MEDICAL JOURNALIST REPORT OF INNOVATIVE BIOLOGICS:
Value of Colon Hydrotherapy verified by medical professionals prescribing it.
By Morton Walker, DPM
Copyright 2000 by Dr. Morton Walker
Reprinted with Permission from the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients: August / September 2000 (#205/206)
From the signal stage of history surrounding ancient Egypt, practices of colon hydrotherapy in their most basic form – enemas or clysters – have provided people with internal cleansings adjunctive to their personal external hygiene. The Ebers Papyrus, from the 14th century BC prescribes internal cleansing for no less than twenty stomach and intestinal complaints.
But in the modern era it fell to J.H. Kellogg, MD, of Battle Creek, Michigan, famous for his invention of corn flakes and various techniques or good hygiene, to popularize colon hydrotherapy. This happened from Dr. Kellogg's publication of his article in the Journal of the American Medical Association praising the procedure's efficacy for saving a dysfunctional bowel.
That descriptive article was the impetus for advancement of a highly beneficial therapeutic method, which has since flourished and found recognition among enlightened health professionals in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and North America. Enthusiastic expressions of approval for colon hydrotherapy are undeniable medical endorsements for this significant complementary treatment, which removes metabolic waste from a person's large bowel without applying toxic agents of any kind.
BOARD CERTIFIED GASTRO-INTESTINAL SURGEON DR. LEONARD SMITH ENDORSES COLON HYDROTHERAPY
Thirty years ago, Leonard Smith, MD, of Gainesville, Florida graduated from medical school and eventually became board certified in general surgery by the American College of Surgery. For more than twenty-five years Dr. Smith has practiced as a specialist in gastrointestinal surgery. He has dealt with all types of colon difficulties, including operations for overcoming colon cancer, colon diverticulitis, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, and numbers of other internal organ health problems.
"I am very well acquainted with the colon's functions and my true belief is that colon hydrotherapy is the perfect cleansing medium for preparing the patient for colonoscopy. It's a much better way of getting the human colon ready for an operation than having to swallow a gallon of that usual presurgery solution known as 'Colon-Go-Lytely.' Instead, colon hydrotherapy has the patient avoid this solution's noxious side effects of vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and other troubles," Dr. Smith says.
"Moreover, seriously ill patients tend to be more chronically constipated which results in generalized toxemia. It turns out that colon hydrotherapy is the gentlest and most effective treatment to take care of a sick person's constipation problem. My recommendation for cancer patients is that they should undergo frequent colon hydrotherapy procedures to make sure a colon's toxic burden is being kept at a minimum while their bodies are trying to heal, affirms Dr. Smith. "While not a substitute for eating a high fiber diet, those cancer patients who take colon hydrotherapy often experience the elimination of their aches and pains, improvement of appetite, and they tolerate a tough healing process better.
"I also believe that normally healthy people will find it valuable to take colon hydrotherapy every couple of months in order to experience how well one feels when the colon is truly empty. It's a fact that most people fail to fully evacuate the colon, something they don't realize. People undergoing colon hydrotherapy on a prevention basis, become quite surprised at how much waste is removed by the procedure." Dr. Smith says.
"Without any reservation, I declare that my wish is to see it become an established procedure for many kinds of gastrointestinal problems. If medical centers, hospitals, and clinics installed colon hydrotherapy departments, they would find such departments just as efficacious for patients as their present treatment areas which are devoted to physiotherapy," states Leonard Smith, MD "Such is my true belief, and I do endorse this therapeutic program."
HYDROTHERAPY CORRECTS CONSTIPATION
"One of my more significant cases was Tommy, an eight-year-old boy with the most awful constipation anyone could imagine, "says former general surgeon and emergency medicine specialist Paul Flashner, MD, of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Observing their superior results for his patients, Dr. Flashner has more recently adapted his treatment techniques almost completely to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Most definitely, he has incorporated colon hydrotherapy as a regular CAM technique.
"Tommy's constipation was really bad. He never had a bowel movement for a week at a time. Recognizing the dangers of physiological toxicity, his parents took their son for consultation with numerous gastroenterologists. The child had been subjected to colonoscopy a dozen times, but nothing could be found as the source of blockage. Laxatives hardly helped at all. There was no diagnosis except that he suffered severely from constipation," confirms Dr. Flashner. "Then the parents found their way to me so that the boy might undergo examination and treatment one more time. They described their eight-year-olds condition.
"I improved the child's diet and removed all junk foods. Then I instigated an exercise program, had him drink lots of water, balanced his colonic flora, and added fiber food supplements. But most vital for Tommy's welfare is that he took colon hydrotherapy under my prescription. The beneficial effect was dramatic, for within six months he was experiencing a natural and normal bowel movement every day. No laxatives were involved in his progress," states Dr. Flashner. "Now the child does not need to consult me anymore; still he continues his colonic cleansing by having colon hydrotherapy. He did this once a month for six months, and currently he undergoes the cleansing just four times a year. It's been two years that Tommy remains in excellent physical condition.
"Colon hydrotherapy is the perfect specific procedure to eliminate constipation and restore normal bowel function. My approach to medical practice is to balance the GI tract using stool testing. I find various pathologies relating to bacteria, yeast, parasites, and other organisms of this nature. A lot of disease comes from imbalances in the colon, as manifested by inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune diseases, allergies, multiple sclerosis and certainly constipation. Such imbalances can be corrected by means of colon hydrotherapy, herbal supplements, and diet." Says Dr. Paul Flashner, "There is no question about the huge difference a health professional can bring to the patient by utilizing colon hydrotherapy plus other associated complementary and alternative methods of healing."
GIVING COLON HYDROTHERAPY IS STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR SHARDA SHARMA, MD
Located in Millburn, New Jersey as a primary care physician for nearly twenty-six years, Sharda Sharma, MD, dispenses medical care of a multi-disciplinary nature to her patients.
Dr. Sharma employs colon hydrotherapy, chelation therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, Reiki manipulative therapy, and much more. She treats the body as a whole (holistically).
