Arizona Advanced Medicine Clinic

Colon Hydrotherapy

MaeWestMae West said her beauty secret was a clean colon; she took one colonic weekly. Other celebrities took their cue from her including Paris Hilton, who speaks on behalf of the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy.

Newcomers to colon hydrotherapy can find the subject, ahem, a bit challenging. So let’s just get over that from the start. We’re talking about poop. And, we’ve all dealt with poopy baby diapers. No big deal. Besides, this rinsing thing has been done for centuries. Egyptians performed enemas in rivers using hollow reeds. Seventeenth century Parisian society commonly enjoyed a daily enema because they viewed internal washing as essential to well-being. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, enemas were standard practice among most physicians and a common treatment in hospitals. They are one of humanity’s oldest medical procedures still in use. So, many, many, many people have gone where you are about to go.

What’s in poop? It's about 40 percent dead bacteria and 60 percent the “remains of the day”, the undigested waste products. Your body extracted the nutrients from that chicken breast you ate yesterday, and the rest of it that you can’t use heads for the exit. Ah, was that maybe last week’s chicken dinner? Do you know your transit time?

When we changed baby diapers, we saw the remains of the most recent meals exit with each diaper. But adults are another story. We don’t eat right, we get stressed, we ignore Nature’s call to evacuate, we take antibiotics which throw off Nature’s balance… In time, we have an overgrowth of candida, parasites set up housekeeping, we harbor chronic infections, and our intestines lose their shape. Our “transit time” slows down meaning that what exits today was whatever you ate days ago. And while it was soooo slowly moving through your gut, it started to putrefy. Maybe you had a bit of gas or constipation. Maybe your diet irritates the lining of the intestinal tract which can allow toxins to invade the body. Now we have the makings of auto-intoxication where the bad stuff your body earmarked for departure gets reabsorbed. Not good.

There’s a reason there are so many TV commercials selling something for acid reflux, heartburn, bloating, and other digestive problems. But they don’t solve the problem. That’s where colonics come in. Literally.

HOW DO YOU DO THIS?

tableYou lie on the table, face up. You are asked to roll on your side for a moment while the lubricated speculum is inserted. It is a section of sturdy tubing that creates a seal so everything stays nice and tidy during the session. To the outside end of the speculum is attached flexible tubing that connects to the machine. Again, all secure and tidy. Water is gently put in, and out comes what your body is ready to release. Depending upon the person, you may fill and empty several times during a session.

Your dignity is always maintained. You are always in control. The water flows in slowly, and when you’ve had enough, we instantly let it drain out. “Will I explode?” No. “Will it smell?” No, everything is contained in the tube. “What comes out?” Well, there’s an interesting question. Sometimes the water appears to come out as clean as it went in. Other times, not. Time to share a patient’s story:

zuchini“The night before one session, I had eaten zucchini. I sliced it like silver dollars and sautéed it in butter and parmesan cheese. The next afternoon, I’m on the table. I like to watch what comes out as it goes through the glass tube in the machine during a session. It’s kind of like watching an aquarium; you just never know what will go swimming by. Well, after about the second fill, out came those zucchinis. They marched across the tube as perfect circular discs. The therapist asked me if I had ever heard of the word “mastication” or the concept of chewing food. I just about rolled off the table I was laughing so hard! I know I chewed them. But obviously not enough. That’s when I got it about eating more slowly so the digestive enzymes in the mouth can do their job, and so food is broken down enough that the gut can access the nutrition in it. It was an eye-opening experience. I never would have believed it.”

colonThe large intestine, what we call the colon, is about 5 feet long and 2 ½ inches around. The object of a colonic is to get the water to reach all the way to the end. Our body’s ileo-cecal valve keeps the small intestine sealed shut, so water does not go beyond the large intestine. Depending upon how many times you fill and empty, fill and empty, you may use 25-30 gallons of water in a session. The water is triple-filtered. The equipment often uses a UV light to kill pathogens, as well as particle and carbon filtration ensuring clean, safe water.

The longer one can hold the water in, the more it softens material in the colon and makes it easy to release. When your body is ready to release, hospital-gownit starts up the peristaltic action to move things out. This is the same peristaltic action that moves food down the esophagus. It’s a muscle contraction. You don’t have to think about it; your body just does it. Sometimes people lose a lot of natural ability, just as any muscle can lose tone, and this decreases the peristaltic reflex. Colonics help you regain and strengthen that reflex. If you have no peristaltic action, a skilled colon therapist can help your bowel to regain its function.

Sessions typically last up to 45 minutes. Before the session starts, you will generally change into a gown. The therapist will wear gloves. During the session, you and the therapist can see what exits your body and talk how your body is reacting to your diet and the condition of your colon. At the end of session, you may wish to be in the bathroom for 5-15 minutes if your body is still sending evacuation signals.

HOW ARE COLONICS USED?

Removing last night’s dinner can happen in a colonic. Frankly, we’d be glad to see you have such great transit time. But what we are really after isn’t expelling what your body can expel on its own. We’re after impediments to health. Examples:

The colon often takes the brunt of our digestive sins. Colon cancer is the second most deadly cancer.

