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Blog / Apr 29, 2017
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Disease in a Bottle
Jan 30/09
The Art of Staying Young
Nov 18/08
Our Attitudes and Aging
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May 27/08
Large intestine cleansing
Oct 29/07
Look after your health as carefully and tenderly as you look after your car.
Oct 22/07
We are what we eat
Oct 18/07
Less flour - more power
Oct 09/07
The truth about meat – the time bomb
Oct 04/07
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Disease in a Bottle
Sep 25/07
The Danger of Refined Foods
May 16/07
Mar 26/07
Factors Causing Damage to our Health
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How and When to Be Your Own Doctor

by Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon

Chapter Four

Colon Cleansing

From The Hygienic Dictionary

Autointoxication. [1] the accumulations on the bowel wall become a breeding ground for unhealthy bacterial life forms. The heavy mucus coating in the colon thickens and becomes a host for putrefaction. The blood capillaries to the colon begin to pick up the toxins, poisons and noxious debris as it seeps through the bowel wall. All tissues and organs of the body are now taking on toxic substances. Here is the beginning of true autointoxication on a physiological level. Bernard Jensen, Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management. [2] All maladies are due to the lack of certain food principles, such as mineral salts or vitamins, or to the absence of the normal defenses of the body, such as the natural protective flora. When this occurs, toxic bacteria invade the lower alimentary canal, and the poisons thus generated pollute the bloodstream and gradually deteriorate and destroy every tissue, gland and organ of the body. Sir Arbuthnot Lane. [3] The common cause of gastro-intestinal indigestion is enervation and overeating When food is not digested, it becomes a poison. Dr. John.H. Tllden, Impaired Health: Its Cause and Cure, 1921. [4] a clogging up of the large intestine by a building up (on) the bowel wall to such an extent that feces can hardly pass through. autointoxication is a direct result of intestinal constipation. Faulty nutrition is a major underlying factor in constipation. The frequency or quantity of fecal elimination is not an indication of the lack of constipation in the bowel. Bernard Jensen, Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management.

I am not a true believer in any single healing method or system. I find much truth in many schools and use a wide variety of techniques. The word for my inclination is eclectic.
The most effective medicine in my arsenal is water fasting followed closely in potency by other, less rigorous detoxifying diets. Colon cleansing ranks next in healing power. In fact it is difficult to separate colon cleansing from fasting because detoxification programs should always be accompanied by colon cleansing. Further down the scale of efficatiousness comes dietary reform to eliminate allergic reactions and to present the body with foods it is capable of digesting without creating toxemia. Last, and usually least in effectiveness in my arsenal, are orthotropic substances (in the form of little pills and capsules) commonly known as vitamins or food supplements.

Interestingly, acceptance of these methods by my clients runs in exact opposition to their effectiveness. People prefer taking vitamins because they seem like the allopaths' pills, taking pills demands little or no responsibility for change. The least popular prescription I can write is a monodiet of water for several weeks or a month. Yet this is my most powerful medicine.

It is possible to resolve many health complaints without fasting, simply by cleansing the colon and regaining normal lower bowel function. Colonics take little personal effort and are much easier to get people to accept than fasting. So I can fully understand how perfectly honest and ethical naturopaths have developed obsessions with colon cleansing. Some healers have loudly and repeatedly (and wrongly) proclaimed that constipation is the sole cause of disease, and thus, the only real cure for any illness is colon cleansing.

Even though it is possible to have a lot of successes with the simple (though unpleasant to administer) technique of colon cleansing, degenerated lower bowels are the only cause of disease. I prefer to use bowel cleansing as an adjunct to more complete healing programs. However, old classics of hygiene and even a few new books strongly make the case for colonics. Some of these books are entirely one-sided, single-cause single-cure approaches, and sound convincing to the layperson. For this reason, I think I should take a few paragraphs and explain why some otherwise well-intentioned health professionals have overly-advocated colonics (and other practices as well).

Most Diseases Cure Themselves

If you ask any honest medical doctor how they cure diseases, they will tell you that most acute disease conditions and a smaller, though significant percentage (probably a majority) of chronic disease conditions are self-limiting and will, given time, get better all by themselves. So for most complaints, the honest allopathic doctor sees their job as giving comfort and easing the severity of the symptoms until a cure happens.

