Many people have pre-conceived ideas about Colonic Hydrotherapy, also known as colonic irrigation. NMTBP cuts through the myths and. let’s face it, sniggers, to explain how the treatment is performed and give you some ideas as you whether it is something you would wish to undertake
The colon, also known as the large intestine or large bowel is part of the digestive system. It’s located at the end of the digestive tract in the abdominal cavity and is divided into several regions. The appendix, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon and the rectum. The anus acts as a valve under voluntary control
The function of the colon is to re-absorb digestive juices, water soluble salts and bile back into the blood stream and then to the liver. It also stores food and other bodily waste products until elimination. The colon acts as host for vast numbers of beneficial bacteria, these bacteria help us with various tasks including immunity to infection, regulation of cholesterol levels, production of a number of vitamins and maintain a healthy colon
The bowel structure is made of smooth muscle, which is different from ordinary (skeletal) muscle tissue in so much as it works under the autonomic (or automatic) nervous system. This means we have no conscious control over it. Once we have chewed and swallowed our food, the rest of the digestive process is done for us, until it is time to evacuate our bowel which is partly autonomic, and partly voluntary
What we eat and how often we eat, depends on how often we empty (defecate) our bowel. It is expected that we will go to the toilet for a bowel movement at least once every 24 hours. Inability to empty the bowel regularly can lead to constipation and people may feel bloated and uncomfortable as a consequence
Sometimes the colon may become tight (spastic) or go into spasm which is a feature of irritable bowel syndrome. Although the colon muscle is different from skeletal muscles it can still suffer from cramp which can be very painful. The symptoms of an irritable bowel are wide and varied but range from constipation to diarrhoea along with irregular defecation and incomplete evacuation
The colon forms an important part of the elimination system of the body and waste from the alimentary tract, the lymphatic system and bloodstream are collected prior to excretion. It is therefore important to have a healthy and properly functioning colon in order to help the overall balance of the body. Waste products that remain in the colon for too long may be reabsorbed and can make us feel unwell
Through our past eating habits, emotional pressures, or just living in our modern environment, our bodies have become reservoirs for toxic waste. If our bodies are not functioning at their optimum level, gradually layer upon layer of mucoid matter is built up in our intestinal tracts. This can eventually result in conditions such as loss of vitality, poor health, gas, bloating, candida, poor skin and so on. Old stagnant waste in the intestines can block proper absorption and elimination of food as well as serving as a breeding ground for harmful organisms and parasites. Recent statistics show that over 60% of the world’s population has worms and parasites in their intestinal tracts! These unwelcome inhabitants can pollute the blood, organs and lymph system, causing illness and degenerative diseases.
Objective of colonic hydrotherapy
Colonic hydrotherapy stimulates bowel activity by using the body’s natural nerve and muscular response mechanisms, so is essentially a natural treatment. By using the body’s natural nerve and muscular activity colonic hydrotherapy may help to tone and exercise the bowel, thus aiding the evacuation of waste both during and after treatment.
Colonic treatment is used as a naturopathic therapy and those who choose this treatment may suffer from various bowel conditions. One of the best things about colonic hydrotherapy is that the benefits of the treatment are very personal to the client. This means that as a client you will know how you feel after the treatment. You won’t need to be influenced by anyone else
Many people report an improvement in symptoms, and choose to have colonic hydrotherapy on a regular basis. Others wish to experience one treatment to see what it’s like
You don’t need to make any special changes to your diet or lifestyle before a treatment, though many people choose to have a treatment when embarking upon a new health regime. Ideally, you need to allow an hour and a half for your colonic hydrotherapy session
On arrival, your practitioner will take you through a full and through consultation that will examine the reasons why you are seeking treatment as well as identify any additional problem areas
During the treatment itself you’ll be fully covered, using a disposable gown, and a blanket will be placed over you to maintain your dignity. Initially you’ll feel a slight amount of pressure when the speculum is introduced (to approximately two inches). This is not a painful process although you might experience a slight feeling of discomfort for a few seconds. Once in place, you will be asked to lie on your back with your knees slightly bent.
During the treatment you’ll feel a slight pressure in the abdominal region, together with a sensation of ‘butterflies’ when material is passed. The whole system is totally enclosed, so nothing noxious can escape into the treatment room. Your practitioner will also use special massage techniques in the abdominal area to stimulate the release of unwanted matter. Most people find this deeply relaxing. At the end of your treatment the practitioner will use a high potency, pro-biotic wash to replenish the positive bowel flora
You’ll then get dressed and return to the therapy room where your practitioner will give you suggestions on how to improve your state of health based on the information imparted throughout the treatment. Since many practitioners are also naturopaths and homeopaths, they may also suggest a herbal or homeopathic remedy to aid your return to health
How many treatments are necessary?
Following the treatment, you can carry on as normal. In fact, many people pop in during their lunch hour for a treatment. The only suggestion most therapists make is that you, if possible, avoid eating red meat the day of the treatment as it can be quite heavy to digest. People often comment on how clear and bright their skin and eyes feel after treatment, their energy levels increase and digestive symptoms diminish
Your therapist will discuss with you your individual motivation for deciding to have a colonic treatment. Following the initial treatment, most recommend a follow up session after a period of one to two weeks to see if, and how, things have improved. Unless you have a specific complaint that would benefit from more frequent sessions, most therapists recommended that you have a single treatment every three months to give the body a boost
Is colonic hydrotherapy safe?
Yes. As long as they’re not self administered but conducted by a qualified therapist they have a proven record of safety and are effective. The filtered water is administered at low pressure so there is no danger of bowel perforation. All equipment used is either disposable or sterilised using hospital-approved sterliants or regularly serviced autoclaves
Use a therapist registered with the Association of Registered Colon Hydrotherapists (ARCH). All ARCH therapists are trained to ARCH standards having undergone practical application training along with practical and written exams. The colonic schools that teach to ARCH standards are independently audited. ARCH members are required to undergo continuing professional development and keep up to date with relevant legislation. Furthermore, from 2010, all ARCH therapists are independently regulated by the government recognised CNHC (Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council) to give you further confidence
Any times when colonic treatment can’t be performed?
Yes, there are conditions where a colonic treatment would not be undertaken
These include conditions such as active infections, active inflammation (for example, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc) a painful fissure or painful haemorrhoids. In such cases treatment cannot be carried out until they are healed or in remission
Some diseases such as congestive heart disease, severe uncontrolled hypertension, severe anaemia, liver cirrhosis, kidney disease, severe haemorrhaging and colo-rectal carcinoma are absolute contra-indications to treatment as are some physical conditions such as severe abdominal or inguinal hernias which cannot be easily reduced
If in any doubt please do consult your G.P for advice
Treatments are also not performed during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, and not at all during complicated pregnancies