We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about colon hydrotherapy and related topics. This information has been gathered from a variety of resources, and is intended as an education guide only. We offer it to you with the understanding that it not be interpreted as medical or professional advice. All medical information needs to be carefully reviewed by your health provider.
What is colon hydrotherapy?
Colon Hydrotherapy, also known as colonics, colon irrigation or high enemas, is a safe and effective method of removing toxins from the large intestines without the use of drugs. It is a controlled method of cleansing the colon using a mechanical flow of warm, pure - filtered and temperature-regulated water, infused gently into the colon by a sterilized rectal nozzle. As a result, the human waste is softened and loosened, resulting in evacuation through natural peristalsis. This is repeated several times during the session.
What is the colon and what does it do?
The colon or large intestine is the end portion of the human gastrointestinal tract. It is a muscular tube of approximately 5 1/2 to 6 feet long and has an average diameter of approximately 2 ½ inches. The main functions of the colon are absorption of water and minerals, and the formation and elimination of fecal matter. The colon contains billions of nearly 60 varieties of micro flora or bacteria that make up approximately 70% of the dry weight feces. These bacteria aid digestion, promote vital nutrient production, maintain pH (acid-base) balance, and prevent proliferation of harmful bacteria. These bacteria provide important functions such as the synthesis of folic acid and valuable nutrients from food, including vitamin ‘K' and portions of the ‘B' complex.
What is constipation?
Constipation is having bowel movements that occur less frequently than food intake, less than twice to three normal movements a day, every day. One bowel movement a day and incomplete elimination is a sign of constipation. Constipation slows down transit time. The slower transit increases fermentation and putrefaction of undigested food by bacteria and yeast. The bacteria and yeast give off toxic wastes in the form of acids and gasses. These substances also cause inflammation and damage the cells of the intestinal walls. These toxins enter the blood stream through the intestinal wall causing many ailments from headaches to autoimmune disorders. Chronic constipation has also been linked to a number of more serious issues. According to the American Gastroenterological Association, constipation "may signal and be the only noticeable symptom of a serious underlying disorder such as cancer."
According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, D.C., Ph.D. and author of many popular health books, "it has become crystal clear that poor bowel management lies at the root of most people's health problems. In treating over 300,000 patients, it is the bowel that invariably has to be cared for first before effective healing can take place."
What are some of the signs and symptoms that the colon is not efficiently eliminating?
Constipation "pot belly" Swelling of legs
Chronic Fatigue Depression Tension
Headaches Obesity Allergies
Bad breath PMS Backaches
Gas Indigestion Brittle nails and hair
Arthritis Bloating Circles under the eyes
Brain fog Body Odor Asthma
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
IBS is an inflammation of the colon caused by the large intestines not functioning properly. Symptoms of IBS can include among many: diarrhea and /or constipation, abdominal pains and spasm, excess mucous in the colon and stool, heartburn, fatigue and depression. IBS may be caused by bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection, stress, allergies and inadequate enzyme production.
Is the practice of colon hydrotherapy new?
The practice of colon hydrotherapy in its most basic form, the enema, was first recorded in 1500 B.C. in ancient Egyptian document called the "Eber Papyrus." Galen, the greatest physician since Hippocrates, advanced the use of enema therapy. In earlier times, people implemented enema treatments in a river by using a hollow reed to induce water to flow into the rectum. It is recorded that before the departure of Lewis and Clarke expedition, a physician instructed them in the appropriateness of using enemas in cases of fever and illness.
Dr. John Kellogg brought Colon Hydrotherapy to prominence in the United States during the early 1900's. He reported in the 1917 Journal of American Medical Association that in over 40,000 cases, as a result of diet, exercise and colon hydrotherapy, "in all but twenty cases," he had used no surgery for the treatment of gastrointestinal disease in his patients.
By the early 1950's colon hydrotherapy was flourishing in the U.S. The prestigious Beverley Boulevard in California was then known as colonic row. Toward the mid- 1960's, the use of colon irrigation and colon hydrotherapy slowly dwindled until approximately 1972 when most colon therapy instruments were removed from the hospitals and nursing homes. Medical doctors tended to favor the use of laxatives. The medical procedure known as the colostomy (removal of the colon) started at this time.
What is the LIBBE system?
- Lower Intestinal Bottom Bowel Evacuation.
- Gravity- fed water system, also known as “open system.”
- There is no pressure in the flow of water, resulting in a gentle cleanse.
- The temperature can be controlled for maximum comfort and benefit.
- Three check valves to prevent toxins from returning to water supply.
- There is no pressure in the flow of water SINCE ITS GRAVITY-FED; resulting in a gentle cleanse.
