On the issue of Are Colonics Useful?–from the standpoint of Classical Chinese Medicine Colonic “Irrigation”, High Colonics, and Colon Cleanses are a disaster.
Better Ways to Treat Your Colon
They are exactly the wrong way to treat our guts, which are like soup cooking on a flame, not like sewers. Our colons are, first of all, self cleaning. Secondly, if you want to get your colon working optimally, the best way is to give it a rest with gentle fasting. Another factor, the major factor, is diet. Stop eating junk, start eating freshly made food rich in vegetables and digestion stimulating herbs and spices and your colon will heal itself. (See, below).
Are Colonics Useful? Constipation, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis?
If your interest in colon cleansing comes from suffering from constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, then treat the root of the problem with acupuncture, herbal medicine, but not purgative herbs, which again, don’t treat the root of the problem, and with other therapies like mindfulness. Colonics don’t treat the root of any digestive syndromes, they treat the symptom, and with only marginal efficacy. I have seen so many patients who spent a lot of money on colonics for constipation who were left with the same constipation after treatment. If your health, and youinterest in colonics comes from anxiety about health and wellness, then take more productive positive action.
Colonics hark back to the medical quacks of a century ago, who treated, and continue to treat, our guts like sewers to be flushed out. Its actually has some basis in Christian notions of the lower body as the repository of sin, as something dirty to be cleansed. (See the Christian Scientist Naturopathic Movements in Battle Creek, Michigan, that gave us cold breakfast cereal). Western Medicine was really unbelievably primitive before the advent of 20th century science, and a good lot of medicine involved bleeding, purging, and treatment with toxic heavy metals. As late as the 1890s M.D.s in Europe were treating TB with Arsenic and Camphor. When I graduated Acupuncture school in 1992 Rheumatologists were still treating Arthritis with Gold injections, which are highly toxic. In fact, as most of us know, all to often even today the drugs prescribed, are highly toxic, and only sometimes the ideal first choice.
“Vegetables to Keep the Body Clean”
The best way to treat the gut is to give it a rest. Try fasting for one day a week. As well, Chinese Medicine has this to say, “eat rice for energy, meat for strength, and vegetables to keep everything clean.” The problem of chronic constipation is best treated with diet, and dealing with any underlying emotional/nervous system issues that are constricting peristalsis in the intestine.. The Ayurvedic herb Triphala (I use Ayush brand Trifal) is also excellent, and is a mild stool softener high in antioxidants. Trifal is not only a stool softener, but is in the Ayurvedic category of Rasayana, herbs that promote health and wellbeing.
Basti in Ayurveda
Ayurveda does do a kind of colon cleansing, but under highly specific circumstances. Called basti, it involves enema with specific herbal mixtures matched to the patient that are infused with ghee and sesame oil. They are used for only about 33% of the population, folk with dryness in the gut, and Vata elevation, and are prescribed by doctors whose specialty is Panchakarma treatment.
People are currently obsessed with toxins. Its a kind of nationwide panic that is an over-reaction to the Standard American Diet of wheat, dairy, meat, beer, and sugar that produces the kind of sluggishness in the gut that many folk suffer from. But the solution is not to flush the gut out, but to change the diet, use herbs, exercise, and take care of your food culture so that you eat healthy fresh meals in a relaxed setting. All of that will stimulate your Agni Digestive fire (Pi Hun Hua in Chinese Medicine) so as to “burn off” Ama “toxic sludge” by-products of weak digestion. Colonics, on the other hand, may harm the microbiome of the gut, and douse, or weaken, our digestive fire.
copyright eyton shalom san diego, ca Sept 2017 all rights reserved use with permission