We all love a good gut health story. From the boy who swallowed a marble at age ten only to find it tinkling into a colonic machine decades later to the woman who lost her engagement ring only for it to turn up in her colon identified in an X-ray, to the fact that Elvis Presley died on the toilet. There really is something oddly intriguing about the inner workings of the bowel. Perhaps it’s the fact that “loo talk” is so off the table; the last frontier of over-sharing. It seems like talking about gut health is saying that little bit too much. Perhaps that is why people are utterly fascinated by stories about the bowel. Whatever the reason, everyone seems to love a good gut health story. So here goes.
Colonic irrigation must sound like the most weird, outrageous and taboo notion to those who don’t need it. Just why on earth would anyone willingly have a pipe inserted into their rectum when their bowel is perfectly adept at moving matter on all by itself. Only thats the very point. For some people, the bowel doesn’t work as it should. “So take a laxatives” say those who don’t know the feeling of cramping and awfulness. For those who do, colonic hydrotherapy can offer relief; for many the treatment of colonic hydrotherapy is an absolute blessing. Because it does seem to move things along. Some believe it has a therapeutic effect in rejuvenating the colon wall in much the same way that physio therapy restores the body’s muscular system. Certainly the treatment is as fascinating as the people behind the stories.
The person who trains as a wellness therapist has usually gone through the issues themselves. It is very rewarding to be in a position to care for others who have tried everything but are still not feeling good. Those who do offer colonics invariably see and hear the same stories over and over, and they come to know that the treatment seems to offer something unique and comforting to certain clients. It is this that keeps therapists going, perhaps. The following stories come from medical doctors who have integrated colonics into their practices.
The following stories and articles are presented for those who are interested. They are not meant to replace the advice of a doctor. All items can be found on the I-ACT website. I-ACT is the largest and longest running organisation for the training of colonic hydrotherapy in the world, and the only globally recognised qualification.
Dr. Leonard Smith MD talks about his experience with Tommy at young boy. At Vitality Centre we do not offer treatment to anyone under 18 years of age, but in some treatment clinics, colonic hydrotherapy combined with a healthy diet has been offered to children under a doctors supervision.
“One of my more significant cases was Tommy, an eight-year-old boy with the most awful constipation anyone could imagine,” says former general surgeon and emergency medicine specialist Paul Flashner, MD, of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Observing their superior results for his patients, Dr. Flashner has more recently adapted his treatment techniques almost completely to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Most definitely, he has incorporated colon hydrotherapy as a regular CAM technique. “Tommy’s constipation was really bad. He never had a bowel movement for a week at a time. Recognizing the dangers of physiological toxicity, his parents took their son for consultation with numerous gastroenterologists.
The child had been subjected to colonoscopy a dozen times, but nothing could be found as the source of his blockage. Laxatives hardly helped at all. There was no diagnosis except that he suffered severely from constipation,” confirms Dr. Flashner. “Then the parents found their way to me so that the boy might undergo examination and treatment one more time. They described their eight-year-old’s condition. “I improved the child’s diet and removed all junk foods. Then I instigated an exercise program, had him drink lots of water, balanced his colonic flora, and added fiber food supplements. But most vital for Tommy’s welfare is that he took colon hydrotherapy under my prescription. The beneficial effect was dramatic, for within six months he was experiencing a natural and normal bowel movement every day. No laxatives were involved in his progress,” states Dr. Flashner.
“Now the child does not need to consult me anymore; still, he continues his colonic cleansing by having colon hydrotherapy. He did this once a month for six months, and currently he undergoes the cleansing just four times a year. It’s been two years since Tommy remains in excellent physical condition. “Colon hydrotherapy is the perfect specific procedure to eliminate constipation and restore normal bowel function.
“I’ve had a colon hydrotherapy device in my office for twenty-five years,” states Michael Gerber, MD, of Reno, Nevada. “My present staff person who dispenses colon hydrotherapy under my jurisdiction uses it for all types of patient difficulties. The basic concepts of the science has not changed much in the last twenty-five years; however, the colon hydrotherapy equipment has improved immensely.
How the equipment works so effectively is nothing short of astounding. Registered with the FDA, current colon hydrotherapy equipment is safe. It contains temperature controlled water mixing and back flow prevention valves, plus pressure and temperature sensors, and built-in chemical sanitizing units. Water purification units frequently are installed as well. Disposable single-use rectal tubes, and/or speculae are employed routinely for sterility.
“Undergoing a session of colon hydrotherapy has you experiencing comfort and cleansing with no toxicity. Techniques utilized allow a small amount of water to flow into the colon gently stimulating the colon’s natural peristaltic action to release softened waste,” Dr. Gerber advises. “The inflow of a small amount of water and the release of waste may be repeated again and again. The removal of such waste encourages better colon function and elimination.
“During the treatment, most clothing can continue to be worn. In addition the patient is draped, or a gown is worn to ensure modesty. The patient’s dignity is always maintained,” Dr. Michael Gerber affirms. “The benefits of colon hydrotherapy extend all the way from psychiatric improvement to constipation elimination.”
Morton Walkers article describes how some medical doctors integrate colonics into their wellness programmes.
“My approach to medical practice is to balance the GI tract using stool testing. I find various pathologies relating to bacteria, yeast, parasites, and other organisms of this nature. A lot of disease comes from imbalances in the colon, as manifested by inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune diseases, allergies, multiple sclerosis, and certainly constipation. Such imbalances can be corrected by means of colon hydrotherapy, herbal supplements, and diet,” says Dr. Paul Flashner. “There is no question about the huge difference a health professional can bring to the patient by utilizing colon hydrotherapy plus other associated complementary and alternative methods of healing.”
Why does flying effect the gut and bowel? So many airport and airline personnel report having issues with their bowel and gut health. Could there be a link to gravity and the regulation of the gut?
In his paper, published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, Spiegel argues IBS is triggered by the body’s inability to manage gravity.
Our bowels, Spiegel explains, are like a big sack of potatoes that we have to carry around our whole lives.
If our body’s usual management of gravity fails for whatever reason, our diaphragm can slip down and compress our intestines, possibly causing motility issues and bacterial overgrowth.
“Our nervous system also evolved in a world of gravity, and that might explain why many people feel abdominal ‘butterflies’ when anxious,” says Spiegel
No. According to Yoko Uchiyama-Tanaka who did a study on colonics and gut flora called The Influence of Colonic Irrigation on Human Intestinal Microbiota. “In conclusion, colonic irrigation has no influence on serum electrolytes and may induce improvements in symptoms without any effects on the intestinal microbiota.”
What is the best interval to put in between treatments of colonic hydrotherapy?
According to Yoko Uchiyama-Tanakas study, it is best to undergo three colonics and then to take a break for a month. And taking probiotics is recommended when undergoing colonic hydrotherapy treatments.
One Doctor uses the analogy of cleaning baked lasagne from a pan to describe why colonics are helpful to an impacted gut. According to Pamela Whitney ND, hard baked lasagna may be used as a metaphor for what certain bowels look like on the inside. Dr. Whitney, educational director for the New England Health Institute is a naturopathic physician who practices her profession in two locations, Braintree, Massachusetts and Stowe, Vermont.
Here is how she describes the physical action of colon hydrotherapy: “If ever you’ve baked a lasagna and then attempted to sanitize the messy, left-over lasagna pan, you know the difficulty with getting it clean. For sponging such a foodcaked pan it’s usual for cooks to soak the pan overnight. Then they find that swabbing it the next day is easy.
Colon hydrotherapy accomplishes the same ease of cleansing on the inside of one’s bowel. Using hydrotherapy, the colon’s walls constantly get flushed with clear fluid, which serves to remove mucous plus some of their longstanding, caked-on fecal matter which contains hidden bacteria, parasites, Candida albicans-filled pockets, and other such pathological materials.”
From its home office located in San Antonio, Texas, literature furnished by the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy or I-ACT (see the Resource section) defines colon hydrotherapy as a safe, effective method of removing waste from the large intestine, without the use of drugs. By introducing pure, filtered and temperature regulated water into the colon, the human waste is softened and loosened, resulting in evacuation through natural peristalsis. This flushing process usually is repeated a few times during a therapeutic session.
Colon hydrotherapy is best used in combination with adequate nutrient and fluid intake as well as with exercise. The modern and sophisticated technology applied today, manufactured through compliance with strict FDA guidelines, promotes both safety and sanitation of the procedure.
Dr. Pamela Whitney advises that her healing program for almost any condition frequently involves prescribing colon hydrotherapy.
“I almost always refer my patient to undertake colon cleansing as the first part of my treatment. I do this for purposes of detoxification, since most people possess toxic bowels which may result in either constipation or diarrhea both coming from the same sources of toxicity,” she says. “The patients’ toxins tend to kick back to their blood streams to perpetuate numerous pathologies such as candidiasis, allergies, chronic fatigue, and other symptoms coming from a recirculation of accumulated physiological poisons. “I use the services of at least three skilled colon hydrotherapists who practice near to my two offices.
I don’t know of any patient receiving colon hydrotherapy who has not benefited from it. Certainly the treatment will get a sluggish bowel refunctioning again. In my judgment, the action of just one colon hydrotherapy is an experience equivalent to someone undergoing twenty coffee enemas,” says Dr. Whitney. “What we eat, the processed foods such as breads, pastas, sugars, and refined deserts hit the gastrointestinal tract like a glue which becomes nearly indigestible. A prime source of allergies to wheat and other flour products is this flour made into a kind of mucilage by being mixed with saliva. This glue-like substance sticks on the walls of one’s GI tract to slow down the individual’s metabolic rate. Thereafter, constipation with inflammation can develop, but colon hydrotherapy solves such a problem.” As is obvious, Dr. Pamela Whitney is a great advocate of colon hydrotherapy, which she prescribes as a standard part of her treatment..