|Tuesday, 11 January 2011 03:10|
By Cynthia Williams, C.H.T.
Colon Hydrotherapy may not be considered an appropriate subject to discuss at a dinner party; most people don’t talk about their digestive system while enjoying hors d’ oeuvres. However, today, many health experts recommend colon hydrotherapy not just as a remedy for illness but also as a safe and comfortable way to keep your healthy body in tip-top shape. But people who’ve never experienced a colon hydrotherapy session may think it sounds a bit strange, and really, who can blame them?
It’s nothing new. Ancient Egyptian papyri mentioned basic forms of colon hydrotherapies, and at an early time in America, enemas were a commonly used procedure to help maintain health and stave off disease. For example, before the departure of the Lewis and Clark expedition, a physician instructed them in the appropriateness of using enemas in cases of fever and illness. Our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up with the use of enemas as a widely accepted procedure for reversing the onset of illness. Yet somehow, this natural and basic wisdom has lost popularity.
The Modern Movement
In the modern era, a medical physician by the name of John H. Kellogg was celebrated for his invention of Corn Flakes, but more important were his talks and speeches on proper hygiene and healthy foods, which soon created a following for colon hydrotherapy. Kellogg used colon therapy on thousands of patients, never reverting to surgery to treat gastrointestinal disease.
Kellogg initiated the popularity of colon hydrotherapy as a means to clean the internal body naturally, while eating a high fiber diet and many fresh, raw vegetables. Of his time, Kellogg was the foremost contributor to preventative therapy and proponent of using these therapies to enhance overall wellbeing.
The popularity of colon therapy reached its apex in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. At that time, colon irrigation machines were commonly seen and regularly used as standard practice in hospitals and Doctor’s offices. But, in the ensuing 50 to 60 years, the public’s use of and access to this valuable health treatment greatly decreased. The public’s present lack of knowledge regarding this and other complementary health care treatments, combined with the widely held belief by orthodox medicine (that such treatments are no longer useful) may be the single most important factor in the current ill-health of our population.
The 21st Century
In the past 10 years there has been a resurgence of interest in alternative medicine and complementary health care treatments, specifically, colon hydrotherapy. Once again, people are discovering the many health benefits of maintaining a strong and biologically sound colon. This return to using colon hydrotherapy has been bolstered by the development of sophisticated colon therapy techniques, which make these therapies both safe and convenient.
The Colon’s Job
The colon is probably best understood as the body’s trash can. It is the place where we store the waste material most of us would rather not think about. A healthy colon produces Vitamins B and K, and absorbs water. A healthy digestive tract helps support a healthy immune system. But just as your kitchen trash can needs rinsing out every now and then, many believe our internal wastebaskets need regular cleaning.
While estimates vary, well-respected Naturopath Doctor Evan Fleischmann believes the colon can store up to 25 pounds of food waste (fecal matter); and, to properly break down the nutrients we need and move them through the gastrointestinal tract in an orderly fashion, the lining of the gastrointestinal tract needs to be healthy and clean. According to Fleischmann, when chyme (partially digested food) sits in the large intestine for a long period of time, bacteria start to grow. If not cleared out, these residual foods refuse and bacteria in the colon may lead to digestive disturbances, a weakened immune system, and excessive toxins in the body.
Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy
The most common reason to seek out colon hydrotherapy is to alleviate constipation. Most people who have a colon hydrotherapy session due to constipation experience such great relief they usually leave their session singing ‘zip-pa-de-do-da!’ as they go out the door.
Another common reason to seek out colon hydrotherapy is to periodically cleanse and detoxify for preventative measures. Another colon hydrotherapy leader, Dr. Leonard Smith of Gainesville, Florida, comments that “…normally healthy people will find it valuable to take colon hydrotherapy every couple of months in order to experience how well one feels when the colon is truly empty. It’s a fact that most people fail to fully evacuate the colon, something they don’t realize. Most people undergoing colon hydrotherapy on a prevention basis become quite surprised at how much waste is eliminated during their colon hydrotherapy session.”