"I have trained and certified colon hydrotherapists working as part of my staff. Under my supervision for the past year-and-a-half they have been rendering care for constipation, abdominal cramps, allergies, and a variety of other conditions, including ten patients with hepatitis C. These hepatitis patients respond to colon hydrotherapy and do well," assures Dr. Sharma. "For instance, Mrs. Felicia, a forty-two-year-old high school teacher, had suffered with constipation-no bowel movements for six days at a stretch. She was bloated, fatigued, lethargic, head achy, and crampy. My treatment choice for her was enzyme supplements and colon hydrotherapy twice weekly for thirteen weeks. These treatments solved the constipation problem for Mrs. Felicia. She goes to the toilet as desired without having to sit there for long periods waiting, reading, meditating, or undergoing mental or physical diversions."
"Colon hydrotherapy is excellent as a treatment for yeast syndrome. A very anxious fifty-year-old female, Mrs. Sara Audrey, consulted me because she was running to the toilet every two hours with either diarrhea or with attempting to find comfort from constipation. It turns out that she had irritable bowel syndrome complicated by Candidiasis. During the administration of colon hydrotherapy, I observed that Mrs. Audrey was loaded with Candida albicans. I recognized the white yeast organisms floating through the transparent tube of my colon flushing device," says Dr. Sharma. "But the patient is now in fine shape-much relieved. She has good bowel movements twice daily with no gas. This is typical of almost all patients undergoing colon hydrotherapy."
DR. MICHAEL GERBER USES COLON HYDROTHERAPY ROUTINELY
"I've had a colon hydrotherapy device in my office for twenty-five years," states Michael Gerber, MD, of Reno, Nevada. "My present staff person who dispenses colon hydrotherapy under my jurisdiction uses it for all types of patient difficulties. The basic concepts of the science have not changed much in the last twenty-five years; however, the colon hydrotherapy equipment has improved immensely. How the equipment works so effectively is nothing short of astounding. Registered with the FDA, current colon hydrotherapy equipment is safe. It contains temperature-controlled water mixing and back flow prevention valves, plus pressure and temperature sensors, and built-in chemical sanitizing units. Water purification units frequently are installed as well. Disposable single-use rectal tubes, and/or speculae are employed routinely for sterility.
"Undergoing a session of colon hydrotherapy has you experiencing comfort and cleansing with no toxicity. Techniques utilized allow a small amount of water to flow into the colon gently stimulating the natural peristaltic action to release softened waste," Dr. Gerber advises. "The inflow of a small amount of water and the release of waste may be repeated again and again. The removal of such waste encourages better colon function and elimination.
"During the treatment, most clothing can continue to be worn. In addition the patient is draped, or a gown is worn to ensure modesty. The patient's dignity is always maintained." Dr. Michael Gerber affirms. "The benefits of colon hydrotherapy extend all the way from psychiatric improvement to constipation elimination.
COLON HYDROTHERAPY REDUCES BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA
Joshua Heinermann, the sixty-six-year-old chief executive officer for Virginia Chemicals Corporation of Chesapeake, Virginia, had been suffering severely from prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). For four years the man's symptoms had been building steadily, and now they were affecting his ability to manage in the administrative position he held. The executive's nighttime urinary urgency (nocturia) came with such frequency, Mr. Heinermann found himself perpetually fatigued during daytime business meetings. His need to sleep lay on him like a blanket, and he felt as if his mind was encased in cotton batting. Any capability for him to make vital decisions on behalf of his corporation became almost nonexistent. To confront the problem, the CEO finally consulted a urologist located in his city.
In practice for over sixty years as a specialist in solving urological problems both for men and women, Emil S. Sayegh, MD, of Chesapeake, Virginia is eighty-eight years of age. Over the six decades of his medical practice, Dr. Sayegh has been consulted by a particularly large number of male clientèle who have sought his help in correcting BPH and prostatitis.
"These two common medical difficulties are closely associated with having weak abdominal muscles," explains the board-certified urologist. "Those men possessing flaccid and weak abdominal muscles experience enormous pressures on their bladders which never let up. The supportive muscles and other erectile tissues surrounding the bladder fail to do the jobs required. The pressure of the bladder's rectal sigmoid is so severe that any amount of stool in that area is going to make urine passage very difficult. Whether urine is present or not, the need for these men to void becomes overwhelming."
During the past fifteen years Dr. Sayegh has made use of colon hydrotherapy which solves his patients' two particular prostate pathologies almost every time. "Cleansing the colon markedly assists the functioning of the pathological male bladder and prostate organs. Colon hydrotherapy given to involved men at two-week intervals for three times to start and then maintained every four weeks for an unlimited period does solve prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia," states Emil S. Sayegh, MD. "From my files, I can offer up several hundred case studies which testify to that fact."
CANCER PATIENTS IMPROVE FROM RECEIVING COLON TREATMENT
"I have found over the years that cancer patients who are not doing well usually are toxic and not being cleansed. They certainly are in need of colon hydrotherapy," advises oncologist and homeopath Douglas Brodie, MD, of Reno, Nevada. Dr. Brodie has developed CAM methods for treating cancer and other degenerative diseases aimed at strengthening the immune system. He emphasizes natural and humane approaches to these conditions with colon hydrotherapy being among them.
"I do recommend that most of my cancer patients take colon hydrotherapy or 'colonic irrigations' because they often improve by having such treatment. Liver cancer in particular shows benefit from colon hydrotherapy, but any internal tumors show effectual change too," Dr. Brodie says. "It's much better than an enema, which is merely a lower bowel cleanse, as opposed to a colonic which is a thorough cleanse of the entire bowel. It's similar to comparing the diagnostic efficacy of a sigmoidoscopy of the short end of the bowel to a colonoscopy, which takes in the whole bowel. An enema only goes so far. Colon hydrotherapy is the best cleansing and detoxifier for the gastrointestinal tract that anybody would want. I do promote its use."
CONDITIONS FOR WHICH COLON HYDROTHERAPY IS EFFECTIVE
Maintaining a rheumatology practice for the past twenty-four years in Long Branch, New Jersey, Arthur E. Brawer, MD, is an enthusiastic exponent of colon hydrotherapy for a variety of health problems. He cites this treatment in his recently published consumer book, Holistic Harmony.
"Silicone breast implant exposure which results in disease symptoms responds very well to colon hydrotherapy. I am in the center of this silicone breast implant controversy by having consulted with over 500 women from around the world for the toxic environmental exposure caused by such implantation. I've given testimony as an expert witness before the United States Congress on this issue along with advising the Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA, and consultants to the President, the Vice-president, the Director of Women's Health at the white House, and the United nations. I use colon hydrotherapy for the treatment of such silicone toxicity, since it does work to chelate silicone out of the body," states Dr. Brawer. "Let me explain!"
"From day one of implantation, silicone micromolecules disperse throughout the body because the pore size (the porosity) of the envelope or shell enclosing the implant is larger than most of the silicone molecules contained inside. Thus, the disease symptoms derived from silicone toxicity are not dependent on envelope rupture. Symptoms begin immediately! In other words, the molecules of silicone travel through the membrane osmotically and become microdispersed throughout the body by means of the lymphatic system," explains Dr. Brawer.
"Now realize that the connective tissue or collagen in each person's body requires silicone as an essential component in order to provide the body with proper architectural structure such as for tendons, ligaments, nerve sheaths, and everything else. Silicone makes up the glue which holds skin together, gives substance to the organs, acts as regulators, signal transmitters, and so forth. It functions as an integral part of metabolism and physiology. Thus, all tissues are dependent on silicone as an essential ingredient," Dr. Brawer says. "But given in excess as a leaking silicone breast implant, there is only one place the excess may be dumped or stored by the body-into its connective tissue. When that happens a whole litany of complaints occur: joint pains, dry eyes, fatigue, memory lapses, skin rashes and pigmentations, chest pain, muscle aches, drug intolerance, odor and smell sensitivity to hair sprays, room fresheners, deodorants and more.
"So the silicone molecules become stuck in the body's glue, and they cannot be removed by use of medications or supplemental nutrients or diet. Only certain techniques may be applied to detoxify the body: colon hydrotherapy is perhaps the best way and also working as detoxifiers are Ayurvedic medicine, hyperthermia, steam baths, saunas, oxygen therapy, and the energy-based therapies such as Reiki therapy and Qigong. Any dietary approach has to be more an exclusionary basis - take the patient off of processed foods and have them eat organic," confirms Dr. Brawer. "But of all the treatments for symptoms coming from silicone breast implants, colon hydrotherapy I find to be one of the mainstays that offer relief."
CONDITIONS RESPONDING TO COLON HYDROTHERAPY CITED BY RHEUMATOLOGIST ARTHUR E. BRAWER, MD
"Colon hydrotherapy eliminates from the bowel the repository of accumulated waste material which may disadvantageously get absorbed. If this absorption takes place, it overwhelms the other purification organs such as the liver, the kidneys, the skin, and the lungs. The toxin deposition which becomes lodged throughout the body's tissues and cells becomes capable of triggering a variety of illnesses", says rheumatologist Dr. Arthur E. Brawer. "There are lots of them. Some disease indications for colon hydrotherapy responding well are:
· Allergies · Arthritis
· Acne · Hypertension
· Memory Lapses · Brittle Nails
· Brittle Hair · Colitis
· Cold Hands & Feet · Fibromyalgia
· Constipation · Mouth Sores
· Irritable Bowel · Muscle Pain
· Nausea · Poor Posture
· Joint Aches · Pot Belly
· Skin Rashes · Asthma
· Pigmentation · Body Odor
· Chronic Fatigue · Spastic Colon
· Headaches · Multiple Sclerosis
· Peptic Ulcer · Seizures
· Chest Pain
· Toxic Environmental Exposure
· Toxic occupational Exposure
· Peripheral Neuropathies
· Attention Deficit Disorder
COLON HYDROTHERAPY IS LIKE CLEANING BAKED LASAGNA FROM A PAN:
According to Pamela Whitney, ND, baked lasagna may be used as a metaphor for colon cleansing. Dr. Whitney, educational director for the New England Health Institute, is a naturopathic physician who practices her profession in two locations, Braintree, Massachusetts and Stowe, Vermont. Here is how she describes the physical action of colon hydrotherapy:
"If ever you've baked a lasagna and then attempted to sanitize the messy, left-over lasagna pan, you know the difficulty with getting it clean. For sponging such a food-caked pan it's usual for cooks to soak the pan overnight. Then they find that swabbing it the next day is easy. Colon hydrotherapy accomplishes the same ease of cleansing on the inside of the bowel. Using hydrotherapy, the colon's walls constantly get flushed with clear fluid, which serves to remove mucous plus some of their outstanding, caked-on fecal matter which contains hidden bacteria, parasites, Candida albicans-filled pockets, and other such pathological materials."
From its home office in San Antonio, Texas, literature furnished by the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy or I-ACT (see the Resource section) defines colon hydrotherapy as a safe, effective method of removing waste from the large intestine, without the use of drugs. By introducing pure, filtered and temperature regulated water into the colon. The human waste is softened and loosened, resulting in evacuation through natural peristalsis. This flushing process usually is repeated a few times during a therapeutic session.
Colon hydrotherapy is best used in combination with adequate nutrient and fluid intake as well as with exercise. The modern and sophisticated technology applied today, manufactured through compliance with strict FDA guidelines, and promotes both safety and sanitation of the procedure.
Dr. Pamela Whitney advises that her healing program for almost any condition frequently involves prescribing colon hydrotherapy. "I almost always refer my patient to undertake colon cleansing as the first part of my treatment. I do this for the purpose of detoxification, since most people possess toxic bowels, which may result in either constipation or diarrhea - both coming from the same sources of toxicity," she says. "The patients' toxins tend to kick back to their blood streams to perpetuate numerous pathologies such as Candidiasis, allergies, chronic fatigue, and other symptoms coming from a recirculation of accumulated physiological poisons."
"I use the services of at least three skilled colon hydrotherapists who practice in my two offices. I don't' know any patient receiving colon hydrotherapy who has not benefited from it. Certainly the treatment will get a sluggish bowel refunctioning again. In my judgment, the action of just one colon hydrotherapy is an experience equivalent to someone undergoing twenty coffee enemas," says Dr. Whitney. "What we eat, the processed foods such as breads, pastas, sugars, and refined deserts hit the gastrointestinal tract like a glue which becomes nearly indigestible. A prime source of allergies to wheat and other flour products is this flour made into a kind of mucilage by being mixed with saliva. This glue-like substance sticks on the walls of one's GI tract to slow down the individual's metabolic rate. Thereafter, constipation with inflammation can develop, but colon hydrotherapy solves such a problem."
