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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Colon Hydrotherapy Pros and Cons

Dec 26, 2014 01:05PM ● By Carylann Bautz

"Colonic”, “colonic irrigation” and “colon hydrotherapy” are terms used interchangeably. A colonic is not an enema which is self-administered. A colonic is administered by a trained therapist who uses a “closed machine” which has controls to regulate water temperature, water pressure and flow controls. The machine has a built-in check valve to prevent back flow, disposable parts that touch the patient and purified triple filtered water.

The purpose is to infuse the entire colon with water in contrast to just the more limited version of an enema or open system which relies on gravity. A closed system is much more sensitive and able to fill the patient at a lower PSI, thus slowly reaching the entire colon. An enema or open system uses more pressure and the colon will spasm or stricture down preventing the water from reaching the entire colon. The elderly, or people with thinning colon walls, are at risk for auto-intoxication or perforation with an enema or open system.

Perforation of the colon is not a potential side effect with a closed system. Perforation has occurred with enemas and people who have self-administered themselves by improperly inserting the tubing and filling the colon too much. The colon has no pain censors. So people think they fill till they feel lots of pressure. Unfortunately, that’s when it’s too late.

With a closed system, the procedure is about 45 minutes. It involves a gentle infusion of warm, triple- filtered water into the rectum. The water circulates throughout the colon, removing its contents, while the client lies on a table. The water temperature is varied to help promote natural peristaltic action. The fill pressure is at a very low PSI—much lower than an enema, open or gravity system. The therapist monitors the fill pressure, the temperature, massages the colon and is trained to assess the contents of the colon to look for problems associated with colon diseases and digestives problems. A closed system has no odors or discomfort usually associated with enemas or open systems.

Here are some helpful tips for related situations you may encounter:

My colonic therapist is telling me to take laxative teas.

Tip: A properly administered colonic will naturally stimulate the colon to function properly without the use of laxatives. Laxative herbs like senna cause the colon to become dependent and distort the shape of the colon causing bowel problems.

My colonic therapist is promoting lose-weight formulas and digestive enzymes.

Tip: Colon therapists are not trained as doctors or nutritionists to recommend or make such claims.

My colonic therapist claims a colonic will release fat cells.

Tip: This claim is false. Fat is released through a chemical process in the body using heat. The colonic will give you energy through the release of toxins which will in turn help the metabolism to function better.

Potential Adverse Effects

There are very few possible adverse effects from closed-system colonic irrigations. The criteria is not to be done on individuals with serious bowel disease, and should only be done by a trained Colon Hydrotherapist, using disposable nozzles, with properly sanitized and FDA regulated equipment. Enemas are prescribed before sigmoidoscopies or a colonoscopy, in which a tube is introduced into the colon. In a sigmoidoscopy, the tube (with a fiberoptic camera) goes only as far as the sigmoid colon; however this may be 25 inches. In a colonoscopy, the tube may go as far as the cecum. Both may include biopsies or removal of polyps. In contrast, the tube for a colonic irrigation is inserted approximately three inches into the colon, and no biopsy or surgeries is performed. Based on this information, there’s a substantially less risk in performing a colonic.

According to the National Colon Hydrotherapy Association, the adverse effects from enemas and sigmoidoscopies can be classified into four types: perforation of the wall of the colon; a reaction to something in the enema, ranging from an allergic reaction to the nozzle tip to substances such as coffee or soap; primarily a pediatric problem (an electrolyte imbalance resulting from an enema in a small child) but has also been in geriatric patients; and infection from contaminated equipment.

​Carylann Bautz has been in professional practice for over 25 years helping people achieve health and wellness through a blend of Eastern and Western medicine including; “NAET” Allergy Elimination Therapy, Colon Hydrotherapy and Mind-fullness Counseling, bringing the body into a healthy balance inside and out. Visit

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