Although colon hydrotherapy is popular today, colon hydrotherapy, or “colonics” as it is commonly referred to, is not a 20th century invention. Colonics have been traced back to both ancient Egyptian and Greek healing practices. According to the Global Professional Association for Colon Therapy, the Egyptians practiced colon hydrotherapy as far back as 14 B.C., and both the Greek and Roman civilizations continued the practice in an effort to remedy various stomach complaints.
Even without support from the medical community, colonics are as popular as they ever have been. Today, colonics are used for a variety of reasons, ranging from eliminating toxins believed to be stored in undigested food in the colon, to prevent autointoxication, to weight loss. Regardless of the reason for having a colonic, we need to answer four questions. First, why are colonics used? Second, are colonics beneficial and safe? Third, are colonics necessary? Fourth, what should you look for if you decide to undergo colon hydrotherapy?
Why are colonics used?
Medical research into the benefits of colonics is very limited at this time. However, proponents of the procedure speak of the many positive effects of having the procedure done regularly. The primary benefit is to prevent autointoxication.
Autointoxication is defined as “being poisoned by a toxin formed within the body.” Intestinal autointoxication is thought to occur when the body absorbs toxins from feces left in the colon. If one suffers from irregular bowel movements, this irregularity would certainly prolong the time feces is left in the body.
Symptoms of autointoxication include headache, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Colonics aid in removing the feces not eliminated naturally and lessen the time the feces is left in the body to putrefy.
Other benefits believed to be associated with colonics include increased regularity, increased energy, a better functioning digestive system, weight loss, and overall wellness.
Are colonics beneficial and safe?
Initially, there was little medical information available to discredit the benefits of colonics, but in the early 20th century, the American Medical Association began to investigate the colonics craze and soon exposed the dangers associated with the procedure.
Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that colonics offer any health benefits at all. Moreover, there are some medical concerns with having the procedure done in the first place. To begin with, water is not always the only liquid pumped into the colon. Sometimes coffee, along with other herbs, is used in an effort to flush the system more thoroughly.
Coffee is known to cause an immediate purge of the bowel and is believed to boost immunity. But a quick purge of the bowel can also lead to an extreme electrolyte imbalance, which is harmful. Additionally, colonics can lead to dehydration, abdominal cramping, and infection. A tear can occur in the rectum when the tube is inserted, opening the system up to the possibility of an unnecessary infection.
Are colonics necessary?
Today, there is one instance when a colonic is medically necessary; and this instance is when you are preparing the colon and digestive system for a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is a routine examination that checks the rectum and the lower intestine for infection, causes of any abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, and the presence of any abnormal growths that may lead to cancer. The colon needs to be cleaned out so that the doctor can see clearly during the exam.
What should you look for if you decide to undergo colon hydrotherapy?
Having a colonic is a very personal decision, and it is best to be as informed as possible. If you’re planning on colonic hydrotherapy, do your homework on the facility that will be administering the colonic to be sure it is reputable and uses disposable equipment.
Verify the ingredients being pumped into your body, the specific herbs, and any other substances used in the process of the colonic to avoid any health complications. Lastly, check with your doctor to be sure you are healthy enough to have a colonic, as medications or current health conditions, like heart disease, may preclude you from having the procedure.
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