When I first heard of a colonic hydrotherapy clinic, it took a moment to figure out that the merger of these two terms involved my colon, which I knew the location of, and possibly some water.
To be completely honest, the thought of having a hose stuck in the one-place-where-the-sun-don’t-shine had me shuddering. As far as I was concerned, it was a one way street. Yet the concept sparked my curiosity.
To clarify on all things colonic, Amodrnspoke to health enthusiast, yogi, owner of progressive health clinic pHClinic and Certified Colonic Hydrotherapist, Nicola Johnson. Nicola answered all our queries and got down to business, so to speak, on the whys and hows of cleansing. If you’ve been wondering about solving your bloated tummy and gut issues, but are scared of the seemingly invasive treatment, think again. A colonic cleanse may just be what you need. So without further ado, here’s what you want to know about colonic hydrotherapy.
How does a Colonic Hydrotherapy cleanse work, what happens?
Colon Hydrotherapy is a safe and effective method for cleansing the Colon (Large Intestine) of waste material and rehydrating your GI system.
The procedure is very simple; the Colon is repeatedly flushed with warm filtered water at gravity fed pace which, when released, brings out with it any loose and impacted debris and toxic material. We use a Closed System colonics device at pH Clinic, which means there is no mess, smell or embarrassment. You’re able to see what is coming out through a glass viewing screen and once it’s gone, its gone. After the session on the device, you’ll go and release any remaining water or waste on the toilet and that is it. You’re ready to carry on with your day!
What can you expect to feel during and after a treatment?
During your treatment you are reclined on your back, on a bed, covered with a towel the entire time. It is a painless procedure and very rarely there is more than minor and transient discomfort experienced by some people. These minor cramps are due to tissue in the Colon being dehydrated and or a sign that the body is releasing toxicity. You cannot feel the water entering as the pressure is so low and the temperature mimics your body temperature so the aim is to trick the Colon into a false sense of security so it is more inclined to relax and release old stagnant matter.
After your treatment you should feel lighter, more energised but also relaxed with a heightened awareness of your body. It is common to feel tired after your first treatment, as the body isn’t use to being prompted to process and eliminate toxicity in this way. Detoxing the Colon and Liver also releases a lot of held emotion in the gut, so feeling vulnerable or emotional is common when deep releases occur. It is best to have a restful day and allow the body to restore if that is what it requires.
Some people feel a surge of energy and have the best workouts of their lives. Listen to your body, it knows more than your brain!
What are the benefits of cleansing?
Benefits of Colon Cleansing are endless and can offer very different effects depending on the individual. Alkalinise and hydrate your body
Water is absorbed into the body through the colon, which increases the volume of blood. The circulation of the blood is increased, resulting in a greater bathing of the cells. This dilutes the toxins and flushes them out; relieving toxaemia and uraemia; and increasing elimination both through the kidneys, and the skin as well as the bowels. All this generally assists the cardiovascular and circulatory systems to be more efficient. Greater feeling of wellbeing
Due to the elimination of mucus, alimentary remainders not digested, gases and toxic bacteria. Relieves inflammation and edema due to elimination of irritating substances. Increase energy levels and concentration
Feel lighter, fresher and more energised. Relief from lethargy and fatigue, gain mental clarity, reduced headaches, and enhanced sleep. Clearer and brighter skin complexion
Assist in the resolve skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne by reducing the toxic load on the body. Assist in balancing weight
Reduces weight and water retention due to activating elimination. Creates an increase in mental capacity and rejuvenation since it decreases the degenerative process, normal or accelerated, by removing toxic substances that affect biological aging. Encourage whole body detoxification
Breaks down toxic excrement so it can no longer harm your body or inhibit assimilation and elimination. Toxins built up over a long period are gently removed in a series of treatments. Your colon can begin to co-operate again as it was intended. In this sense, a colonic is a rejuvenation treatment. Tone and reshape the colon
The build-up of toxins weakens the colon and impairs its function. The gentle filling and emptying of the colon with water improves peristalsis (muscular contraction) by which the colon naturally moves material. Having Colonics is like taking your colon to the gym. Improve digestion and bowel regularity
Effectively resolve constipation unlike damaging laxatives, Colonics do not make the bowel lazy. Colonic Irrigation exercise and strengthen the bowel, promoting a return to regular, complete bowel movements. Support Gut, Liver and Immune function
80% of your immune system is in the walls of your Gut, clear a putrefied colon to promote health all year round. Create a clean, healthy environment for friendly bacteria to flourish. Resolve candida, thrush, and bad breath and enhance absorption of vitamins and minerals. Colonics can trigger a bile flush from the liver, which also supports your detoxification pathways.
It’s natural for the body to flush out water, so is it safe for us to be inserting it in (the same way it comes out)?
Colonic Hydrotherapy should be done by a trained professional in an environment which allows for restoration and detoxification. The reason I say this is because I have had a lot of clients who have had negative experiences in the past at other clinics so I am forever repairing the negative connotation around “Colonic Hydrotherapy”. It is not a surgical procedure but a therapeutic treatment, which is a very natural instinct for the body.
Historically, artefacts and records show that people have regularly purified their bodies, including cleansing the Colon. Originating in Egyptian times, it was a form of detoxification used by Royalty to keep their vessel (body) pure from disease and infection. Around the turn of the 20th century, the present day Colonic equipment was developed. Up to the late 20’s many doctors had Colonic systems in their surgeries and similar equipment was found in hospitals too. Articles dealing with Colon health frequently appeared in prestigious medical and scientific journals until the early 1930’s. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in alternative therapies as a natural approach to health and Colonics has regained popularity.
On that note, how often is it recommended?
Depending on the individual and the state of the body, Colon Cleansing is best used in series of 3-8 treatments in close succession (weekly apart). Once you have done a thorough Colon cleanse, maintenance Colonics can be done every 8-16 weeks along with nutritional and supplemental assistance if necessary. I personally like to cleanse with the change of the season (almost like a spring clean of your wardrobe) to prepare my body for transition. I also do a comprehensive cleanse with fasting and colonics twice per year.
Do cleanses only benefit people with certain gastric/gut ailments or can anyone benefit from colonic hydrotherapy?
Everyone should experience cleansing to understand the benefits and see what their bodies are capable of. Even people who have regular bowel movements and believe themselves to be “healthy” are amazed at what is in their body at any given time.
Our ancestors fasted and cleansed, had times of feast and famine yet these days we only have feast. It is healthy to go without and allow the body to heal with the assistance of eliminating inflammatory toxins and waste matter. Gut ailments/dysfunction are the body’s way of crying out for assistance, usually it is at this stage your health is under siege and requires intervention.
Are there any negative side effects to be aware of before starting a treatment?
As everyone is unique, each body is going to respond in a different way. If the Liver/Colon is overly toxic then it is normal to experience an uneasy feeling of lethargy after your treatment, this will pass and is best treated with rest and lots of water to continue the flushing of toxins outward. What you eat before and after a treatment will also determine how you feel/respond to the treatment so it is best to prepare nutrient dense soups, broths and foods which are easily digestible that are not too inflammatory on the body and have these leading up to and after your treatment. There are no negative side effects which should deter people from having this treatment, if you feel unwell after it is a sign that the body is shifting toxicity and likely you need a follow up treatment to continue the cleansing.