This same scenario, when viewed from a hygienist's perspective, is that almost all acute and many chronic conditions are simply the body's attempt to handle a crisis of toxemia. For two reasons the current crisis will probably go away by itself. The positive reason is that the toxic overload will be resolved: the person changes their dietary habits or the stressor that temporarily lowered their vital force and produced enervation is removed, then digestion improves and the level of self-generated toxins is reduced. The negative reason for a complaint to "cure" itself is that the suffering person's vital force drops below the level that the symptom can be manifested and the complaint goes away because a new, more serious disease is developing.

I view this second possibility as highly undesirable because strong, healthy bodies possessing a high degree of vital force are able to eliminate toxins rather violently, frequently producing very uncomfortable symptoms that are not life-threatening. However, as the vital force drops, the body changes its routes of secondary elimination and begins using more centrally located vital organs and systems to dispose of toxemia. This degeneration producing less unpleasant symptoms, but in the long run, damages essential organs and moves the person closer to their final disease.

A young vigorous body possessing a large degree of vital force will almost always route surplus toxins through skin tissues and skin-like mucus membranes, producing repeated bouts of sinusitis, or asthma, or colds, or a combination of all these. Each acute manifestation will "cure" itself by itself eventually. But eventually the body's vital force can no longer create these aggressive cleansing phenomena and the toxemia begins to go deeper. When the allopathic doctor gets a patient complaining of sinusitis, they know they will eventually get a cure. The "cure" however, might well be a case of arthritis.

This unfortunate reality tends to make young, idealistic physicians become rather disillusioned about treating degenerative conditions because the end result of all their efforts is, in the end, death anyway. The best they can do is to alleviate suffering and to a degree, prolong life. The worst they can do is to prolong suffering.

Thus, the physicians main job is to get the patient to be patient, to wait until the body corrects itself and stops manifesting the undesired symptom. Thus comes the prime rule of all humane medicine: first of all, do no harm! If the doctor simply refrains from making the body worse, it will probably get better by itself. But the patient, rarely resigned to quiet suffering, comes in demanding fast relief, demanding a cure. In fact, if the patient were resigned to quiet suffering they would not consult a doctor. So if the doctor wants to keep this patient and make a living they must do something. If that something the doctor must do does little or no harm and better yet, can also alleviate the symptoms, the doctor is practicing good medicine and will have a very high cure rate and be financially successful if they have a good bedside manner. This kind of doctor may be allopathic and/or "natural," may use herbs or practice homeopathy.
The story of Dr. Jennings, a very successful and famous or infamous (depending on your viewpoint) physician, who practiced in Connecticut in the early 1800s exemplifies this type of approach.

Dr. Jennings had his own unique medicines. Their composition was of his own devising, and were absolutely secret. He had pills and colored bitter drops of various sorts that were compounded himself in his own pharmacy. Dr. Jennings' patients generally recovered and had few or no complications. This must be viewed in contrast to the practices of his fellow doctors of that era, whose black bags were full of mercury and arsenic and strychnine, whose practices included obligatory bleeding. These techniques and medicines "worked" by poisoning the body or by reducing its blood supply and thus lowering its vital force, ending the body's ability to manifest the undesirable symptom. If the poor patient survived being victimized by their own physician, they were tough enough to survive both their disease and the doctor's cure. Typically, the sick had many, lengthy complications, long illnesses, and many "setbacks" requiring many visits, earning the physician a great living.

Dr. Jennings operated differently. He would prescribe one or two secret medicines from his black bag and instruct the patient to stay in bed, get lots of rest, drink lots of water, eat little and lightly, and continue taking the medicine until they were well. His cure rate was phenomenal. Demand they might, but Dr. Jennings would never reveal what was in his pills and vials. Finally at the end of his career, to instruct his fellow man, Dr. Jennings confessed. His pills were made from flour dough, various bitter but harmless herbal substances, and a little sugar. His red and green and black tinctures, prescribed five or ten drips at a time mixed in a glass of water several times daily, were only water and alcohol, some colorant and something bitter tasting, but harmless. Placebos in other words.

Upon confessing, Dr. Jennings had to run for his life. I believe he ended up retiring on the western frontier, in Indiana. Some of his former patients were extremely angry because they had paid good money, top dollar for "real" medicines, but were given only flour and water. The fact that they got better didn't seem to count.

If the physicians curative procedure suppresses the symptom and/or lowers the vital force with toxic drugs or surgery, (either result will often as not end the complaint) the allopathic doctor is practicing bad medicine. This doctor too will have a high cure rate and a good business (if they have an effective bedside manner) because their drugs really do make the current symptoms vanish very rapidly. Additionally, their practice harmonizes with a common but vicious dramatization of many people which goes: when a body is malfunctioning, it is a bad body and needs to be punished. So lets punish it with poisons and if that don't work, lets really punish it by cutting out the offending part.

