Colonic Hydrotherapy

Accumulated waste matter can be toxic if there is slow bowel motility (constipation) or an imbalance in gut flora due to overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria from over consumption of processed and low nutrient foods. If left untreated, these toxins can re-enter and circulate in the blood stream causing feelings of illness, fatigue, headaches, etc.

Contraindications

It is not advisable to have colonics if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Actively inflamed ulcerative colitis or Crohnes disease
  • Severe heart disease and/or congestive heart disease
  • Carcinoma of the colon or rectum and are not able to pass a stool
  • Severe liver disease, i.e. cirrhosis of the liver
  • Fissure or fistula in the intestines, rectum or vagina
  • Less than 50% kidney function and are undertaking dialysis
  • Strangulated hernia

You should be able to have colonic hydrotherapy if you have any of the following conditions, but it is advisable to speak to your practitioner prior to booking your appointment.

  • You have blood pressure above 140/90
  • You use diuretics related to hypertension
  • Mild to moderate haemorrhoids
  • A fissure or fistula which has totally healed
  • Renal disease (test results may be required)
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Recent abdominal surgery
  • If you are highly anxious, stressed or emotional
  • Carcinoma of the colon, but you are able to pass stools easily
  • You are under 16 years old
  • Within 6 months of hip joint or knee surgery

I only treat pregnant women if they are over 18 weeks and they have had several colonics in the past.

Who would benefit?

Colonic hydrotherapy is particularly good for treating constipation and bloating, and if combined with dietary and sometimes lifestyle changes, can have long term effects.

It is good for those who wish to lose weight. However, whilst the treatment removes waste products from the body, it does not reduce body fat, and the person would have to modify their food intake in order to lose weight. However, colon hydrotherapy is a good kick start at the outset of any life changing regime. It can provide a clear head as well as a clear colon!

It can help with IBS, and detoxification.

Benefits of Colonic Hydrotherapy

It is quite common to feel an increase in energy levels, and it sometimes helps a person to relax.

Bloating is relieved immediately as gas passes out of the body during treatment. With nutritional advice, foods which may cause bloating can be omitted from the diet to prevent further bloating.

Very often a person's skin seems clearer and healthier.

If a person is severely and chronically constipated, the colon can be cleared completely to provide immediate relief from discomfort. Nutritional changes, and sometimes supplements will be suggested in order to prevent future constipation.

Importantly, toxins from foods and the environment, and toxins produced within the body during normal metabolism can be partly flushed away before they are allowed to enter the blood stream. Autointoxication is the cause of leaky gut and can contribute to many other systemic conditions, such as mood swings, depression, joint pains, inflammation, low energy levels, a general feeling of toxicity. Colonic hydrotherapy can work in two ways to combat this. Firstly, decomposing and fermenting waste products containing toxins (including medications which have been through the liver and kidneys) are physically removed from the colon. If the colon were sluggish, and it is encouraged to become regular, and mostly digested food products (still containing some toxins) can pass through the small intestine at a faster pace.

Once a body is cleansed, it is easier to maintain a healthy system. I think of this in terms of decorating a room which has many layers of old wallpaper and paint. I prefer to go back to bare plaster, and carefully repair any dents or holes. It is then easier to obtain a better end result. In the body, the colonic will remove old waste, and repair can occur through supplements and dietary modification. If optimum nutrients are then given to that individual, and healthier lifestyle choices are made, health will improve over time.

About the procedure

I use a 'gravity system' rather than a machine. It is my choice because the water pressure is never going to be too intense, and because with this system I can give more of my attention to my client. I like to stand by the side of the therapy couch rather than sit down, I can see my clients face, and they can see mine, I feel it makes is friendlier and more personal.

Before the treatment, I take a few personal details and discuss any current health problem.

I heat filtered water to around body temperature. The temperature of the water is very carefully monitored at all times to ensure optimum results and maintaining a comfortable temperature range for the client.

Disposable tubing, and speculums are used and I wear vinyl disposable gloves (not latex) during the treatment.

Just before the treatment, you should remove clothing from the waist down in the bathroom, and wrap yourself in a fleece blanket which I will provide. Once in a comfortable position, the treatment can begin. Modesty is preserved at all times with the blanket which will cover your abdomen, and your legs, to past your knees. After the speculum is inserted and the waste pipe is connected, treatment will begin by flushing several litres of warm filtered water into and out of the colon. I hold the speculum in firmly in place at all times. All the client has to do is relax.

I play relaxing background music such as delta wave music and music for meditation.

At times I will gently massage the abdomen to encourage peristalsis. I often use an enema which is included in the price. This can either be herbal or coffee, and is administered at intervals during the treatment.

The length of the treatment depends upon the level of compaction of waste and the length of the individual's colon. I allow as much time as is required to attain a good result. This may mean an extra ten minutes or so if need be. Of course I can stop the treatment at any time if requested to do so.

