What is the colon and how does it work?
The colon, or the large intestine, is a tubular organ approximately 5 ½ – 6 feet in length and 2 ½ – 3 inches in diameter. Although most absorption occurs in the small intestine, the ascending colon also absorbs some minerals, nutrients and excess water from the digested residue of the food that we have eaten.
The contents of digestion (chyme) are moved along by mass muscular movements (peristalsis), which are initiated by the nerve supply to the colon. Toxins and waste materials are then discharged through the anus.
The process of digestion and elimination normally takes between twelve and twenty-four hours. When the colon is healthy, we experience a feeling of well-being because we are assimilating and eliminating properly. To ensure a healthy colon, we have observed that sufficient water, good nerve tone, and the proper biochemical nutrients and intestinal flora are needed.
How do I know Colon Hydrotherapy will be useful for me?
Symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, or gastrointestinal pain may alert you to colon distress. In the case of a serious heart condition or acute inflammatory conditions of the colon, such as diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease, your physician can best determine the appropriateness of the procedure.
From a naturopathic perspective, we believe that cleansing the colon may be valuable to minimize the effects of dietary and environmental stressors, as well as the impact on the immune system of toxins regularly bombarding us.
It is our belief that everyone can benefit from a gentle colon cleansing. Today’s refined, processed foods, high in saturated fats and low in fiber contributes to a poor colon, in addition to high stress, allergies and medications.
The colon contains the largest concentration of bacteria in the body. Waste material allowed to stagnate alters the proportion of friendly bacteria to unfriendly bacteria, disrupting the balance of microorganisms essential to a healthy colon and the body in general.
What happens during the procedure?
Colon Hydrotherapy is the safe, gentle infusion of warm multi-filtered water into and out of the rectum and large intestine.
To begin, the therapist will suggest a trip to the restroom to empty the bladder. After disrobing from the waist down and putting on a gown, you will be covered with a sheet, reclining on a padded massage table. At the foot of the table is a wall unit displaying a temperature gauge, pressure gauge and an observation tube. A disposable speculum 3/4’s of an inch in diameter (more narrow than a healthy bowel movement) is partially inserted with a round-tipped applicator approximately 2-3 inches into the rectum. Two tubes are attached and extend from the outer speculum portion into the wall unit. The inflow carries water to infuse your colon and the outflow expels that water along with the waste it loosens up.
The Colon Hydro therapist is present throughout the procedure, closely monitoring the temperature and the water pressure, while paying particular attention to minimizing any discomfort.
Immediately upon your feeling full, she releases the water and waste material, which travels through a glass viewing tube within the wall unit and into the drainage system. While you are emptying, the Hydro therapist offers to gently massage your abdomen, encouraging an easier and more complete letting go.
This cycle of filling and emptying is repeated several times during the 40 – 50 minutes that you are on the table. Gravity will help to eliminate any excess water and waste. To ensure safety, the disposable packet is thrown away and the instrument is sterilized. The session lasts approximately one hour, leaving time for a trip to the toilet at the end. Longer sessions are available if necessary.
How many sessions will I need?
Our practitioner can help you determine the number of sessions suitable to your unique needs following the first session. We typically recommend a series of three sessions: preferably two within four days and then another session one week later or one session per week for three weeks. Afterwards, weekly or biweekly visits for another series may be beneficial. The sessions build on each other, especially if you follow a healthy diet and eliminate dairy, sugar, wheat, and fats as much as possible during this period.
As a preventive maintenance plan, monthly or seasonal sessions are great options. We believe that periodic cleansing of the colon accelerates the healing potential of your body when supported by a diet of non-mucus forming foods; in addition to consuming adequate amounts of water, getting exercise, and managing stress.
How can Colon Hydrotherapy help me?
A colon hydrotherapy session has the potential to cleanse a large portion of the whole colon, or large intestine, releasing mucus, gas, and fecal impactions during repeated fills and empties. This is very different from an enema where water enters under gravity force, distending the lower section of the colon before being released on the toilet.
Our naturopath, Dr. Pulnik, notes that our cleansing method seems to have a toning effect, while hydrating and enhancing absorption, rather than the possible stretching and fatiguing consequences of an enema or laxative. Unlike enemas and laxatives, Colon Hydrotherapy is not physically addictive. We believe that, as you release toxins from your body, you may become more relaxed.
Colon Hydrotherapy may also be prescribed by physicians as preparation prior to surgery and intestinal diagnostic procedures (i.e. barium enema, sigmoidoscopy. colonoscopy).
***For additional information, read Michael Gershon’s The Second Brain and Candace Pert’s Molecules of Emotion.