Colonic Hydrotherapy & Weight Loss

Medical X-Ray Scan - Colon
Illustration of the colon. (Image: decade3d/iStock/Getty Images)

Colonic hydrotherapy is a holistic health treatment meant to clean out your colon. While it is often performed for this purpose, other people might pursue colonic hydrotherapy in an effort to lose weight.

Function

Colonic hydrotherapy, also known a colonic, is a procedure that involves allowing a slow flow of water into the rectum. The process does not use any drugs or chemicals; only warm, filtered water is used. After a small tube is inserted into your rectum, you lie on a medical table. The water will induce contractions in the colon and through the contractions, matter inside the colon will be expelled from the body. It is a clean and sanitary process. The fecal matter gets washed away into a tube and into a sanitary storage area. While you receive the treatment, the therapist might be present to monitor the water flow or massage the abdomen, allowing more matter to dislodge from the colon, according to Holistique Medical Center.

Rationale

Naturopathic doctors believe that the elimination of food products and other cellular wastes from the body is critical to your health. According to Holistique Medical Center, if toxins in our body are not removed through the colon because of excess waste sitting in the colon, they will be reabsorbed into the body. Colonic hydrotherapy is designed to effectively remove wastes in the colon including toxins, parasites and musous. The process also hydrates the colon. Colonics are also performed for people with constipation or who are looking to lose weight. They are not recommended as a weight loss strategy because they are not eliminating fat, just colon waste, according to Holistique Medical Center.

Benefits

While naturopathic doctors and holistic health professionals will tell you colonic hydrotherapy is effective, traditional doctors are not as convinced. Dr. Michael Picco states at MayoClinic.com that little scientific evidence supports the claims made about colonic hydrotherapy. He adds that the human digestive system is designed to naturally eliminate wastes and thus, colonics are unnecessary, according to MayoClinic.com.

Considerations

If you are considering doing colonic hydrotherapy, MayoClinic.com recommends drinking plenty of water before, during and after the procedure to prevent dehydration. Many colon therapists will offer you electrolyte water after your session to restore lost electrolytes in your system. Also, research the credentials and safety of the clinic you are planning on going to.

Warnings

Do not perform colonic hydrotherapy as a weight loss aid. Weight loss is best achieved through lifestyle changes. Choosing quick-fix measures such as colon hydrotherapy to drop a few pounds may be viewed by the person as a laxative and is therefore a symptom of disorderly eating, according to MayoClinic.com.

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