As is obvious, Dr. Pamela Whitney is a great advocate of colon hydrotherapy, which she prescribes as a standard part of her treatment.
A GASTROENTEROLOGIST PRESCRIBES COLON HYDROTHERAPY
Board certified as a gastroenterologist from 1972, Robert Charm, MD, of Walnut Creek, California, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, combines conventional allopathic medicine with CAM in his practice. He also continues to make house calls.
"I prescribe colon hydrotherapy by calling upon a superbly trained practitioner of the art in the San Francisco Bay area. She is certified by I-ACT. Also, I'm very impressed by the sophisticated technology as illustrated by the colon hydrotherapy equipment. From my observation, it's engineered quite well," affirms the gastroenterologist.
"Frequently while performing colonoscopy, I see that the patient cleaned out from above but below the diverticular still contain fecaliths, those small turds remaining in the pockets formed on the gut mucosa. They indicate the presence of an unhealthy colon, and over 50 percent of Americans possess diverticulitis colae, which can be serious by creating fistulas. Some people then will poop through the vagina," Dr. Charm says. "With patients for whom I perform colonoscopy, about one third of them over the age of fifty who are otherwise cleaned above, still show residual stools sitting in these gut mucosa pockets. Some have held on to the stool for decades. A toxic dump site like this is dangerous for them by the elevated concentration of poisons stored in the dump site. Environmental cancer can develop!
"A good clean out by use of colon hydrotherapy is excellent treatment. Surely I recommend that people undertake colon hydrotherapy for themselves. Clean out the body's pipes," Dr. Robert Charm suggests. "And by all means, I refer my patients to undergo colon hydrotherapy the morning of a colonoscopy. It's a safe way to cleanse the gut. It's a healing technique for the relief of irritable bowel syndrome with gas and bloating, chronic constipation, abdominal discomfort, and many other GI tract problems.
"My patient, Fran Wilson, a former model, now age forty-one, the mother of two, was just too busy to go to the bathroom. She didn't celebrate having a good bowel movement, which is the thinking in our society. For her, defecation was an annoyance. Fran labored under the mistaken illusion that pooping every three days was normal, and she came to me complaining of feeling logy, fatigued, bloated and abdominally cramped. None of the various drug laxatives had been doing the job for her," explains Dr. Charm. "Rather, these drug-like laxatives were depleting Fran of her potassium. The psyllium seed, fiber and other natural agents did not work either. Therefore, I recommended that she undertake a series of colon hydrotherapies and the drinking of more water. This cleared up her discomforts remarkably fast despite her lifetime of bad habits.
"The lesson to learn is that when one gets the urge to move, you must do so. Being too busy in our society to give into the need to defecate is wrong. Find a way," advises Dr. Robert Charm. "Some people don't poop enough! Let's get people thinking about eating and pooping. If these don't occur together, colon hydrotherapy should be employed."
FRANK SHALLENBERGER, MD, SUPPORTS COLON HYDROTHERAPY USAGE
Frank Shallenberger, MD HMD, of Carson City, Nevada declares: "I support the use of colon hydrotherapy and do occasionally refer my patients to undertake this treatment. It may be the best way to detoxify them."
CHRISTOPHER J. HUSSAR, DO, DDS, TOOK COLON HYDROTHERAPY
From his medical/surgical practice in Reno, Nevada, osteopathic physician and dental cavitation specialist Christopher J. Hussar, DO, DDS does offer the following personal statement, "I have enjoyed two colon hydrotherapeutic treatments when, at one time, I was experiencing partial bowel obstruction. Each colon hydrotherapy had made me feel better. It's my belief that this treatment should be recommended for any person who is having chronic constipation. Then, the local hydrotherapist can become a main factor in keeping that individual comfortable. I maintain that one should do whatever it takes to keep up with regular bowel movements. Colon hydrotherapy is a safe and natural laxative, which works better than any other type.
"In Reno, I refer my patients who are in need of bowel cleansing to a colon hydrotherapist. The only reason that I don't refer people on a regular basis is because most of them arrive to see me from out of town. Therefore, I tell them to use the services of a skilled colon hydrotherapist located in their area so that they can go for treatment often," says Dr. Christopher J. Hussar.
COLON HYDROTHERAPY IS USUAL FOR THE PATIENTS OF W. JOHN DIAMOND, MD
For W. John Diamond, MD, medical director of the Triad Medical Center in Reno, Nevada and co-author of that useful consumer text, An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer, colon hydrotherapy or high colonic irrigations are usual modalities for which he refers his patients. "For some patients with chronic constipation or extensive yeast problems, colon hydrotherapy works advantageously to get rid of the physical load of pathology in the gastrointestinal tract. This treatment stimulates the liver and gets rid of the debris that's sticking to the mucosa. The last time I referred my patient to take colon hydrotherapy was just yesterday. There's hardly a week that goes by which does not see me utilize this fabulous treatment for one or more patients. The colon hydrotherapist in this city of Reno is skilled and does a fine job.
"Let me describe a particular patient of mine, Mrs. Constance Overmacher, who benefited from colon hydrotherapy," says Dr. Diamond. "This woman at age forty-six has a long history of antibiotic usage for chronic sinusitis. She is a sugarholic to the extent that her food is totally carbohydrates with hardly any protein or fat. She exhibits a variety of symptoms including extreme fatigue, migraine headaches, irregular menses, chronic constipation, abdominal pain, and yeast growing in the bowel upon testing by EAV [electroacupuncture according to Voll]. Presence of the yeast was confirmed by stool culture and blood tests for yeast antibodies and skin testing.
"For such a complicated case, I tried every kind of treatment that was appropriate, but nothing did any good. The only program that gave Mrs. Overmacher relief was colon hydrotherapy prescribed for her to receive three times a week. It took me a month to get my patient stable, but finally the treatment's effect kicked in. The lady did get her bowel cleaned up; she's now experiencing normal stools and I have her following a restrictive protein diet. Her energy is returned, and she has been showing normal menses for the last two months. Her migraines disappeared," Dr. John Diamond affirms. "It merely meant that I needed to get the woman back to normal bowel function, off antibiotics, and onto probiotics all the time. Now she takes colon hydrotherapy on a regular once-a-month schedule. Mrs. Overmacher will likely be forced to stay on her therapeutic program continuously."
JANET BEATY, ND, TOOK TRAINING IN COLON HYDROTHERAPY
"My original training in colon hydrotherapy was when I administered it twenty-five years ago as part of my massage therapy program and that training went a lot deeper when I attended Bastyr University. I was one of several instructors in colon hydrotherapy at that naturopathic college," says Janet Beaty, ND, whose practice is in West Concord, Massachusetts. "Now I don't own the physical facilities for doing it in my office but I regularly refer my patients to a competent nearby colon hydrotherapist.
"My experience with the treatment is totally positive. I refer people to have it when they are constipated because their colons are not fully emptying and bringing on GI discomforts of some kind. My sense is that the patient must empty out old waste products so that there is no interference with healing modalities." States Dr. Beaty. "I am using colon hydrotherapy as my beginning treatment for detoxification, particularly for patients with congested bowels. While I focus on the gastrointestinal aspects of colon hydrotherapy, I also prescribe it for the treatment of allergies, arthritis and other health difficulties.
"If I had my druthers, I would get all of the patients with any health problems on colon hydrotherapy. Why I don't is because it entails a payment of cash-out-of-pocket and some people find the concept too 'kinky' even to imagine doing it." Dr. Beaty says. "Yet, probably most patients should receive at least one colon hydrotherapy during the course of taking care of themselves. It is a very helpful tool for nearly any patient in order to get the bowel peristalsis to work. An effective technique for stimulating such peristalsis is to start out with giving colon hydrotherapy using warm water and gradually decreasing the water temperature as treatment continues. This lower temperature tends to stimulate the bowel muscles. The cold temperatures cause a good peristaltic action for retraining of the bowel.
"The ideal treatment program I follow is that from four to eight weeks the patient receives colon hydrotherapy. This first time frame is necessary for unloading a bunch of toxins from the liver. Here is a typical case history: a thirty-six-year-old patient, Mrs. Cynthia Mangie, had experienced several ectopic pregnancies which resulted in her having a number of miscarriages and ending with chronic endometriosis. Also, she had her belly sliced into many times. Her caesarian pregnancies left her with too much scar tissue so that now the endometriosis must be managed without further surgery," says Dr. Janet Beaty. "The solution to my patient's problem of endometrial pain is to take a colon hydrotherapy one week before her period. The pain is then reduced remarkably because her usual premenstrual constipation is prevented. With the bowel clean, Mrs. Mangie has more room in her belly. She currently takes colon hydrotherapy routinely for improving the quality of her life."
COLON HYDROTHERAPY USED BY JAMES P. CARTER, MD, DRPH
"After conducting a comprehensive digestive stool analysis on any patient suspected of having dysbiosis (poor intestinal hygiene), I attempted to wipe the bowel clean by prescribing colon hydrotherapy once a week times three. In my medical practice, I employ a registered nurse on staff to administer this treatment, says James P. Carter, MD, DrPH, MS, of Mandeville, Louisiana. Dr. Carter is Professor and Head of the Nutritional Section at Tulane University School of medicine.
"Also I use colon hydrotherapy as part of an overall detoxification program, and it may be combined with treatment from above as with drinking Epsom salts, but both are not taken on the same day," he advises. "It promotes the second stage of liver detoxification to cause dissolved poisons to come out in the bile as a solvent. The patient's washout at least once a week from below is adjunctive with the Epsom salts.
"Colon hydrotherapy is an excellent detoxifier for overindulgence of alcohol drinking and drug addictions of all kinds. Residues of drugs and other agents in the tissues are eliminated with colon hydrotherapy," states Dr. James P. Carter. "It takes away any desire to use drugs or imbibe in alcoholic beverages. Colon hydrotherapy should be part of nearly any addicts therapeutic regimen."
Bettman, O.L. A Practical History of Medicine (Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1956), p.6.
Kellog, J.H. "Should the colon be sacrificed or may it be reformed? JAMA LXVIII (26): 1957-1959, June 30, 1917.
by Thomas Dorman, M.D.
Exploring Issues of Philosophy and Conscience
in Contemporary Health Care
August 2000 - Vol. 5, Issue 8
Colonic irrigation is an ancient method of healing and it would never have survived until the present scientific age if it were without value. It is a curious fact that medical practitioners seem to be either in favor of this treatment (and usually quiet about it) or vehemently opposed to its use. The objectors never have any experience of it. Every grown creature probably has an instinctive dislike of its own waste products, and this may explain why the physician is generally so remiss in examining the feces of his patients. There are indications from ancient documents that the Egyptians and the Greeks practiced colon irrigation therapeutically, although their ideas and the benefit to their patients are unknown to us. Hollow reeds and gourds were used to introduce water through the rectum.
The Reputation of Colonics
I first heard the term colonics as a young doctor practicing in California. Immediately, I knew that it was a form of quackery. 1 It is self-evident that the bowel excretes the waste products of digestion regularly, naturally and automatically. There is no need to interfere with nature. This pre-formed opinion (and I am uncertain how it came to be so firmly formed in my mind) was reinforced when I read comments from an official source, that I can no longer identify, condemning the use of colonics by lay practitioners in the state of California and, in due course, the medical association lobbied for its banning through the legislature. This surprised me a little. If something is useless and harmful, why is it necessary to make laws about it? We don't have laws against swimming in sewage nor do we lobby our legislators to make such laws. The only sensible thing any person would do with sewage is dispose of it as hygienically as practical. This dilemma hung in my mind for a number of years. Since then, I have assiduously prescribed diuretics to my patients who retain water, laxative to those who were constipated and, personally, I brush my teeth every day. Think about it for a moment. Which is the cleaner part of your alimentary canal (The alimentary canal is the pipe through which the food passes in your body from mouth to anus)? The mouth is cleaner than the rectum, and yet it is the mouth that I clean with a toothbrush, with paste, and even flossing. Why clean the clean end' I think, in final analysis, the answer is that it is aesthetic. The dirty end should be beneath our dignity; or should it?
My Own Experience
As I have explained in previous newsletters that much of my learning about alternative medicine has come from my patients. To them, I shall be eternally grateful. Learning about colonics is no exception. Patients have told me how their health, their malaise, their fatigue, their abdominal distention, their chronic bowel disturbances, and their dermatitis cleared up through the use of colonics. The first few times I heard the story I knew that the patients were either crazy or the improvement was coincidental. How many times can you hear of such an account and continue to avoid the obvious out of sheer obstinacy' In my case, it was about half a dozen times. My resistance to quackery was diminishing through my experience with chelation, nutrition and, of course, mostly through my experience with orthopedic medicine. Was it conceivable, was it perhaps even possible, that this rather unsavory business with the dirty end of the bowel had something to do with health' I think I resisted recognizing the benefit of colonics longer than my resistance to recognizing other alternative medicine as therapeutic tools because of what I would like to call the sewage aspect of the bowel. It is strange to have to admit that the conversion and the prejudice occurred when I read a non-medical book. Erewhon, by Samuel Butler 1898, describes a topsy-turvy world where people are ashamed to eat, and do so in privacy, while they deal with and discuss their financial matters in public; the exact opposite of our own habits. Even Samuel Butler did not deal with the sewage aspects, but he did point out that the habits we have are not always quite logical. Once one overcomes the sewage aspect, or what I should really call the sewage prejudice, it actually is rather obvious that just as we clean our skin in bathing, our teeth with brushing, our nails with clipping, our hair with shampooing and combing, it is perfectly logical to clean our colon with irrigation. One might argue that it is not natural in some Wordsworthian or mystical primitive sense, but the same can be said for bathing with soap or using a toothbrush. Having dispensed, therefore, with the prejudicial aspects of this issue, we now need to ask more seriously what do colonics do, when should they be used, what is the evidence that they are effective, if any, and if there is a benefit, how might it be useful' Dentists will tell us that keeping the teeth clean protects the hygiene of the mouth and reduces the incidence of cavities. I think they are probably right. I do know that in people with certain illnesses, enhancing excretion of water and electrolytes through the kidneys can improve their health. The most important example of that is when dealing with fluid accumulation, anasarca or edema, for instance in heart failure. It is also quite obvious that if a person is unable to move his bowels, flushing the inspissated (dry and hardened) contents can open the passage so, here, we have a clear indication. If the person's bowels are blocked due to dried up feces, flushing them out will obviously restore the ability of the bowels to move; and, it goes without saying that without bowel movements, obstruction and illness will ensue.
There are many cases where alternative medicine looks at mild degrees of conditions generally accepted in medicine and enhances the public health through catering to them - what in a sophisticated way one might call a forme fruste of an illness, and I have alluded to, in previous newsletters, many such examples. Is constipation good for you' Well, obviously not. How often should the bowels move' In medical school I was taught that there is no rule on this matter; that if the bowels move once a week, that is sufficient for some and normal; contrariwise, two bowel movements a day might be normal for others. I now know better. Most people are better off if their bowels move two to three times a day. How do I know' Having developed an interest in nutrition and the function of the bowel, I have developed the habit of asking my patients about the frequency of their bowel movements and can assure the reader that in general those whose bowels move two-three times a day fare better in their health and nutrition than those who are more constipated. I do admit, however, that there is no absolutely hard rule on the matter. In the next section of this newsletter, I would like to discuss some theoretical considerations regarding what I propose to you are the benefits of colonics in certain situations. How might it work'
Which organ of our bodies is most responsible for waste disposal' It goes without saying that it is the bowel. Yes, in some ways, waste products are excreted by the lungs (carbon dioxide), by the skin, (scaling), sweat, by the kidneys (water and chemicals). The vast majority of waste products of life, however, are passed through the bowel. Some of this waste product is what I call pass through. Frankly, however, the majority of what appears in your stool is excreted, or altered, and therefore not simply a passive 'pass through' product; but, for the purpose of the 'pass through' products, we can reasonably think of the bowel as a pipe, for a first approximation.
The Bowel as an Excretory Organ
The large bowel itself serves to concentrate the contents passed into it from the small intestine, through the resorption of water into the circulation. Bacterial fermentation occurs in the colon. Several products of fermentation, some of which are only slightly understood, probably serve as useful nutrients when reabsorbed. I phrased this concept in a negative way because it is clear to me that, even in these days of know-all science, a great deal of information is lacking regarding the details of this process. We do, however, know from respectable physiological studies, that many products are excreted into the lumen of the intestines and reabsorbed therefrom to circulate back-and-forth, usually through the liver via the venous blood system from the intestines to the liver, called the portal circulation. This enterohepatic circulation, as it is called, plays a very important role in balancing products between the bowel and the liver. An excess of these products in the bowel, for instance bile salts, can provoke diarrhea and, contrariwise, failure of adequate excretion can lead to the retention of toxicants which, in turn, are dammed back into the circulation and can be associated with disease. In this context, we often speak of liver or hepatic failure. We should remember that the liver is the major detoxifying biochemical factory in our bodies and that its waste products are passed through the bile passages (and sometimes with temporary storage in the gallbladder) into the duodenum, thence into the small intestine and colon. You see, now, how there is an inherent relationship between the excretory function of the bowel in general, including the colon, and the biochemical excretory factory, the liver. It is not at all surprising, therefore, that by enhancing excretion through the bowel we can indirectly enhance excretion by the liver, the main detoxifying factory of the body. On thinking this over, these observations make such plain common sense, based on simple knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal and hepatic tracts, that in retrospect, I am amazed at my own stupidity of not working these things out for myself many years ago. It was, therefore, a salutary experience to read references about this in some books lent to me by a colon therapist friend, Dirk Yow, CCT, GOK, that these ideas are by no means new. 2, 3, 4. We might next ask how might colonic therapy increase the excretion of waste products through the pipe we call our colon?
Increase in Peristalsis
We know that a lot of movement in the pipe the body occurs through peristalsis. The acts of the muscle of the heart is one such example although, of course, the blood does not go backwards into the chambers because of the action of the valves. These valves are flaps of fibrous tissue that come together and stop return flow. Valves are present in the veins, as well, directing the blood in the appropriate direction. The lymphatic system has valves, and the term valves is also used in reference to the pipe we call our gastrointestinal tract, or gut. Muscles contract in a rhythmic manner, causing a wave of contraction down the pipe. This is seen be on inspecting the movements of the esophagus and the small intestine; but as these organs do not have one-way valves, like those in the heart, fluid can travel back-and-forth in spite of these peristaltic waves. Indeed, the digestive processes in the gut are dependent on slushing the fluid, the digestive juices, mixing them and churning them and, therefore, this peristaltic phenomenon is not exclusively unidirectional. Peristalsis as such, however, is not a prime feature of the large bowel. Here we speak of contractions of the whole organ or, at least sections of it, particularly contractions of the longitudinal fibers, and large quantities of contents are propelled forward, and occasionally backward, through what is called mass action. Most people are familiar with the phenomenon that the urge to move their bowels occurs sometimes after a meal, typically breakfast, and very often after ingesting a stimulant such as coffee. This is an example of a generalized contraction of the organ (the colon) that propels the contents into the vestibule where it is held temporarily before evacuation. The contents of the small intestine pass through the sphincter that separates it from the first part of the colon, called the 'cecum' (on the left side of the abdomen), and the circular muscle at the lower end of the terminal ilium, the small bowel, is indeed mostly contracted or closed. The liquid contents of the small intestine are squirted in small quantities, following peristaltic activity, into the cecum. The cecum itself serves predominantly as a reservoir, the site where the dehydrating process begins and the site where bacterial fermentation begins and occurs predominantly. The cecum is, to a certain extent, a dead end; and its appendage, the appendix, is a complete dead end. It is here, of course, that chronic inflammation and infection occurs most frequently, hence the disease of appendicitis. It is interesting that there are accounts of instances in which casts of the lining of a colon are reputed to be excreted en masse; almost certainly these represent mostly a combination of shed lining from the cecum with contents which had become inspissated and adherent to the lining of the cecum, the continuous flow of contents from the small intestine into the bowel beyond the cecum, passing through these concretions. There are multiple, though infrequent, accounts of people passing contents from their bowels that are recognized to have been ingested a long time earlier. Almost certainly these concretions are held, therefore, in the periphery of the cecum while the otherwise continuous flow of contents passes through the center of the cecum into the ascending colon. It is also not unlikely that some of this phenomenon of sluggishness, of stasis, at the bowel surface can occur in the ascending and transverse colons, as well, with the contents merely going through the center and being propelled through the phenomenon of mass action. Is it an advantage for a person to have longstanding concretions in this organ' Of course, it is not. I must report, however, that in the process of inspecting the lining of this organ with a colonoscope, a procedure that I have had occasion to perform many times, one does not ordinarily see large residues in this site. How might this be' How can it be that there are reliable accounts of these casts that are not seen by the endoscopist' I have come to the conclusion that the answer is that, in preparation for endoscopy, the patient invariably is asked to take a strong purgative to clean out the contents of the bowel so the endoscopist can indeed inspect the lining. Almost certainly these purgation's remove any material that might have been static in this situation and therefore not observed when the endoscopic inspection is performed.
Stimulation of the Lining
The process of irrigating the bowel can, almost certainly in many instances, have a stimulatory effect on the cells lining this organ. As the business of these cells is to provide mucous and facilitate much of the excretion, it is not surprising that stimulating enhances this effect. Can they be stimulated merely by contact with water? Probably to a slight degree; but it is more likely that bringing them in contact with certain herbal, and possibly chemical agents, enhances this effect. For instance, it is well known in conventional medicine that the addition of magnesium sulfate to the contents of the bowel causes the lining to pass more water into the lumen, and the patient develops diarrhea. This is a purgative effect. A number of herbal agents are known to have other effects on the linings. Terms such as carminative, mucous enhancing, relaxing, stimulating, and enhancing excretion, are all used, and a number of specific herbs have a number of specific actions on these lines, this is not mysterious. If you were to drop some lemon juice into your mouth, would you not experience an increased flow of saliva' Does peppermint note clear the passages by causing shrinkage of swollen lining' Why should these botanical preparations not have a similar effect on the lining at the other end of our gut' They, of course, do. Experience in colonic circles is growing with the use of a number of specific herbal agents that can be mixed gently into the warm water passed into the colon for irrigation; so that individuals with a tendency to spasm are given relaxing agents. Contrariwise, individuals whose bowels are too relaxed might benefit from a mild contractile stimulant. You see that none of these considerations are particularly mysterious. The skill and experience of using the right herbs in combination is, however, still something of an art and not all individuals respond equally to all herbal stimulants. The skillful colon therapist will, therefore, introduce small quantities of proposed remedies at a time and evaluate the response before proceeding with more.
Other Bacteriologic Consideration
I have alluded to the nature of the bacterial contents of the bowel. Ordinarily we carry an enormous load of bacterial species, both quantitatively and in the multitude of varieties. The fermentative process that occurs in the bowel bears a relationship to health and disease. The contemporary habit of using large quantities of pharmaceutical agents that alter the nature of the bacterial contents, antibiotics in particular, has a strong effect in changing the composition of these internal residents. It was believed, and in certain circles is still believed that, with the exception of the bowel, the inside of the body is entirely sterile. From Enderlein's research, and that of others, we have come to recognize that the endobiontic relationship in the cells is more complex and that almost certainly life forms (microzyma's in Bechamp's terminology) are present in fact in most living cells. They are, however, in a form (or valency, to use Enderlein's term) that does not encourage independent proliferation. That is why, when cultures of cells (for instance, of the blood) are taken from healthy people bacteria do not ordinarily grow out on the culture medium, or the plate. This contrasts with culturing the contents of the bowel. It is, however, believed that in certain circles - those that I might reasonably call the pleomorphic medical subculture - that there is a relationship between the bacterial forms overtly present in the intestine and those covertly present in the intracellular milieu. This is one of the reasons that the use of antibiotics, particularly when they are taken by mouth, is considered to be deleterious. It changes the composition of the bacteria in the intestine, probably encouraging the development of cell-deficient forms that probably interact, or penetrate, into the intracellular environment with greater facility and thereby probably accelerate the degenerative process, in Enderlein's terminology raising the valency of the endobionts. There is little conventional hard research on the detailed composition of the bacterial contents of the bowel. The problems relate to the difficulty in culturing the bacteria and separating the species in an artificial environment and quantifying them on culture plates, etc. The anaerobic bacteria (those that thrive without oxygen, are fastidious organisms in the laboratory environment, but the culture of the aerobic bacteria sometimes give us useful clues about unfavorable changes in the composition. This, incidentally, is one reason why nutritionally oriented physicians often ask for bacterial cultures on specimens of stool. What effect do you think irrigation might have on this zoo of organisms' Almost certainly it dilutes them, removes concretions of residual material, and probably facilitates a freshening up of the fermentative process and participants. The introduction of the bacteria that we ordinarily regard as favorable to the intestine, such as the Lactobacillus, is best done at this time, and some clinics afford the colon therapist an opportunity to introduce appropriate instillation of bacteria, particularly in this category, at the end of treatment.
Other Ways of Manipulating the Colonics
Changes in the volume of fluid, the pH and salinity can, of course, have an effect on the bowel. The colon therapist can also judge the temperature of the irrigating fluid, to a small extent, further altering the behavior and reaction of the cells of the lining of the bowel.
When fluid is passed into the colon, and particularly when it is passed in skillfully, without introducing any gas, such as air, there is a gradual distention of the organ. It should be remembered that the colon is a flexible, irregular tube contained within the flexible, irregularly structured abdominal cavity. An increase in the pressure of the lumen of the bowel has an instantaneous effect on the pressure of the rest of the abdominal contents. From this point of view, the relationship to each other is like that of fluid in a hot water bottle. Is stretching the colon a good idea? My answer is a clear yes. And here, I take the liberty of making a comparison with stretching the fascial layers of the body elsewhere. After all, what is the colon' It is a fascial bag with an outside lining called the 'serosa' and an inside lining called the 'mucosa'. There are some muscular thickenings within the fascial bag called 'circular' and 'longitudinal' muscles, (tenia) the action of which we have already discussed when reviewing the weak peristalsis of the colon and the strong mass action (longitudinal bands) earlier. When we stretch the body itself, the fascial layers of the trunk and the limbs, and those around the axial skeleton improve the alignment of the contents. The stretching evens out tensions and restores function. We sometimes speak of the tensegrity model, when discussing this, because there is a relationship amongst the tension of all the components of the system to all others. Does this consideration apply to the internal organs' Of course, it does. One way to improve the overall function and integrated action of the colon is by stretching the organ, and it is quite plain that the only available way for stretching is through the installation of water gradually under slight-to-moderate pressure through the anal canal. Almost certainly this is the reason why colon therapists report that after these irritations they retrain the bowel.
Retraining the Bowel
An important benefit of colon therapy is this business of retraining the bowel. In 'civilized' society there is a tendency to defer the urge to defecate for social reasons. A person might be in a board meeting or any other assortment of social engagements. The mass action that might have been initiated by the mid-morning coffee, loading the rectum, is ignored. The contents might either stay in the rectum or shift back into the descending colon. Further inspissation and toxic absorptions are now likely to take place and, after ignoring the urge to stool repeatedly, the phenomenon of a regular bowel evacuation occurs less frequently. The bowel is trained in bad habits. It is true that the fermentation in the bowel is apt to lead to flatus in the circumstance, but many civilized men ignore that stimulus, as well. Almost certainly the phenomenon of rehydration and stretching the colon, particularly when combined with education of the subject that a call to stool should not be ignored and in fact solicited from the bowel, so to speak, two-three times a day at regular intervals will restore normal colonic function and indirectly enhance the person's health substantially. Accordingly, it is an important role of the colon therapist to educate patients in combating constipation and generally improving bowel habits. Many of these benefits can be permanent after a series of, say, 10 treatments at, say, one-two treatments a week. It is up to the physician, in my opinion, to select the patients in whose cases this treatment should be recommended.
Is there a place for the use of colon irrigation (colonics) in patients who have illnesses such as ulcerative colitis, chronic diarrhea, chronic dilatation of the bowel (such as Hirschprung's disease), a tendency to spasms (often called irritable bowel syndrome) and diverticulitis? My answer to these is affirmative in all the cases. It is, however, true that the colon therapist needs to be skilled. Excessive distention, in the case of diverticulitis or ulcerative colitis, may theoretically pose the risk of leakage, although one has never encountered such a case. The use of remedies in the contents of the bowel needs to be practiced with skill and experience.
In summary, I have come to the conclusion that colon therapy is not mysterious, is a useful adjunct to detoxification in a variety of illnesses in which the accumulation of toxins plays a major or contributory role to a person's ill health; therefore, washing the lining of the bowel is just as sensible as maintaining cleanliness in other parts of ourselves and, in the modern living environment, there is a tendency for the accumulation of toxins, increased constipation, increased concentration of the residue in the bowel because of a shortage of roughage in the diet; thus cleaning and irrigation is an advantage.
Before concluding this article, a comment about technique. The modern colon therapist will use an instrument that allows a continuous exchange of fluid in and out of the bowel, and irrigation. It will allow the therapist to have continuous inspection, through a glass component of the outflow pipe, to inspect the contents of the effluent, and the experienced therapist will learn to recognize when the effluent indicates enhanced excretion from the bowel proper, from the liver indirectly through the bowel, or merely when particles of stool are washed out. With modern technology, the procedure is both comfortable and entirely hygienic without unpleasant aromas or any spillage. The practical details vary little between therapists, but essentially a small tube is passed, with the individual in side-lying position, into the individual's rectum. Most colon therapists then choose to place the patient on his back, and the irrigation takes place in this position. Typically 10 colonic treatments, perhaps, at four-six day intervals are recommended for most conditions, and many people who have significant but not inherently destructive disease, such as the examples given above, can obtain life-long benefit from a series of colon therapies without the necessity to follow-up, although certain individuals do benefit from infrequent follow-up long term.
Gastrointestinal Quackery: Colonics, laxatives and more. Stephen Barrett, M.D. at http://wwwquackwatch.com/01quackaryrelatedtopics/gastro.html.
Colon Therapy. J.E.G. Waddington, August 1940.
The pH in Colonic Therapy. B.R. LeRoy, Jr., A.B., D.O. Pub. Fidelity Pub. Co.; Fidelity Bldg., Tacoma, WA 1933.
Chronic intestinal toxemia and its treatment with special reference to colonic therapy James W. Wiltsie, A.B., M.D. Wm. Wood & Co. Baltimore 1938.