Colon Cleanse or Intestine Cleanse is a very simple procedure to keep your bowels in good condition. As we eat more and more greasy, fatty and other bowel clogging food, it is necessary to periodically cleanse it and return it to good functioning again!
The intestine (or bowel) is a segment of the alimentary canal, extending from the mouth via stomach to the anus. It consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine. While the small intestine plays a major role in absorbing nutrients from food, the large intestine plays a comparatively much smaller role. It stores waste, reclaims water, maintains water balance, absorbs certain vitamins (such as vitamin K) and provides for flora- aided (mostly bacterial) fermentation. The colon is a part of the large intestine and the final part of the digestive system.
Structure of the Intestine
The colon is a five feet long muscular tube that connects the small intestine to the rectum, the holding area for the stool. The colon is divided into four parts. The ascending colon is the start of the colon, on the right side of the abdomen. It continues upward to a bend called the hepatic flexure.
The transverse colon follows the ascending colon and hepatic flexure, and lies across the upper part of the abdomen. It ends with another bend in the colon called the splenic flexure. The descending colon follows the transverse colon and splenic flexure and is located on the left side of the abdomen. The sigmoid colon is the end of the colon and connects to the rectum.
The colon and rectum extract water, salt, vitamins and nutrients from indigestible food, process food that was not digested in the small intestine and eliminate solid waste from the body. The colon reabsorbs fluids and processes waste products for elimination. Partly broken down or digested food moves from the small intestine into the colon. Digestion continues in the colon as bacteria breaks down some food materials into smaller pieces.
Water and some nutrients are absorbed by the inner lining of the colon (also called epithelium). The liquid waste remaining in the colon turns into semi-solid stool (also called feces). The inner lining of the colon, or mucosa, also makes mucus, so that stool can easily move through the colon and rectum.
As stool moves to the end of the colon, it becomes solid. It leaves the colon and moves into the rectum. When the rectum is full, a signal is sent to the brain to push the stool out of the body through the anus.
When the colon does not function properly, it begins to absorb toxins instead of eliminating them, thereby causing the following problems:
- gas, bloating and constipation
- weight gain
- low energy and fatigue, and other chronic illnesses
The colon plays host to a zoo of bacteria, over a hundred micro- organisms live in the colon. A proper balance of healthy bacteria must be maintained inside the colon to avoid digestive ailments. Unhealthy food habits often harm this balance and cause various stomach problems. These problems can be caused by undigested food, as most food that we eat today are loaded with additives, preservatives and other chemicals, leading to a build up of toxins in the colon, which affect the body.
From the air we breathe and the water we drink, to the hundreds of chemicals we come into contact with each day – it all takes its toll on the colon and ultimately, on our overall health.
An obstructed colon can show one or more of the following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Body odour
- Dark circles below eyes
- Frequent infections (cold/flu)
- Gas and bloating
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Parasites, especially tapeworms
- PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)
- Skin problems (acne, eczema, etc.)
Everybody is not lucky enough to have regular defecation in the morning. The number of bowel movements generally decrease with age. The most common pattern is one bowel movement a day, but this pattern is seen in less than 50% people. Moreover, most people are irregular and sometimes, do not have any bowel movements in a day or the same number of bowel movements every day. Stool can accumulate anywhere inside the colon and the rectum in the form of a thin film as well as stick to the walls of the colon. They hamper physical efficiency and cause a lot of discomfort, irritability, lethargy, bloating, flatulence and headaches. Cleansing the colon solves these problems and promotes total well being. Some of the techniques used for Colon Cleanse are given below:
Cleanse by Colonic Irrigation
It has been observed that enemas, the traditional method to cleanse the colon, do not give sufficient results, as faecal matter inside the colon and large intestine is hardly cleaned. To overcome this problem, a Colon Cleanse machine costing nearly Rs. 10 lakhs was invented and many colonics were trained. We now have a number of these machines in India. They charge approximately Rs. 2500/- for a single Colon Cleanse session. Most of the patients have found it beneficial.
The patient sits down on a special chair, at a 45° incline with legs spread at a 30° angle.
A single use nozzle of nearly one centimetre diameter and five inches length is inserted into the anus using a lubricant. Carbon filtered and UV ray disinfected water is gently infused into the large bowel to soften and loosen the waste in the colon. This water is supplied at body temperature. Simultaneously, the colonic also uses a massager on the abdomen to loosen hard faecal matter. Nearly 40 litres of water is pumped in the colon in 45 minutes. The residual faecal matter comes out of the anus along the sides of the pipe. This process does not clean the small intestine because there is an ileocecal valve between the two intestines, which prevents matter from going back into the small intestine from the large intestine. It is recommended not to eat heavy food for two hours prior to the session. All patients feel fresh after a cleanse.