- NO LEAKS, NO ODORS AND NO BLOWOUTS.
- What is the difference between a gravity fed/open system and a close system?
Gravity-Fed or Open System
- The rectal nozzle or tube is the size of #2 pencil in diameter and about 1 1/2 to 2 inches are inserted in the rectum.
- The water arrives in the colon by gravity and NOT by pressure so there is no risk of perforation.
- You do your own insertion in private.
- The tube only carries water to the colon ‐ any size fecal matter can be eliminated around the tube; as a result, there is no need to interrupt the session to go to the restroom and no risk of the tube blowing out as a result of pushing water out of your rectum.
- You can urinate during the session.
- All knobs to control the machine are within your reach. You can have total control over your session if you choose (i.e. less or more water flow, turn it off to take a break if you wish).
- You are covered at all times. Your privacy and modesty is honored.
- You can read, listen to music or just be.
- The therapist does not stay in the room the entire session.
- A built‐in vent system insures the area remains odor free.
- The system has a built‐in spray hose for you to wash and rinse after the session.
- The rectal tube is up to 5 inches long – this is approximately how far it will be inserted into the rectum. The diameter of it is big enough to ensure that the whole opening of the anus sphincter muscle will be blocked during the entire session and hopefully guarantees no leakage around the tube and on the table.
- Filling and releasing is only through that tube, which is approximately 5/8 inch in diameter. This opening is not big enough for the size of fecal matter that we usually pass when we defecate. Hard and large fecal matter gets stuck at the 'exit' because the opening in the tube is not big enough for it to pass through.
- The pressure inside of your colon is building up, and there is no place to release. That is when the therapist will gently take the tube out, and instruct you to go to the restroom to eliminate. Then you return to the table and the therapist will reinsert the tube to continue the session.
- The therapist has to turn off the water flow and open the out flow valve so that fecal matter can come back through the tube.
- The therapist must stay in the room for the duration of the treatment.
- There is a risk the tube may blow out or leak; rare but has been reported.
Who needs colon hydrotherapy?
Sadly, the average American does not have a healthy colon. The typical American diet consisting of high fat, low- fiber, refined sugar, bleached flour, and processed food high in preservatives and toxins is the primary reason the colon becomes so unhealthy. As these unnatural foods move through the colon, fluids are absorbed during the digestive process, and a very sticky waste is created. This waste clings to the colon walls and putrefies, giving off toxins. These toxins that are generated from the accumulated waste matter, when absorbed from within the body’s digestive system and into your blood stream, can lead to autointoxication or self-poisoning and negatively affect your physical, mental and emotional health, leading to very serious weight and health problems.
What should I do before and after a colon hydrotherapy session?
Before a colon hydrotherapy session (colonic):
- If this is your first visit, please print out, fill out, and bring the following forms with you to your first appointment.
- Personal History Form
- Release Form
- CleanseMarin Agreement and Policies
- Refrain from eating solid food at least three hours before the appointment. Getting colonics on a full stomach may cause you to feel nausea, intense cramping and at times vomiting. Liquid is fine.
- Prepare and bring with you a list of all the supplements and/or prescription or non-prescription medications you are currently taking.
- If you are not sure, please check with your pharmacist if any of the oral medications you are taking is steroidal anti-inflammatory.
- Dress comfortably, a two piece-outfit is ideal.
After a colon hydrotherapy session (colonic):
- It is not unusual that you may not have a bowel movement for a day or two after a colonic.
- Drink plenty of liquids, such as electrolytes, herbal teas and pure water.
- Take pro-biotic (good friendly bacteria) supplements or, if you are not allergic to dairy, eat plain yogurt with added friendly bacteria.
- Avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits for at least 3 hours; cooked are fine, such as soups.
- Reduce meat consumption or even better off, avoid meat for the rest of the day.
- Any unpleasant symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, nausea or cramping may be experienced throughout the day and will subside in 24 hours or less.
Did you know . . .?
- Today, the most common health complaints are disease and functional disturbances of the digestive organs. Approximately 90% of all visits to the emergency room deal with digestive issues.
- In the January 11, 1999 issue of USA Today “it‘s said that according to the autopsy, John Wayne had 40 pounds of impacted fecal matter in his body at death. Elvis reportedly had 60 pounds”.
- According to the FDA, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is second only to the common cold in causing days missed from work. In the United States alone, 10-15% of the population suffers from IBS.
- Americans spend $725 million on laxatives each year.
- In recent years, an estimated 130,000 new cases of colon and rectal cancer will be diagnosed. Of this population, approximately 44% will die as a result of the disease.
- Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.
