Ten Things You Need to Know About Colonics
Though it is an ancient procedure that dates back thousands of years, these days a little something called the “colonic” is getting some fresh attention in high-end spas and health circles. While the procedure itself is far from glamorous, it is not nearly as embarrassing as you might think.
A colon hydrotherapist uses a speculum with a tube attached to flush your colon with water; your bowels get moving, and the tube removes the waste. There’s no yucky smell and the only embarrassing moment is right at the beginning when it’s time to put the speculum in; the rest of the time, the procedure is usually pain-free with very little discomfort. And don’t believe the rumors that you are chained to a toilet for the rest of the day after having the procedure – that’s just not true!
When it comes to colon hydrotherapy, there’s a lot you need to know before taking the plunge. While there can be many benefits to having your colon flushed, it’s a significant procedure that you need to give careful consideration before scheduling one. I’ve compiled a list of ten things you need to know about colonics – five things that are considered benefits, and five things you need to take a close look at before deciding to have one.
1. A colonic is not the same thing as an enema. An enema addresses the lowest 5 or 10 inches of the colon, whereas a colonic flushes the entire intestinal tract. A colon cleanse flushes the entire colon, using a speculum and tubes to dissolve and flush out any excess waste present in the colon.
2. Colonic irrigation is touted by alternative medicine practitioners and some health experts as a gentle, effective way to cleanse your colon and rid the body of toxins and harmful bacteria that may be growing. By stimulating the removal of excess stool from your system, the procedure is thought to assist the body by clearing out the excess waste and allowing the colon to perform at its best, improving health of both the colon and your body as a whole.
3. There are different types of fluids used to perform the colon hydrotherapy. Some offices use filtered water, while others use a fluid mixture that can specific herbal ingredients that have long been thought to provide healing and support to the intestines. Some practitioners may also use coffee, enzymes, or even probiotics in their hydrotherapy fluids.
4. Many people think that colon cleanses affect not just the colon, but the whole body as well as the mind. Some of the conditions colonics are thought to alleviate include depression, anxiety, headaches, skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis, and even joint pain and gout. Some athletes get colonics to improve their metabolic rates, and mental health patients will at times use colon hydrotherapy to help them overcome emotional issues that they feel are somehow housed or stored in the intestines.
5. Colon hydrotherapy reshapes the colon. The theory suggests that waste buildup causes the colon – which is a muscle – to expand to accommodate the excess bulk. The removal of waste, it follows, would allow the colon to shrink down to its normal size, thereby reducing the amount of pressure on other organs in the abdomen and causing the patient to lose weight.
6. Colonics can increase your risk of dehydration. If you decide to go for it, drink plenty of extra fluids in the days immediately before and immediately after the procedure to make up for the water absorption that you’ll be losing with the big flush.
7. Check with your doctor before scheduling a colon cleanse, especially if you’re taking any medications. There are some medications that would be rendered ineffective or might even be damaging with a colonic, making it a potentially harmful procedure. You will also want to be sure that if the fluid used in the colonic has anything other than filtered water, none of the additives would in any way interfere with your medications or trigger any other allergies or negative side effects for you.
8. People with specific health conditions should not get a colonic under any circumstances. If you have diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease, a blood vessel disease, congestive heart failure, ulcerative colitis, an abdominal hernia, gastrointestinal cancer, intestinal tumors, or severe anemia, do not get a colonic. Pregnant women also should not have colon hydrotherapy, as the procedure may stimulate uterine contractions.
9. There can be very real, uncomfortable side effects to colon hydrotherapy, though many of the more severe ones rarely occur. Common complaints include abdominal cramps, nausea, and dizziness, though the dizziness especially may be attributed to dehydration and not to the procedure itself. Other, more dangerous but very uncommon, results may include a perforated bowel, a mineral imbalance, and infection.
10. Probiotics are important. As the colonic flushes waste, toxins, and harmful bacteria out of the colon, it also flushes away the good bacteria. Be sure to take plenty of probiotics on the day of and days following your colonic procedure to replace these good bacteria and keep your colon functioning at top speed.
All in all, the colon is such an important part of your overall health picture that you want to take the absolute best care of it. A huge part of colon health has to do with your diet, so the very best thing you can do for your gut is eat well, with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, going easy on the refined carbs. You may find, after reading here and talking to your doctor and other health practitioners, that a colon cleanse is the right choice for your health. If you decide to go for it, do yourself a favor and find a colon hydrotherapist licensed by the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy so that you can be sure you are receiving treatment from someone with the best training.
So tell me – have you had a colonic before? What did you like about the experience? Would you have another one, or would you recommend the procedure for a friend?
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