Colon Cleansing – FAQs
Per the policy of the WA State Department of Health we are required to notify you that Colon Hydrotherapy is not included in the training or scope of practice for nutritionists, Registered Dieticians (RD) or licensed massage practitioners (LMT). This is a statement of clarity to ensure that you understand that the credentials for some of our practitioners that are nutritionists and massage practitioners do not infer any government oversight for the colon hydrotherapists.
The training and education for Tummy Temple colon hydrotherapists is extensive to ensure a solid undertanding of anatomy, physiology & the use and maintenance of the colon hydrotherapy equipment. This is to ensure your safety and to support the efficacy of the sessions.
The Tummy Temple has a Naturopathic Medical Director on staff for oversight and supervision of the colon hydrotherapy department. This ND is responsible for ensuring that we are using FDA regulated supplies and equipment maintained according to manufacturer guidelines. As well they ensure that every practitioner has the necessary and appropriate training to be providing colonics safely. All protocols for sessions provided is reviewed and approved by the Medical Director.
Colon hydrotherapy as it is provided by non-medically licensed practititioners is only for flushing the contents of the colon.
Only Naturopathic Doctors may diagnose and treat medical conditions. NDs may refer for colonics as part of a plan and all sessions performed in these situations are under the supervision of the referring doctor.
The confusion lies in the fact that many laxatives, due to their overstimulating, or over-irritating, the intestines create a dependency.
The reason colon hydrotherapy is not habit forming is that the pressures used to gently flush the colon with water are lower than what the body normally uses to move material along.
It has been estimated that the body generally produces between 3 and 3.5 pounds per square inch of pressure to move material along the colon.
If the pressure used in a colonic exceeded the body’s normal pressure used to move material along it could weaken the muscles of the colon thus creating a dependency. However this is NOT the case.
Per the FDA the pressure used during a session may not exceed 2.25 pounds per square inch. The pressures used are generally between 0.25 and 1.25 pounds per square inch. If, during a fill the body decides to release a lot of material the pressure can spike. However, the equipment we use has a protective mechanism built into it to divert water directly into the sewage system if the pressure ever gets to 2 pounds per square inch. Thus, the internal pressure never exceeds the FDA requirement.
Also, the solar plexus is the emotional center of the body and the transverse colon passes right through it. If an emotional event is left uncompleted it often results in physical tension being stored in the solar plexus which affects all organs of the area, including the colon. This ongoing tightening of the colon muscle results in diminished movement of fecal material through the colon, which can be experienced as constipation. Not only do colonics help to clear material from the colon, they can assist you in creating a fully holistic view of your body’s functioning, leading to a better quality of life.
Intestinal Exam Preparation
The important thing to remember about the intestinal exam preparation is that having an empty bowel makes for a comfortable and successful experience.
It is recommended to do a series of three colon hydrotherapy sessions.
If you are not having complete eliminations by the second session we suggest you do a series of colonics until you achieve a very productive session. Only then should you rebook your colonoscopy and plan your preparation accordingly……your colon will thank you!
Use the following schedule to prepare your bowel for examination:
Colon Hydrotherapy Session 1 is 7 days prior to exam.
Colon Hydrotherapy Session 2 is 3 days prior to exam.
Colon Hydrotherapy Session 3 is the afternoon/evening prior to the exam.
Diet should be as follows:
Hydrate with water every day for the entire week prior to the exam by drinking half your bodyweight in ounces (e.g. a 200lb person would drink 100 ounces daily). Eat a fruit, steamed vegetable, and/or liquid diet 4 days prior to the exam. Foods that leave residue in the body such as meat, cheese, and refined carbohydrates (bread, crackers, pasta, etc) should be eliminated at this time.
Schedule an abdominal massage with the Tummy Temple Massage Team to address tensions from the examination. Often people will experience cramping or discomfort in the bowel area after these exams from the increased activity. The massage team is well equipped to assist in resolving these tensions.
