“In the past few decades, we’ve seen more toxins enter our environment than ever before,” says Natalie Bondine, director of Melbourne’s Purity Body Mind Soul detox spa, who goes by the name of ‘the colon whisperer’. “these toxins contribute to illness and disease and starts from the earliest stages of life. So while we can’t avoid these toxic substances, we can help to expel them with regular cleansing and detoxification.
” Enter – quite literally – colon hydrotherapy (also referred to as colon cleansing, colonic irrigation or simply as colonics). “Colon hydrotherapy works wonderfully with any detox program because as the body throws off toxins, they can be eliminated immediately through the colon so there is no re-absorption,” says Bontine.
“People find that they become more intuitive to their body and needs and let go of the old ‘stuff’ that no longer serves them. Immunity increases because you are allowing for the beneficial bacteria in the intestines to repopulate. Clients often comment that they feel lighter in more ways than one.” It’s not surprising, then, that colonic hydrotherapy has been used as an aid to weight loss. It can also be used to reduce bloating, restore healthy digestion, absorption and elimination functions, and foster healthy gut bacteria. In short, Bontine says, you just feel better.
The Criticism For Cleansing
Although literally washing out your insides may make you feel lighter, healthier and fresher pretty much immediately post-treatment, there are also several risks and caveats to colonic cleansing. A recent study in natural medicine from Athabasca University said that although detoxification is a primary principle of naturopathy, there are issues of credibility when it comes to treatment.
“A variation of this approach [detoxification] is auto-toxicity, where the focus is toxins in the colon. his is commonly treated by colonic irrigation, a procedure that is potentially harmful as it can hyper-extend the colon,” the research said.
Auto-toxicity experienced a major boom in the late 1800’s, when, “An endless profusion of remedies, sold in shops and by mail order enterprises, promising health through regularity of bowel movements, ‘opened men’s purses by opening their bowels’,” says a study in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. Auto-toxicity experienced a rapid decline when the American Medical Association declared it broadly as quackery.
However, this has not prevented its resurgence in popularity, nor has it stopped celebrities and gurus from promoting the benefits of colon cleansing. Unfortunately, there are some potentially very serious downsides to colon cleansing that are yet to be addressed. “False claims, a lack of evidence, big money, aggressive advertising, disregard of risk – little seems to have changed,” the research concludes.