1. What is Colon Hydrotherapy?
Colon Hydrotherapy, Colonics, High Colonics or Colon Irrigation are all different terms for an alternative health practice that cleanses the large intestine of hardened fecal matter by flushing it with warm water. The colon is about 4-6 feet long and it’s at the end of the digestive tract. The colons’ main function is to absorb water, some vitamins and electrolytes, as well as preparing and storing waste prior to elimination.
2. Brief History of Colon Hydrotherapy
The practice and benefits of colon lavage have been known for more than 3000 years, dating back to ancient Egypt and was recorded in a medical document called the Eber Papyrus. Cleansing of the colon was not limited just to Egyptians, the use of enemas was recorded on the cuneiform inscriptions on Babylonian and Assyrian tablets, as early as 600 B.C.. Colon cleansing references were also recorded in Hindu medical texts such as the Susruta Smhita, the work of Susruta, the father of Hindu surgery. Hippocrates, the well-known Greek physician from 4th and 5th century B.C. recorded using enemas for fever therapy and disorders of the body in his “on Regimen in Acute Disease”.
Roman physician Asclepiades of Bithynia, credited with establishing medicine in Rome, preferred the enema over the use of laxatives and used the enema for intestinal worms and fevers. In 30 A.D., Celsus is credited as being one of the first authors to write about the use of enemas in his book “de Medicina”. Enemas were a favorite mode of treatment for Nigerians and early African races. The calabash was used as a vessel for cleansing the large intestine by the inhabitants of the Ivory Coast.
In the early 1900’s Dr. John Harvey Kellogg used colon hydrotherapy on about 40,000 of his patients and in 1917 he reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that in all but 20 cases he used no surgery for the treatment of gastrointestinal disease. Dr. Kellogg also stated in the Journal of the AMA, that “We are literally poisoning ourselves into illness when the bowel evacuation is deficient”.
3. Are colonics dangerous or habit forming?
No, colonics actually improve muscle tone and peristaltic action. It is a very safe procedure that does not generate any adverse effects. Of course, if you have any medical issues you should obtain your doctors permission before trying a colonic.
4. Does colon hydrotherapy remove the beneficial bacteria and cause electrolyte imbalance?
In my practice I have seen countless clients whose flora and electrolyte balance is compromised because of stress, poor eating habits, antibiotics and lack of exercise, just to name a few. Since beneficial bacteria can only breed in clean intestinal mucosa, colonics actually increase the population of good intestinal flora by providing an ideal environment for re-population.
With this in mind, we do recommend supplementing with a good probiotic after a colonic so that repopulation can take place in the cleansed tissue. One major function of the colon is to reabsorb the fluid and electrolytes from unformed stool that is moving into the colon from the small intestine. After the fluid and electrolytes are reabsorbed and stool is formed, the colon moves the stool into the rectum and out of the body. Thus, the majority of the material released during a colonic is formed stool that already had the fluid and electrolytes removed from it.
5. Can I lose weight doing Colonics?
The answer is yes. During a typical session the client can lose 3-5 lbs or more. The average American has 5, 10lbs or more of impacted waste in their large intestine. There can also be an excess of mucus, gas, worms, parasites, dead cellular tissue and undigested food. If the colon is not working properly, the toxins can recirculate in the bloodstream causing fatigue, illness and disease. Impaction can also inhibit the peristaltic action, which causes sluggish bowel movements and constipation. The bowel can also become distended from poor living habits (no exercise, poor diet etc). Backaches, bad breath, body odor are also a result of being constipated.
6. Why is Colon Hydrotherapy so effective?
When impactions exist in the large intestine they alter its shape and structure, which can in turn cause more health problems. The action of the filtered water along with abdominal massage techniques utilized by the colon therapist help release constricted areas, thus allowing the colon to resume its natural shape. Colon hydrotherapy tones and hydrates the colon. Once the impacted material is removed, your colon can begin to function as it was meant to. A series of colonics can help speed up transit time of waste matter and along with proper food choices, can help reshape the colon.
7. How many sessions would a person need?
In order to answer this question we have to look at the client health and lifestyle history, their eating habits, goals and financial situation. For people who are just starting a cleanse for the first time might do well by having colonics once or twice a week for the first 1 or two weeks, then taper off to once weekly until the desired goal is achieved, then I usually recommend cleansing seasonally. This can be achieved through juice fasting or colon cleansers like psyllium and bentonite.
The client can also go on a cleansing diet and have colonics as well.
8. How long is a colonic session?
A colonic can take between 45 minutes to an hour or slightly longer depending on the client’s needs and particular health challenges.
9. How does one Prepare for a colonic session?
New clients who have regular bowel movements (one for every meal they eat) usually have effortless sessions and feel quite refreshed, energized and serene. To clarify what regular movements are, the first movement of the morning would be from yesterday’s breakfast, After lunch movements would be from the previous days lunch and so on. If a person eats 3 or more meals a day and does not relieve themselves in a timely manner every day, impaction of the colon may result. Imagine if you would, eating 3 meals a day and not eliminating for one whole week, that would be 21 impacted meals sitting in your large intestine.
With all that said, Please avoid the following for at least 2 days before the session:
- Carbonated beverages
- Refined carbohydrates
- Fried food
- Cow dairy
- Chewing gum
- Rice cakes/Popcorn
- Any puffed grain
No food 2hrs before, No liquids 1hr before
After the colonic session, drink plenty of filtered or purified water and if possible have freshly prepared vegetable juice or mixed green juice. After about an hour or so, ease into eating with salad or steamed vegetables and some protein. Basically follow the preparation protocol for after the session as well, to prolong the benefits of colon therapy.
10. What can I expect after having colon irrigation?
Most people feel lighter, serene and energetic. Some people who have greater health challenges might feel tired or wiped out, needing a nap. When they awaken they usually feel better. If the session is very productive, you might not have a movement for about 2 days. If the session was semi-productive, you might have some bowel movements after the session.
off 25th Street – Suite 1118
New York, NY 10010