- At least two million Americans suffer colon related diseases and approximately 100,000 colostomy surgeries are performed each year.
- The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has reached almost epidemic proportions. In the last decade alone, a 300% rise in middle-aged patients with ileostomy and total colostomy was seen.
- Many experts now believe that the average person has 5 to 20 pounds of accumulated waste in their colon, contributing to major weight gain.
- It is estimated that 200 million people worldwide are infested by intestinal parasites. Parasites kill more people annually than do cancers.
- Chronic debilitating malfunctional bowel disorders afflict more than 20 million North Americans, and are one of the leading causes of hospitalization.
- Vegetarian Times on March 3, 1998 reported, “Of all the polite topics of conversation, the state of one’s intestines is probably at the bottom of most people’s lists. Let’s face it: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, gas, diverticulosis, colon cancer are simply not things we like to discuss. And yet, as the old expression goes, death begins in the colon. Don’t believe it? Ask any coroner, autopsies often reveal colons that are plugged up to 80% with waste material.”
What are the therapeutic effects of colon hydrotherapy?
- It has an antiseptic and solvent action on the intestines; impacted fecal matter and other toxins are removed from the colon.
- Increases the water level and diuretic action of the body. Water is absorbed into the body, which increases the volume of the blood, increasing circulation, resulting in greater bathing of the individual cells, thus diluting toxins and flushing them out and increasing elimination both through the kidneys and skin as well as the bowel.
- The liver is the main detoxification organ of the body. Many colon X‐rays show that pressure of constipation is exerted in the liver area, resulting in irritation to both liver and gall bladder as well as to the common bile duct. This delays and obstructs the normal draining of these organs‐ a condition which is often alleviated through colon hydrotherapy.
- Reshapes – over time, the natural shape of the colon may become distorted, which may cause more colon problems. After a series of colonics, the colon will begin to regain its shape.
- Cleanses and balances the colon – impaction is removed and stagnation is reduced.
- Aids in removing parasites, internal gas and cellular debris.
- Improves muscle tone. The gentle infusion of water, combined with the emptying of the colon, causes peristaltic activity, the natural movement of the bowels.
- Improves the lymphatic system since the human body does not have a pump for that system.
How are the lymph system and the intestines connected?
The lymph system is part of the circulatory system and a major organ of the immune system. Its clear-to-white fluid is composed of many different types of white blood cells and other substances. One of its main jobs is to transport nutrients from the blood to each cell and remove its waste. Some of the waste is transported to the intestines via the lacteals, the part of the lymph system that empties into the small intestines. It then passes into the large intestines for elimination.
When the intestinal walls are impacted, the lymph system retains the cell waste. The prolific numbers of lymph nodes in the abdominal region also becomes storage points for the waste. Lymphatic fluid becomes thicker and if accompanied with dehydration sets the stage for an impaired immune system.
How are the Liver and the colon connected?
The liver is the main detoxification organ of the body. It is considered the largest gland in the body. Many colon X-rays show that pressure of constipation is exerted in the liver area, resulting in irritation to both liver and gall bladder as well as to the common bile duct. This delays and obstructs the normal draining of these organs- a condition, which is often alleviated through colon hydrotherapy. Without the liver, we could not live more than 24 hours.
How does a colonic session work and what should I expect?
When you arrive for your first visit, you will be asked to fill out a personal health questionnaire and sign a few forms. At this time, you and your therapist will discuss your current health condition, your goals for your health, and what you hope to accomplish from colon hydrotherapy.
Once that is completed, you will be guided to the colon hydrotherapy room and instructed on how to prepare for the session. In private, you will undress from the waist down and position yourself comfortably on the LIBBE base. You would gently and easily insert the insert the rectal tube into your rectum, just past the second sphincter muscle, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. This LIBBE rectal tube is individually packaged, sterile and disposable. Once you have inserted the tube, you cover yourself with the sheet provided and lean back on the table. You will ring the therapist when you are ready.
The therapist will instruct you on how to begin the water flow. Once the flow is turned on, there is no need to interrupt it to release. When you feel the urge to release, the rectal tube will stay inserted, allowing the softened feces to flow out, down the drain and into the base of the LIBBE, passing through a two -inch diameter clear viewing tube. An Odor Exhaust System insures the area remains ODOR FREE.
You can have as much privacy as you desire. The therapist will check on you often, and you may ring for her at any time you need help or have questions. The session will take up to 45 minutes.
At the end of the session the therapist will instruct you on the proper way to get off the system and then leave the room to give you privacy. You will stop the flow of the water, retract the tube and clean yourself using a built-in hose. A hot herbal tea, a pro-biotic drink and an electrolyte mix will be ready for you to enjoy while relaxing in the reception room.
