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Colon hydrotherapy is a specific procedure in which a gentle and safe infusion of water is pumped into the colon through the rectum. What makes this procedure so good?

Since no chemicals or drugs are used, the colon hydrotherapy is soothing and successful. The fact is that colonic irrigations enjoy widespread popularity in the alternative medicine community although they are being observed with considerable skepticism by the conventional medical community. A colonic is a forty-five-minute procedure which is restorative, relaxing, and effective. It should be performed by a trained professional.

Basics about colon hydrotherapy

Not many people know that the whole procedure of colon irrigation and hydrotherapy is based on the concept of autointoxication. What exactly is autointoxication? Autointoxication is an ancient theory based on the belief that toxins originating in the intestine can enter the circulation and poison the body.

There were several trends that tried to marginalize colonic irrigation and they done it mostly out of three reasons:

  • Change in philosophy in the medical profession, toward relying more on drug therapy and less on various types of physical therapies.
  • Political reaction against lay practitioners, distinguished by their excessive claims and aggressive marketing practices
  • Lack of scientific evidence for the efficacy of the colonics.

Normal bowel movements

The colon has been referred to as the sewer system of the body. It is the place where we store the waste material. It benefits the body by releasing the accumulated congestion in the bowel. The fact is that there are no rules by which you can determine what exactly a normal bowel movement is. The bowel habits of healthy individuals can vary greatly from several times a day to several times a week with no ill effects. However, some chiropractors, naturopaths, and assorted food faddists claim that "death begins in the colon" and that almost 90 percent of all diseases are caused by improperly working bowels.
Although many companies that produce laxatives are telling that irregularity is the biggest problem, constipation should be defined not by the frequency of movements but by the hardness of the stool.


Colonic Irrigation, or Colon Hydrotherapy, has its roots in ancient Egypt, Greece and India and has been used in the Western world since the 1800s. It was already used in 1500 B.C. in Ebers Papyrus. Even Hippocrates documented the use of enemas for fevers. Practitioners believe that toxins built up in the bowel may be responsible for many health problems and the goal is, therefore, to flush them out of the colon.


This session is a comfortable experience for many people. It produces no toxicity. Throughout the colon hydrotherapy, the client lies on a customized table in total relaxation. Most of the clothing can be kept on and the client will be draped, or a gown might be worn to ensure modesty. Patient’s dignity is always maintained. A small disposable speculum is then gently introduced into the rectum where 25-30 gallons of warm, clean water enters in and out of the colon. A colon hydrotherapy session is equivalent to 20-30 regular bowel movements. Some practitioners add herbs, coffee, enzymes, wheat or grass extract, or other substances to the enema solution.
The colonic will take between 30-45 minutes. Herbal implants may be used and advice will also be given on dietary changes to enhance the treatment. The therapist may massage the abdomen to help loosen pockets of waste and gas. The procedure may be repeated several times and should be pain free.
Although many people consider this as something filthy and dirty they are not right at all. Because the systems are sealed, waste is discretely transferred into a drain line without offensive odor and is done in a dignified manner with respect to the person. The important thing is also that all the equipment is manufactured through compliance with strict FDA guidelines that dictate rigorous accountability. 


There are different agents used in the water for the various colon cleansing techniques and the most common additives taken or added to the water are:

  • bentonite (a ground up volcanic ash usually taken internally),
  • cascara sagrada,
  • garlic,
  • hydrogen peroxide,
  • calcium,
  • chlorophyll,
  • coffee,
  • friendly bacteria,
  • herb's,
  • psyllium hulls,
  • vitamins and
  • minerals

Benefits of colon hydrotherapy

There are several possible benefits and reasons why someone should have colon irrigations. The fact is that it eliminates:

  • undigested food particles,
  • glandular and cellular debris,
  • excess mucus,
  • gas and
  • parasites

It is a known fact that technologies of food processing use preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, and chemical and hormonal food additives and that’s why the need for cleansing of the colon has never been greater. This entire increased toxic load contributes to the problems associated with the colon such as:

  • constipation,
  • toxemia,
  • colitis,
  • diarrhea,
  • skin blemishes,
  • low back pain, and
  • headaches

Since the colon is shaped like a pipe, colonic irrigation helps clean out the accumulation of stagnant toxin-producing matter in the colon pockets and keep the colon muscles toned. Not only that this procedure can free the colon of toxic waste but it has many other benefits such as:

  • it restores pH balance to the body,
  • stimulates the immune system,
  • allows free passage of nutrients into the blood,
  • prevents toxic absorption into healthy mucosa and
  • strengthens natural muscular contractions in the colon as well

Many of the clients claim that due to colon hydrotherapy, they have been able to live their lives without drugs, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, and pain pills.

Indications for the colon hydrotherapy

There are several conditions and symptoms that could be modestly relieved via only one colon irrigation therapy, not to mention all the positive effects of regular colon hydrotherapy procedure.

Some of the most common conditions are:

  • Frequent constipation or diarrhea
  • Diverticulitis, colitis, Crohn’s Disease and spastic colon
  • Duodenal, gastric and stomach ulcers
  • Stomach, intestinal and bowel cancers
  • Candida
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Headaches, earaches, sinus problems, allergies
  • Bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease
  • Poor appetite or food cravings
  • Bloated stomach and wind
  • Body odor
  • Problems in trying to lose weight
  • Heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Indigestion
  • Backache, sciatic pain
  • Mental or physical sluggishness
  • Bladder infections, frequent urination
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Acne, psoriasis and other skin complaints

Contraindications for the colon cleansing

Some experts have determined that there are a few contraindications to this type of colonic irrigation and that if any of the following problems exist, patient should proceed with caution:

  • Cardiovascular Disease,
  • Cardiomegaly,
  • Crohn's Disease,
  • Cysts,
  • Diverticulitis,
  • Hemorrhoids,
  • High Blood Pressure,
  • Megacolon,
  • Pregnancy,
  • Renal Insufficiency,
  • Tumors, and
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Those with anorexia or who are bulimic should only use natural cleansers. The walls of the colon may be weak from depriving you of the nutrients it needs for rebuilding.


Colonic irrigation is an invasive procedure and it should not be performed by non-physicians. This procedure is very painful for many people. The most common complication is perforation of the colon.

Perforation can be

  • mechanical, such as when the tip that injects the water or the tip of the endoscope causes damage, or
  • it can be from overpressure causing failure of a weak spot in the colon wall

Colonoscopies are the most invasive procedure and have the highest rate of adverse effects, since they involve deep penetration into the colon. Sigmoidoscopy, with insertion only into the first part of the colon, is substantially less invasive. 

Other possible side effects are:

  • infection from improperly cleaned instruments
  • electrolyte imbalances
  • fluid absorption and overload leading to heart failure

Every potential patient should know that even deaths have been reported from both perforation and infection.  It has also been suggested that colonic irrigations might remove beneficial indigenous micro-flora in the colon, encouraging the growth of pathogens, although there is no evidence that this actually occurs.

Costs of the procedure

The typical cost for a colonic is about $65 to $80 in the US. In comparison, a 30 ml dose of Oral Phospho-soda or a bottle of Magnesium Citrate will give effective laxative effects at a cost of approximately $2.

Home enemas as a substitute for colonic irrigations

Although it is a fact that home enemas are not as thorough as colonic irrigations, some individuals may prefer this form of hydrotherapy.
How to take an enema? After preparing the enema a nozzle or tube should be sterilized. For a simple enema, use 1 quart of lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon of both salt and soda. Then, the patient should lie on left side. Vaseline should be used in all cases, either on the rubber coot that fits over finger or on the tube, and gradually dilate the rectum. To prevent cramping, speed of water that enters the rectum should be controlled. After the quart of water has entered, patient should hold as long as possible before expelling.