Colon hydrotherapy or colon irrigation is a treatment that uses temperature- and pressure-controlled filtered water to cleanse the colon (large intestine) and rectum.
Although this practice is often done for preprocedural colon cleansing in modern medicine, practitioners of alternative medicine claim to use colon hydrotherapy as a therapeutic detox modality, although the proposed health benefits aren’t backed by scientific study.
How is colon hydrotherapy performed?
Main steps of colon hydrotherapy include::
- Hydration: Delivers water to the colon
- Activation: Peristalsis (muscle contracting) of the colon is activated by hydration
- Evacuation: Peristalsis is the process through which the contents of the colon are evacuated
During the procedure, water hydrates the walls of the colon. Practitioners claim that the formation of toxins is then inhibited, and any toxin already present is removed. Colon cleansing is believed to improve function of the muscles in the colon, leading to more effective peristalsis. This is called colon muscle retraining.
As a result, it is especially beneficial for people who have a sluggish intestine. Colon cleansing is said to improve the capacity of the intestine to absorb nutrients, in addition to improving the function of the intestinal muscles. This leads to an increase in energy levels and feeling of well-being. As a result of this procedure, immunity levels may improve because the gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in the production of immune cells.
Why is colon hydrotherapy done?
The colon is a component of the gastrointestinal system that absorbs water and salts from waste and flushes them out along with poisons. Bacteria in the colon break down the residual material that exits the body through the rectum and anus.
Irrigating the colon with water helps remove accumulated solid waste, undigested food particles, worms and parasites from the large intestine as per these practitioners. They claim that acidity, indigestion, gas and body ache can be treated with this medication. This procedure enhances overall health, delays aging and is an excellent way to rid the body of pollutants. However, no scientific studies back these claims.
People with gastrointestinal problems are believed to have undigested meat and other foods in the colon. The proponents of this modality claim that this causes mucus buildup in the colon. Toxins are produced because of the buildup, which enter the bloodstream and poison the body.
Colon hydrotherapy cleanses the colon of large quantities of stagnant, mainly toxic, waste encrusted on the colon walls. It may help people suffering directly or indirectly due to a malfunctioning gastrointestinal system.
Main indications for colon hydrotherapy include:
- Bloating and gas
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Prior to a colonoscopy
- Part of a weight loss program
What are the side effects of colon hydrotherapy?
Doctors who practice modern medicine do not recommend any form of colon cleansing or hydrotherapy, unless specifically indicated or performed in a clinical setting.
Possible risks of hydrotherapy include:
- Vomiting, nausea and cramps
- Dizziness (a sign of dehydration)
- Mineral imbalance
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Bacterial infection and sepsis
- Interference with absorption of medication on the day of the procedure
- Bowel perforation
- Damage to the anal sphincter
- Kidney failure
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