How many colon hydrotherapy sessions a person needs?
The number of sessions varies depending on the condition and goal of the individual. IACT recommends a series of (12) - 45 minutes sessions. It is recommended that you use two sessions the first week, two sessions the second week, preferably back to back, and one a week for the next eight weeks. You may need to continue on a weekly basis after that until your body indicates it no longer needs the treatment. For maintenance, you may choose to have one session every three months or with the change of seasons. Some clients choose to have a session once a month for ongoing cleansing and toning. If you are on a fasting or detoxification program, it is highly recommended that you include colonics as part of it. In addition, if you get sick, colonics will help with lymphatic drainage; speeding up your healing. Clients that have the most success complete the recommended series.
NOTE: 4 sessions in 2 weeks is the minimum recommended.
How will I know that I reached my goal?
- You will be able to have two to three bowel movements a day, each day.
- No more constipation.
- The feces will be released without strains and pain.
- You will feel that you emptied completely.
- No more bloating and gas.
- No foul odor to the feces.
- The feces break up easily when flushing the toilet.
Is colon hydrotherapy painful?
An impacted colon may cause some discomfort and cramping. This is no different than the cramping one feels when experiencing sever diarrhea. This generally occurs as the colon contract to expel waste due to impaction. Once the major impaction is removed, many people report relief of problems. Their vitality and energy levels are restored, and they report the sessions to be relaxing, pleasant and effective.
Will I experience any intestinal discomfort or fatigue afterwards?
The cleansing will stir up a lot of old debris and toxins. It is possible that you would experience chills, some minor nausea and/or fatigue. It is recommended to rest and apply a warm heating pad to the abdomen. A mild vegetable broth or peppermint tea can be very soothing. Any discomfort is temporary and will usually pass within 24 hours. This is one major reason why a minimum of 4 sessions in 2 weeks is recommended – it speeds up the detoxification process.
Do I need colon hydrotherapy if I have diarrhea?
Diarrhea is basically a condition that stems from intestinal irritation. There are many reasons that bring about this irritation in the intestinal tract, such as, incomplete digestion of food, use of antibiotics, food poisoning, food allergies, fecal impaction, parasites, and bacterial toxins. Colon hydrotherapy assists the body in ridding itself from toxins in the colon that are causing the irritation. Chronic diarrhea is often caused by bowel disease, and it is highly recommended that you check with your primary physician.
Can I have a colon hydrotherapy session if I am menstruating?
It is absolutely safe to have a colonic during your period. Your flow will not interfere with the success of the treatment. Clients report a decrease in cramping, which normally accompanies menstruation.
Can colon hydrotherapy affect the balance of flora or the good bacteria in the colon?
Our gastrointestinal tract contains billions of live bacteria, some are bad and some are good. In a healthy person, there is a ratio of approximately 80%-85% combined good and neutral bacteria to 15%-20%. In many people today, this ratio is reversed. Friendly Flora does not usually predominate in colons that have old waste stuck to their walls. Colon hydrotherapy, therefore, washes out not only the bad flora, but also the environment in which it grows. Then the good flora has the ability to thrive in a clean environment. It is recommended to use probiotics but not because the treatment washes out “friendly” intestinal flora, but because it helps to improve the bacterial balance in the colon.
The LIBBE system has means to introduce probiotics at the end of the colonic session. This is strictly done by request only, and for an additional charge. It is especially beneficial subsequent to a colon cleansing.
Does colon hydrotherapy affect the balance of electrolytes?
Electrolytes are mineral salts that are capable of carrying an electrical charge that is necessary for the body to maintain a healthy balance. Colon hydrotherapy hydrates the body. The water that is washed out of the colon during the therapy is not pulled out from the body’s system and diluting the electrolytes. There is some mineral loss during the colonic session, no more or less than you would eliminate with regular bowel movements. This elimination of minerals is easily replaced with a healthy meal. We also provide you with an electrolytes mix to drink at the end of the session. In the study “Effects of Colon Hydrotherapy on Serum Electrolytes” done in 1989 and conducted by National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, OR. No patients experienced any significant symptoms or disturbances.
How does a colon hydrotherapy treatment compare to an enema?
- Enema involves one time injection/evacuation; colon hydrotherapy is a controlled continual bathing and releasing for cleansing and therapeutic purposes.
- An enema only reaches the rectum and lower part of the colon, approximately 7 inches, whereas with Colon hydrotherapy, the entire length of the colon is reached, approximately 5 ½ to 6 feet.
According to Dr. Norman Walker, “One colon irrigation is equivalent to 30 enemas.”
