What is the colon?
The colon, or large intestine, comprises the last 5-5 ½ feet of the digestive tract. Its primary function is the removal of digestive and cellular wastes from the body, although some nutrients and water are absorbed through the colon wall. The bowel transit time from the moment a person eats until the waste matter is excreted from the colon can be anywhere from 12-24 hours in a healthy person, depending on water intake and type of foods consumed.
What happens during a colonic?
A small disposable instrument is inserted in the rectum, after which pure, triple-filtered water flows gently into the colon through a disposable tube. Once the colon has been filled (this process takes approximately 60 seconds for most people), the water is immediately released, carrying waste matter and gas out of the body into a basin that is plumbed directly to the sewer line. There is no odor and no mess and you will be completely covered during the session. A person is typically on the colonic table for approximately 45 minutes, but the entire session should take about one hour, allowing for time to change and use the restroom before and after the colonic procedure. Your therapist is conscious of the sensitive nature of a colonic and will help to put you at ease.
Why should someone get a colonic?
The colon is designed to completely and naturally remove digestive and cellular waste from the body. Unfortunately, the modern diet of cooked, processed and devitalized foods combined with low water intake, sedentary lifestyles and stress has contributed to an epidemic of digestive disorders. These include constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, diverticulitis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, spastic colon, and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few. It is not uncommon to hear of bowel transit times of anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks! The buildup of waste matter within the colon can lead to auto-intoxication and overgrowth of yeast (candida albicans), prevent proper absorption of nutrients through the intestinal wall, and hinder the muscular movement of the colon, leading to sluggish peristalsis and chronic constipation. A colonic can help to loosen up and remove impacted waste matter from the colon, as well as improve and even restore the healthy muscular action of the colon. It is not uncommon for clients to notice an improvement in energy levels and bowel function with their first session.
Won’t laxatives or enemas do the same thing?
Laxatives, even natural ones, usually work by irritating the colon to get it to contract. In the short term, this may be fine, but long-term use and abuse of laxatives can lead to dependency and intestinal disorders. Enemas will assist the body in emptying only the last 5-10 inches of the colon, whereas a colonic will flush out the entire length of the colon. Nothing is quite as immediate or complete for cleaning out and toning the colon as a colonic.
Are colonics painful?
A colonic can sometimes feel a bit like diarrhea as the colon muscles contract to expel the loosened waste matter. While the colon is being filled with water, it is common to feel some pressure, gas, and an urgency to evacuate that are quickly alleviated as the water and waste are released. Although there can be moments of discomfort during a colonic, they are usually of a short duration and are well-tolerated. Many people actually enjoy the colonic procedure and feel lighter and more comfortable as the session progresses.
What preparation is required before getting a colonic?
It is recommended that you refrain from eating or drinking for one hour prior to your session.
Should I fast before my colonic?
It is not necessary to fast before a colonic. However, many people find it beneficial to have colonics before, during, and after a fast (depending on its length) to assist in the removal of toxins from the body.
How many colonics will I need and how often should I get them?
The number and frequency of colonics a person should get will depend on the individual and his or her health goals. For a healthy person with normal bowel function, an initial series of 3 colonics spaced 2 or 3 days apart, followed by a maintenance schedule of one session every 1-3 months, is recommended. A person with colon problems should begin with a series of 3 colonics, after which the therapist will determine if additional sessions are needed. Once the series is complete, maintenance of one session per month is recommended.
Are there any dangers to getting a colonic?
There is virtually no danger with a colonic when performed correctly, although a colonic should never be performed after recent colon surgery or on someone with active ulcerative colitis. When choosing a therapist or establishment, make sure that only disposable tubing is used and ask about the type of water filtration system. If the establishment is dirty or the therapist makes you feel uncomfortable, you should leave. Choosing a therapist is no different from choosing any healthcare professional. You want to have a good rapport and feel safe and relaxed. You may end up staying with one therapist or establishment for years, so it’s important to educate yourself, ask questions, and choose wisely.
Do colonics wash away healthy bacteria and nutrients from the colon?
Some healthy bacteria and nutrients can be washed from the colon during a colonic. However, the cleansing of impacted waste matter and putrefying material from the colon will provide the proper environment in which healthy intestinal flora can flourish and multiply, as well as improve the body’s ability to absorb nutrients through the colon wall. Any healthy bacteria that may be washed away can be easily replenished by taking a probiotic supplement like acidophilus. Products are available through the practitioner - they contain beneficial bacterial for proper intestinal fuctioning and is recommended every day as part of a healthy lifestyle. Available: AloeDophilus®
Do I need to stay home after a colonic?
Most people can leave their colonic session and go about their daily business without incident. Occasionally, a person will leave the room and, while talking with the receptionist or therapist, suddenly feel a need to return to the restroom. It is rare for a person to have a problem on the way home or later in the day. If you are concerned, you can plan to stay home after your session, but it is usually unnecessary.
Disclaimer: The preceding is for information purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or condition, nor should it take the place of medical advice or treatment.
Aletia's Trainer and Mentor: Colleen Dunseth; MS, NTP, CHT is in clinical practice as a Certified Nutritional Therapist and Colon Hydrotherapist, providing education, empowerment and choice in the areas of nutritional and lifestyle. Colleen has been in private practice in Olympia, Washington, with clients nationwide for over 13 years. She was an instructor with the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA), training professional nutritionists all over the United States for 7 years. Colleen worked with Tony Robbins implementing colonics for his cleansing retreats in Europe. She recently moved to Durango, Colorado and will be visiting Madrona the week of April 20-27th.