Colonic hydrotherapy, or colon cleansing, has been an alternative therapy for many years. Colon cleansing dates back to ancient times of the Greeks and Egyptians, and gained popularity in the United States beginning in the 1930s. The large intestine is one of the main organs for elimination. Solid and semisolid waste travels through the intestines by way of muscle contractions, known as peristalsis. Fecal matter may begin to collect on the intestinal walls over time. This fecal collection can lead to constipation, gas, bloating, as well as other intestinal conditions such as a spastic colon.
Colon cleansing is similar to an enema, which is a common treatment for significant constipation. Unlike an enema which uses a small volume of water to flush the colon, colon hydrotherapy typically uses a few gallons of water and is able to more effectively flush a larger part of the colon. The greater volume of water breaks up the collected fecal matter on the intestinal walls. This procedure typically lasts for 45 to 60 minutes and is performed by a trained Colon Hydro-therapist.
The removal of collected, toxic, fecal matter from the lining of the colon promotes normal colonic function and health. Abdominal distension is reduced and normal intestinal peristalsis can return from the removal of these deposits. Patients have reported a sense of better well being and good health, either as a result of the removal of toxins, or from restoring the colon to a better state of health from its previous distended and irritated state. Optimal benefit from colon cleansing may be achieved through multiple sessions. Patients have reported improved health and greater relief from their symptoms when they include periodic colon cleansing in their preventive health regimen.
The practice of colon cleansing is frequently grouped under complementary medicine or integrative medicine, which, in general, refers to the same interventions when used in conjunction with mainstream medical practices under the umbrella term complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM.