My career as a colon therapist began almost 30 years ago. People would express polite interest in the topic if they didn’t have a serious health challenge but for the most part it was only through referrals from alternative medical professionals and personal research that people were booking appointments in the interest of improving their health. It wasn’t a service offered in spas or even most alternative medical practices. Polite folks didn’t talk about their poop (or lack thereof.)
Boy have things changed! The increase in popularity of this very gentle, very basic procedure is a testament to the increase in awareness of how many harmful ingredients are in our food supply and how many harmful elements there are in our environment.
A little anatomy
The colon is the last five feet of the gastrointestinal tract and includes: the ascending colon which extends from the cecum, where the colon is joined to the small intestine, up the right side of the abdomen to about the level of the navel, where the transverse colon moves across the abdomen and then becomes the descending colon which runs down the left side until it reaches the sigmoid colon and finally, the rectum.
We experience better health and wellbeing when the colon is clean and functioning normally, but when the colon is congested with stagnant waste, poisons back up into our system and pollute our inner environment. This is called “autointoxication.” Factors which contribute include improper diet, insufficient exercise, stress, overeating and ignoring the need to have a bowel movement. A more thorough understanding of the microbiome, those colonies of bacteria that populate our intestines, has encouraged an appreciation of the need for a healthy, functioning colon.
How do I know if I need a colonic?
Not pooping everyday? You definitely need a colonic! Feeling bloated? Sluggish? Both good reasons to make an appointment. The truth is, colon health is fundamental to good health so here’s a list of common complaints that suggest some internal cleansing might be in order:
So why get a colonic?
Every organ and body system is affected by the colon’s network of nerves (also called the “gut brain”) and when the colon is stagnant, you can experience a wide variety of symptoms (see above)—more serotonin, the “happy hormone”, is produced in the gut than the brain! Constipation is often the first sign that you need a colonic but even those with daily, “normal” bowel movements can be constipated and not know it. I often use the analogy to dental hygiene: you brush, you floss, you waterpik once, twice or more a day but you still visit the dental hygienist regularly to clean up what your daily practices can’t handle. Colon hygiene is the same idea: eat a whole food diet, drink clean water and get plenty of exercise but get the advice of a professional colon therapist as to how many and how often you need to get a colonic.
How exactly does it work?
You’ll lie on a treatment table on your left side as the session starts. The clinician gently inserts the tip of a sterile speculum about two inches into the rectum. The speculum connects to an inflow tube that carries water from a tank elevated above the foot of the table and an outflow tube that connects to the waste line under the sink. Water flow is always under the direct control of the practitioner who will allow a small amount of water into the colon by closing off the outflow tube. The one-way flow of water into the rectum will stimulate the bowel to contract and as the practitioner opens the outflow tube, the body will release the water and waste. This could include gas, feces, mucus, undigested food, parasites, excess yeast and acids.
With each fill the hope is that the colon can take more water and we can eventually clear all five feet of colon. The process should be painless although for those whose diet includes processed food, sugar, alcohol or dairy products there may be cramping and mild discomfort.
How will I feel after my session?
Most people leave the office feeling lighter and clearer and sometimes even with a flatter tummy! (Weight loss is a slightly more complicated issue, but a colonic is a good first step toward making a commitment to a healthier diet and more active lifestyle.) We generally recommend a series of 3-5 weekly sessions to experience the full benefits of detoxifying your body and your clinician will make personal recommendations to maximize the experience.
Colonics are safe and effective at relieving a toxic bowel of impacted waste and are a must if you have a chronic health condition or are interested in preventing a decline in your health.
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