However, if the physician can do something that will do no harm but raises the vital force and/or lowers the level of toxemia, this doctor will have a genuine cure rate higher than either of the two techniques. Why does raising the vital force help? Because it reduces enervation, improves the digestion, lowers the creation of new toxins and improves the function of the organs of elimination, also reducing the toxic overload that is causing the complaint.

Techniques that temporarily and quickly raise the vital force include homeopathy, chiropractic, vitamin therapy, massage, acupuncture and acupressure and many more spiritually oriented practices. Healers who use these approaches and have a good bedside manner can have a very good business, they can have an especially-profitable practice if they do nothing to lower the level of toxemia being currently generated. Their patients do experience prompt relief but must repeatedly take the remedy. This makes for satisfied customers and a repeat business.

The best approach of all focuses on reducing the self-generated level of toxemia, cleansing to remove deposits of old toxemia, rebuilding the organs of elimination and digestion to prevent the formation of new toxemia, and then, to alleviate the current symptoms and make it easier for the patient to be patient while their body heals, the healer raises artificially and temporarily the vital force with vitamins, massage, acupressure, etc. This wise and benevolent physician is going to have the highest cure rate among those wise patients who will accept the prescription, but will not make as much money because the patients permanently get better and no longer need a physician. There's not nearly as much repeat business.

Colonics are one of the best types of medicine. They clean up deposits of old toxemia (though there are sure to be other deposits in the body's tissues colonics do not touch). Colon cleansing reduces the formation of new toxemia from putrefying fecal matter (but dietary reform is necessary to maximize this benefit). Most noticeable to the patient, a colonic immediately alleviates current symptoms by almost instantly reducing the current toxic load. A well-done enema or colonic is such a powerful technique that a single one will often make a severe headache vanish, make an onsetting cold go away, end a bout of sinusitis, end an asthmatic attack, reduce the pain of acute arthritic inflammation, reduce or stop an allergic reaction. Enemas are also thrifty: they are self-administered and can prevent most doctor's visits seeking relief for acute conditions.

Diseases of the colon itself, including chronic constipation, colitis, diverteculitis, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, and mucous colitis, are often cured solely by an intensive series of several dozen colonics given close together. Contrary to popular belief, many people think that if they have dysentery or other forms of loose stools that a colonic is the last thing they need. Surprisingly, a series of colonics will eliminate many of these conditions as well. People with chronic diarrhea or loose stools are usually very badly constipated. This may seem a contradiction in terms but it will be explained shortly.

A century ago there was much less scientific data about the functioning of the human body. Then it was easy for a hygienically-oriented physician to come to believe that colonics were the single best medicine available. The doctor practicing nothing but colonics will have a very high rate of cure and a lot of very satisfied clients. Most importantly, this medicine will have done no harm.

The Repugnant Bowel

I don't know why, but people of our culture have a deep-seated reluctance to relate to the colon or it's functions. People don't want to think about the colon or personally get involved with it by giving themselves enemas or colonics. They become deeply embarrassed at having someone else do it for them. People are also shy about farts, and most Americans have a hard time not smiling or reacting in some way when someone in their presence breaks wind, although the polite amongst us pretend that we didn't notice. Comedians usually succeed in getting a laugh out of an audience when they come up with a fart or make reference to some other bowel function. People don't react the same way to urinary functions or discharges, although these also may have an unpleasant odor and originate from the same "private" area.

When I first mention to clients that they need a minimum of 12 colonics or many more enemas than 12 during a fasting or cleansing program they are inevitably shocked. To most it seems that no one in their right mind would recommend such a treatment, and that I must certainly be motivated by greed or some kind of a psychological quirk. Then I routinely show them reproductions of X-rays of the large intestine showing obvious loss of normal structure and function resulting from a combination of constipation, the effects of gravity, poor abdominal muscle tone, emotional stress, and poor diet. In the average colon more than 50% of the hastrum (muscles that impel fecal matter through the organ) are dysfunctional due to loss of tone caused by impaction of fecal matter and/or constriction of the large intestine secondary to stress (holding muscular tension in the abdominal area) and straining during bowel movement.