John. H. Kellogg, MD, of Battle Creek, Michigan, is famous for his invention of corn flakes to introduce more fiber into the American diet. Among doctors, he was famous in for his use of colon hydrotherapy. Dr. Kellogg reported in the 1917 Journal of American Medicine that in the treatment of gastrointestinal disease in over 40,000 cases, he had used surgery in only twenty cases. The rest were helped as a result of cleansing the bowels, diet, and exercise.[2]

INFUSIONS

An infusion, or implant, is the introduction of liquids into the rectum and colon that are meant to be retained, not eliminated.

  • We infuse probiotics - good flora - into the colon to rebalance the population of bacteria there. This is helpful to people whose diets have contributed to chronic illness, and it is particularly helpful to people with a yeast overgrowth.
  • Glutamine - Edgar Casey fathered the idea of using the amino acid glutamine to heal the gut. Administering it directly into the colon heals symptoms of leaky gut.

ENEMAS

An enema is the introduction of liquids that are not meant to be retained after the session.

  • Ayurvedic Basti herbal infusions are an integral part of Ayurvedic “Science of Life” from India. Herbs such as Ashwagandha root and Slippery Elm are used to condition and soften while stimulating peristaltic action. Fusing this herbal concoction with the Colon Hydrotherapy is our unique method.
  • Coffee enemas are perhaps the most common because they are so useful. The Merck Manual advocated coffee enemas in all editions from 1898 through 1977, and many nursing texts routinely recommended coffee enemas.[3] Dr. Max Gerson famously introduced them into cancer therapy in the 1930s because they enhance liver function and in turn, eliminate toxic residues from environmental, chemotherapeutic, and other sources. Cancer patients often have a very large tumor burden, and as the body repairs and rebuilds and tumors break down, enormous amounts of toxic debris can be produced, much of which must be processed in the liver. Coffee enemas seem to enhance this processing of toxic metabolic waste. The caffeine does not enter the body’s general circulation system as it does when you drink coffee so you do not get the jitters. In fact, many people notice a paradoxical calming effect. The caffeine goes straight to the liver where it generates a strong detoxifying agent called glutathione-S-transferase. Coffee also stimulates the liver to make more bile which draws out environmental and metabolic toxins, as well as the toxins from Candida albicans and other parasitic organisms. The liver is then stimulated to produce enzymes that clean the blood since it no longer needs to work as hard on the colon. The coffee in the enema never enters the bloodstream. Make sure that your therapist uses only organic coffees, nothing containing herbicides and pesticides.
  • Castile soap is helpful for those who have severe constipation to irritate the colon walls and break things loose.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q - Is this medically approved?

A - Yes. Colon hydrotherapy equipment is FDA approved.
Q - What is the difference between a colonic and an enema?

A - A “colonic” is generally understood to be a professionally administered procedure where water washes the entire length of the colon (large intestine) several times during a session. And “enema” in this context is generally understood to involve just the last several inches of the colon, the rectum.

Q - Will colonics wash out intestinal flora and valuable nutrients?

A - Yes and no. Rinsing out of putrefied material in the large intestine cleans the terrain, allowing us to replace the unhelpful bacteria with good intestinal flora. Good bacteria breed happily in a clean environment. We can also replace electrolytes, using a special formulation of marine plasma to restore health to the bowel.

Q - I’ve read about ‘black tubes of mucoid plaque’ that line the walls of the colon and kill the peristaltic action. Is that true?

A - No. It’s a popular myth, but not true. You can read claims about ejecting incredible looking stuff after using some colon cleaning products. People sometimes see something that looks a bit like twisted rope. That is the mucilaginous fiber in the purging products themselves, combined with black bile from the liver. Sometimes it presses against the colon wall and makes an impression, which is what gives it that gnarled look.

Q - What about using clay?

A - Thumbs down for taking quantities of it for colon cleansing. The psyllium seed, bentonite clay products we find dehydrate the colon. Think about clay for a moment. It is great for pulling impurities out of the skin. But it also takes out the water and the minerals. That is why when you garden in bare feet, your feet crack, for example. That’s not the way to solve problems on the inside of the body because it creates more problems.

Q - I’ve read that John Wayne died with 40 pounds of fecal matter in his colon. Can that be true?

A - No. That one is an urban myth. John Wayne died a natural death; no autopsy was done. You can have a quantity of material backed up in the colon, particularly if you are constipated. We commonly see people lose 5-15 pounds after a colonic, because that much stool is washed out. But 40 pounds is an urban myth.

Q - Can colonics be done during a menstrual period?

A - Yes. Your body is already cleansing. Your period will not interfere with the treatment. You simply wear a tampon.

Q - What if I have gas?

A - Lots of people do. We think of gas as the bully in the room. Sometimes it wants to block the water. We are pretty good at getting the water to slide around it and bring it out. Gas looks like bubbles in the water as it exits.

Q - Can I see what comes out?