There is no way to know before the colonoscopy if your colon has been adequately cleansed. Only when the doctor, or therapist, scopes the colon internally can that be determined. There is no scoping being done at the Tummy Temple; only colon cleansing. This is the also the case with all other forms of intestinal exam preparations, there is no guarantee that it will work or way of knowing that it has worked until the scoping is initiated.
With that said, therapists should be able to let you know if you had a very productive session by tracking the volume of water used and material released through the tube. This is not a diagnosis, only an observation. It is impossible for the therapist to determine whether or not the colonoscopy will be successful. You will have to use your best judgment and follow the above recommended guidelines to put yourself in the best position possible. We highly recommend this approach as it is the healthiest known way to cleanse the colon prior to a colonoscopy and is now being used in hospitals (note: Danbury Connecticut Hospital has made it the top choice for preparation.).
If your final colonic is very productive you should have minimal cramping upon taking colonoscopy preparation formulas from your doctor.
Click the links below for additional useful information and the most current research in support of using colon hydrotherapy to improve the outcomes of colonoscopy exams:
Sometimes during a colonic, the colon muscles will contract suddenly expelling considerable amounts of liquid and waste into the rectum. This may feel like cramping or gas, and may create a feeling of urgency to empty the rectum. Such episodes, if they do occur, are brief and easily tolerated.
Acidophilus mainly resides in the small intestine. As a colon hydrotherapy session only flushes your large intestine (colon) then this is not really an issue. However, colon hydrotherapy does wash out both beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria from the colon. We always encourage a blend of oral probiotics that include probiotics that flourish in the large intestine, as well. Your therapist can offer guidance on effective probiotic brands as well as products you may use to perform probiotic rectal implants at home.
At any point in time we carry around 3-4 pounds of bacteria in our intestines. Most people are out of balance with their bacteria and aren’t doing much to change that. In the “olden” days we would have been getting beneficial bacteria from fermented foods, raw milk, and foods picked fresh from the garden without being heavily washed or radiated. These days it is rare to meet an individual who is getting bacteria into their system this way. So, we highly recommend to all of our clients…and you..to take Acidophilus, Bulgaricus and Bifidum orally on a daily basis whether or not you’re getting a colon hydrotherapy session.
Secondly, depending on digestive systems operations, you may want to incorporate some fiber, and/or Diju in your system, or another supplement. Talking with your colon hydrotherapist about what’s going on with you prior to your sessions can be quite helpful.
In summation, some people have greatly benefited doing a series of colonics in a row, one day after another, maybe during a detox, while some may only be physically and emotionally comfortable with one every few days, one a week, etc. Everyone is different and unique, and this certainly applies to the gut. It is important to take it slowly at first to assess how your body is responding.
Please Note: These are guidelines to help you get the most out of your session, not requirements.
If time allows, we recommend our Cleanse Prep kits to help soften your stool and encourage movement for a more productive session. The dry skin brush is for supporting skin exfoliation and lymphatic system support as skin is the largest organ of elimination.
Purchase at the Tummy Temple:
Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 5:30pm.
Please call and prepay over the phone to ensure stock is available. Your products will be placed in our “product pickup basket” near our checkout desk for your convenience.
Avoid using the Cleanse Prep kit if you have diarrhea, your stool is pencil thin, if you are pregnant or nursing.
Regardless of getting colonics these helpful suggestions can improve bowel movements and support more productive releases. In the days leading up to your colonic, keep these simple tips front of mind:
- Chew your food till it is liquid,
- Drink half your body weight in ounces (e.g. 160lb person drinks 10 eight ounce glasses of water). For every cup of coffee or alcohol you drink, add another 8 oz. glass of water,
- Avoid pasta, pizza, cereals and gluten,
- ncrease vegetable and fruits,
- Choose chicken and fish over beef and pork (remember to chew till liquid).
Feel free to smile, put a little massage oil (or olive oil) on your belly and massage it gently every night before bed for 5 minutes to release tension!
2 hours prior to session:
Refrain from eating to avoid a full stomach. If you are hungry or your blood sugar is low then please eat a snack before coming in for your session.
1 hour prior to session:
Refrain from drinking to avoid a full bladder on the table. You will be a lot more comfortable.
FIRST TIME OR NERVOUS? Our clients have experienced improved results from their colonic by receiving a massage prior to their session. We have massage therapists that will help relax your body, nervous system, and belly. Schedule online or call us for more information.
15 minutes prior to session:
- Start relaxing and letting go of the stress of the day. Try to arrive early so that you may sit down for 5-15 minutes prior to the session in the comfortable waiting area to listen to the water fountain and calm your nervous system. Know that you are coming in for a wonderful therapeutic experience and life is about to get better.
Upon Arrival to the Tummy Temple:
- Please do not wear perfumes/colognes, strong oils, scented lotions or smoke before coming in to the Tummy Temple.
- As you enter, take note of our Tummy Temple Rituals (at the top of the stairs). Take a moment to inhale/exhale slowly and completly at least three times to relax your nervous system. Ring the shrine bell. Spritz your face and body with our relaxing essential oil blend. Enter the Tummy Temple with ease.
- As you will be disrobing from the waist down, please wear something comfortable from the waste up.
- Long dresses ARE NOT recommended as they will need to be hiked up above the waist which may be uncomfortable and will lead to wrinkling.
- On rare occasions there may be significant leakage during a session. This is usually due to a poor seal between the rectum and the rectal speculum, most often attributed to weak or atrophied muscles. As this is something we cannot predict, we do have tan colored T-shirts that may be purchased for $5 if for any reason your shirt is soiled during the session.
You will then go into one of our therapy rooms for a brief consultation with a therapist to go over your Intake form and answer any initial questions you might have.
Once done, the therapist will leave the room so that you may undress from the waist down. You will knock on the door to let the therapist know that you will be ready shortly. You will then proceed to lay down, on your back, on the very comfortable colonic table and pull the cover sheet over yourself. Directly underneath you will be a disposable absorbent pad, in case there is any leakage during the session (this is generally a very small amount of water, if any). The therapist will then knock on the door to be sure you are ready and then enter the room.
The therapist will then pull out the package of disposable and sterile tubes and speculum and attach them to the colon hydrotherapy equipment Click here to view the tubes and equipment. You will roll over on your side, under the sheet, with your rectum facing in the direction of the therapist. The therapist will then lubricate the speculum and you will either insert the speculum into your rectum or the therapist will assist you in a self-insertion. The speculum will be inserted about 2.5 to 3 inches into your rectum. The speculum has the diameter of a healthy bowel movement and the rectum usually receives the speculum easily with gentle pressure.
Initially you will remain on your side as the therapist starts running body temperature water into the end of your colon. No attempt will be made to fill your colon at this point. This short period is used to ensure a good fit for the speculum and to relax you and your colon.
Within a couple of minutes, unless you prefer to be on your side, you will roll back onto your back with your knees bent. The speculum will be secured by a strap that will rest under your body to prevent slippage.
When you are ready the therapist will then close the release valve on the equipment to create pressure in the system. This pressure is what allows the therapist to start gently filling your colon. The pressure used for filling the colon will generally run from 0.25 to 1.25 psi (pounds per square inch). This is very gentle (often much more gentle that an enema you would give yourself at home). The FDA requires that the pressure never exceed 2 psi as a safety margin. The equipment we use has a safety mechanism that automatically diverts water out of the system at the point it reaches 2 psi to ensure your safety and the health of your colon.
The therapist will continue with the fill until you let them know that you are ready to release or until they notice the pressure gauge increasing to a point where they decide it would be good to have you release.
When you release through the speculum, the water and material from your colon will pass through the large tube and then into the equipment. Within the equipment there is a view tube that is well lit from behind to make it possible to visually examine what is coming out of you. There is a lot of information to be gathered here and it is an important part of the therapy. From there the material then passes out of the equipment and directly into the sewage system.
