Colon Hydrotherapy FAQ

How does colon hydrotherapy work?

After the gentle insertion of a small tube into the rectum, the patient lies on a comfortable treatment table and the trained therapist will monitor the temperature and pressure of the water infused into and out of the colon (large intestine). No assistance is needed on the part of the patient.

This infusion of water will induce contractions in the colon, and the patient will start to expel fecal matter through the colonic hose which leads back to the colonic machine and through a clear glass viewing tube. It is quite interesting to see what is expelled during a normal treatment session.

While the patient is receiving the colonic treatment, the colon therapist will gently massage various parts of the abdomen to help loosen and dislodge areas of fecal impaction.

How does a colonic differ from an enema?

Colon therapy cleanses the entire colon without stressing the individual and provides a closed system in which waste material is eliminated through the instrument and out the drain line, avoiding any offensive odor and maintaining the dignity of the patient.

Colon therapy is an extended and more complete cleansing then an enema cleansing. The enema cleansing is limited to the area of the rectum and to shorter periods of time due to the body's natural wish to expel any material from the rectum. The Colon therapy method extends beyond the rectum to cleanse the entire large intestine and offer greater cleansing and therapeutic benefits. Enemas or laxatives may precipitate dehydration in the individual but colon hydrotherapy in effect, could improve the hydration status of the patient.

Is it clean?

At Fern Life Center, we use new and sterile disposable tubing and speculum with every patient with every visit. The Colon therapy machine affords thorough cleansing and disinfection following each treatment with a built-in check valve which prevents waste water from returning to the water supply. The machine also features a disposable unit which eliminates any possible contamination to the patient from the previous treatment.

What should I do to prepare for my colonic?

You can have a successful colonic without any special preparations beforehand, but it is best to avoid heavy food for a few hours before your treatment. If you are hungry eat a piece of fruit or vegetable and some raw nuts to keep your blood sugar up. It is also helpful to avoid refined foods (white flour, white sugar, table salt, processed fats) for a few days before. A tablespoon of olive oil the night before your treatment and a warm water with juice of half a lemon the morning of your treatment can help make it more effective.

Can I eat normally after my colonic?

Your therapist or supervising medical provider may make some dietary suggestions based on your response to your colonic. After your treatment, it is best to avoid roughage for the rest of the day as this may cause gas cramps. Focus on slightly steamed veggies, lean protein (white, not red), and if you like something raw (veggie juice made from carrots, celery and greens is best). The next day you may resume your normal healthy diet.

Will I need to go to the bathroom many times after my colonic?

It is normal to experience a few bowel movements immediately after your treatment, but you won’t have to be running to the toilet all day. Your therapist will allow plenty of time for you to use the toilet after your session before you leave the clinic. Most people feel fine within a few minutes after their session.

Is this a safe procedure?

Yes. The equipment that touches your body is all sterile and disposable. The manufacture and use of the machine is regulated by safety guidelines mandated by the FDA. The machine has an adapter and shut-off mechanism that never allows it to exert a harmful pressure on your colon.

Why do colon therapy?

A healthy colon is essential to a healthy body. The elimination of undigested food material and other waste products are as important as the digestion and assimilation of healthy foods and nutrients.

The colon (large intestine) is approximately 5-6 ft long and 1 inch wide. This has a two way wall, and is the last part of the digestive process, absorbing nutrients & water from the digested foods and receiving toxins, dead cells, and waste from around the body.

It can be thought of as the plumbing system of the body. If the toxins present are not removed, they can leak back through the intestinal wall into the blood stream to be redistributed around the body. The body then builds up an overload of waste material. The other elimination organs; liver, kidney, skin and lungs must work even harder to eliminate this waste from the body.

Causes for waste buildup

  • Bad dietary habits: eating low fiber, high fat foods; eating too much or too quickly, poor food combinations and/or drinking large quantities of liquids at meals that dilute digestive enzymes.
  • Dehydration: drinking coffee, tea, alcohol or colas that contain caffeine dehydrate the stool.
  • Emotional stress: the “fight or flight” stress reaction to anger, frustration, fear, overwork and unhappy life circumstances all involve release of adrenaline.

Adrenaline triggers defensive needs, like an alert mind and tense muscles, but slows or shuts down “non-essential” systems like digestion and elimination.

  • Bad habits as adults ignoring the call of nature or being in jobs that don't allow you to go to the bathroom when you feel the need, which ruins the tone of the sigmoid and rectum muscles-the parts that push out the feces.
  • Illness, long bed rest, anesthetic for an operation or pain medication can result in sluggish body functions
  • Physical stress or defects: genetic or accidental impairment of nerve functioning or spinal misalignment.

What are the benefits of colon therapy?

Colon therapy aids in the hydration of the large intestine. The water is absorbed which increases the volume of the blood. Circulation is thereby increased, resulting in greater bathing of individual cells. Colon therapy also dilutes toxins and flushes them out, relieves uremia and toxemia, increases the elimination of the kidneys and the skin as well as the bowels. This assists the cardiovascular system and circulatory systems to be more efficient.

