A Lesson in Colonics
One week I saw two people in my office that had each been to colon therapists that use different methods. They had each experienced my method in the past and had later experienced the closed high-pressure method with the Hydro San machine. They both felt strongly that they preferred the first method, Dr. Wood’s closed gravitational system. So what are the other methods? The vast majority of my clients are unaware that there are three different methods of colonics. So, I feel it is time that I explain how each varies from one another.
My method, Dr. Wood’s closed gravitational system, is the originator of colon therapy in the world. Dr. Wood began colon therapy in the early 1900’s. In time it was common for his system to be found in doctor offices and hospitals throughout the U.S. It wasn’t until the pharmaceutical industry became so popular in the 1950’s that people began turning to what appeared to be quick fixes for their bowels. Although there were people that continued to do colon therapy in the U.S., predominately chiropractors, there was a definite decline in the amount of colonics done.
In recent decades, people have become more aware of the need to get to the root cause of a problem instead of covering it with a drug. (I need to add that although I am an alternative health care provider, I am not opposed to conventional medicine or all pharmaceuticals. There are needs for both alternative and conventional medicine.)
In the 23 years I have been a colon therapist I have seen a steady increase in the recognition of the benefits of colon therapy. People are also taking more responsibility for their health and the Internet has aided them, usually for the good, in their endeavors. Additionally, colon therapy is well recognized as part of common medical practice in Europe and other countries. In fact, to be a registered nurse in Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, a nurse has to also learn how to administer a colonic.
So now that we have established the beginning let’s talk about the 3 major methods. The originator, Dr. Woods closed gravitational method, uses gravity flow water. This allows for a pressure free colonic. The colon is not a pipe (like a plumber works with), but it is a two and a half inch round tube, typically 5 feet long, with many nerves. So keeping these nerves from being overly excited allows for a more productive colonic and more normal peristalsis. Peristalsis is the contractions that move waste through the colon. When beginning the colonic a disinfected and sterilized stainless steel speculum is inserted about 2 inches into the rectum. (Doctors, surgeons and dentists use disinfected, sterilized instruments most often, not disposable ones). On the outside of this speculum is attached a flexible exit hose and on the side of the speculum is a narrow water hose for clean gravity fed water. Water moves continuously through the speculum during the colonic but it only enters the colon when the therapist closes the exit hose with her thumb and forefinger. This is why the exit hose is flexible. The flexibility of the hose also allows for the therapist to feel the pressure from the colon so she is able to carefully monitor how much water and when to add water for the comfort of the client. Using this type of exit hose also allows the therapist to be able to palpitate the hose allowing for gas in the form of bubbles to easily leave the rectum. In this way any gas present in the rectum is not pushed up with the water into the colon but leaves the body before adding more water. Additionally, this hose allows for a closed system colonic, which means waste and gas leave the body through the speculum into the hose and down into the attached sewer system. This makes for a discrete mess-free colonic. A typical colonic lasts 40 minutes, but it could take longer or even less time depending on the productivity of the colonic. Massage of the abdomen is an integral part of a successful colonic. I have found that massage similar to the motion of gently kneading dough works best and is most comfortable for the client. It should always be done in the same direction that the colon eliminates waste, up on the right side, across the middle of the body by the navel and down the left side of the body.
Another method has several manufacturers including the Dotolo and the Hydro San as mentioned above. They are also closed systems but instead of gravity, the machine uses pressure, typically three times that of gravity. Additionally, the speculums used are disposable and plastic. My clients mentioned above felt that the pressure was too much for their colon and so their colonics were quite uncomfortable. They also felt that they didn’t get the elimination of waste during the colonic as they did with Dr. Wood’s gravity method. This is likely because the higher pressure tends to make the colon have stronger peristalsis, which in some persons can cause the colon to constrict causing the diameter of the colon to become smaller and the ability for the release of waste difficult. Those with IBS and colitis would usually be more uncomfortable with this method since their colon’s spasm easily from pressure. Additionally the plastic speculum is quite long and can be uncomfortable.
The last method is an open gravity system that also has several manufacturers such as the Angel of Light and the Libbe. The client lies on a fiberglass table that is in a half reclined position with their buttocks over a large hole. The client inserts a plastic tube into their rectum. They usually control the gravity fed water themselves with the water valves at their side. The waste leaves their body around this tube in their rectum instead of through speculums as in the other two methods. If a person has constipated waste or a lot of gas this can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing since they typically need to push the hard waste and gas while the tube remains in their rectum. There is no pushing necessary with the other methods. Several of my clients have tried this method but told me that they were very embarrassed when the tube shot out of them making quite a mess. They were also uncertain about how to gauge how much water to put in their colons. They did not feel that much was accomplished during the process. Years ago the therapist typically was not in the room during the colonic but in recent years the manufacturer has strongly suggested that the therapist is present.
In all methods of colonics the expertise and personality of the therapist can make a world of difference. This being the case, I instruct my clients that move from the area, to feel a comfort level with the therapist on the phone first and then to ask to visit their facility for just a few minutes so that they can use their eyes to evaluate proper cleanliness. At that time they should ask to see how the therapist manifests a sterile environment. Many people feel that disposable speculums and hoses address this issue but that is far from the truth. One of the clients I mentioned at the start of this blog told me that I was the fourth colon therapist she had been to and that I was definitely the cleanest. I practice proper disinfection and sterilization as is common in the medical community. My office also shows constant attention to cleanliness. In addition, some feel that using plastic disposable speculums and hoses puts more strain on our ecology since these are considered hazardous waste materials and cannot be recycled.
I hope this helps my readers to have a clearer understanding of the differences and similarities of the three methods of colonics. Thank you so much for reading.