PEOPLE continue to search for that “magical pill” that can end all health, wellness and beauty concerns; but of course, the truth is there is no such thing. Nevertheless, medical science has been relentless in coming up with innovations for today’s more health conscious generation, what with the development of supplements, lasers treatments, and stem cell-based therapies as vigorous as ever before.
In the midst of these new age treatments, however, a long proven but mostly unpopular treatment for holistic wellness is making a comeback in the health scene, this time promising more comfort, but the same effective benefits for the body.
Today, The Manila Times revisits the practice of colonics, and looks into its current transformation as the modern colon hydrotherapy.
According to the Colon Therapists Network, the therapy of the colon (large intestine) and its benefits have been practiced for hundred of years. Called enema, it was recorded as early as 1500 B.C. in an Egyptian medical document called “Eber Papyrus.”
During the early years in America, enemas were used to help maintain health and prevent diseases. In the early 1900s, John Kellogg, M.D. in Battle Creek, Michigan, extensively used colon therapy, specifically colonics, on some 40,000 patients. In 1917, he reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that in all but 20 cases he was able to avoid surgery to treat gastrointestinal disease in his patients.
The popularity of colon therapy in the US then reached its apex in 1920s to 1930s. At that time, colonic irrigation machines were commonly seen and regularly used in hospitals and physician’s offices until the treatment greatly decreased.
As the practice of colonics became less and less, the Colon Therapists Network notes that Americane now find themselves with more health problems. The group further points to the general lack of knowledge regarding the use of colonic irrigation and colon hydrotherapy as the culprit, thus leading to “the single most important factor in the current ill-health of many Americans.”
Within the last decade, there has been a resurgence of interest using alternative medicine including the benefits of maintaining a strong and biologically sound colon. This is aided with the development of sophisticated colon hydrotherapy machines that makes colonic irrigation and colon therapy, both safe and more convenient.
The new colonics
In the Philippines, the Zen Medical Institute, known for its approach of combining medical science, aesthetics and creativity, is at the forefront of introducing the new colonics to the health conscious market. They do so with the use of what they have found to be the top of the line hydrotherapy machine administered by licensed doctors abroad.
According to Dr. Mary Jane Torres, head physician and owner of the Zen Institute, colonics is a process by which wastes in the body are removed through a cleansing procedure called peristalsis.
“A very small hose [.5 cm] that is attached to a hydrotherapy machine is placed in the rectum to flush out waste with warm water,” she explains. “These wastes include built-up toxins and excretory material that adheres to the walls of the colon.”
The colon is known as the large intestine that is the end portion of the human digestive tract, or the food-carrying passageway extending from the mouth to the anus. Approximately, five feet long and two inches in diameter, it eliminates waste products, conserves water, and reabsorbs electrolytes and minerals.
Benefits of colonics
Besides improved digestion, colonics refreshes the entire body system. When the toxins are eliminated, the body will “feel light and relaxed.” More importantly, Dr. Torres notes that continuous hydrotherapy will facilitate in the effectiveness of treatment and disease prevention.
“If you are really conscious about your body, it is recommended that you have it four times a year. If you do not get enough fiber from vegetables, drink a lot of alcohol, and basically have an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, then you should have it done more often,” she advises.
The additional benefits of colonics are: It further encourages the growth of good bacteria that easily boosts the immune system; It reduces constipation; Since the procedure releases toxins, thus regenerating energy; and It contributes to overall well being and improved cognitive response.
According to a report, aside from constipation, an unhealthy colon can cause sluggish bowel movement, abdominal gas, stomach ache or diarrhea, headaches. Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and mild fever are some of the problems often caused by an unhealthy colon. It can further cause fatigue, insomnia, anorexia, halitosis (bad breath), oral cavity problems, body odor, multiple skin problems, allergic reactions, asthma, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, and in worst cases, intestinal cancer, liver cancer and lymphoma.
Weight loss can also be achieved by undergoing colonics because it enhances the metabolism of an individual. Dr. Torres therefore confidently recommends colonics for weight management.
“Regular sessions can help the body lose as much as 20 lbs. in 20 days. Each session lasts between 50 to 60 minutes,” she specifies.
While colonics is good for detoxification, it is not recommended for individuals who have intestinal problems such as Crohn’s disease, diseases of the blood vessels, congestive heart failure, heart disease, severe anemia, abdominal hernia, gastrointestinal cancer, intestinal tumors and ulcerative colitis. Pregnant women and those with who have had recent surgical procedures should also not undergo the procedure.
To be sure that a patient is an ideal candidate for colonics, Dr. Torres assures that at The Zen Institute, they have doctors on hand to check one’s vital signs before proceeding.
She also reiterates that going through the new colonics no longer requires elaborate preparations as before such as the use of laxatives and clear soup diets. All a patient needs to do is to increase water consumption preceding a treatment for at least an hour.
Most importantly, the discomfort that colonics used to bring patients is now a thing of the past. Rather than lying down on one’s side with huge amounts of water used for cleansing, the “colonics chair” even allows the patient to control the influx of water into the body to make for a gentler procedure. With this particular machine, all one basically needs to do is to sit down and relax as they take the first step towards a healthy lifestyle.
A word of warning, however, there are also some US scientists who maintain that undergoing colonics too often can disrupt the natural digestive processes of the body, as well as the loss of key chemicals in the body.
For more information log on to www.thezeninstitute.com or www.facebook.com/ZenMedicalSpa. It may also be useful to know that The Farm in San Benito offers “Detox Cleanse Retreats,” which also make use of colon hydrotherapy.