By cleansing the colon of impacted and putrefactive fecal matter, colonics may offer relief from the above listed disturbances. Your sense of well being is often dramatically improved. You feel lighter and more energetic. The body can again take nourishment from food and defend itself against disease.

Can colon therapy aid with weight loss?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that there are three main reasons people cannot lose weight:
1. Metabolism: A heavy, poorly functioning colon is not only a problem for itself, but may also affect the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and other organs which in turn slow down the metabolism. A slow metabolism may be the number one factor in weight gain and deterrent to weight loss. The better your body functions, the more calories your body burns, the more weight you lose. It’s that simple.
2. Absorption: The inability to properly absorb all the nutrients from the food you eat creates a hunger cycle where the body demands more and more food, (hunger) to supply all nutrients you need, which of course means more and more overall unused calories that will eventually turn to fat. We are over-fed and under-nourished in our culture. Proper digestion ensures more of your nutrients are absorbed, which will require smaller amounts of food and less hunger.
3. Water Retention: The body needs to cleanse itself of toxins produced and ingested by the body several times a day. Your body, absorbing water through the large intestine, works constantly to flush out the toxins held in the muscles, fibers, cells and fat. The more toxins you circulate, the more water your body will retain in your fat cells, the heavier and more swollen you will be.
Colon hydrotherapy is no substitute for a healthy diet and plenty of exercise or a cure-all for being overweight, but it is a wonderful adjunct to your health program. Anything mechanical runs better when it is oiled, rust-free and in top working order. Our bodies are no different. A clean, healthy, and fully functioning colon is imperative to a healthy, vital lifestyle. Very often the “jump start” caused by colon hydrotherapy and its immediate, the effects both physical and psychological.

How often should I get colon therapy?

Colonics are most effective when done in a series and in close proximity (ideally 2-3 times per week for a short duration, though once per week also works well). The number in a series is individually assessed on information gathered during the first few visits. There are fundamentally three approaches to colon hydrotherapy:

1. A quick fix to an urgent problem (e.g. severe constipation or prep for surgery or a colonoscopy): 1-3 colonics over a 1-2 week period.

2. A long term tool for sustainable change: 8-14 colonics on average over a 2-6 month period.

3. Seasonal Cleansing for preventative maintenance and enhancement: 1-3 colonics per season.

A colon hydrotherapy session cleanses the entire five feet of colon, unlike an enema which cleanses only the sigmoid colon, the lower 8-12 inches of the bowel. This helps to reestablish normal bowel movements by restoring muscle tone and normal peristalsis.

By cleaning the colon, the body is then able to better release toxins and assimilate nutrients from foods.

What are the contraindications for colon hydrotherapy?

  • Cancer of the colon or GI (gastro intestinal) tract.
  • Acute abdominal pain (please call us to clarify).
  • Recent history of GI or rectal bleeding.
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Uncontrolled hypertension.
  • History of seizures.
  • Carcinoma of the rectum.
  • Abdominal surgery*
  • Intestinal perforation.
  • Abdominal hernia.
  • Recent colon or rectal surgery.
  • Diverticulitis.
  • Recent heart attack.
  • General debilitation.
  • Vascular aneurism.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Epilepsy or psychoses.
  • Severe hemorrhoids.
  • Cirrhosis.
  • Fissures or fistula.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Acute Crohn's disease.
  • Rectal or abdominal tumors.

* Please call us to inquire about your situation as this does not apply to all surgeries: (425) 391-3376.

If you have any of these contraindications you may still be eligible to receive colon hydrotherapy once they have subsided or been eliminated. We have several forms of massage that can be extremely helpful with constipation, abdominal pain and inflammation issues. As well, nutrition consultations can provide you insight and a reasonable plan to address many of your digestive or reproductive challenges. If you are ever in question please call us at (425) 391-3376.

Why do colon therapy at Fern Life Center?

Recently, the Department of Health has indicated that colon therapy must be performed by a licensed medical provider or therapist supervised by a licensed medical provider to minimize complications. At Fern Life Center, colon therapy is supervised by Keesha Ewers, ARNP in a warm, caring and hygienic environment.

What should I expect from my treatment?

You will be ushered 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 lie 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 will pull out the package of disposable and sterile tubes and speculum and attach them to the colon hydrotherapy 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 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 and has the diameter of a healthy bowel movement.

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 Fern Life Center 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.

Where did colon hydrotherapy come from?

It is widely thought that the Greeks came up with the idea of “auto-intoxication” or the theory that toxins originating in the intestine can enter the circulatory system and poison the body. Yet there is plenty of evidence that cultures have been utilizing the benefits of colon hydrotherapy for thousands of years, as far back as ancient Egypt and China. The idea of “auto-intoxication” was widely accepted until the early 20th century and was commonly used for a wide variety of systemic disorders. Toward the end of the 1930’s drug-based therapy was entering an era of revolutionary expansion, medically and financially, that would soon relegate practitioners of hydrotherapy and other traditional healing methods to quaint obsolescence and ridicule in most physicians’ minds; a practice that sadly continues today... Foolish the doctor who despises the knowledge acquired by the ancients. —Hippocrates