Imagine cleaning a room that has been locked up for years. You start sweeping and dusting, only to find that all the dirt has nowhere to go. The same sort of thing occurs when you go from eating a poor diet to doing a detox: If your pathways of elimination are backed up—burdened by an inverted lifestyle, environmental toxins and cellular debris—you can run into a wall of headaches, acne, constipation and other issues, known as autointoxication.
This is why a lot of integrative doctors recommend colon hydrotherapy as part of the detox protocol. “Contrary to what many Western-trained physicians may say, colonics are very safe and beneficial when done with the right therapist,” notes Alejandro Junger, M.D., in his book Clean (HarperOne). “A detoxification program is the time when colonics are most beneficial, especially to those with a history of constipation.” Indeed, I find colon cleanses to be safer and more effective than popping a laxative pill.
Of course, finding the right therapist is crucial. Although colon cleansing procedures and potions have become ubiquitous—and their use can be traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians—they’re not all created equal. Plus, a recent review of studies conducted by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., firmly opposed the practice, citing troubling side effects ranging from cramping to renal failure to death. While that news is certainly scary and extreme, it doesn’t take into account all the reported health benefits. My advice: Make sure to do your homework (see GET READY below), weighing the pros and cons, and find a reputable and certified hydrotherapist. Then you can clean those pipes with peace of mind!
“Bac” it up Colon hydrotherapy can sweep away some “good” gut bacteria with the “bad,” so take your probiotics. (I like Enzymedica’s Pro-Bio and Dr. Ohhira’s Original Formula.)
It’s important to be properly informed and prepared for a colon cleanse. Here’s how:
Find a reputable hydrotherapist at colonhealth.net, i-act .org, or through a trusted friend or health care provider.
Don’t do a colonic if you’re pregnant or have diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, severe hemorrhoids, rectal or colon tumors, kidney or heart conditions, or are recovering from bowel surgery, unless your doctor suggests otherwise.
Go with a colonic solution of basic, filtered tap water. Expect slight discomfort during the procedure. It may be a day or two till you have a bowel movement; that’s normal.
Drink plenty of H2O before and after.