Why Cleanse the Bowel ?
Let's start with some facts. The Health of the Digestive System and colon (large intestine) has reached an all time low. Incidence of diseases such as Crohn's Disease, Diverticulitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Constipation and Haemorrhoids are spiralling out of control. In 1996 the number one cancer among men and women was Colon-Rectal Cancer. Other diseases which at first glance appear to have no connection to the bowel have now been related to foundational digestive problems. These problems include Diabetes, Gallstones, Kidney Stones, Heartburn, Gout, Hypertension, Varicose Veins, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Parasites and Candida Albicans overgrowth.
A modern industrialised lifestyle has taken its toll on our digestive and eliminative organs. Refined, processed low fibre foods, animal fats, a lack of exercise and ever increasing levels of stress have all contributed to this current gastro-intestinal crisis.
The frequency at which a healthy person should have a bowel movement has become a massive misconception amongst the public and medical professionals. Some doctors have thought that anywhere between one bowel movement a day and one bowel movement a week was normal. Studies with peoples less affected by industrialisation and all that involves have revealed that it is normal to have one bowel movement for every meal that you have each day.
So if you have three meals a day you should be having three bowel movements without problems. If this is not the case then your digestive system is sluggish. The groups of peoples studied have healthier digestive systems because they eat less processed food, exercise more and have less stress.
The Merck Manual, (the medical industry's standard text for diagnosis and treatment of disease) informs us that colon degeneration is on the rise. The incidence of diverticulosis has increased dramatically over the last 40 years. In 1950 it stated only 10% of adults over the age of 45 had the disease, in 1955 15%, in 1972 30% and in 1987 almost 50%. The latest edition of the manual states that the incidence "increases rapidly" over the age of 40 and that "every person will have many". If they live long enough, every adult will have herniations of the large intestine. That is if they continue in the same habits that create these herniations.
Diverticula are saccular herniations that protrude through the wall of the colon. These "bowel pockets" are almost always asymptomatic (you can't feel them). They are caused by sluggish digestion and constipation. These bowel pockets fill with old faecal matter which can be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. This can infect the entire body causing all sorts of toxic reactions. A sluggish bowel can retain pounds of old toxic and poisonous waste material. When the colon is overburdened with toxins in a certain area it can begin to spread to other seemingly unrelated areas of the body. For example, through iridology we can often detect links with this and migraines and period problems to name two. The colon can become a breeding ground for parasites, bacteria and viruses. Sluggish digestion can throw your intestinal bacterial balance into chaos, resulting in feelings of bloating, cramping, abdominal pains, heartburn, gas and general tiredness. Also, if your colon is not clean, then you won't be absorbing nutrients from your food as effectively as you could.
Cleaning, toning and stimulating the elimination channels should be the first step in any health programme. Colon cleaning is often the foundation of all the treatments that are suggested when trying to restore the health of an individual through natural means, regardless of the condition.
What exactly is colonic irrigation?
Colonic irrigation, or colonics for short, is simply a wash out of the contents of the bowel with water. It's a gentle, painless and surprisingly relaxing process using filtered water at around body temperature. The water is introduced into the bowel via a sterile stainless steel or disposable 'speculum' attached to a waste hose which drains into the soil pipe of the building.
What Happens During a Colonic Session?
The treatment is carried out with you lying on the treatment couch, undressed from the waist down covered with a large towel, or wearing a treatment gown. After the speculum is inserted, the water flows in and out facilitating the release of waste matter under the control of the therapist. As the water is introduced into the bowel, you will feel an increase of pressure, which is the colon getting ready to release. As the waste flows out, you will then feel a release of the pressure. The weirdest thing about the whole process is that you feel like you are actually having bowel movements, while lying on a treatment couch as opposed to being on the toilet. Once you get over the initial strangeness of that, usually after about 5 minutes, it's plain sailing and is a relaxing and comfortable process and you wonder what all the fuss was about.
What Does Colonics Do?
Washing out the bowel in this way removes old toxins and accumulations. It works best alongside a dietary and herbal programme, which helps to soften and draw out older wastes which can build up along the intestinal tract over the years. Flushing out the colon in this way, allows the bloodstream to empty wastes better into the colon for removal from the body and also reduces toxic reabsorption into the bloodstream. The resulting cleansing of the bloodstream also leaves us feeling brighter and lighter over all, effects our overall health by lowering the toxic load, as well as leaving us flatter and lighter in the stomach area.
Are there any risks?
Inevitably, in washing out the toxic waste, we also wash out some of our friendly bacteria. Colonics is usually followed with a pro-biotic or friendly bacteria supplement to replenish and boost the flora population.
There are a few contraindications or reasons why some people shoulf not have colonics, those being, advanced heart disease, pregnancy, inflammatory conditions of the bowel and recent surgery. If in doubt ask your colonic therapist before making your appointment.
How Many Colonics Should One Have?
That does vary. Working with a dietary and herbal programme alongside colonics will help to reduce the number of sessions you need. I would generally recommend at least 2 sessions with the herbal and dietary cleanse I use for someone who is just looking for a general cleanse, boost and revitalise. Some colonics clinics don't offer herbal support and so require more sessions. Plus, candida sufferers will benefit from further sessions as colonics does help wash out the yeast and alleviate symptoms as part of a general anti-candida programme.
However, as with everything the 80:20 rule applies. You can get 80% of the results with 20% of the effort. To get 100% of the results requires a further 80% of effort. So if you are among those who wish to go for it and really deeply cleanse the bowel, you are looking at a longer dietary and herbal programme, probably incorporating some periods of raw foods and fasting and many more colonics.
Where Can I Go For A Detox and Colonics?
There are an increasing number of clinics that offer colonic irrigation now, which you can find through internet searches and also a number of detox retreats offering a deeper cleanse on a residential basis.