What is Colonic Hydrotherapy?

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  • Written By: Brendan McGuigan
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2019
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Colonic hydrotherapy is a phrase used to describe the use of enemas for therapeutic healing, rather than for more Western medical procedures such as the treatment of constipation. There is a great deal of debate between practitioners of alternative colonic hydrotherapy and many in the medical establishment as to the efficacy of the treatment, with many opponents holding that the use of therapeutic enemas can in fact be harmful. Nonetheless, a number of colonic hydrotherapy practitioners exist in most larger towns, and there is a cottage industry supplying home practitioners.

The general idea behind colonic hydrotherapy is to remove not only excess fecal waste from the colon, but also to remove various built-up toxins from the system. This is accomplished by running water into the colon via an enema, which it is believed cleanses the walls of the large intestines, removing excess fecal matter that is held to promote parasitic infestation, or to cause non-specific symptoms of unhealthy. Depending on the regimen followed, the liquid used in colonic hydrotherapy may be supplemented with various dietary supplements, salts, or herbs.


There is no scientific evidence to support most of the claims made by proponents of colonic hydrotherapy, so it is considered by many medical practitioners to be at best a pointless exercise, and at worst a potentially harmful one. The bowels are held by the medical establishment to be self-regulating and self-cleaning, assuming that there is no serious disease getting in the way of their healthy functioning. There is also some evidence to suggest that extended use of colonic hydrotherapy can create a dependence on enemas in order to defecate, and there have been cases where colonic hydrotherapy has been associated with electrolyte imbalance.

The theory underlying colonic hydrotherapy is called autointoxication, where it is believed that food sits in the intestine and rots, causing any number of putrification-based symptoms. This theory has its roots in Ancient Egypt, and made its way down through history. In the 19th century, early studies seemed to support the theory of autointoxication, and many mainstream physicians supported colonic hydrotherapy as an extremely beneficial therapy. During the early-20th century, however, medical studies seemed to show little to no evidence supporting the autointoxication theory, and it was gradually rejected by the medical community.

Nonetheless, colonic hydrotherapy has continued to enjoy great popularity in the United States and Europe, and is one of the cornerstones of many alternative healing modalities. Enemas can be administered at home using a simple hot water bottle with a special enema attachment, and recipes abound on the internet for various cleansing formulas to be used. Therapists often also use more complicated machinery to irrigate further up the intestines, in theory cleansing even more deeply.

Proponents of colonic hydrotherapy note a wide range of benefits, including the alleviation of many low-level conditions. Enemas are held to increase energy, reduce stress, lead to cleaner skin, better digestive health, and a bolstering of the immune system. Depending on the proponent, irrigations may be recommended up to a few times a week, often in conjunction with an oral regimen of herbs meant to cleanse the bowels as well.


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Post 1

Thanks for writing about colonics! I wish more people coild know about this wonderful therapy! I'm in my 40's and just got educated about colonics - and wish I knew about this method of therapy a long, long time ago! Why isn't this information more readily available? I’m talking to all my girlfriends - who (unbeknown to me) suffer from irregularity too – and never realized how prevalent constipation is! But in my case - it's not just about has been about chronic constipation, bloating, and pain all my life. And - worse of all - I'm a yoga teacher who needs to bend and twist frequently! Ugh!!! Talk about abdominal pain!

So, I ask all of you who read this blog to share

your knowledge of colonics with someone you love. You just may make a huge difference in the world (or at least to your friends!). And for those of you who are professionals (therapists) Please promote yourself so others can learn more about this type of therapy. Although there's a bit of information out on the internet about colon therapy - finding a therapist is difficult. I tried to search the web for a colon therapist in my area - and nothing came up. If you're a therapist - don't be afraid to "promote" yourself on the web! You provide a valid and life-changing service! PS: I thank you all for your work. It's often thankless - but I want you to know how much I personally really appreciate it!

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