignment sessions to help hold and maintain the correction.  Topical application is especially effective as receptors in the skin send information to the spinal cord through the spinal nerves.



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About The Author

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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