The water is kept running at all times to help break up material and to keep your colon relaxed.
The therapist will then continue to do more fills and releases depending on the amount of time left and how you are feeling.
Every therapist at the Tummy Temple has received professional palpation training to use their hands on your abdomen to help release tension in your colon, belly and surrounding organs. This is a profound addition to the therapy as it makes a tremendous difference in helping you receive the maximum benefits from colon hydrotherapy.
Following your last release the speculum will be removed and, along with the tubes, disposed of immediately. The therapist will leave the room for you to use the toilet, if need be, and redress.
After you leave the room and pay for the session the therapist then returns to the room to clean up and disinfect the system.
Around the turn of the 20th century, the present-day colonic machine was developed, providing a significantly improved method of accomplishing colon cleansing. Up to the late 1920’s many doctors had colonic machines in their offices, and machines were found in hospitals as well. Articles dealing with colon health frequently appeared in prestigious medical and scientific journals until the early 1930’s. At that time modern man began a 50-year love affair with drugs and surgery. These seemed to offer relatively instant relief for body ailments, resulting in purification and prevention techniques becoming less attractive.
Recently, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in using natural approaches for healing the body, and colonics have rapidly been regaining the respectability they have already earned.
The Tummy Temple uses only top of the line equipment, the Aquanet EC-2000, with built in safety mechanism that exceed the FDA standards. The Aquanet EC-2000 is also a closed system, vs. an open system, and thus uses special rectal speculums designed to ensure the health and safety of the colon. The speculum and tubes used are prepackaged and will only be used once, then disposed.
Our staff of colon hydrotherapists are professionally trained, certified and tested on the equipment to ensure they know how to handle the equipment accordingly. However, for some, colon hydrotherapy is not advised. See our more detailed list of contraindications (conditions that might make it so that you are unable to receive treatment). An interesting fact is that with new colon therapy equipment treatments are much safer than the common enema!
Being an essentially natural process, there is virtually no danger with a colonic. Our intent is to provide a safe and healthy service so that you do not have to worry. Cleaning off the necessary equipment is done as a normal procedure and fresh clean linen is used for each colonic, as well. There is no need for sterilization of any equipment as all equipment that would normally be sterilized is now disposable.
Each time you clean out the putrefying rubbish and make a better environment for the good flora, they start to multiply immediately in their natural media. It also stands to reason that valuable nutrients can better be absorbed in a clean environment than in a filthy one.
We highly recommend additional flora (bacteria) support through rectal probiotic implants after each colonic. Daily oral support of probiotics is a must for most everyone whether or not they are getting colon hydrotherapy.
There are three factors involved in having a well functioning colon: diet exercise and attitude. All three must be in balance for the colon to function well.
Often, however, because the colon has been sluggish for so long, it has become severely weakened due to being constantly bathed in toxic waste, stretched from holding excessive amount of stools, and frequently, constricted by chronic tension in the colon.
The process of colonic hydrotherapy is excellent for cleansing and healing the colon sufficiently so that changes in diet, exercise, and attitude are then able to produce their effects. Many people find that the relief provided by colonics stimulates the motivation and enthusiasm to institute positive changes in their lifestyle.
Friendly bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifido-bacterium bifidum, are your body’s first line of defense against the potentially harmful microorganisms that you inhale or ingest. Probiotics are another term for these friendly bacteria that live and work in your gastrointestinal tract every day of your life. Think of them as the “home guard”, a mighty bacterial army that defends your body against dangerous invaders. Having sufficient numbers of these friendly bacteria in residence can help prevent a wide range of health problems.
Not all bacteria flourishes throughout the intestines. For example Acidophilus loves the small intestine. Bifidum loves the large intestine. The Tummy Temple sells rectal probiotics implants (for home or office visits) to allow you to directly put beneficial bacteria into your colon following a colon hydrotherapy session, or more preferably before bedtime.
