Colon Cleansing: Do You Need it?

October 13th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta

ColonicsEvery household needs a really deep spring cleaning, wouldn’t you say? That same thorough clean-out is the idea behind colon hydrotherapy—a very helpful tool for removing old, accumulated waste and toxins that have been piling up and decaying inside of you for years, resulting in restored colon health and cleanliness, and better overall health.

Colonics—the what and why

Colonics, also known as colon hydrotherapy or colon irrigations, are administered by a trained professional in a clean and private setting. According to the website of the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy:

Colon hydrotherapy is a safe, effective method of removing waste from the large intestine, without the use of drugs. By introducing filtered and temperature-regulated water into the colon, the waste is softened and loosened, resulting in evacuation through natural peristalsis. This process is repeated a few times during a session.

Through irrigation of the large intestine, and abdominal massage, a mass of accumulated waste matter—waste the body wouldn’t otherwise shed on its own—gets released. See: http://marlenatorres.com/2012/02/the-controversial-topic-of-colon-hydrotherapy/

This practice of colonic irrigation has been used for thousands of years, all the way back to the Egyptians. Mentions in papyrus documents date back to the 14th century BCE.  The 3rd century Essene Gospel, familiar to many raw foodists, makes mention of colon cleansing.

Colonics figured in treatment of everything from headaches to gastrointestinal disease in the early 1900s, per Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who reportedly used colonics with success on over 40,000 of his patients. In the 1920s and 30s the mainstream medical community denounced colon hydrotherapy and it began to disappear from the public health scene. But recently, colonics have gained in popularity as people begin again to take their health into their own hands.

Are colonics for you?

If your entry into raw foods has brought you constipation, bloating and gas, it could be that this new, vibrant, cleansing food is hitting old waste, clogged in your system. If you are having skin breakouts, headaches and aching joints, mouth sores, and other detox symptoms, this is another sign that the toxins are not being removed efficiently, and a colonic may be just the thing to speed your cleansing along. Many people report their health improving by leaps and bounds after a few colon hydrotherapy sessions, as the colon is able to absorb nutrients better with the blockages removed.

The “natural” controversy

Still, some object. The usual grounds: that colonics “aren’t natural.” That they’re “dangerous,” even “habit-forming.” Some health enthusiasts, most notably Natural Hygienists, claim that one can cleanse the body at large and the colon in particular quite without “unnatural” colonics and enemas.

How we look at what’s “natural” and not varies, in their truth, with time, place, history, and culture. Followers of the Natural Hygienist movement claim juicing “isn’t natural.” And, in a way, it isn’t: You need a blender for juicing. Nor is eating raw plant foods natural”—not if you’re Inuit, and living in the high arctic. Nor was either an all-plant or all-meat diet “natural” for early humans: In their environments, they were necessarily omnivores.

One thing’s for sure: That the “normal” North American diet—food that comes from cans, frozen cardboard boxes, the cold cuts section, the bread aisle, and a couple of weekly visits to the golden arches has never been a candidate for a “natural” way to eat. If colonics can help some of us transition to a cleaner, straighter, faster road to real health, then…onward!

I don’t quite get the worry that colonics are “addictive.” Certainly not the way booze, cigarettes, drugs, and bad TV are addictive. Colonics actually help to increase and strengthen normal peristalsis, which also helps heal a crippled digestive tract.

I received many colonics during my transition to raw foods and, later, my Quantum Eating program. For me, they were a very effective tool for detoxifying, but now I find that I no longer need them. My digestion and elimination have stabilized, and work ideally well nearly all the time. The last time I went in for a colonic, essentially nothing came out. The therapist was astonished and remarked that in over thirteen years of performing colonics, she had only seen one person with a colon as clean as mine. Who was it? A nun who lived in a convent and ate, she said, only fruits and vegetables. Raw foods and Quantum Eating work! So don’t fear that if you do decide to embark on several colon hydrotherapy sessions in order to facilitate cleansing, you’ll need them the rest of your life. Most likely you won’t.

Not your basic home remedy

Colon hydrotherapy is not something you do at home, unlike your typical home enema. Neither are colonics exotic, difficult or dangerous, when performed by a trained hydrotherapist. Healing institutes all over the world supervise this practice daily. As a matter of fact, colonics are considered a completely normal part of health care in some countries.

Don’t colonics wash away beneficial bacteria?

Some worry that colon cleansing washes away beneficial bacteria essential to the health and functioning of the colon. The fact is true, but the worry isn’t necessary. Those beneficial organisms can easily be replenished. A good hydrotherapist can give implants after each colonic, and you can easily consume good probiotic-rich food on a raw foods diet. A clean, healthy colon can much more easily regulate its own internal environment.

The money part

Another argument against colonics is that they are relatively expensive, and not everyone can afford them. True again. But if you believe in them, you will see this as an investment in your health, not an expense.

Everyone must make up his or her own mind when it comes to including colonics in their raw foods lifestyle. Visit the website i-act.org for more information or to find a qualified professional near you. He or she will be happy to answer all of your questions in depth and recommend the best route for you to take.

Your own everyday cleansing mechanism

The raw food diet is its own everyday cleansing tool. Raw foods themselves are cleansers. Add in a program of juicing and fasting, and you have an even deeper clean and have already largely eliminated the influx of toxic junk that infests “normal” eaters. For many new raw foodists, colon hydrotherapy can make this cleansing process go quicker and smoother with fewer detox symptoms.

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