Colonics - Good for You or Not?

Colonic is the short name for colon hydrotherapy, and is a practice that has been around for centuries and is still used today.  It is most commonly associated with a body cleanse or detoxification program.  But - how good is it? Or can it be detrimental? 

A colon hydrotherapy session is simply flushing the colon with water using a specialized machine.   This machine may consist of an at-home unit, called a colema board, or may be done with a more high-tech, professional unit.  A session usually lasts around 40 minutes during which water is slowly released into the client. The pressure is very low so as not to shock the client.

While some criticism circulates that professional machines cause infections, the fear unfounded.  There is no evidence or history of such occurrences and, in fact, of the very few studies done, results are that colonics have a positive influence for many symptoms including constipation, allergies and even a reduction in ovarian cysts (1) and allows for greater absorption of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. (2) 

Having a colonic performed by a professional can help alleviate nervousness.  This person may be able to help with nutrition ideas and explain the internal process during a colonic session.  On the down-side, it can be expensive and embarrassing.

Home colonic units are highly beneficial and have their own perks. Aside from the obvious privacy perk, home units are small enough to fit in a typical bathroom.  You are in control of the flow of water and have the power to go at your own pace.  These units are best for those who cannot afford (or prefer not to use) professional sessions, or for those who do regular sessions as part of semi-annual cleanse program.

What are the Down Sides of Colonics?

Colonics can be intimidating and costly.  While there are no reported cases of negative side-effects, common sense should always be used.  If you have had any kind of bowel surgery, for example, having a colonic may not be a good idea.  If you take prescription medications, you may not benefit as much and it may even inhibit medication benefits.

Those who take laxatives may not benefit from colonics, either.  Laxatives (even senna) actually work in place of normal bodily functions, therefore may interfere with a colon hydrotherapy session (since this practice relies on the body's natural muscles).

Water is Healing

Water can be a very powerful healing tool.  Many (including doctors of the past, before pharmaceuticals dominated) believe water to be powerful and more natural than laxatives or suppositories.

If you do decide to try this, many advocates find that colon hydrotherapy works best when done in conjunction with a healthy eating program and sometimes healthy supplements that support the intestinal tract.  

Foods eaten during a cleanse help keep your system nourished and should be easy to digest. This eases the burden from the digestive tract, allowing it to work more easily while at the same time allowing digestive enzymes to further break down waste buildup, allowing for easier elimination.

As for healthy gut bacteria, the colon naturally replenishes good bacteria that may be lost during a session within 24 hours (as shown in the study listed below under Resources).   Some practioners believe that taking probiotics, or good bacteria is a good idea to help replenish healthy bacteria after a session.

Colonics can be expensive, but worthwhile if you find a good colon hydrotherapist to guide you through a cleanse. A home unit is great for those who prefer the privacy and the price.  Either way, do your homework and research, and learn how to help your body cleanse with nutrition.


(1) The Influence of Colon Irrigation on Human Intestinal Microbiota, Yoko Uchiyama-Tanaka Yoko Clinic Japan

(2) The Nutrition and Dietary Consultant, May 1986, Colon Hydrotherapy and its Clinical Applications Colon irrigation may help greatly in enhancing the ability to absorb many vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. by Donald J. Mantell, M.D. Professional Member AANC

Disclaimer:  The information on this site as well as any products discussed, displayed or advertised is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.  These statements are the personal belief of the author and these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The information posted on this website is published for informational purposes only.  This information should not in any way be used as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other licensed health care practitioner.

My name is Cindy and I am a Certified Holistic Nutritional Counselor, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist in the Calabasas Area of California, health researcher and author.  Welcome to my site.

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