Q?What is Colon Hydrotherapy / Colonic Irrigation?

Also known as Colon lavage, or High colonic, Colonic Irrigation is a very safe, effective treatment for cleansing the colon of waste material by gentle flushing with highly purified water.

Q?What does my colon do?

Your colon is the end portion of your digestive tract, and is approximately 5 feet long and 2.5 inches in diameter. Its functions are to eliminate waste, and to conserve and absorb water and water soluble nutrients. Around 70% of the body’s water is absorbed through the colon. It also supports a delicate microflora of bacteria which synthesize valuable nutrients such as vitamin K and portions of the vitamin B complex.

Q?Why would I want a colonic?

Colonics can be effective at stimulating the colon to expel waste and this can help relieve congestion in your digestive system, but you don’t need to be ill to have a colonic.

Faeces, consists of dead cellular tissue, insoluble food residue, waste products of digestion and bacteria. Failure to evacuate this waste properly and is often very uncomfortable and some of this can be absorbed into the body and circulate in the blood stream making you feel tired, weak or ill.

If the muscular action of the bowel is insufficient it can result in sluggish bowel movements, constipation along with backache, headaches and people also report skin problems. (Your skin is the biggest excretory organ.)

Your body is a robust and brilliant machine, but it can struggle to deal with constant stress and we can feel pain, discomfort and become ill.

Q?Are enemas, suppositories or laxatives as effective?

They are different. Laxatives have a place for helping to stimulate the bowel and use of these can act as a useful aid. Colonics gently stimulate the the natural peristaltic action of the colon during a treatment.

Q?What about the water used?

During a treatment, warm, soothing, highly purified water, (between one and three microns) is used to gently flush the bowel.

Q?How do colonics affect the colon?

As the peristaltic action is stimulated, waste matter in the colon is broken down and eliminated. Even congested waste built up over a period can be released during treatments.

Colonic irrigation also exercises the bowel muscle. Congested waste impairs the muscular action of the bowel.

Q?What else can I expect from a colonic?

With the skill and knowledge I have acquired over many years of practice I will explain the anatomy and physiology of how your body works, where things go wrong and what you can do to make things better. Your body speaks in ‘body language’, usually pain and discomfort, to draw your attention to problems. By understanding these signals, you will be able to address problems early.

Emotional events and anxiety often result in physical tension which affects all organs. The colon is especially sensitive to stress and tension often resulting in irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, (IBS)

Q?How often should I have a bowel movement?

Depending on diet and assuming there is sufficient fibre and water available to the colon, you should have a bowel movement shortly after a meal is eaten, but at least once a day. The stool should be long, large in diameter, light brown in colour, (although this may be different depending on what has been eaten) without offensive odour and should float or sink slowly.

Q?Is colonic irrigation good even if I don’t have bowel problems?

Lots of my clients have regular treatments which they feel helps maintain good bowel and function. In the same way as people don’t wait to be unfit in order to go to a gym, you don’t need to wait to suffer colon problems before going for a colonic treatment.

Q?Do colonics make your bowel weak?

Absolutely not. Your colon is a muscle, and responds to exercise like any other muscle, so colonic irrigation encourages it to function properly. I can assist you with advice to help develop a well-functioning colon.

The nervous system message that tells us we need a bowel movement is often impaired, for example, ‘putting off’ going to the toilet if it is inconvenient or (for many people) embarrassing. Colonic irrigation stimulates the bowel function by repeated filling and emptying.

Q?Are colonics safe?

Being an essentially natural process, there is virtually no danger with a colonic. As a professional trained therapist, I have performed thousands of treatments and you will complete a health questionnaire prior to treatment. Colonic irrigation is a way of gently stimulating your body to eliminate waste.

Q?What about the equipment?

A new disposable pack containing speculum, water inlet and outlet tube is used for every treatment. Cleaning and disinfecting of other equipment is done as normal procedure and as stated by manufacturer instructions.

Q?Is a colonic painful?

Most concerns are whether insertion of the speculum is painful. The answer is no! The speculum is smaller than the waste you excrete and is only inserted around 1 ¼” If you experience any discomfort at any time during your treatment, just tell me.

Most people find colonic irrigation very relaxing and enjoy the sensation of feeling lighter, clean and empty afterwards.

If you suffer with IBS or a crampy bowel, I may infuse herbs which are highly effective at relaxing your bowel and releasing gas pockets.

Q?I’m worried that it is embarrassing?

After the gentle insertion of a small tube into the rectum, you are completely covered. There is no mess, odour or noise and the whole system is closed. Before you leave the clinic, you go to the toilet to empty any residual water.

Q?How will I feel afterwards?

Everyone is individual, so it can vary. Some people feel revitalised, others are relaxed, tired or sleepy. Many people report having a very restful night’s sleep following a treatment.

Sometimes a colonic may trigger several subsequent bowel movements for a few hours, but there won’t be any uncontrollable urgency or discomfort.

Many people report colonics can make you feel lighter, cleaner and healthier with an improved sense of well-being.

Q?What happens next?

Following treatment I will give you individual aftercare advice, and I can recommend supplements such as high quality probiotics if required. I can also advise on subsequent treatments.
Dietary and lifestyle changes may also be recommended to help improve  your health.

Q?How long does a colonic take?

Most colonics take between 45 minutes to an hour but I always allow an hour and a half for your first treatment which includes time to take a case history, discuss any problems you have and explain the treatment.

Q?Will colonics wash out intestinal flora and valuable nutrients?

