Colon hydrotherapy is a way to clean your colon using water.
A trained therapist will pass warm, filtered water through your rectum (bottom) until it fills the entire large intestine (about 6 feet long).
Then, he/she will massage your abdomen so that the added pressure works with the water to remove old waste and undigested food from your system.
The result: a clean gut.
This article will help answer most of your questions around the procedure, and offer an alternative with is 30x cheaper at the end.
Pre & Post Procedure
Can’t the gut clean itself?
The body’s natural gut cleaning process is mechanical. This means the gut walls close in and out to push food and waste along.
Sometimes, if the food doesn’t have enough mass (i.e. is poor in fiber), the gut wall cannot push that food along because there is ‘very little’ to push.
These food particles may remain in your large intestine, and harden over time.
This is called faecal impactation and is linked to all sorts of digestive nuisance from IBS to bloating to even ‘feeling heavy.’
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How do I know if my gut needs cleaning?
Your body will show signs.
Here is a small quiz we have put together.
If you score 70% or less, you probably need a gut cleanse. Colon hydrotherapy or other solutions may help.
Colon hydrotherapy only cleans the large intestine. Why?
Most people who have not eaten solid food in 12 hours will have a sparkling clean small intestine.
This is because the small intestine automatically flexes and pushes old waste to the large intestine.
In the large intestine, food can stay for 16 to 48 hours, depending on what you have eaten and your body type.
That’s where the trouble may occur.
Does all the waste come out in one session?
Not in one session, but it makes a significant difference.
See the video below to see a live colon hydrotherapy session (outside Mumbai).
Will colon hydrotherapy wash away my gut bacteria too?
Most practitioners will hesitate to answer this question.
Once your colon is washed, you have likely flushed out a significant portion of your gut bacteria too. There is no control; both good and bad bacteria will leave your body.
The result: you may actually feel a little weak after your first session.
Restoring your natural gut profile may take up to two weeks after your last colon hydrotherapy session.
These two weeks are absolutely crucial. You can read this research piece on 23 subjects before and after colon hydrotherapy.
What’s the difference between enema and colon hydrotherapy?
An enema just washes the lower bit of the large intestine (i.e. 1-2 feet).
Colon hydrotherapy can wash your whole large intestine (5-6 feet).
What do I do after the session?
You have to be extremely careful about what you eat for the next two weeks.
In a sense, your body is weakened. Old waste has been pushed out alongside friendly gut bacteria as well.
Whatever you eat has a massive impact now.
If you eat dirty, your health condition may actually worsen. You need to eat clean, slightly cooked food and natural probiotics like dahi.
Do not eat raw food. Raw food may carry a lot of harmful microbes which may inhabit your gut with more ease until your gut profile is restored.
See the video below to understand how enema can go wrong (or lead to the release of a whole of toxins that are struggling to leave you system).
Is colon hydrotherapy like Basti in Ayurveda?
Not at all. There are three differences.
- In Basti, you use oil and herbs, not water
- In Basti, you keep the oil in your gut for at least 30 minutes
- The objective of a Basti is not just to clean, but to deliver the right herbs straight to the colon.
When we eat food, less than 50% gets absorbed by the body. In a Basti, >90% may get absorbed by the body.
Ayurvedic practitioners figured this out, and use Basti as a nutrient delivery mechanism, not just a gut cleanse.
Colon hydrotherapy cost in India
What does colon hydrotherapy cost?
Starts from Rs. 5000 a session in Tier 1 cities like Mumbai or Delhi.
The procedure usually lasts around 40 minutes a session. Usually, 2 sessions a week over three weeks is what is recommended.
That’s a bill of Rs. 30,000 + GST (at minimum) that most Indian Insurers will not cover.
Can’t I just do it at home?
We don’t recommend it.
You have to be very careful about (1) the type of water you use and (2) how you massage your abdomen when the water is in your gut.
If you use water that has not been properly filtered or has bacteria / harmful chemicals, it may create a lot of trouble.
Do not opt for enema just to offset colon hydrotherapy cost.
Isn’t it cheaper to just have a laxative vs. colon hydrotherapy?
A laxative acts faster.
Osmotic laxatives (which brings water into the system), stimulant laxatives (which makes gut muscles work harder), emollient laxatives (makes your poop slippery) all offer relief from constipation by encouraging waste to leave the system.
Too many laxatives, though, create dependence and often lead to loss of gut muscle tone.
Said differently – a laxative is a quick-fix, not a long-term solution.
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