Previously advocated by the likes of Princess Diana, colon cleansing, also called colon hydrotherapy and colon irrigation, seems to have caught on as a trend with a wide spectrum of people, including the young and the wannabe-young men and women. Walk into any spa, clinic, or international hospital, and the chances are that you will find advertisements galore, exhorting the beneficial effects of cleansing your body through colonic irrigation.
Colonic irrigation is not a new idea. It goes back to centuries. It was recorded as far back as 1500 BC. The Egyptians wrote about it at length, explaining their belief about this part of the body being the key to all sorts of ailments. In 400 BC, Chai Yu-hua, who was a Chinese physician, wrote: Purging the bowels eliminates the source of poisons, thereby permitting the blood and energy to regenerate naturally. By cleansing the bowels we repair the body. The naturopaths and the practitioners of alternative medicine of today, echo the same belief about a link existing between colonic health and general wellbeing.
Functions of the Colon
- This organ is the last part of the large intestine, located between the cecum and the rectum.
- It helps in completing the digestive process, which involves absorbing water-soluble nutrients and synthesizing certain vitamins.
- It is one of the major parts of the excretory system of the body, and eliminates food and other waste products.
- It also protects us from disease and infection, with the help of a large number of friendly bacteria, like the Acidophilus; which exists in the organ itself, and forms about 70 percent of the dry matter of the fecal waste.
However, the colon gets clogged with toxic waste matter due to foods containing high fat and slow fiber, sugary products, foods made with white flour, and so on. This kind of a diet reduces its efficiency, which results in the hardening of the waste matter, leading to the clogging of the digestive system.
Effects due to Clogging
When the waste matter is not eliminated from the body, there is a build up of bacteria and toxins, which can get back into the body, thus leading to the development of various illnesses. They include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn's Disease
- Bowel cancer
- Yeast infections
Procedure of Cleansing
- This procedure can best be described as a gentle bath of the internal area. It is similar to an enema in some ways, but is not quite the same.
- The rectal area is first thoroughly lubricated by the therapist, and then a lubricated speculum is gently inserted. Even though the speculum may look quite large, and may feel a little strange at first, most people do not experience any discomfort on having it inserted.
- Next, the intake valve of the machine is opened, allowing warm water solution into the area.
- Before there is a build up of pressure to the point of discomfort, the flow of water is reversed, and the water, along with the waste matter, is gently removed, without you having to leave the table.
- There is no need to strain in order to hold the solution in, nor is there any feeling of distension or cramping because of an uncomfortable amount of water being introduced, as in an enema. You can just lie back relaxing, while the machine and the therapist do the cleansing work.
- This process is usually repeated a few times until there is a clear outflow of water. It can last from 30 to 45 minutes.
- Clearer skin
- Increase in mental clarity
- Reduced bloating
- Better balance of weight
- More energy
- Perforation of the bowel
- Heart failure due to too much fluid being absorbed
- Disturbance in the electrolyte balance
- Infection caused by contaminated equipment
However, most people who have had the procedure, report feeling refreshed and lighter after the procedure. Many describe it to be as refreshing as one feels after stepping out of a shower or a bath.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.