Diseased colon

A typical diseased colon

The average person also has a prolapsed (sagging) transverse colon, and a distorted misplaced ascending and descending colon. I took a course in colon therapy before purchasing my first colonic machine. The chiropractor teaching the class required all of his patients scheduled for colonics to take a barium enema followed by an X-ray of their large intestine prior to having colonics and then make subsequent X-rays after each series of 12 colonics. Most of his patients experienced so much immediate relief they voluntarily took at least four complete series, or 48 colonics, before their X-rays began to look normal in terms of structure. It also took about the same number, 48 colonics, for the patients to notice a significant improvement in the function of the colon. In reviewing over 10,000 X-rays taken at his clinic prior to starting colonics, the chiropractor had seen only two normal colon X-rays and these were from farm boys who grew up eating simple foods from the garden and doing lots of hard work.

The X-rays showed that it took a minimum of 12 colon treatments to bring about a minimal but observable change in the structure of the colon in the desired direction, and for the patient to begin to notice that bowel function was improving, plus the fact that they started to feel better.

Healthy Colon

A Healthy Colon

From my point of view the most amazing part of this whole experience was that the chiropractor did not recommend any dietary changes whatsoever. His patients were achieving great success from colonics alone. I had thought dietary changes would be necessary to avoid having the same dismal bowel condition return. I still think colonics are far more effective if people are on a cleansing diet too. However, I was delighted to see the potential for helping people through colonics.

For me, the most interesting part of this colonic school was that I personally was required to have my own barium enema and X-ray. I was privately certain that mine would look normal, because after all, I had been on a raw food diet for six years, and done considerable amount of fasting, all of which was reputed to repair a civilized colon. Much to my surprise my colon looked just as mangled and dysfunctional as everyone else's', only somewhat worse because it had a loop in the descending colon similar to a cursive letter "e" which doctors call a volvulus. Surgeons like to cut volvululii out because they frequently cause bowel obstructions. It seemed quite unfair. All those other people with lousy looking colons had been eating the average American diet their whole life, but I had been so ‘pure!'

On further reflection I remembered that I had a tendency toward constipation all through my childhood and young adulthood, and that during my two pregnancies the pressure of the fetus on an already constipated bowel had made it worse resulting in the distorted structure seen in the X-ray. This experience made it very clear that fasting, cleansing diets, and corrected diet would not reverse damage already done. Proper diet and fasting would however, prevent the condition of the colon from getting any worse than it already was.

I then realized that I had just purchased the very tool I needed to correct my own colon, and I was eager to get home to get started on it. I had previously thought that I was just going to use this machine for my patients, because they had been asking for this kind of an adjunct to my services for some time. I ended up giving myself over a hundred colonics at the rate of three a week over many months. I then out of curiosity had another barium enema and X-ray to validate my results. Sure enough the picture showed a colon that looked far more ‘normal' with no vulvulus. That little "e" had disappeared.

What Is Constipation?

Most people think they are not constipated because they have a bowel movement almost every day, accomplished without straining. I have even had clients tell me that they have a bowel movement once a week, and they are quite certain that they are not constipated. The most surprising thing to novice fasters is that repeated enemas or colonics during fasting begins to release many pounds of undeniably real, old, caked fecal matter and/or huge mucus strings. The first-time faster can hardly believe these were present. These old fecal deposits do not come out the first time one has enemas or necessarily the fifth time. And all of them will not be removed by the tenth enema. But over the course of extended fasting or a long spell of light raw food eating with repeated daily enemas, amazing changes do begin to occur. It seems that no one who has eaten a civilized diet has escaped the formation of caked deposits lining the colon's walls, interfering with its function. This material does not respond to laxatives or casually administered enemas.

Anyone who has not actually seen (and smelled) what comes out of an "average" apparently healthy person during colonics will really believe it could happen or can accurately imagine it. Often there are dark black lumpy strings, lumps, or gravel, evil smelling discs shaped like sculpted hemispheres similar to the pockets lining the wall of the colon itself. These discs are rock-hard and may come out looking like long black braids. There may also be long tangled strings of gray/brown mucous, sheets and flakes of mucous, and worse yet, an occasional worm (tape worm) or many smaller ones. Once confronted however, it is not hard to imagine how these fecal rocks and other obnoxious debris interfere with the proper function of the colon. They make the colon's wall rigid and interfere with peristalsis thus leading to further problems with constipation, and interfere with adsorption of nutrients.

