What is Colon Hydrotherapy (CHT)
Russell Kolbo, DC, ND, the acting President of the International Colon Hydrotherapy Association (I-ACT), colon hydrotherapy defines colon hydrotherapy as “a safe, effective method of removing waste from the large intestine, without the use of drugs. By introducing filtered and temperature-regulated water into the colon, the waste is softened and loosened, resulting in evacuation through natural peristalsis. This process is repeated a few times during a session.”
How to Prepare?
Avoid eating at least two hours prior to your colon hydrotherapy session. Drink at least 8 ounces of filtered water before and after your session Avoid plastic water bottles! These can contain the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A. Glass containers are preferable. A mason jar can work well.
What to Expect?
Your colon hydrotherapy session will take place in a quiet, private room with an adjoining bathroom. The session is a comfortable and often relaxing experience for many people.
Each hydrotherapy session lasts approximately 40 minutes. You should allow a total of an hour and a half for your first visit and one hour for follow-up visits. Your colon hydrotherapist will discuss your symptoms (if any) and review your history. The procedure will be explained in full detail allowing ample time for questions.
During the session, you will be lying face up on a massage table with a drape across your lower body. You will then be assisted with the self-insertion of a small, plastic speculum. The colon hydrotherapist can also insert the speculum for you, if preferred. All materials are disposable and for one time use only. Clear tubing attaches the speculum to the hydrotherapy device. A gentle instillation of warm, clean, triple purified water circulates in the rectum. When the temperature is optimal and you are ready to proceed, water is instilled very slowly into the colon. Time to “soak” is allowed in between the fills. This assists in the vital importance of re-hydrating and re-toning your colon. Again, on cue from you, another “fill” will take place. This pattern will continue until you are ready to “release”. At this time, the instillation of water stops and the flow of accumulated waste (feces, mucous, bacteria, parasites..) begins. The waste is excreted via the attached plastic tubing and passes through the device on the wall and directly into the plumbing system. This is a self-contained system. There is NO ODOR, NO MESS and NO EMBARRASMENT. Remember, our main goals during this session are your safety, comfort and well-being. This process of “fill” and “release” is continued throughout the remainder of the session.
How many sessions will I need?
That depends on you, your symptoms and goals. For example, someone that has chronic constipation (less than 1 bowel movement per day) may need several treatments a few days in a row with a regimen of follow up sessions to retrain the bowel as opposed to someone who is looking for preventative measures or just for an enhanced sense of well-being. Your appointment schedule is best determined during your first session while going over your history. As an average rule of thumb, anyone looking for general detoxification would need a total of 5 to 8 sessions over a 3 to 4 week period. Those choosing to do a deeper, more complete cleanse may opt for 10 to 15 sessions over 4 to 8 weeks. Once your initial series is completed, maintenance can begin. Maintenance sessions are recommended at 1 visit per month. Maintenance is necessary in order to continue all of the great benefits you have already given to your body with an initial series. Monthly cleanses help to keep toxic load at a minimum while continuing to decrease the burden on your other eliminative organs (i.e. liver, kidneys etc…).
Keep in mind that even though one hydrotherapy session may be equivalent to several bowel movements, elimination during subsequent sessions can be even more substantial as older, hardened, impacted feces are dislodged from the colon walls.
There is no commitment necessary. We are here to assist you any way that we can.
Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy
In a 2009 literary review Talley, et. al. identified constipation as one of the most prevalent digestive disorders in the United States with approximately 12 – 19% (approximately 63 million people) of the population considered chronically constipated (1). In addition to being horribly uncomfortable, the authors identified the staggering economic costs as well as other health problems that the chronically constipated are at serious risk for developing, as a result of being chronically constipated.
It is estimated that $235 million a year is spent on healthcare related to individuals suffering from chronic constipation and its comorbidities (2). Even the most disciplined and health conscious of us might fall prey to occasional constipation as a result of dietary changes, travel, stress, and pregnancy.
Significant costs aside, chronic and occasional constipation are associated with a number of uncomfortable and even potentially life-threatening comorbidities (two disorders or diseases occurring at the same time) as identified by Talley et. al. Click the button below to learn more about the risks and adverse outcomes of chronic constipation.
While no double blind placebo controlled studies have been conducted and published on the benefits of colon hydrotherapy as related to alleviating chronic constipation, one can nevertheless extrapolate that gentle, non-drug assistance in keeping your bowels moving regularly will reduce the risk of chronic constipation and its associated comorbidities, to a greater or lesser extent.
Are You Constipated?
Take the following quiz on Dr. Oz’s site to see if you have symptoms of constipation, or are at significant risk for developing chronic or occasional constipation:
In addition to avoidance of occasional and chronic constipation and its unpleasant comorbidities, colon hydrotherapy can be of additional benefit in the following ways:
Preparation for Colonscopy
The oral preparation solution given to patients in preparation for a colonoscopy is not without its discomforts and risks. Pain and cramping are a result of forced peristalsis and headache, nausea, and severe vomiting and diarrhea lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Those already at risk for dehydration and electrolyte imbalances such as elderly people and individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s IBS, colitis) may consider preparation for a colonoscopy with a series of colonics, rather than the laxative agents usually prescribed.
A study involving 690 patients who received colon hydrotherapy in preparation for a colonoscopy procedure resulted in satisfactory preparation of the colon 98% of the time, all with reduced discomfort and risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances in the patients (3).
Support Detoxification of Estrogens and Xenoestrogens
Prevention of Bowel Disorders and Constipation Comorbidities
Risk factors for Constipation
Low Fiber Diet – few fresh fruits and vegetables
Sedentary Lifestyle – if you spend you day sitting
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Complementing Colon Hydrotherapy
Use a Small Foot Stool
1. Talley, Nicholas J., Karen L. Lasch, and Charles L. Baum. “A gap in our understanding: chronic constipation and its comorbid conditions.” Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 7.1 (2009): 9-19.
3. Nurse Hua, J. H., Surgeon Zhao Fa, and Guo LinLi. “Colon Hydrotherapy for pre-endoscopy preparation.” Hebei Medical Journal 25.12 (2004). See Full Text Here