Sheila Shea MA

Preparing for a Colon Hydrotherapy Session

‘This is much easier than I expected’
is the comment I hear after the first colon therapy session.

Some call for an appointment and ask what they can do to prepare. The key thing is to arrive and not put any agendas, protocols, conditions between yourself and the colonic. Bring yourself. Be prepared to receive and to experience.

The major practice before a colonic is to stop hydrating 2 hours before the session and eat light if at all. Your abdomen will be massaged and you will need to urinate less if at all during the session.

Arrive on time or early without a rushed manner. You are treating yourself. You are taking care of yourself. Give yourself the time and space to appreciate the experience. The intestines work best when they are relaxed, when the parasympathetic nervous system is predominant. (Parasympathetics govern life-supporting organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, spleen, pancreas and lungs.) Laughing, breathing, exercising, relaxing, listening to soothing music, being in a supportive loving environment all help relax the intestinal nervous system. And if that’s not your situation, come on in anyway! Our hydrotherapy environment is designed for relaxation and rest.

If you are the inquisitive type, are motivated to take some action before the colonic or desperate to change your lifestyle, you might want to consider some of the following suggestions. No pressure. Keep it light.

The food addicted eating-disordered type might want to pig out the day or night before the session. Hmmm! That would be a nice pattern to break. If your thing is overeating and bingeing, how about eating a melon, papaya, grapes, mangoes or a pineapple until you are full. Or protein.

Some of you are using the colonics to begin to break poor and non-life supportive habits. Good luck. The internal cleansing has more power than you think in reorganizing you! The water goes directly into your core, your large intestines. Some consider the core or intestines to represent the unconscious or subconscious. Some waste may move from the small to large intestine during the process for ultimate elimination.

Whenever I assess via phone that I may have a difficult first cleanse, I ask the person to prepare for the first session by; drinking a gallon of fluids daily, making fruits and vegetables 50% of their diet, taking an enema or laxative the day(s) or night(s) before if they are particularly constipated or dehydrated. This is volunteering on your part, it is not required. I explain that it helps facilitate the colonic and allows you to have an easier and deeper cleansing. This is also going to be true of people who return.

I congratulate you for making health and well being a priority. I look forward to meeting you soon. When you schedule the appointment, be aware of questions you might have and bring them with you. Bring information that may complete your health profile and assist my understanding of your situation ie blood tests, x-rays, scans, written reports. Feel free to bring in your bag of supplements. I can review them with you.

This is not required just a suggestion for those who are interested.

Please call if your question cannot wait until the session.

Menstruating women may receive colon hydrotherapy. It is helpful for PMS and does not interfere with the woman’s cycle. Women up to their fifth month of pregnancy may receive colon hydrotherapy.

Follow any medical guidelines you have been given if you have diabetes or any other compromising illness. Continue to consult with your physician for your health concerns.

Optional Guidelines

Water is necessary to sustain fluidity of blood hence immune system not to mention softening stool. Focus on consuming one gallon of fluids daily including water, sparkling water, herb teas, raw and bottled juices.

Avoid liquids a half-hour before, during, or within one hour after meals.

Fresh vegetable juices nourish the body without working the digestive tract, are high in enzymes and electrolytes. One to 3 ounces of wheatgrass are available at some local juice bars. Fresh lemon juice may be added to water. Chamomile, nettles, peppermint, pau d’arco, red clover and hibiscus are examples of herb teas. Fruit and vegetable juices may be diluted with water.

MOVE! Get moving whatever it takes whether swimming, walking, cycling, running, dancing, gardening, playing with children, cleaning, yoga, and tai chi. Walking is excellent. Rebounding is fabulous for toning the colon and other organs as well as for stimulation of the lymphatic system. Any form of exercise that pleases you is important. The movement stimulates intestinal circulation.

Chlorophyll nourishes and oxygenates the body, builds blood, promotes peristalsis and alkalinizes our over acidic bodies. The fresh water algae like spirulina, blue green and chlorella, ocean algae and wheat grass are rich in chlorophyll.

If you are not already doing it, add electrolytes to your regime meaning minerals and trace elements. Many people are already imbalanced in electrolytes and building a mineral reserve in your body may be foundational for a better colonic. Chlorophyll and raw juices count.

Many people have dysbiosis coming into the colonic or an imbalance in gut flora. That means more pathogenic bacteria, fungi, virus and parasites than friendly roam in your gut. One may begin using probiotics or positive bacteria to implant and restore floral balance in the colon. Acidophilus, and others such as bulgaricus and thermophilus are the primary ones.

Rejuvelac is a fermented drink high in friendly bacteria made from soaked wheat berries. To prepare, soak 1 cup of wheat berries in 1 quart of water for 24 hours. Drink the water and resoak the berries for another 24 hours. You may reuse the grain 3 to 5 times. Try millet or barley too.

Make fruits and vegetables the foundation of your nutritional pyramid, 50% of your diet, if possible. Fill in the pyramid with other unprocessed natural foods such as nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, fowl and meat. Use simple seasonings such as sea salt, Herbamare, olive oil, lemon juice, raw vinegar and homemade mayonnaise.

Avoid cheeses, processed foods, additives, chemicals and preservatives, white sugar, flour and milk.

Avoid high concentration of complex carbohydrates such as grain, flour, soy, and potatoes.