A - Yes. Everything passes through a glass tube. We’ve seen whole mushrooms, broccoli heads, and baby greens. We’ve seen dehydrated chunks of fecal matter. The nastiest sights come from those who consume a lot of protein shakes or eat a lot of meat as you do on the Atkins diet, and from people who are sensitive to gluten but eat it anyway. If you want to get an idea of your transit time, eat corn the night before your session. Corn never completely digests; we always see it come through the glass tube, and it provides a great marker for intestinal transit time. Beets are good for this purpose also.

Q - Do you have an opinion on raw diets based upon what you see?

A - Yes, we give raw food diets a thumbs down for people with weak digestive systems. For those with stronger systems, raw may be the perfect way to go. There is no "one size fits all". Raw food can be hard on the digestive system. Even if you chew it well, you can’t chew it completely. In Chinese medicine, raw food is considered to be very cold and hard on the system. Let’s be clear though that vegetables, both cooked and raw, are good. Too many people seem to have the idea that veggies simply amount to lettuce on a burger. They don’t eat squash, kale - a variety of veggies regularly.

Q - Are there any conditions where you would not recommend colonics?

A - Yes. Some situations are contraindicated, such as history of seizures, carcinoma of the rectum, recent abdominal or colon or rectal surgery, cirrhosis or liver disease, and more. Check with your physician if there is any question.


[1] Morton Walker, DPM; Value of Colon Hydrotherapy Verified by Medical Professionals, Townsend Newsletter, Aug/Sept, 2000

INFUSIONS

An infusion, or implant, is the introduction of liquids into the rectum and colon that are meant to be retained, not eliminated.

ENEMAS

An enema is the introduction of liquids that are not meant to be retained after the session.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q - Is this medically approved?

A - Yes. Colon hydrotherapy equipment is FDA approved.
Q - What is the difference between a colonic and an enema?

A - A “colonic” is generally understood to be a professionally administered procedure where water washes the entire length of the colon (large intestine) several times during a session. And “enema” in this context is generally understood to involve just the last several inches of the colon, the rectum.

Q - Will colonics wash out intestinal flora and valuable nutrients?

A - Yes and no. Rinsing out of putrefied material in the large intestine cleans the terrain, allowing us to replace the unhelpful bacteria with good intestinal flora. Good bacteria breed happily in a clean environment. We can also replace electrolytes, using a special formulation of marine plasma to restore health to the bowel.

Q - I’ve read about ‘black tubes of mucoid plaque’ that line the walls of the colon and kill the peristaltic action. Is that true?

A - No. It’s a popular myth, but not true. You can read claims about ejecting incredible looking stuff after using some colon cleaning products. People sometimes see something that looks a bit like twisted rope. That is the mucilaginous fiber in the purging products themselves, combined with black bile from the liver. Sometimes it presses against the colon wall and makes an impression, which is what gives it that gnarled look.

Q - What about using clay?

A - Thumbs down for taking quantities of it for colon cleansing. The psyllium seed, bentonite clay products we find dehydrate the colon. Think about clay for a moment. It is great for pulling impurities out of the skin. But it also takes out the water and the minerals. That is why when you garden in bare feet, your feet crack, for example. That’s not the way to solve problems on the inside of the body because it creates more problems.

Q - I’ve read that John Wayne died with 40 pounds of fecal matter in his colon. Can that be true?

A - No. That one is an urban myth. John Wayne died a natural death; no autopsy was done. You can have a quantity of material backed up in the colon, particularly if you are constipated. We commonly see people lose 5-15 pounds after a colonic, because that much stool is washed out. But 40 pounds is an urban myth.

Q - Can colonics be done during a menstrual period?

A - Yes. Your body is already cleansing. Your period will not interfere with the treatment. You simply wear a tampon.

Q - What if I have gas?

A - Lots of people do. We think of gas as the bully in the room. Sometimes it wants to block the water. We are pretty good at getting the water to slide around it and bring it out. Gas looks like bubbles in the water as it exits.

Q - Can I see what comes out?

A - Yes. Everything passes through a glass tube. We’ve seen whole mushrooms, broccoli heads, and baby greens. We’ve seen dehydrated chunks of fecal matter. The nastiest sights come from those who consume a lot of protein shakes or eat a lot of meat as you do on the Atkins diet, and from people who are sensitive to gluten but eat it anyway. If you want to get an idea of your transit time, eat corn the night before your session. Corn never completely digests; we always see it come through the glass tube, and it provides a great marker for intestinal transit time. Beets are good for this purpose also.

Q - Do you have an opinion on raw diets based upon what you see?

A - Yes, we give raw food diets a thumbs down for people with weak digestive systems. For those with stronger systems, raw may be the perfect way to go. There is no "one size fits all". Raw food can be hard on the digestive system. Even if you chew it well, you can’t chew it completely. In Chinese medicine, raw food is considered to be very cold and hard on the system. Let’s be clear though that vegetables, both cooked and raw, are good. Too many people seem to have the idea that veggies simply amount to lettuce on a burger. They don’t eat squash, kale - a variety of veggies regularly.

Q - Are there any conditions where you would not recommend colonics?

A - Yes. Some situations are contraindicated, such as history of seizures, carcinoma of the rectum, recent abdominal or colon or rectal surgery, cirrhosis or liver disease, and more. Check with your physician if there is any question.

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