With respect to how this therapy may benefit orthodox medicine, some hospitals such as Danbury Hospital, in Danbury, Connecticut, have installed colon hydrotherapy equipment and are offering this technique as a more comfortable and gentle alternative to ingesting harsh chemicals in order to prepare for a colonoscopy procedure.
How It Works
Colon hydrotherapy differs from enemas, and has a deeper cleaning power. The colon is approximately 5 ½ to 6 feet long and stretches to 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter. There is enough water in an enema bag to stimulate peristalsis (smooth muscle contraction) in the lower one-third of your colon. A colon hydrotherapy session, on the other hand, is able to flush the entire length of your colon. Whether this happens in any individual session depends on how impacted with feces the colon is. Unlike enemas, which you can administer to yourself at home, colon hydrotherapy is administered by a professionally trained and certified colon hydro-therapist (colon therapist), who is an expert in cleansing the colon and educating you on how the organ works. To find one by referral, and to make sure that he or she is certified, visit the website of the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy (www.i-act.org).
Colon Hydrotherapy Equipment
Today’s sophisticated technology promotes both safety and sanitation of this natural cleansing practice. Modern colon hydrotherapy equipment is manufactured through compliance with strict FDA guidelines that dictate rigorous accountability. Colon hydrotherapy equipment features temperature-controlled water mixing and back flow prevention valves, as well as triple water purification systems. The FDA registered colon hydrotherapy equipment also has state of the art, built-in sanitizing systems. Disposable, single use rectal nozzles are always used.
There are two types of colon hydrotherapy equipment commonly used today. Various existing holistic health care clinics may be employing either one or both. One is called the Closed System and the other is called the Open System. With the Closed System, water is allowed to flow into the colon through one of two hoses connected to a tube that is inserted into the rectum, called a speculum. The colon therapist regulates the water pressure. The second hose is used to remove the water and wastes from the colon and passes through an illuminated glass tube that enables viewing of the eliminated wastes, before finally flowing to the sewer system.
The Open System on the other hand has a treatment table with a built in basin that is plumbed directly to the sewer system. The water is introduced to the colon through the rectum, via one very small rectal tube that is no bigger than a straw or a pencil. The water can also be regulated just as in the Closed System. However, unlike the Closed System, the Open System encourages natural elimination of the water and wastes, rather than expelling them through the glass tube.
Contrary to the impression most people hold regarding colon hydrotherapy, the procedure is not at all messy and there is no odor involved. Moreover, clients need not concern themselves about decency issues because both equipment systems were designed so that privacy and dignity are preserved at all times.
What To Expect
There is no pain involved, and no embarrassment. Clients are draped and covered throughout their session, which is usually about 45 minutes. There is no mess or odor. And because there are no side effects, many clients will schedule a colon hydrotherapy session on their lunch break, or right before going to the gym or a yoga class. There is also no pre-prep regimen before a session and clients may eat or drink anything they like before and after. Truly, despite it’s undesirability as a dinner party topic of conversation, colon hydrotherapy is perhaps the safest and most natural way to detoxify your body, boost your immune system, fight off common colds and flu, and eliminate sluggishness in all areas of your life. Not only is there ancient precedent for the sound practice of colon hydrotherapy, but essentially, the wisdom of colon hydrotherapy is inspired by your body’s own means of expelling waste and cleansing itself. What could be simpler?
Cautions and Recommendations
Colon Hydrotherapy may not be for everyone. If you have concerns about the appropriateness of colon hydrotherapy, speak with your physician or health care practitioner before scheduling your first session. Also be sure to choose a colon therapist you feel comfortable speaking candidly about your health with, and whose certification and experience you are assured of.
About the Author: Cynthia Williams, C.H.T. is a practicing Colon Hydro-therapist at A New Leaf Natural Therapies Center in Fresno, C.A. She has attained Advanced Level Certification, and she is also an accredited Certified Colon Hydrotherapy Instructor as well as a member of the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy.