A New Look at Colon Hydrotherapy
by Loren Lockman
Published in JEAA, Vol. 2, #3
One of the benefits of eating a good raw diet is that the digestive tract starts to function as it should. Ideally, we eat a meal, and within hours have a bowel movement, eliminating the previous meal’s waste. When the system is healthy, we’ll have one or two meals in the digestive tract, but no more than that.
Unfortunately, the average American has a 96-hour transit time from the mouth to the other end. This means that the average person carries 4 days worth of waste in their colon. Unless one eats less than once every four days, the average colon is constantly full of waste. For most people eating cooked food diets, the waste is toxic. We’re seeing the ramifications of this in society now.
When we smoke for years, constantly taking toxic particulate matter into the lungs, we’re very likely to develop lung cancer . If we chew tobacco for years, we’re likely to develop mouth cancer of one sort or another. If we drink alcohol excessively for years, we’re likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver.
The collective evidence shows that anytime an organ of the body is constantly in contact with toxic material, that part of the body is likely to become diseased. Given this fact, is it any wonder that colon cancer is the fastest growing form of cancer in the US? Allopathic (western) medicine tells us that along with ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and other lower GI tract diseases, colon cancer has nothing to do with what we eat.
This conclusion is counter-intuitive, illogical, and further evidence of the enormous problems with our “healthcare” system. Though the industrial-medical complex doesn’t get it, (or perhaps simply doesn’t want us to), these diseases are directly related to what we eat.
Eating almost any kind of raw diet is likely to eliminate any risk of colon cancer. However, most of the other lower GI tract diseases can still occur, or continue, on a poorly planned raw diet. Eating excessive amounts of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, or even food that has been dehydrated, can often lead to constipation. This in turn, can lead to headaches, tiredness, and an overall lack of well-being. IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis may continue on a raw diet containing vegetables with a high cellulose content, nuts, seeds, corn, or raw grains.
Even eating an ideal raw diet consisting of high-water content fresh fruits and leafy greens may not resolve digestive tract problems as quickly as we’d like, especially if we’ve previously made poor diet and lifestyle choices. Many have heard of the dreaded “mucoid plaque” said to be the lining of most people’s intestines. Clearly, carrying excess waste in the colon — new or old — does not contribute to health. What’s less clear is what to do about it.
There are, of course, many remedies available today. The choices are only limited by our ability to believe in the miraculous powers of maple syrup, cayenne pepper, cassia, assorted herbs, and the various other substances that make up the intestinal cleansing “systems” and products on the market today. These remedies continue to be popular, not because of any efficacy, but because they offer us what we really want: an easy solution that requires no real effort or change on our part.
It’s the extremely toxic nature and irritating effect of these substances that creates the increased elimination by the body. These substances do not act on the body. Rather, the body, in its infinite wisdom, seeks to eliminate the source of irritation and toxicity as quickly as possible.
Consuming something toxic in order to force the body’s actions assumes that we know the needs of our body better than it does. This is a poor assumption. Our bodies have infinitely more wisdom about their needs than we do, and are always doing the best they can, given the circumstances and conditions we provide.
Many people consider enemas and colonics indispensable for cleansing the colon. Colon hydrotherapy certainly has a long history, with over 2000 years of documented use. Much more compelling, however, is that colon hydrotherapy often makes people feel better. And like the “miracle” cleansing formulas, colon hydrotherapy has the added advantage of being done to us with little, if any effort required on our part Also, we do not need to make any long-term lifestyle changes. This is certainly a winning formula, and today you can find colon hydrotherapists practicing across the United States and the world.
All of this seems to present a compelling case for colonics and enemas. However, things are not always what they seem to be.
“If it’s been around for 2000 years, it must work,” the popular argument goes. But given the unconscious tendency we have toward blindly believing and following our authorities, this is an extremely flawed philosophy. In spite of the work many have done to educate and affect real change in healthcare, people might one day use this argument to defend some of today’s more insidious allopathic medical practices. Longevity does not equate to validity.
More important than it’s longevity is the fact that colon hydrotherapy frequently brings the relief that people seek. In other words, we feel better. This inconvenient fact greatly confounds our ability to accurately understand what’s happening within us.
Though I certainly understand the desire for relief, I wouldn’t wish it for myself or anyone else if it interferes with real healing and cleansing. And this is what I believe is actually happening here. If this surprises you, remember that most forms of treatment and therapy can only effect symptomatic relief. Many forms of treatment make us feel better, but some may actively interfere with the body’s ability to do so.
Might that be the case here? I think so.
Conventional wisdom says that when waste sits in the colon, toxins are reabsorbed into the bloodstream, which in turn makes us feel bad. Let’s assume that this is what’s actually happening. If we then use an enema or colonic to flush this waste from the colon, that’s all we’ve done — flush the waste from the colon. We’ve done nothing to eliminate the toxins that are reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. But it’s the toxins in the bloodstream, not the colon, that make us feel bad.
To put this into terms that most of us can relate to, we don’t feel drunk immediately after having a drink. Or even several in a row. This is because we’re not intoxicated until the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Once it’s absorbed into the bloodstream, only time can help to dissipate it from our system.
So if the toxins in the bloodstream are unaffected by the enema or colonic, how can these therapies make us feel better? It occurs to me that there are only two ways to eliminate the pain of detoxification: the first, as mentioned above, is to allow enough time. An addict of any kind (tobacco, alcohol, heroin, caffeine, etc.) will experience painful withdrawal symptoms until the body has had a chance to eliminate all traces of the poisonous substance from the system. The second way to eliminate the pain of detoxification is to intoxicate the body all over again. This is the reason why the addict craves his poison; taking more makes the pain go away.
With colon hydrotherapy people see their accumulated waste being washed away, they feel better, and they understandably, if mistakenly, conclude that the latter happens because of the former. This is understandable, but not necessarily correct. The fallacy here is that if A follows B, B must be the cause of A. To illustrate, I notice that every time I wash my car (not very often) it rains. Therefore, washing my car causes it to rain. Obviously not, though it follows the same logic.
The large intestine is shaped like an upside-down “U.” One leg of the “U” is called the ascending colon because it rises from the ileo-cecal valve to where the large and small intestine meet. The middle part of the colon is called the transverse colon, and the descending colon, or the other leg of the upside down “U,” ends at the rectum.
The descending colon and rectum are the only parts of the digestive tract that are not designed to absorb anything.
It’s not that they don’t, it’s just that absorption doesn’t seem to be necessary here. Virtually all of the valuable materials from the digested foods (vitamins, minerals, fatty and amino acids, phytonutrients, and excess water) will have been absorbed prior to reaching these last parts of the colon. Both the descending colon and the rectum are primarily waste pipes, and though they certainly absorb toxins if exposed long enough to them, the likelihood of absorption is much less here than in any other part of the colon.
As soon as we add water to the colon, any accumulated waste is washed backwards through the large intestine. By increasing the volume of water, we greatly increase the surface area of the most absorptive parts of the colon in contact with any toxins.
The result is that now we begin to reabsorb these toxins in a big way. As soon as the toxins are reabsorbed into the bloodstream, the pain of detoxification stops. We feel better and conclude that it’s because we’ve eliminated the waste.
In order to get any toxic residues out of the body, the tissues where they reside must be broken down, thereby releasing them into the bloodstream. Though this process is likely to produce some discomfort, there is no other way to eliminate the toxins from the body.
The more frequently heard arguments against colon hydrotherapy are that the bowel pH is altered, and that beneficial bacteria are flushed from the colon. With frequency of use, muscle tone is lost and a weakened peristalsis becomes insufficient to properly eliminate normal wastes. While these arguments are all valid, I believe that the most important factor here is simply that colon hydrotherapy is just one more way of providing symptomatic relief while actually impeding true health and healing.
Whether one fasts or feeds the body lightly and intelligently, ultimately allowing the body’s wastes to move along at their own pace is the best way.
Herbert Shelton and some of his early 20th century contemporaries conducted their own experiments with fasting clients and found that invariably, those that used colon hydrotherapy did not fare as well in the long run.
My own experience at the Tanglewood Wellness Center is that given the opportunity, every colon will eliminate when it needs to, and that water fasting will further expedite this elimination.
To avoid constipation and other lower GI tract problems, be sure to eat a diet rich in high-water content fresh fruits and soft leafy greens. You should also avoid dried and dehydrated foods, excessive quantities of nuts, seeds, animal products, and overeating.
For more information, go to: http://www.TanglewoodWellnessCenter.com or call 202-652-4694