Whilst this question is always contentious as there is no research to show the effect on bacteria, there is a wealth of research on the benefits of good bacteria and probiotics. Good bacteria can only breed in a clean environment so if your bowel is congested with excess waste it will not support a good environment for the good flora to flourish. A well-functioning bowel allows the good bacteria to multiply properly and nutrients will be better absorbed  in a healthy environment. I can happily recommend high quality probiotic supplements if you want to take them.



Q?Is there anything I need to do to get ready for a colonic?

No. Drink and eat as you normally do. Your whole digestive system is stimulated during a colonic so you may feel hungry afterwards.

Q?Will it be okay to eat after having a colonic?

Yes. Eat as your normal routine. I suggest something gentle and nourishing.


Q?So how many treatments will I need?

Everyone is different so it all depends on what your motivation is for having a treatment in the first place. The best thing about having a treatment is that you know how you feel afterwards so whilst I will give you my advice, I won’t pressurise you to have more treatments than you want or need.

For example, some people have heard about colonics, maybe their friends have had one, and just want to have a treatment to see what it is like. This is absolutely fine.

Other people may be involved in doing some form of regime and want to have a series of treatments close together.

Clients that suffer long term chronic health problems come on a regular basis and other people visit every few years, when they feel the need.

I am always happy to discuss things with you so feel free to ask.

Q?How will I know when my bowel is empty?

As more material is released you will actually feel the water enter the higher regions of the bowel. The objective should not necessarily always be an empty bowel, rather a well-functioning bowel.

Q?Will a colonic clear up my skin?

Your skin actually ‘breathes’ and is a big excretory organ which is why it shows the effects of congestion and poor health. If your bowel, liver and kidneys are functioning properly, the skin will very often clear up.

Q?Will a colonic make me constipated or give me diarrhoea?

The most frequent response is to have a slight delay in bowel movements and then an improvement in bowel function producing a proper formed, easier to move stool. Sometimes you may not have a bowel movement for several days following a colonic. Occasionally diarrhoea or loose bowel movements may be experienced as your bowel empties out congested waste. If this should occur, it is usually of very short duration.

However, since severe diarrhoea dehydrates the body, ensure it is carefully monitored and maintain levels of warm fluid to avoid dehydration.

Q?Suppose I have been suffering form constipation for a long time, will colonics help?

Colonic hydrotherapy is an excellent way of cleansing the colon. Once your colon is functioning properly, changes to diet, exercise and attitude are then able to produce their effects. The relief provided by colonics often stimulates the motivation and enthusiasm to institute positive changes in lifestyle. I have many clients who have suffered bowel problems for many years and report an improvement.

Some people who suffer with physiological problems that affect the colon and cannot be altered report that colonics help by easing symptoms although it will never be a cure.

Q?If colonics are so good, why haven’t I heard about them before?

History shows that people have regularly purified their bodies, including cleansing the colon. Around the turn of the 20th century, the present-day colonic machine was developed Until the late 1920’s many doctors had colonic machines in their surgeries, and machines were also used in hospitals. Articles dealing with colon health frequently appeared in prestigious medical and scientific journals until the early 1930’s.

Recently, people have returned to look for natural methods of healing the body and colonics is a big part of this since a proper functioning digestive system is imperative for absorbing nutrients properly.

Q?Lots of people in my family have colon problems so have I inherited the same?

Not necessarily. Evidence suggests that some conditions have a hereditary link, but many problems involving constipation, irritable bowel syndrome etc. can be associated to other factors.

For example, many people will say ‘I couldn’t possibly use the toilets at work!’  This leads to putting off the desire to go to the toilet to empty the bowel Whilst this is a very common attitude it doesn’t change the way your body works and regularly ignoring the nerve and muscle responses creates all sorts of bowel problems.

Q?I know they say I should drink 2 litres of water a day, but I don’t like water.

There are lots of arguments about what constitutes fluid and there have been lots of studies into whether tea and coffee count too. Around 70% of any cell in your body is water and we would die very quickly without it.

The bigger you are the more water you need. A formula for water is your body weight in pounds, divide it by 64 and this gives you the amount of water/fluid you need per day in litres. As an average I recommend a litre of fluid for every 5 stone in weight.

Your body will take fluid from the food that you eat, as well as fluid that you drink. Tea and coffee is included in that but don’t forget the effects of the caffeine. My advice is that a bit of what you fancy does you good and too much of anything is bad for you! Try drinking a cup or glass of water before you have that cup of tea or coffee and then see how much you want the tea/coffee afterwards.

Q?My diet is really good and I drink lots of water and exercise regularly but I still suffer bloating and discomfort. Will a colonic help me?

Your colon is affected by many factors, not least your mind. Stress can have a profound affect on your body and especially your bowel. Understanding how your mind and body work together is an important factor in bowel problems.

In nature, we are vulnerable when eating and evacuating, so eating on the run, not making time to evacuate our bowel can create muscle tension and symptoms of IBS, constipation and diarrhoea.

Balance is needed between activity and inactivity and many people feel guilty for sitting down relaxing. Your body isn’t designed to be on the go all the time. It needs time to relax and do some maintenance and repair work, and this doesn’t mean it can all be done when we sleep. Be kind to yourself and your body and make time to relax.

People spend hours cleaning and maintaining their cars and houses. Don’t forget the home your brain lives in!

Q?Can I get more advice?

If you have any other questions that you would like answered please contact me for advice.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information is correct, if you have any questions or problems concerning anything above please contact me.

Equally if you have any concerns about you bowel habits, please seek advice from your G.P. Many people are embarrassed to seek advice but ill health and disease are not prevented or cured by ignoring symptoms.

I am a member, and Board Member, of RICTAT Colonic Association.
I was previously a member of The Association of Registered Colon Hydrotherapists, (ARCH) and I was Chair from 2011-2014

I am also registered with the GRCCT.

Gillian Edwards.