A healthy digestive system is the foundation to good health. In fact, problems with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach aches, gas and bloating or diarrhea. GI issues may underlie chronic health problems that seem unrelated to digestive health, some of which include
- Autoimmune Diseases (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, Hashimoto’s, etc.)
- Skin Problems (Eczema, Acne Rosacea, etc.)
- Heart Disease
- Neurological Issues
When the bowel is congested, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly, vitamins are not synthesized properly, and the liver becomes affected as it has to work harder to remove the toxins that are being produced by the accumulating waste material. Cleansing the colon will help the whole body and all organs to work more efficiently.
What is the colon?
You can think of your colon as the organ that functions as a waste management station and virtually ALL other organs in your body depend on the health of the colon.
The colon is part of your intestines, which are long hollow tubes that run from your stomach to your anal opening. It consists of two parts, the small intestine, or small bowel, and the large intestine (bowel), or colon.
The colon is 5-6 feet long and about 1-2 inches in diameter. It starts near your right hip, moves up to your ribs on the right side, goes across 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, with sphincter muscles at the bottom. These muscles prevent the rectum from emptying out accidentally. When a person is ready to have a bowel movement, these sphincter muscles relax and, with straining, the stool is able to be pushed out.
What is the function of the colon?
The colon absorbs water and stores the waste products of digestion until they are being excreted by the body. It’s function is basically to get rid of food left over after the nutrients have been assimilated by the body, and bacteria and other waste have been removed. This process is called peristalsis and can take around 36 hours, depending on the foods that are being consumed.
Why colonic hydrotherapy?
Colonic hydrotherapy is a procedure in which your colon gets cleaned out, literally. Any old stool (debris) and mucus that attaches to the walls of the intestine will be mobilized and flushed out. In some cases, parasites are attached to the walls of the colon, and will be flushed out as well. Believe it or not, but more people than we would think do have parasites such as tapeworms or roundworms living inside their colon without even knowing it!
How does it work?
Lying on your back or side, a sterile catheter is inserted into the rectum. The nurse will start the procedure by turning on the switch allowing room temperature water to start gently flowing into the colon to stimulate the body’s own peristaltic motion. This flow of water continues until light cramping is experienced. At this point you will release the water and the faecal matter is eliminated. This process is repeated until the 8 gallons/42 litres of water has been used. Each time you release the water, you are also releasing waste material from your digestive tract, which may not have been removed without the procedure.
From my personal experience, this procedure is a very interesting experience. You will see what has been sitting inside your colon for probably a very long time, especially if you suffer from constipation. During the procedure, the nurse massages your colon and literally pushes the material in your colon from one end to the other. You start to feel exactly where your colon is positioned and how the bowel is moving along the parts of the colon.
Why you should ensure optimal colon health
Fecal matter and mucus can accumulate in the pockets of the colon or along the colon wall, if its function is impaired. When elimination is not occurring, the debris and mucus can sit there for weeks or months and result in an irritated colon that produces inflammation. If the fecal material continues to sit inside the colon then decay begins. Decaying fecal matter produces toxins and harmful gasses that can be absorbed into the blood stream then get transported though the entire body and poison other organs and tissues. This then leads to a variety of health problems including:
- Neurological Issues
- Brain Fog and Fatigue
- Hormonal Dysfunction
- Autoimmune Disease.
Mucus on the intestinal wall is also the perfect breeding ground for parasites and pathogenic bacteria. This can happen without any overt symptoms, but it is detrimental to health in the long-term if these are not being removed. Further, the colon itself is vulnerable to a number of diseases, disorders and problems such as diarrhea, IBS, IBD (ulcerative colitis, Chron’s disease), and ultimately cancer.
The reason for the high occurrence of colon problems is mostly due to our modern diet and lifestyle.
Contributors to poor colon health include:
- Poor diet (processed foods, refined flours, simple sugars, wheat/gluten, sodas, excess caffeine etc.)
- Environmental pollution
- Frequent use of antibiotics
- Lack of activity
- Lack of sleep
Promoting optimal colon health
- Eat a diet that with a favorable ratio of alkaline to acidic-forming foods
- Eliminate fried foods, processed foods, simple sugars, conventional meet, raw fish, undercooked meat
- Emphasize foods that promote colon health: This includes all vegetables and fruits (raw or steamed), healthy fats such as olive and coconut oil, and, if tolerated, alkalizing gluten-free grains (amaranth, quinoa, wild rice, black rice)
- Limit foods that are mucus forming (and acidic-forming): These include dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, butter, cheese, ice cream), eggs, meat, bacon, acidifying grains (barley, wheat, corn, oats), sodas, coffee and beer
- Eat slowly, sit down at each meal, and chew thoroughly
- Practice habits to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (vagus nerve) with breathing exercises, meditation, and/or gentle yoga.
“All Disease Begins In The Gut” – Hippocrates