Colon Cleanse at home
Colon Cleanse by a colonic is good, but it has two practical difficulties:
- The patient has to leave his/her home and go to a colonic
- Administration fee of nearly Rs. 2500/- per session is rather high
To overcome these problems, we have devised a simple method that can be done in the privacy of your home. This works on Indian as well as European toilets. Hold a hand jet spray with running water near the anus. Do not insert the spray inside the anus, as the pressure of the water is sufficient for it to enter the large intestine. Soon, it builds up pressure inside and most of the faecal matter, including old Hand held jet spray accumulated junk inside the colon is thrown out. The resultant freshness is unbelievable.
Regarding frequency of this procedure, like all other cleanses, we suggest that you do it once. Subsequently, you can decide the frequency for yourself. It is safe to do it once a week. However, doing it daily may remove some of the beneficial bacteria that help in the digestion of food.
I discussed this process with a reputed doctor who practices Colon Cleanse in Mumbai. I asked him about the ramifications of my experiment. He had the following observations about using a regular jet spray at home:
The water being sprayed inside is not at the same body temperature.
I confirmed that this is hardly inconvenient, in view of the large benefits involved.
He suggested that using regular tap water may transmit infection and damage the walls of the intestine.
I told him that we use tap water for rinsing our mouth after brushing teeth. We also eat salads that have raw vegetables washed in regular water, without suffering ill-effects.
He asked me whether I have experimented it on myself.
I confirmed that I had, whereupon he admitted that doing this type of Colon Cleanse at home is very good for everyone, because it takes only five minutes, involves no cost and is very convenient and safe. He, however, apprehended that this may affect the colonics business.
Another option is to take an enema, in which a liquid is passed through a tube into the rectum to stimulate bowel movements. Enema can be taken by the patient himself/herself from the comfort of their home, preferably without any external help. Benefits
The secret to beautiful skin is a healthy colon. It rejuvenates our entire system by enhancing anti-oxidant activity in the body, thereby slowing the aging process considerably.
Colon Cleanse is beneficial in restoring good health by:
- Clearing the colon of old hardened waste and harmful toxins
- Reducing the absorption of toxins via healthy mucosa
- Strengthening peristaltic (natural muscular contraction) activity in the colon
- Promoting normal and regular bowel movements
- Providing a favourable environment for bacteria and micro- flora necessary for digestion
- Reducing fat deposition in the body due to improved hydration
- Improving tissue metabolism (hydration leads to better lipid metabolism)
- Enhancing energy levels and toning the muscles (resulting in overall fitness)
Frequently asked questions
Q1. I am going for a colonoscopy. Can I go for a Colon Cleanse prior to it?
Of course. Your doctor himself may advise you to undergo for a Colon Cleanse before the test. It will enhance the effectiveness of the colonoscopy. Many people are advised to do the cleanse by alternative therapists, including homeopaths, acupuncturists and herbalists. By detoxifying the system, these therapies tend to be more effective.
Q2. How can Colon Cleanse help my digestive health?
Colon Cleanse is a gentle internal bath that helps in eliminating stored faecal matter, gas, mucus and toxic substances from the colon. Additional benefits can often be observed in the form of radiant skin, more energy and mental clarity, fewer headaches, improved blood circulation, better immunity and weight loss, among others.
Q3. Is Colon Cleanse safe?
It is completely safe.
Q4. Does Colon Cleanse hurt?
The procedure itself does not cause pain. At the start of the procedure, you may experience some uneasiness and a strange sensation and the urge to relieve, but most people get used to it in the first few minutes, and even find the process relaxing and uplifting. You may also use massage, vibration, reflexology and reiki, as well as other modalities to make your treatment comfortable and effective.
Q5. How many sessions does a person need for this treatment?
It all depends on your condition and on the results of the first Colon Cleanse. If this condition has been building up for years, it is unlikely that it will disappear after a single session. In that case, try it again the next day.
Q6. Can I lose weight after going Colon Cleanse?
You will definitely lose some weight. Just bear in mind that you lose wastes only, not fat or cellulite.
Q7. Can I do a Colon Cleanse if I am on my period?
You can do a Colon Cleanse during your period. Infact, doing a cleanse during periods makes ‘those’ days easier. Please make sure you have a spare tampon or towel to use immediately after the treatment.
Q8. Can I do a Colon Cleanse if I am pregnant?
It is not recommended at any stage of the pregnancy. For more information, please send an email to me and I shall advise precautionary measures on a case-to-case basis.
Q9. How does the Colon Cleanse compare to an enema?
Colon Cleanse is a much more comfortable experience, where the patient’s dignity and privacy is maintained. A single session is said to be equivalent to 10 enemas and does not lead to a habit.
Q10. Does a Colon Cleanse, cleanses the entire colon or only a part of it?
The houston valve is located between the transverse colon and descending colon. Therefore, mainly sigmoid and descending sections are cleaned. Generally, only these two are affected by constipation.