There’s been a significant uptick in the amount of information (and controversy) surrounding colon cleansing. The prevailing opinion among conventional healthcare providers is that colon cleansing, when done correctly, is relatively harmless but lacks a body of scientific evidence to support its effectiveness in maintaining or improving health.
What Advocates Say
Others cite a large body of anecdotal evidence indicating that the practice may be physically and mentally invigorating, while effecting desired changes such as weight loss, lowering the incidence of severity of headaches and promoting a feeling of well being.
Proponents of colon detox often advocate a position that the procedure aids the body in eliminating harmful toxins from the digestive tract, liver and lymphatic system – toxins that can accumulate to harmful levels unless they are intentionally purged from the system.
With no widespread consensus, many curious and health-conscious people have made the choice to try colon cleansing and decide for themselves if it’s right for them. If you’re one of those individuals, the next decision concerns which colon cleansing method to choose.
Categories of Colon Cleansing
There are two major categories of colon cleansing. One you can do at home, unassisted. The other requires seeing a person with the equipment and training to perform colon irrigation.
The aim of both methods is to clear the last section of the large intestine (the colon and rectum) of all waste material. This can be done with laxatives (administered orally or as a suppository), but these cause many people to experience unpleasant side effects. Also available are products and systems such as The Colon Cleansing Kit™ by Blessed Herbs, which, in addition to orally-administered digestive enhancing materials, include herbs intended to reduce or eliminate cramping, gas and discomfort.
In addition, these additives are designed to aid in overall digestive health. Often, these comprehensive colon detox options also advocate changes in diet, such as temporary liquid-only fasts.
Timing is Everything
These regimens can take from nine to thirty days to complete – time the advocates deem necessary to achieve full benefits. Some people also opt to use an enema as an alternative or in addition to colon cleansing supplements.
A visit to a colonic hygienist involves the use of a machine to perform colon irrigation. In this procedure, twenty to fifty liters of liquid is flushed through a tube inserted into the rectum. This is usually followed by a brief abdominal massage, performed by the hygienist. The liquid is then flushed out, carrying waste products with it. This process usually lasts less than an hour.
Colon irrigation should be avoided by those with digestive tract disorders such as Crohn’s disease and Diverticulitus. And it’s always a good idea to check with a qualified health care provider before trying any new treatment.
Don't Overdo It
The choice seems to be between treatments that can take up to weeks to complete (albeit with the implication that the treatment is more far-reaching in its benefits) or one that takes less than an hour, but involves procedures that some will find daunting and invasive.
Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important not to overdo it. A healthy digestive system depends on a precise balance of beneficial bacteria. Excessive colon cleansing could, potentially, interfere deleteriously with that balance.