Keeping your large intestines healthy is important in maintaining one's overall health. Remember that the large intestines play a vital role in the disposal of waste from the body.
And to keep the intestines healthy, it is important to eat food rich in fiber and phytochemicals. In addition, obesity, smoking and excessive drinking must be avoided.
Aside from these preventive measures, colon therapy is another option in maintaining the health of the intestines. Colon therapy is defined as the method of cleansing and flushing out wastes from the large intestines or colon. The process, also referred to as colonic hydrotherapy and colonic irrigation, is somewhat similar to enema, except that the former flushes out the entire five-foot long long intestine.
During the process, which could last up to an hour, the patient is made to lie on his or her back. The colon therapist will then insert a disposable soft plastic tube into the anus. Body-temperature filtered water is then pumped into the colon which contains enzymes, herbs and other substances for purification. In order to release the fecal matter from the intestines, the abdomen will be massaged. Lastly, the pump is reversed and the fecal matter from the colon is vacuumed into an enclosed waste system. One does not have to deal with any mess or bad odor. An approximate of 20 gallons of water will be used until the end of the session.
Patients say that after undergoing colon therapy, they feel more energized, cleaner and lighter. Others feel dizzy, nauseous and exhibit flu like symptoms, which passed within a few hours.
Colon-cleansing therapies have been practiced for thousands of years. The very first recorded therapies were accredited to Egyptian physicians who came up with devices similar to the ones used in enema today. The French also believed in the importance of cleansing the colons. During the 17th century, it was considered fashionable to have as many as four enemas daily.
However, colon therapy only became very popular during the 19th century when Ilya Ilich Mechnikov, a Russian microbiologist, introduced the idea of "autointoxication." He argued that when the colon is filled with hardened stool owing to constipation, poor diet or other gastrointestinal ailments, toxic waste can build up. This waste buildup often leads to stagnation and eventual decay of fecal matter in the colon. While the fecal matter is decaying inside the colon, hosts of bacteria and toxins are produced. When absorbed into the colon lining, these toxins will eventually find their way into the blood stream. This will cause a number of illnesses such as heart diseases etc..
The autointoxication theory was embraced by Dr. John Harvey Kellog. His followers espoused his fitness and health regimens in addition to colonic irrigation. In his article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1917, entitled "Should the Colon Be Sacrificed or May It Be Reformed?", Kellog claimed to have prevented thousands of gastrointestinal surgeries owing to the effectiveness of colon therapy in his sanitarium.
This started the trend in colon therapy in the medical world. In fact, doctors started recommending colon therapy for different ailments such as heart disease, arthritis, depression and high blood pressure.
However, colon therapy was not saved from skepticism and criticism from other doctors. Some believe that there is absolutely no reason to cleanse the colon except in cases of constipation and as preparatory for colonoscopy. According to them, the best way to cleanse the colon is to let its own natural physiological methods to take place.
Modern physicians also point out that waste products are not toxins even though they stay inside the colon for long periods of time. Colon therapy, they added, interferes with the body's natural detoxification process. It outbalances the number of helpful microorganisms which keep the intestines functioning properly. In addition, no scientific studies have been conducted to support the therapeutic claims of colon therapy.
Nevertheless, colon therapy continues to gain wide popularity nowadays, specially among alternative practitioners who utilize colon therapy as an essential part in their detoxification programs. In additions, US companies continue to manufacture new designs and devices in colon therapy.
Despite the two views on colon therapy in the medical world, all sides still agree that avoiding fatty food and red meat, in addition to a healthy and fiber-rich diet, are surefire ways of keeping the colon healthy.