After the treatment, and when the client is dressed, the outcome is discussed and nutritional and naturopathic advice will be given. The client will be encouraged to drink a glass of water after the treatment. I give after care information along with written advice on nutrition.

How it works

  • Warm water softens and expels faecal matter and loosens waste material that has become compacted.
  • Herbal or coffee enemas support the treatment by stimulating the colon to contract or relax.
  • Water introduced into the colon distends it which encourages peristalsis/contraction - in other words it feels full and endeavours to expel waste.
  • Warming and cooling the water helps stimulate the colon.
  • Gentle abdominal massage (over the covering blanket) helps dislodge gas and waste matter.

Aftercare information

People often feel lighter, refreshed and energised after a treatment. If you have been under a lot of stress, you might feel relaxed. No unwanted side effects should be experienced.

As some water is absorbed during the treatment, you may need to urinate more than usual for a while.

You may experience a little flatulence and some bowel sounds for up to 48 hours after the treatment. This is quite normal, and results from the colonic bacteria multiplying back to the normal level. Consuming fruit and vegetables help gut bacteria multiply and the gut flora should be up to full strength in a day or two. Eating fruit and vegetables, either cooked or raw will add to the cleansing effect and help regulate the bowels. If you get a little griping, you may find hot peppermint, fennel or chamolmile teas help. Also, avoid carbonated drinks and gas producing foods.

It is recommended that you do not eat a very large meal shortly after your treatment, and that you avoid foods which are heavy and difficult to digest.

It is recommended that you do not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours, after which time, in moderation only.

It is quite normal for some people not to have a bowel movement for a day or so, and it could sometimes take several days before normal bowel movements resume. Alternatively, if you do have a bowel movement shortly after treatment and continue to have one the next day, this is also quite normal, as all people are different, and it also depends on how the treatment went; whether you were constipated; how much fibre you have been eating, and the length of your colon!

FAQ

Can I have a treatment when I have a period?

Yes. You may use a tampon which does not interfere with the procedure at all, if you do not get on with tampons this is ok too.

How long does the treatment take?

Around 40-45 minutes, sometimes a little longer if necessary. The treatment takes as long as the patient requires.

What will the treatment feel like?

It should not be painful or uncomfortable. To those new to colonics, it is a strange sensation as the water passes through the colon and out of the body. It will feel like you need to go to the toilet, but you will be lying on the couch which seems odd. You relax and all the waste products pass into the waste pipe and away from the body.

What happens to the waste material?

It goes immediately out of the building through the main waste system.

What happens after the treatment?

You go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet. You may pass some more waste material with water. You should sit there until nothing more is passed.

Should I do anything in particular before the treatment?

Avoid a heavy meal and alcohol just before the treatment, and make sure you are hydrated.

How might I feel afterwards?

The treatment affects people in different ways, although a feeling of lightness and a reduction in abdominal bloating is common.

What are the side effects?

There should be no side effects. Occasionally there may be some slight abdominal cramping during the treatment just before some waste matter evacuates. Occasionally you might feel slightly thirsty.

Does it clear out the good gut bacteria?

Some of the gut flora would be washed out. However, it is generally back to normal levels a day or so later with a normal diet. The treatment does not interfere in any way with digestion, as most digestion and absorption of nutrients take place in the small intestine, rather than the colon.

Will it cure my constipation?

It is possible to induce daily evacuation after treatment, if it is combined with lifestyle and nutritional changes. Quite often mineral and vitamin deficiency encourage a constipated state. The result can be permanent or last for several months.

Do I have to book well in advance?

No, if I can see you the next day, or even later the same day I will. I understand how uncomfortable it can be with certain problems.

How will a coffee enema work?

Coffee is especially good in cases of constipation. It is good at stimulating the colon to contract and expel waste. Coffee which is taken anally rather than orally is good for detoxification. Caffeine enemas cause the bile ducts to dilate which facilitates excretion of toxic breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products from blood across the colonic wall. (The Naturopathy Workbook, Stephen Langley MSc, ND, DipHom, DBM, DipAc, OMD, 2004).

How often do I need a colonic?

Each person is different, but I would not recommend them too frequently. If detoxification is sought, a period of 4-6 weeks between treatments should be adequate for a period of time then break for a few months, or if lifestyle is good, perhaps twice a year. If treating severe constipation, it may be necessary to have two or three colonics, say at two or three weekly intervals then stop until either the symptoms return, if at all, or if a colonic is wanted for detoxification. Sometimes a single treatment is enough. Many people return because the treatment makes them feel energised and healthy.

If I am cured of my constipation, how long will it last?

If the person is in balance emotionally, and they are leading a healthy lifestyle with adequate quantities and quality foods and supplements if necessary, it could be indefinite.

Should I bring anything in particular with me?

Please bring along any medication and/or supplements which are currently being taken.