Is colon hydrotherapy safe for everyone?
Colon hydrotherapy is not administered if you are diagnosed with Aneurysm, congestive heart failure, uncontrolled seizures, hypertension, renal insufficiency, cirrhosis of the liver or colon cancer. Colon hydrotherapy is also contraindicated during the first and last trimester of pregnancy. Clients should wait a minimum of 6 weeks after abdominal surgery. In addition, colonics are not administered for clients with Inflammatory bowel diseases; such as, colitis, crohn's disease or diverticulitis. Certain medications may be risky since they thin the intestinal walls; high dosage, long-term use of oral steroidal anti-inflammatory such as prednisone is an example of this. The therapist will ask questions about your health to rule out any contraindications before the appointment is made.
Do I need colon hydrotherapy treatments if I have regular bowel movements?
A person with a healthy and well functioning colon will have 2 to 3 bowel movements per day, shortly after each meal taken. Elimination should be complete and easy. The stool should be light brown in color, long and large diameter. There should be no offensive odor and it should break apart with toilet flushing. Unfortunately, it is very rare to find people who could describe elimination in the same manner. For many people, the signs of a colon dysfunction are so much a part of their daily living experience. They believe eliminating once a day or once every few days is normal, and they don’t suspect that their health is in danger.
We live in a society that is overloaded with chemicals, toxins, air pollutants and radiation. In addition, by eating certain foods, we expose ourselves to processed and de-mineralized materials, herbicides, pesticides, food colorings and preservatives. Toxins first build up in the bowel and when the bowel becomes toxic, it contaminates the blood, which, in turn, spreads the toxins to the heart, lungs, brain, muscles, etc. as it is delivering nutrients throughout the body.
Overall, cleansing allows you to remove accumulated mucoid plaque in order to rebuild your bowel and your liver and protect yourself from disease. It is also recommended as a good way to deter oncoming cold and/or flu symptoms.
What is mucoid plaque?
Toxins first build up in the body as a result of eating too many foods that are acidic, such as, sugar, caffeine, white flour and alcohol. When the bowel becomes unnaturally acidic, it attempts to protect itself by secreting a mucus substance that lines the entire intestinal wall. In healthy bodies, pancreatic enzymes strip the mucus off the intestinal membranes within a few days and digestion returns to normal.
However, most people ingest decaying foods and stimulants every day. This causes layer upon layer of mucus to be secreted into the digestive tract. The pancreas in unable to keep up with the body’s demand for removing the mucus layers and they eventually become so thick that peristaltic action is inhibited.
What are the dangers of mucoid plaque?
- Slower transit time.
- Bacteria in the intestines begin to ferment this stagnant food, causing gas and bloating.
- Undigested, fermenting waste becomes sticky, and when it passes through the colon, part of it adheres to the walls, creating layer after layer of tough, glue-like feces that cannot be removed by peristalsis. Feces become dehydrated, leading to constipation.
- Feces become trapped in the pockets along the length of the colon wall, known as diverticuli, which can result in stagnation, infection, and inflammation (diverticulitis).
- The toxic process can also lead to colitis or irritable bowel syndrome, and can even contribute to colon cancer.
Can colon hydrotherapy help with weight loss?
A classic sign of colon toxicity in men and women is their potbelly. This condition may be very simple to correct by adopting an improved health regimen. However, a distended abdomen may indicate a more serious problem and the presence of fecal ball in the colon, which gathers more and more coatings the longer it remains.
You probably did not know that the average person, who is at “normal” overweight for their height and age, might have 10 to 25 pounds of dried fecal matter in their colon. “Virtually all weight challenges can be traced to imbalances in the colon/digestive tract as a primary contributor.”
How much of the intestines are actually cleansed during a colon hydrotherapy treatment?
It is possible that the full length of the colon or large intestine be cleansed with colon hydrotherapy. In order to achieve this depth of cleanse, many sessions will be required. The small intestines are not involved in a colon hydrotherapy treatment. However, it is highly recommended that the small intestines are cleansed as well and mucoid plaque is removed. This can be achieved with the help of herbs and/or enzymes taken orally. We can recommend a regimen for you.
Is there any possibility of contamination from prior use of the colon hydrotherapy machine?
There is absolutely no danger of contamination if the LIBBE is properly tended. We use sterile, disposable hoses and tubes. These disposables are used only once during a single therapy session. Great care and detailing goes into cleaning the table after each and every client. We use EPA Registered broad spectrum germicide, disinfectant and cleaner. The carbon filter for de-chlorination is frequently changed, and very detailed cleansing of the whole system and pipes is administered once a month.