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What is colonic Irrigation?

Colonic irrigation or colon hydrotherapy encompasses the use of tubes to inject water, sometimes mixed with herbs or other liquids into the colon via the rectum; this therapy is intended to remove feces and nonspecific toxins from the colon and intestinal tract.

What can I expect during the procedure?

Before having the procedure, it is advised that you-

  • Check with your GP first, especially if you take any medications or have any chronic health problems, which could be exacerbated by this treatment
  • Make sure your colon-cleansing practitioner uses disposable equipment that hasn't previously been used.
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.

A colonic works by injecting filtered water via the rectum. The treatment normally consists of several fills and evacuations of water. A light massage may be applied to the abdomen to help with the evacuation. The treatment normally lasts one hour. During a colonic, approximately 30 litres of water will be transported into and out of the colon.

What are the benefits of having a colonic?

  • Increase in energy and vitality
  • Natural detox
  • Weight loss
  • Relief from constipation
  • Elimination of parasites
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved absorption of nutrients

Are there any side-effects of colonic irrigation?

Colonic irrigation can cause side effects, such as cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting. More serious concerns is that it can-

  • Increase your risk of dehydration.
  • Lead to bowel perforations with improper insertion techniques.
  • Increase the risk of infection due to improperly prepared or used equipment
  • Cause changes to the body’s electrolytes, which can be dangerous if you have kidney disease or other associated health problems.
  • Frequent colonic irrigation can lead to dependence on enemas to defecate
  • Frequent colonic irrigation could also reduce the effective absorption of prescription medication.
  • Colonics have also been associated with anemia, malnutrition, heart failure, and heart attacks due to electrolyte imbalances and reactions to certain ingredients used during the colonic, for example coffee is often used as a cleansing agent during the procedure.

Has colonic irrigation been medically proven to be good for you?

There has been little research done on the topic and opinions both medical and personal are normally split for and against this alternative therapy-

Those for the therapy believe, a low fibre diet and excessive consumption of refined foods and sugars, causes a build-up of compacted waste in the colon. This putrefying build-up produces toxins, which enter the blood system and are believed to be the culprit of a wide range of symptoms, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Low energy

Those against the theory believe that colonic irrigation should be done in context before a medical procedure or prior to surgery, where evacuation of the bowel is necessary. The only way to ensure that the digestive system is working optimally is to have a steady intake of sufficient amounts of dietary fiber, enhanced by a healthy lifestyle.

Will my medical Aid cover colonic irrigation?

Colonic irrigation as a standalone treatment, is considered by most medical aids as alternative medicine and therefore it is not covered, that is unless it is required as part of a medical procedure like a colonoscopy where evacuation of the colon is crucial.

 


Author: South African Spas