Colonic irrigation, colonic hydrotherapy or colonics, involves the hydration and cleansing of the bowel and colon. The objective is to maintain optimal holistic health and provide relief from a range of illnesses and conditions. This is achieved by pumping fluid at low pressure into the colon via a gravity pressured system, which removes and releases toxins and residue that have built up there over time. A compromised immune system can lead to a build of bacteria and other unwanted residue in the colon, which this technique can help to remedy. The colon, or large intestine, is part of the digestive tract, and is primarily concerned with eliminating wastes, conserving water and synthesising valuable nutrients. Nutrition is a factor in colon health, with a diet high in refined, processed foods, likely to result in problems over time.
Colonic irrigation is typically conducted in a clinic or spa environment by qualified personnel. After assessing a client's condition, an enema is sometimes administered prior to the irrigation to purge the bowel. The colon is then washed by warm filtered and sterile water. This is introduced into the colon via the rectum using a hollow lubricated rubber tube, which circulates the water before it exists. The amount and pressure of the fluid is adjusted to ensure that there is no discomfort at all. During a single session between 25 litres - 50 litres are typically circulated to facilitate cleansing, and can take anywhere from 30 - 60 minutes to perform. The water causes the colon to contract which expels bacteria, undigested food and faecal matter. Herbs or enzymes can also be added to the water, which encourages regular bowel movements and aids in the digestion of food. During the session the therapist may also massage the abdomen, and encourage relaxation, to aid in the release of residues from the colon.
Colonic irrigation is useful in relieving a number of conditions, including:
Any colonic irrigation should be administered by a trained therapist. Practitioners should be qualified and a member of a recognised professional association, which ensures the highest possible standards of hygiene and safety. This includes the cleaning and sterilization of all the necessary equipment.