HLC IntensiveHere are just a few of the noted benefits of taking probiotics:
- Reducing Inflammation (the Pharmax brand listed below has been proven, above most, to be significantly effective in this area)
- Increasing immune function and lowering infections
- Replenishing beneficial gut bacteria following use of antibiotics, alcohol, coffee, etc.
- Improving mineral absorption
- Increasing energy (it has been found that 20% of our energy comes from probiotics creating short chain fatty acids)
- Decreasing or eliminating some forms of IBS
- Manufacturing B vitamins
- Producing lactase
- Supporting healthy acid/alkaline (pH) balance
- Improving digestive tract function
We have sold many different probiotics over the years and have great things to say about a variety of manufacturers. Without a doubt, however, there is on manufacturer that sells probiotics that we have seen produce the best clinical results of all, Pharmax. As we consider probiotics to be critical on the fundamental level of wellness, we only sell the best value for your money. To read more about their Intensive Probiotics, or purchase Pharmax HLC Intensive Probiotic Capsules.
Once the urge to eliminate is honored by a trip to the toilet the elimination should be easy and take no more than a few seconds. The stool will be long, large in diameter, light brown in color, without offensive odor and should float or sink down slowly. When the toilet is flushed, the stool immediately begins breaking apart by the action of water movement. As incredible as this may sound it is true and commonly experienced in cultures where people live more naturally.
As soon as the colonic is finished you can carry on with daily routine. For some, the colonic may trigger several subsequent bowel movements for the next few hours, but there won’t be any uncontrollable urgency or discomfort. It’s also possible you may feel lightheaded or chilled for a few moments following a colonic. If a detoxifying reaction is triggered, any combination of symptoms may exhibit themselves, such as: headaches, back aches, emotional discharging, nausea, or low energy.
Though uncomfortable, these are all positive and temporary reactions signifying the body is releasing that which is no longer necessary. Relax, drink lots of water and be kind to yourself.
Also known as a “colonic”, “colon lavage”, “colon irrigation”, and “high colonic”, colon hydrotherapy is a safe, effective method for cleansing the colon of waste material, hydrating and supporting the release of physical, energetic and emotional tension by repeated, gentle flushing of the colon with water. It is literally a water massage of tummy and colon from the inside out.
There are two intestines: the small intestine and the large intestine. The small intestine is about 25 feet long. It is about as big around as your middle finger. The small intestine empties into the large intestine, also called the colon, which is about 5 to 7 feet long. The colon is about two inches in diameter and connects your small intestine to your anus.
The large intestine (colon), is shaped like a large question mark and starts out near your right hip, moves up to your ribs on the right side, goes across to the left side by your ribs, then down to the left hip where it makes an S-curve down to the anus. The last portion of the colon is called the rectum. At the bottom of the rectum are the sphincter muscles.
There are internal and external anal sphincter muscles. These muscles prevent the rectum from emptying when you do not want it to. The anal canal is one to two inches long. It is surrounded by the anal sphincter muscles which squeeze the anal canal closed to make sure that stool does not leak out accidentally. When you are ready to move your bowels, you relax these sphincter muscles and release the stool out.
The small intestine absorbs the nutrition from your food. The large intestine recycles water and electrolytes back into your body and stores the waste-products of digestion until your body is ready to empty them out. There are bacteria living in the colon which digest fibers to produce energy for us and synthesize valuable nutrients such as vitamins “K” and portions of the vitamin “B” complex.
“The brain is not the only place in the body that’s full of neurotransmitters, a hundred million neurotransmitters line the length of the gut, approximately the same number that is found in the brain…the brain in the bowel has got to work right or no one will have the luxury to think at all.” – Dr. Gershon (Book: The Second Brain, 1998)
“The gut has opiate receptors that behave like the brains opiate receptors. This is why many opiate type drugs cause constipation. Both brains can be addicted to opiates.” – Micheal Loes, M.D author of The Healing Response, 2002
First this material is quite toxic (poisonous). These poisons can reenter from the colon and circulate in the blood stream making us feel ill, tired or weak.
Second, impacted materials impair the colon’s ability to assimilate minerals and bacteria produced vitamins. Buildup of material on the colon wall can inhibit muscular action causing sluggish bowel movements, constipation, and the result of these disorders.
Third, water is recycled through the colon and thus hydration is temporarily improved. And finally, tension is released through the hydro-massage that occurs through the fills and releases of water into/from the colon.
Research suggests that the relationship between gut flora and humans is not merely commensal (a non-harmful coexistence), but rather is a mutualistic, symbiotic relationship. Though people can survive with no gut flora, the microorganisms perform a host of useful functions, such as fermenting unused energy substrates, training the immune system, preventing growth of harmful species, regulating the development of the gut, producing vitamins for the host (such as biotin and vitamin K), and producing hormones to direct the host to store fats. However, in certain conditions, some species are thought to be capable of causing disease by causing infection or increasing cancer risk for the host.
Specifically, a colonic is used to accomplish the following:
- Cleanse the Colon: Toxic material is broken down so it can no longer harm your body or inhibit assimilation and elimination. Even debris built up over a long period is gently, but surely removed in the process of a series of treatments. Once impacted material is removed, your colon can begin again to cooperate as it was intended to. In this very real sense a colonic is a rejuvenation treatment.
- It Exercises and strengthens the Colon Muscles: The build up of toxic debris weakens the colon and impairs its functioning. The gentle filling and emptying of the colon improves peristaltic (muscular contraction) activity by which the colon naturally moves material. Pressures used are under the pressure that a healthy colon would naturally use. Thus, colon hydrotherapy will ASSIST the colon to eliminate rather than TAKE OVER the responsibility of elimination.
- It Reshapes the Colon: When problem conditions exist in the colon they tend to alter its shape which in turn causes more problems. The gentle action of the water, coupled with the massage techniques of the colon hydrotherapist helps to eliminate bulging pockets of waste and narrowed, spastic constrictions finally enabling the colon to resume its natural state.
- It Stimulates Reflex Points: Every system and organ of the body is connected to the colon by reflex points. Colonics stimulate these points thereby affecting the corresponding body parts in a beneficial way.
Facts about peristalsis
- Serotonin is linked with the initiation of peristalsis. The most serotonin is produced in the gut, and is the source of the biggest production in the body. Some antidepressants, such as Prozac cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea and constipation in roughly 25 percent of people taking the drug. This is due to the drugs preventing the gut to use the serotonin (it is now being primarily produced in the brain), thus robbing the digestive system of the nuerotransmitter, causing digestive problems. (From: Patient Heal Thyself, page 34)
- that being said, sometimes in SMALL doses (high doses causes the opposite effect), Prozac is used to treat chronic constipation. (from: Patient Heal Thyself, page 35)
Cleansing and healing the colon diminishes the burden placed upon the skin as well as the other organs of elimination: lungs, liver and kidneys. As elimination is accomplished through its proper channels, the skin will very often clear up.
Very infrequently diarrhea or loose bowels may be experienced. This could be due to the extra water introduced into the colon or to the stirring up of toxic waste. If this should occur, it is usually of very short duration. However, since severe diarrhea dehydrates the body, it must be carefully monitored.
Salads, vegetable soups or broth, fruit, or juices and other whole, organic plant foods are the best choice.
As you become more aware of what is going on in your abdomen, and as your body learns how to allow the cleansing experience, you are better able to enter into that process, and therefore more material is released. One colonic will remove some of the stagnant waste in the colon. The second and subsequent colonics will remove more. How many you may wish to have will depend upon your personal objectives.
Colon Hydrotherapy is not a cure-all, but an important adjunctive therapy in the overall health care of the client.