First, let’s answer the most common question: “What is colon hydrotherapy (a colonic)?” According to the National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy (NBCHT), “The practice of colon hydrotherapy is the introduction of warm, filtered and temperature regulated water into the colon, the waste is softened and loosened, resulting in evacuation through natural peristalsis. This is repeated several times during the session.”
So, what are colonics good for? The most obvious answer is constipation, which is extremely common and often considered ‘normal’. In fact, some of my clients have confided that their doctors have told them that pooping every three days is ‘just your normal’. And while I’m reticent to challenge a medical professional’s input, I have to wonder how that would be considered normal. If we’re eating an average of three times a day, why would it be ok for our colon to hold onto the equivalent of 9 meals of waste?? That just sounds icky!
Ideally, our meals should fully digest and be ready for elimination within about 24 hours, but many factors contribute to the smooth-running (or not) of our digestive system. Poor diet, medications, lack of exercise, excessive weight gain and stress are just a few reasons that you may have a sluggish digestive system. In which case, colon hydrotherapy can definitely help!
Looking a little closer…:
Poor diet: Think about what you’re putting in your mouth and how it moves through your body. High water content foods – watermelon & zucchini - can move through your system much easier and faster than dry, bulky food such as bread, potatoes or bananas.
Medications: Especially opioids, can have a direct and lasting impact on your ability to eliminate regularly.
Lack of exercise: Your digestive system has an innate rhythm called ‘peristalsis’, which moves the food/waste with wave-like compressions from the esophagus to the rectum. But when we become less active or we gain excessive weight, that peristalsis can also slowdown, which can cause constipation.
Stress: This is a huge factor which can wreak havoc on many of our body systems. Stress can, quite literally, cause or exacerbate many health conditions, so I always advise stress-reduction as part of your treatment plan.
And while each of these can factors can contribute to constipation, constipation can also contribute to conditions like gas, bloating and body odor. Here are some other conditions which can respond positively to colon hydrotherapy:
Gas & bloating
Some skin conditions
Imbalance of intestinal flora (ex: due to prolonged antibiotic use, etc.)
PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED, including but not limited to:
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR COLON HYDROTHERAPY, including but not limited to:
Abdominal surgery, recent within 6 months
Cancer, especially Colon Cancer
Cardiac Disease (severe or uncontrolled)
Recent heart attack, within 6 months
Colon Surgery, recent within 6 months
Fissures & Fistulas
Hemorrhoids, severe or bleeding
Pregnancy, until after 6 weeks post-partum
If you are unsure that colon hydrotherapy is right for you, it’s always wise to check with your PCP and in some instances, a prescription from your provider is necessary (see above). And as always, reach out with any questions.
NOTE: Professional Lymphatic Therapy will be adding Colon Hydrotherapy services in Q1 of 2023. Keep your eyes open for the announcement!