You may not realize it, but digestion actually begins in your mouth. As soon as you take a bite, your chewing and saliva do the initial work of breaking down the food so it can be used by your body.
And just as it’s important to take care of the front end of your digestive system, it’s important to take care of your other end, your colon. One great way to do so? Colon hydrotherapy, or colonics.
When waste material and bacteria build up in the intestines, overall health can be compromised. What a colonic does is gently cleanse your large intestine with warm water. This flushes away encrusted fecal matter and mucus, as well as release gas.
Sometimes, herbs, enzymes, probiotics, or coffee are added to the water to enhance the hydrotherapy’s effects, but otherwise drugs or chemicals are generally not used. The water temperature and pressure may be varied to help with the cleansing. The whole procedure usually takes about an hour, and anywhere from five to 40 pounds of build-up may be removed in the process.
While an enema uses a relatively small amount of water which is held and expelled, colonic hydrotherapy is different.
Colonics tend to be more soothing and thorough, and less inconvenient. The mechanics of colonics involve a large container filled with filtered water which flows into a tube. This tube is attached to a disposable hard plastic instrument called a proctoscope. Once the proctoscope is gently inserted into the rectum, a second tube is attached which carries waste matter and water out of the body and directly into the septic system. Water entering the body travels through the colon and exits into the waste tube in a continuous flow. In this way, water is able to travel farther into the colon.
Much more water is used, and it totally saturates impacted waste throughout the length of the colon. And as the waste is completely contained, there’s no smell or mess involved. Meanwhile, the pressure involved helps to tone and strengthen the colon.
The result? Your colon can function better, more readily absorb vital nutrients. Many find the procedure relaxing and rejuvenating. Other reported health benefits include more energy, mental clarity, better circulation, and clearer skin and eyes.
Colon hydrotherapy helps your immune system to help itself, by giving it a chance to breathe and allow the lymph system to effectively cleanse your body. Colon hydrotherapy can assist the body with healing a variety of conditions: constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel, bloating, excessive gas, indigestion, allergies, candida overgrowth, skin problems, brittle nails and hair, abnormal body odor, unpleasant breath, backache, stiffness, arthritis, fatigue, insomnia, poor concentration, and headaches.
There are some folks, though, who should avoid the procedure: those with diverticulitis, Crohn’s, internal hemorrhoids, tumors in the colon or rectum, or heart or kidney disease. You should also delay the procedure if you’ve recently had bowel surgery.
Otherwise, if you’re interested in trying colon hydrotherapy, it’s important that you find a licensed, experienced practitioner and make sure that their equipment is sterile. This will help reduce most of the risk and increase the potential benefit.
You can find a practitioner near you through the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy, which maintains a searchable directory. Locally, we recommend the Internal Spa Rejuvenation Center, with locations in both San Jose and Mountain View.
There are those who say that colonics aren’t necessary. After all, the colon was designed to cleanse itself. This is true. But it’s also true that our modern diet and lifestyle can give it a greater task than Nature ever intended.
Toxins build up in the intestines, then get into the bloodstream and spread to the rest of the body. This “autointoxication” causes us to function below our true potential and make us prone to contracting diseases.
Colonics can play a role in overcoming these issues and lead to a healthier and a more energetic and productive life.
Image by BruceBlaus, via Wikimedia Commons