Colonics have increasingly become more popular with the help of social media. You may have seen someone online who has talked about them. A friend/family member may have shared their new found health trick with you. Still with all this buzz, you find yourself wondering, what exactly is a colonic? Is it as scary as it sounds? Rest assured, it’s not, and luckily for you, I’m here to spill all the tea. Before I do though, I think a quick anatomy session is in order. To understand the purpose of colonics and why the information I share here is so important, we must first look at the colon and how it functions.
The colon, also known as the large intestine, is the final part of the digestive system. Its main functions are to absorb water and electrolytes from digested food, store feces, and eliminate waste from the body. After food is digested and nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, the remaining waste material, called chyme, enters the colon. As chyme passes through the colon, water and electrolytes are absorbed and move into the bloodstream. This helps to form solid feces. The feces are stored in the rectum, which is the last part of the colon, until they are ready to be eliminated from the body. When the rectum is full, nerve signals trigger the urge for bowel movement and the feces are then eliminated through the anus. Sometimes, not all waste is removed during this process and becomes stagnant. This is where colonics come in to play.
WHAT IS A COLONIC?
A colonic, also known as colonic irrigation or colon hydrotherapy, is a type of complimentary therapy that involves gently flushing out the colon with warm, filtered water without the presence of additives. The treatment is gentle and not aggressive or electrolyte harmful like laxative protocols. It’s like a water aerobics session for this grand muscle-think of improving the peristaltic actions of this muscle! The colon then pushes the water out, along with any waste material that has accumulated in the colon. The process is typically repeated several times during a single session. Pretty cool, huh?
COLONIC VS. DETOX
You might be wondering if colonics are the same as a detox. While colonics and detoxing are both practices that are often associated with the goal of removing toxins from the body, they are not the same thing. Detoxing can refer to a variety of practices that are designed to help the body eliminate toxins. These practices may include things like drinking specific juices or teas, following a particular diet, or taking supplements or other products that are marketed as “detoxifying.” However, the scientific evidence for many of these practices is limited, and some ‘detox regimens’ may even be harmful to health.
It’s important to note that the body has its own built-in detoxification system, which includes the liver, kidneys, and digestive system. These organs work together to break down and eliminate toxins from the body. While it is possible to support the body’s natural detoxification process through a healthy diet and lifestyle, it’s also important to be cautious of practices that make unrealistic claims or carry potential risks.
The benefits of colon hydrotherapy are a topic of debate in the medical community. Some proponents of colon hydrotherapy suggest that it can help to:
- Remove waste material and toxins from the colon
- Improve digestion and bowel function
- Promote overall health and well-being
- Inspire a shift to healthy lifestyle protocols
There are many other safe and effective ways to improve digestive health and overall well-being, such as eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise. Some times we get stuck and need a new outlook to the importance of taking care of the body. It’s not unusual for a healthcare provider to call your 3 day elimination the ‘new normal’, but there is always a ’cause’ and the bowel should be fully evacuated daily- just like a newborn baby!
As such, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before considering this type of service.
IS IT PAINFUL?
HOW LONG IS ONE SESSION?
About 1 hour
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE MY SESSION?
In general, here are some things you can do to prepare for a colonic:
- Follow any instructions provided by the colonic therapist.
- Stay hydrated! – This is very important since hydration can help to soften stool and make the service more comfortable.
- Eat a light, easily digestible meal – It is typically recommended to eat a light, easily digestible meal several days before your session. This may include things like soup, steamed vegetables, or a salad. The day of your service do not eat 2 hours before you come. You want to be in the elimination cycle not digestion cycle or you will feel sick.
- Avoid certain foods and beverages – Such as alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated drinks which cause gas and slow down the service.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing – For easier relaxation during the service.
Be prepared to discuss your medical history openly and honestly. Your therapist will likely ask you questions about your medical history and any medications or supplements you are taking.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER MY SESSION?
After a colonic, it’s important to take care of your body to help it recover and avoid any complications. Here are some general aftercare tips to follow:
- Drink plenty of water – Helps promote bowel function.
- Eat light, easily digestible foods – Like soup, steamed vegetables, or a salad. Avoid heavy, greasy, or spicy foods that may be hard on your digestive system.
- Rest – It’s normal to feel tired or fatigued immediately after a colonic. However, later you will feel energized and enthused to start a new lifestyle.
- Avoid strenuous exercise – For at least 24 hours after a colonic, as this can be hard on your body. Lymph is moved during your session so rather enjoy a nice rhythmic walk and continue the detox process.
- Follow any additional instructions from your therapist – Your colonic therapist may provide additional instructions for aftercare, such as taking certain supplements or avoiding certain activities. Be sure to follow any instructions provided by your therapist or doctor for best results.
- Monitor for any complications – Complications from a colon hydrotherapy session are very rare. If you experience any unusual symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
WHAT FOODS SHOULD I EAT? WHAT FOODS SHOULD I AVOID?
- Raw vegetables (low to non-starchy) – i.e., cucumbers, celery, artichokes, leafy greens, squash, etc.
- Fresh fruits
- Clear liquids – i.e., chicken or vegetable broth, coconut water, 100% natural juices, etc.
It’s best to avoid soups, broths, and juices that are artificially flavored, high in sodium and sugar, contain any additives or preservatives, and are high in fat. You want liquids that are high in nutrients and minerals that aid in digestion, not hinder its process.
DO NOT EAT:
- Red Meat
- Carbonated beverages
- Fried foods
- Processed carbohydrates – i.e., white rice, pasta, etc.
HOW MANY COLONICS DO I NEED BEFORE I SEE RESULTS?
Many people begin to see results immediately following their first session, especially with gas and bloating issues. Take time to revisit what you are eating, they could be what’s causing the issues. So, the answer truly depends on you, your gut, your therapist, and/or your physician.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I RECEIVE ONE?
Many therapists have different views on the frequency in which they recommend seeing their clients. Everyone’s body is unique and reacts differently, another reason why you should speak with your physician and therapist before and after your session to develop a plan that is specifically tailored to your needs. Generally, at season change is a good time to have a cleanse since we switch to different foods.
ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE WHO SHOULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN COLON HYDROTHERAPY?
Yes. There are certain groups of people who may not be suitable candidates for colonics, including:
- Individuals with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, as colonics may exacerbate inflammation and cause complications.
- Individuals with a history of bowel perforation or bowel obstruction will need a physicians script.
- Individuals with severe or acute gastrointestinal conditions, such as diverticulitis or appendicitis, as colonics may worsen symptoms or lead to complications.
- Pregnant women, as colonics may stimulate contractions and potentially harm the fetus.
There you have it! I know it was a lot of information to take in. We appreciate you taking the time to read it. If you are interested in a colonic at The Best Body Co, contact us here! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. We are committed to helping you be the ‘best body’ you can be!
DISCLAIMER: Content found within this site is for informational and educational purposes ONLY and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with a healthcare provider. While there are many benefits involved, this form of therapy may not be for everyone. Colonics aid and assist; they should not be considered as a cure or treatment. It is important that you speak with your healthcare provider before deciding if this is for you.