by Dr. Hepsharat Amadi
There is a lot of controversy about colonics, or colon hydrotherapy. This therapy has been done, in one form or another, since the early Essenes used a reed and a gourd filled with water to wash out the lower third of the intestine, essentially performing an enema. The difference between an enema and a colonic is that an enema cleanses the last portion of the colon, the descending colon, whereas a colonic cleans the entire colon from the rectum to the ileocecal valve where it joins with the small intestine. Physicians and gastroenterologists used to perform colonics back in the 1940s, before they moved on to more lucrative diagnostic but less therapeutic practices, such as colonoscopy and endoscopy.
Lots of people think that colonics are mainly used for those people who have a tendency to be constipated. Although people with this issue would certainly benefit, even people who have a bowel movement once a day every day would still be helped by doing colonics. A baby usually defecates after every feeding, but as we get older (and most of our diets become more impure), our digestion and elimination are not as efficient. Think about it: if we eat three times a day and only have a bowel movement once a day, then where are all those toxins from the other meals going? They are being stored in the tissues of the body. They go into the bloodstream and from there into the lymph and other organs that surround the intestines, into the joints, the brain, into forming cellulite and more. Toxins from the colon in the lymphatics influence immune system functioning, arthritis, and allergies!
Another interesting thing about elimination is that when it’s sluggish, excess estrogen and testosterone get re-absorbed back into the tissues, causing or exacerbating such conditions as PMS, uterine fibroids, excessive menses, any kind of female reproductive system cancer (most commonly breast), as well as benign prostatic hypertrophy or prostate cancer. The prostate is located right next to the rectum (which is of course part of the colon) and thus its size and consistency can be palpated by doing a digital rectal exam. Having regular colonics, at least once a month, can help cut down on the amount of toxins contained within the bowel that pass through the walls of the bowel to affect the prostate directly.
Another indirect effect of elimination on hormonal balance is that having excessive estrogen in the system from sluggish elimination opposes the action of thyroid hormones. Excess estrogen tends to cause weight gain and water retention. Thyroid hormones tend to cause increased metabolism and weight loss, not to mention having anti-depressant effects.
Another aspect of colon hydrotherapy that is often not considered is that it helps to remove hidden toxins from our systems. Lots of times, we recognize the presence of too much fecal matter in our colons from how it expands our waistlines and makes our abdomens protrude, but all of us are carrying around hidden toxins that are affecting us just as powerfully: things like dental mercury, insecticides, GMO foods, products of environmental pollution and industrial wastes. These toxins also concentrate in the cells that line the walls of the bowel, and when the colonic water is bathing the bowel, move by osmotic gradient from an area of greater concentration (inside the cells) to an area of lesser concentration (inside the colonic water), then get flushed out with the colonic water.
Some Commonly Held Misconceptions about Colonics
Myth: They are unsafe.
Fact: They are so safe that usually, nowadays, licensed massage therapists do them in their office with much less malpractice insurance premiums than gastroenterologists pay.
Myth: They are “unnatural.”
Fact: Many things we do these days, such as brushing our teeth or bathing with soap and water daily, could also be called unnatural, yet they contribute to good hygiene.
Myth: They wash away the good probiotic organisms in the gut, as well as the bad.
Fact: This is true, but nobody is getting probiotic organisms in their systems any more from their food. If they are getting them at all (which most people aren’t), they are getting them from taking probiotics as supplements, so that’s all that needs to be done to replace the good organisms that a colonic will wash away.
For more information about colonics, I highly recommend the classic book by Dr. Bernard Jensen, DC, Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management.
A good holistic practitioner can help direct the course of a patient’s program of detoxification so that they know which methods and frequency of treatment would be most appropriate and optimal for them.
Dr. Amadi is a medical doctor who specializes in holistic family practice. She utilizes quantum bio-feedback to assess and treat her patients, as well as lifestyle modification, nutrition, herbs, homeopathic remedies and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Her private practice is located in Coral Springs, 954-757-0064, DrAmadi.com. See ad page 5.