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Colonic Hydrotherapy

Colonic Hydrotherapy (sometimes known as Colonic Irrigation) is the application of liquid into the colon via a tube in the rectum. The benefits of such a procedure are claimed to be detoxification and cleansing of the body
Colonic Hydrotherapy

In This Article
History How Does It Work?
A Typical Appointment What To Expect
Timings/ Cost/ Sessions Is It Right For You?

The first uses of colonic hydrotherapy (sometimes referred to as colonic irrigation) dates back hundreds of years to ancient Egyptian civilisations. Later, around 400BC, Greek physician Hippocrates proposed the benefits of cleansing the colon for good health and around 100BC a Roman physician used enemas (liquid introduced to the colon through the anus) to treat fevers.

Colonic hydrotherapy developed further in the 17th century when apparatus to self-administer enemas became widely available. However, its popularity dwindled in the 19th century as laxatives and other drugs became the popular way to treat gastrointestinal conditions. The therapy was rejuvenated in the early 20th century when an American physician, John Kellogg, again used enemas extensively to treat thousands of patients suffering with gastrointestinal disease.

By the 1930s, colonic irrigation had improved on the traditional enema (which could only reach the lower part of the colon) by cleaning and reshaping the walls of the colon and emptying the bowel. During the last decade, sophisticated techniques, greater understanding of the benefits of a healthy colon and the popularity of alternative medicine has led to a resurgence of colonic hydrotherapy. 

The colon is the final section of the digestive tract (the passageway food travels along between the mouth and the anus) and can be susceptible to disease if waste material builds up within it. This waste material can release toxins that can re-enter the bloodstream causing illness and disease in other parts of the body.

Colonic hydrotherapy aims to flush out toxic waste materials, exercise the colon muscles and reshape the colon enabling it to work to its full potential. The treatment also stimulates reflex points of other organs that are connected to the colon to benefit the body's system as a whole.

A colonic hydrotherapist can also educate the patient to identify other problems in the body from the function of their bowel system. This early detection can prove important in getting treatment before any condition worsens.  

Be prepared - It is advisable to choose a colonic hydrotherapist who is a member of, or is accredited by, an association or professional body. This ensures your colonic hydrotherapy session is carried out in a suitable environment and by someone who has received formal training and ongoing development. Members are also bound to a code of ethics and practice. The main colonic hydrotherapy organisations are listed at the foot of this article.

Some colonic hydrotherapists will recommend a specific diet to follow before your first session. On the day of your appointment, it is advisable not to drink or eat at least two hours before you see the therapist. If you're able to, try to have a bowel movement beforehand but this is not essential. If you have any specific concerns discuss them with your GP and local hydrotherapy practitioner before making an appointment. 

Your first appointment for colonic hydrotherapy will involve the therapist taking a medical history and asking questions about your diet and lifestyle. They will then explain how colonic hydrotherapy works and the procedure involved. Don't worry if you feel nervous, this is perfectly normal and the hydrotherapist is trained to answer your questions and put you at ease. They will also maintain your dignity at all times.

The colonic hydrotherapist will perform a brief rectal examination and then insert a small tube no further than inch into the rectum. Specially filtered water is heated to a comfortable temperature and passes through the tube and into your colon. The body's own natural processes will flush out the fluid when it needs to and there is no mess or odour. The colonic hydrotherapist may also use massage techniques to stimulate the release of any stored matter.

There should be no discomfort during colonic hydrotherapy unless you are suffering with an impacted colon, however the muscle contractions in the colon can cause a cramping sensation. The majority of patients who have had colonic hydrotherapy feel relaxed and lighter after the treatment has finished. Some people find they have several bowel movements afterwards or a feeling of light-headedness but this soon passes. If you have any concerns, consult your hydrotherapist. 

Your first colonic hydrotherapy appointment will last about an hour. The first 15 minutes will be spent taking a case history and the treatment itself takes around 45 minutes. Subsequent sessions will last 30-45 minutes.

As a general guide, a first visit can cost from £60.00 - £80.00 with subsequent appointments slightly lower but be aware that prices vary from town to town and hydrotherapist's overheads differ so check with you local practitioner first.

The number of sessions you will require depend upon your condition. Your colonic hydrotherapist will advise you on this during your first appointment but expect to attend up to three sessions.

Colonic hydrotherapy is a safe treatment and its benefits are widely recognised. The therapy is not suitable for those suffering with Crohn's disease. Anyone with high or low blood pressure, severe anaemia, ulcerative colitis, bleeding piles, anal fissures or any other bowel conditions should consult their GP or colonic hydrotherapist before booking an appointment.

This therapy or modality may help with:

Abdominal Pain Acne Allergies
Arthritis Back Pain Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Blood pressure Chronic Fatigue Constipation
Dermatitis Diarrhoea Eczema
Excessive Sweating Flu Food sensitivities
Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) Headaches Hyperhidrosis
Immune System Dysfunction Incontinence Indigestion
Influenza (Flu) Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Migraines
Obesity Psoriasis Sinusitis
Stomach cramps Tiredness Ulcerative colitis
Urinary Problems Vomiting

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Colonic Hydrotherapy London

About Therapist Qualifications

The Association & Register of Colon Hydrotherapists (ARCH) The Association & Register of Colon Hydrotherapists (ARCH) More Info


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