Colonic Irrigation (Colonic Hydrotherapy) Guide

Colonic irrigation is also called colonic hydrotherapy and it is a generally very safe method aimed at removing unwanted products from the bowel. The treatment is designed to make you feel clean and refreshed. Sometimes in colonic irrigation, coffee, enzymes or herbs may be added to the water, although more often than not, it is just plain clean water that is used.

In a normal 45-minute colonic irrigation treatment, the colon is carefully flushed with around 68 litres of water. Various techniques are used to ensure this water is reaching the correct areas to perform its optimum cleaning function sufficiently. These techniques involve altering the temperature, pressure and quantity of water being used.

There are numerous theories surrounding colonic irrigation, such as how it may improve mental attitude and improve the functioning of the immune system so you can fight off illnesses more efficiently. There are many more philosophies involving the beneficial repercussions of having colonic irrigation treatment, however, there is very little scientific proof that these are true.

Statistics have highlighted various issues surrounding the colon in the UK, one of which states that the UK is the nation that suffers the most constipation. This can be supported by another claim the in the UK the time taken for food to be digested (processed between eating and passing stools) is around 60 hours in men and 70 hours in women, compared to the 24 hours it is supposed to take. Another of these statistics explains that for every three people who attend an appointment with their GP, one of these will be seeking advice on an issue involving their bowel.

What is removed in Colonic Irrigation?

The substances generally removed during colonic irrigation are faeces, dead tissue, accumulated mucus, worms and parasites. If these products accumulate in the colon over a long period of time, they can occasionally cause health problems due to toxicity.

It has been estimated by professionals that on average, a person contains 5-20 pounds of build up waste products in their colon.

When is colonic irrigation used?

Colonic irrigation used to be performed in hospitals prior to bowel surgery. However, in the UK this preparation has reduced in prevalence significantly due to the cost. It is now mostly used therapeutically to remedy various issues including:

  • The removal of toxic products from the body for a cleaner feeling and to add benefits to certain dietary routines.
  • Primary bowel problems that can cause conditions like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and constipation, which can be a hassle for many people. The colonic irrigation is able to help make the bowel return to a healthy, normal state.
  • Secondary bowel problems that affect other parts of the body, such as the lungs and skin. These issues are often in conjunction with the poor working of the bowel.
  • Various organics diseases that require rapid evacuation of the bowels. An example of such a condition is diverticulosis (where pouches form on the inner wall of the large intestine).

Colonic irrigation water

The water used in colonic irrigation treatments has been filtered, normally by two or three filters (this varies between clinics). It is then heated to the appropriate temperature.

This water is somewhat “special” as it is more effective at absorbing toxins and flushing them out of the body during the colonic irrigation treatment. This is because it has a sort of magnetic effect on chemicals and particles that are in the colon.

Tap water is avoided as the water used in colonic irrigation, as it has not been filtered. This means that the water contains inorganic substances and chemicals so it may be less effective and give a higher risk of causing side effects.

Does colonic irrigation cause pain?

If you wish to understand how it feels to have a colonic irrigation treatment prior to committing yourself, it is very easy to find people’s opinions on the subject through numerous Internet search engines. The majority of the time, people describe the first session as slightly uncomfortable but this is often just due to the new experience being something they are not used to. It seems quite rare to find anyone who describes the treatment as painful. It is also not uncommon at all to come across many people who claim that colonic irrigation is actually very relaxing and leaves them feeling refreshed.

Colonic irrigation is probably quite a daunting thought due to the seemingly invasive technique used. However, as soon as you get used to the feeling, you will hopefully relax and be relatively comfortable. Also after the treatment, you should not be in any pain or discomfort at all. In fact, you should be able to re-enter your normal routine with ease (although you may experience a few bowel movements throughout the day, although these are not too disruptive or urgently needed).

Is colonic irrigation safe?

Colonic irrigation is generally seen as a safe procedure so long as a professional performs it and the equipment being used is clean and completely sterile. Also, clean linen on the bed is necessary to maintain safety levels. Most therapists who carry out colonic irrigation truly feel that the treatment is beneficial to increase the overall well being of the client. Numerous also believe that the treatment can aid the relief of a variety of diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis as well as strengthening the muscles of the colon so bowel movements are easier. There is a list of unsuitable candidates for colonic irrigation, including pregnant women, anaemia sufferers and people who have severe heart disease. For those who suffer from any of the listed conditions (see ‘Potential risks of Colonic Irrigation’), the safety aspect of the treatment can reduce drastically and it can have serious side effects.

Why have colonic irrigation?

Colonic irrigation is an effective way to remove the various substances, such as faeces and parasites, to prevent them from producing toxins as they accumulate. It is important to remove the toxins as there can cause harm to the body and give symptoms of tiredness or nausea.

Toxins from the built-up material are not the only issue that colonic irrigation can help you avoid. The treatment also eases the ability of the colon to expel waste products. This is because over time, the build up of the various substances, like dead tissue, can make passing stools harder and more uncomfortable, which may consequently lead to constipation. Even though the colon is not the only route by which toxins are eliminated (the liver, kidneys, skin and lungs also perform this function), by having colonic irrigation, the toxin removal process can be performed much quicker.

Finally, the colon is adapted to absorbing vitamins and minerals for beneficial purposes throughout the body. However, if there is a build up of waste products, the effectiveness of this is reduced, as there is a lower surface area to uptake these molecules. Therefore, by undergoing colonic irrigation, the colon walls can be cleaned and left able to absorb such substances.

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