Raw foods have living enzymes and promote elimination and intestinal peristalsis. They are not appropriate with symptoms of gas and bloat. In that case, peel and cook (bake, steam) fruits and vegetables.

Try Buchler’s broth. Steam for 8 minutes, equal parts zucchini, green beans, parsley tops (no stems) and celery. Place steamed vegetables in the blender, add half of the vegetable volume of broth from steamer and puree. Drink 1- 3 large glasses daily.

Chew your food thoroughly!

Avoid foods you know are hard for you to digest or bring you pain, gas and bloat.

Fasting and Cleansing
It is not necessary to fast before a colonic. If you are familiar with fasting, you know it is a good thing to do in unison with colonics. If you’ve never fasted before, I recommend having a colonic first and learning more about your body’s needs before jumping into a fast.

Some are already fasting on juices or the master cleanse (lemon juice, cayenne, maple syrup) and are incorporating the colonic with their fast.

One does not have to fast to cleanse. They can be 2 separate processes. However, one can combine the fast and the herbal cleanse with potent results.

Some people like to begin a bowel cleanse before they come in using various formulas. The most popular is psyllium and bentonite that when combined pull old fecal, mucoid and parasitic matter from the intestinal wall. Some formulas combine the psyllium and bentonite with other herbs and some take the psyllium and bentonite separately from organ toners, flora, electrolytes and laxatives.

Some mix a teaspoon of fiber (ie psyllium) gradually increasing to a tablespoon in 8 – 16 ounces of water a half hour before or 2 hours after meals in the morning and evening. Drink a pint to a quart of water after taking and throughout the day, aiming for one gallon. For the best cleansing effect, use for a few days to a week.

Some combine the bentonite clay water with their fiber drink, one tablespoon with 2 cups of water in the morning and evening. This is an adsorbent medium with a negative electrical charge that bonds with most positive electrically charged toxins in the intestines. The combination of bentonite, fiber and extra water will help eliminate toxins.

Castor Oil packs are used to soothe abdominal tightness, cramping or pain and to loosen impactions. Rub cold pressed castor oil onto your abdomen and cover with a piece of wool flannel. Then wrap a piece of plastic around your waist covering the flannel, cover again with a shirt or towel and apply a hot water bottle or a heating pad set on medium for 1 to 2 hours. This is done minimally 3 days sequentially for best effect.

Castor is another alternative to loosening hardened bowel material and provides a rest at the same time. One has to recline while the pack is on the abdomen and liver (optional.)

Self-help Techniques
Stress Management. These are various ways you can relax your intestines. Activities like this keep you preoccupied and focused on positive behavior.

Abdominal massage increases peristalsis, loosens impactions and may move gas. After warm herb tea or a glass of lemon water, massage from right to left, up, across and down. Chi Nei Tsang is another form of abdominal massage that includes deep abdominal breath and circular massage movements.

Skin Brushing from feet to shoulders detoxifies the skin and stimulates blood supply. Concentrate on abdominal area, chest, and arches of feet. Try following skin brushing with a cold shower to close the pores. Skin brushing is used dry and for lymphatic circulation with motions going toward the heart.

Hydrotherapy baths are used to detoxify. Do either an Epsom salt or powdered ginger bath the evening following a colonic when possible. For Epsom salt bath use 2 cups, for powdered ginger bath use 4 tablespoons to a half tub of water as hot as you can tolerate. Bath for 10 to 14 minutes.
Sometimes it’s helpful to use other types of hydrotherapy to accompany the colonic in order to relax the gut muscles. Sauna, steam, whirlpool and bathing are all helpful. Remember you are beginning to focus on you, on your relaxation, on loosening your intestines, hydrating and nurturing them before you come in preparation for the colonic session.

For anyone with constipation or dehydration, taking an enema or colema the days preceding the colonic is of great help in facilitating the colonic.

Frequency of Colonics
Will one colonic completely empty the colon?
‘Magic bullet’ thinking says one colonic will open the floodgates and I will be home free. If it were that easy, colon therapists would not exist. It can be very challenging to have the contents of the colon flow out freely. Sometimes it takes work, repeated sessions close together to crack the nut or break the dam not to mention the lifestyle and attitude changes.

Many of us have a considerable amount of impacted waste in our colon accompanied with muscle, nerve, immune and hormone deficit. Substantial work must be done. The second and subsequent colonics may release more material as your body tunes into releasing, muscles become suppler, the area becomes more hydrated and bacterial/fungal sources of nerve damage are reduced.

Is it necessary to “take a series” of colonics?
It depends on your objective. One or 2 colonics may be all that’s necessary to recovery from travel, flu, fever, back or headache, transient constipation or a small fast or cleanse. However, overcoming lifelong constipation, creating multiple bowel movements, overcoming illness and achieving vital health may require regular colonics for some time. It has taken years to create your current body condition. One has to factor in body condition, how well you respond, and possible needed lifestyle and attitude changes.

After your first colonic, you can discuss with the therapist how many sessions you might need and how often. Many people benefit from doing a series of anywhere from 5 to 25 colonics to bring the body back into balance. One might begin with 1 – 5 in the first week, then going to once a week, once every two weeks and then longer periods for maintenance depending on the individual condition.

Keep an open mind, be open to what you might experience, what you might learn about yourself and your intestines through this process.

Three colon hydrotherapists have contributed their thoughts to this paper,
Anne Miller, Tara Alder and Jesse Brown You may visit their sites for additional information and wisdom.