Colon cleansing is one of the top reasons why women choose to go on a detox retreat. Yet do you need to go to a retreat center to detox your colon?
And while we’re at it, is it even healthy to do colon hydrotherapy? And are there natural ways to cleanse the colon that aren’t so intrusive?
These are all good questions and come from women looking for answers on how to best cleanse the colon and ensure the digestive system is functioning.
Why is colon cleansing important?
Sometimes in today’s stressful world the colon can become constipated or congested causing all kinds of problems to your gut health.
On a detox retreat one of the core things that we do is use either a natural type of oral cleanse for the colon, or colon hydrotherapy for the guests that need that treatment.
What exactly is a colon cleanse?
What this does is completely flushes out the entire colon and anything that may be trapped or stuck to the internal walls. This allows the digestive system to recover and can improve gut health.
Are there clear benefits of cleansing the colon?
There are many mixed opinions about colon cleansing and in no place is this more true than in the detox retreat industry. Some detox retreats have a regiment of no less than three colon cleanses everyday!
For my retreats I usually suggest that guests approach colon cleansing using wildcrafted and natural herbs first. Using different types of cleanses for example from the Indonesian Jamu tradition.
These are healing herbs and spices that are concocted together into a natural colon cleansing drink. They are not a laxative, yet they can make you want to go to the toilet.
Most of all what these herbs are doing are having an effect on the body to flush out any debris that may be caught in your colon.
What are the risks of doing a colon (hydrotherapy) cleanse?
There definitely are risks associated with colon cleansing and this is one of the reasons why I don’t recommend it to most of my guests.
For most women doing a hydrotherapy colon cleanse because it is just not necessary.
It is far better to focus on using natural herbs and spices for detoxifying the entire body, including the colon.
For guests who are very constipated and are clearly having trouble in that area, then hydrotherapy may be recommended. However it is important that you understand this risks of hydrotherapy treatment.
Some of these include severe problems like Bowel perforation which is when there can be a tear in the lower intestine. If this is the case then it can be very serious and medical attention is required.
Other dangers include dehydration, Electrolyte imbalance, as well as bacterial infections.
While there clearly are dangers of doing a hydrotherapy colon cleanse, in my experience I have not met or heard of anyone who has experienced any problems with it. Yet this is something you should check with your doctor first.
Things you should do Before colon cleansing
Colon cleansing is not something you should take lightly. Regardless of whether you are doing it at a certified detox retreat or if you are even just using a home enema kit to cleanse at home.
In fact before you do any intrusive cleansing there are three things you should definitely do:
- Meet with your doctor to discuss your detoxification plans and what you intend to do. Your doctor may well have their own input and will be able to help you make better health decisions. What’s more your own doctor should know your personal history and whether or not this is a healthy choice based on where you are medically at.
- If you are attending a detox retreat then be sure to consider your options. There are many sham retreats which are only about making money and take little care and attention with their clients. This unfortunately can be especially true if you are choosing a detox retreat in Thailand or some other wellness destination that is not up to American standard.
- Prepare your body with a preliminary cleanse. Colon cleansing is considered an advanced cleansing practice. Which is funny considering so many people want to jump into doing a hydrotherapy colon cleanse on day one. Yet the reality is you should be doing the colonic cleansing alongside a cleanse plan that makes sense and is in line with your health and wellness goals.
What is the difference between hydrotherapy colonic irrigation and a natural colon cleanse?
In the detox industry many words get thrown around with little meaning. Some people say “detox” others say “cleanse”, some mean “colon cleanse” to mean hydrotherapy and there can be a lot of confusion because of this.
The reality is and something I make plain at the beginning of all my detox retreats. Is that a colon cleanse is a type of cleansing that takes many forms.
There are many different whole foods for example that can have a cleansing effect on the colon.
In fact, any high fiber fruit or vegetable contains the roughage needed to effectively begin to cleanse your colon.
There are also items like Psyllium husk that likewise target the colon. The way Psyllium husk works is by actually passing through your stomach, digestive system and colon, without being digested.
Instead it absorbs lots of the debris and possibly even “toxins” in the body. Then it simply comes out the other end hopefully providing a detoxifying effect.
My experience with Psyllium husk however is that at times it can cause an irritation in the gut, which is not comfortable for guests. So I usually do not use Psyllium for my detox retreats because I don’t see it as being necessary.
The only exception to this is if a client is very hungry and doing a full fast or long intermittent fasting. Then Psyllium husk can be a good way for keeping the stomach feeling full, while detoxing.
Bentonite clay is another way of detoxing the colon. Bentonite is taken orally and it is exactly what it sounds like. It is clay.
Yet the clay passes through your digestive system without being absorbed and acts as a kind of “sponge”. It absorbs the bits and pieces throughout your gut and then is exited out the other end, so to speak.
Again Bentonite clay is not my favorite. And in many ways Bentonite clay should be put in a category alongside colonic irrigation and/or home enema kit. The reason for this is I do not suggest taking Bentonite clay unless you are also doing a colonic irrigation or enema at least.
This is because what can happen and something that I know has happened to a friend of mine on a retreat. Is the Bentonite clay can actually become stuck in your gut!
That’s why it should only be done alongside hydrotherapy for safest results.
What’s the difference between hydrotherapy and a home enema kit?
A home enema kit is something you can usually pick up at your local health shop or online. It functions in a very simple way where you simply fill it up with water and a tube runs down that you insert into your anus.
You can actually do an effective colon cleanse at home using an enema kit. And even many of the top detox retreats use enema kits instead of colonic irrigation. So it definitely is an option.
Does colonic irrigation help you lose weight?
It can. There are many factors to this however.
For a start when you do hydrotherapy for example, it is flushing your colon with a lot of water and definitely removes some debris that will help weight loss.
What’s more now that your digestive system is beginning to heal and you are becoming more regular, you should notice some weight loss because of this too.
On my detox retreats it is really difficult to tell because like I mentioned earlier, it’s a case of doing colon cleansing as part of a proper cleanse plan.
And so the weight loss results my clients see is because of the cleanse as a whole. Guests lose weight because now they are eating foods that help burn fat and are lower in calories.
They lose weight because of the Yoga and fitness classes, because of the walking, because of the increased water and fluid intake. And many more factors, too.
I am sure the colon cleanses are helping guests to lose weight, yet we take a more holistic approach. And overall guests are losing weight whilst on the retreat and those who continue when they return home are keeping it off. And that’s what counts.