Our modern diet is by its "de-"nature, very constipating. In the trenches of the First World War, cheese was given the name ‘chokem ass' because the soldiers eating this as a part of their daily ration developed severe constipation. Eaten by itself or with other whole foods, moderate amounts of cheese may not produce health problems in people who are capable of digesting dairy products. But cheese when combined with white flour becomes especially constipating. White bread or most white-flour crackers contain a lot of gluten, a very sticky wheat protein that makes the bread bind together and raise well. But white flour is lacking the bran, where most of the fiber is located. And many other processed foods are missing their fiber.

In an earlier chapter I briefly showed how digestion works by following food from the mouth to the large intestine. To fully grasp why becoming constipated is almost a certainty in our civilization a few more details are required. Food leaving the small intestine is called chyme, a semi-liquid mixture of fiber, undigested bits, indigestible bits, and the remains of digestive enzymes. Chyme is propelled through the large intestine by muscular contractions. The large intestine operates on what I dub the "chew chew train" principle, where the most recent meal you ate enters the large intestine as the caboose (the last car of a train) and helps to push out the train engine (the car at the front that toots), which in a healthy colon should represent the meal eaten perhaps twelve hours earlier. The muscles in the colon only contract when they are stretched, so it is the volume of the fecal matter stretching the large intestine that triggers the muscles to push the waste material along toward the rectum and anus.

Eating food lacking fiber greatly reduces the volume of the chyme and slows peristalsis. But moving through fast or slow, the colon still keeps on doing another of its jobs, which is to transfer the water in the chime back into the bloodstream, reducing dehydration. So the longer chime remains in the colon, the dryer and harder and stickier it gets. That's why once arrived at the "end of the tracks" fecal matter should be evacuated in a timely manner before it gets to dry and too hard to be moved easily. Some constipated people do have a bowel movement every day but are evacuating the meal eaten many days or even a week previously.

Most hygienists believe that when the colon becomes lined with hardened fecal matter it is permanently and by the very definition of the word itself, constipated. This type of constipation is not perceived as an uncomfortable or overly full feeling or a desire to have a bowel movement that won't pass. But it has insidious effects. Usually constipation delays transit time, increasing the adsorption of toxins generated from misdigestion of food; by coating and locking up significant portions of colon it also reduces the adsorption of certain minerals and electrolytes.

Sometimes, extremely constipated people have almost constant runny bowels because the colon has become so thickly and impenetrably lined with old fecal matter that it no longer removes much moisture. This condition is often misinterpreted as diarrhea. The large intestine's most important task is to transfer water-soluble minerals from digested food to the blood. When a significant part of the colon's surface becomes coated with impermeable dried rigid fecal matter or mucus it can no longer assimilate effectively and the body begins to experience partial mineral starvation in the presence of plenty. It is my observation from dozens of cases that when the colon has been effectively cleansed the person has a tendency to gain weight while eating amounts of food that before only maintained body weight, while people who could not gain weight or who were wasting away despite eating heavily begin to gain. And problems like soft fingernails, bone loss around teeth or porous bones tend to improve.

The Development Of My Own Constipation

The history of my own constipation, though it especially relates to a very rustic childhood, is typical of many people. I was also raised on a very constipating diet which consisted largely of processed cheese and crackers. Mine was accelerated by shyness, amplified by lack of comfortable facilities.

I spent my early years on the Canadian prairies, where everybody had an outhouse. The fancy modern versions are frequently seen on construction sites. These are chemical toilets, quiet different than the ones I was raised with because somebody or something mysteriously comes along, empties them and installs toilet paper. The ones I'm familiar with quickly developed a bad-smelling steaming mound in the center--or it was winter when the outhouse was so cold that everything froze almost before it hit the ground in the hole below. (And my rear end seemed to almost freeze to the seat!) The toilet paper was usually an out of season issue of Eatons mail order catalogue with crisp glossy paper. Perhaps it is a peculiarity of the north country, but at night there are always monsters lurking along the path to the outhouse, and darkness comes early and stays late.

When nature called and it was daylight, and there was no blizzard outside, the outhouse received a visit from me. If on the other hand, when it was dark (we had no electricity), and there was a cold wind creating huge banks of snow, I would ‘just skip it,' because the alternative--an indoor chamber pot, white enamel with a lid--was worse. This potty had to be used more or less publicly because the bedrooms were shared and there was no indoor bathroom. I was always very modest about my private parts and private functions, and potty's were only used in emergencies, and usually with considerable embarrassment. No one ever explained to me that it was not good for me to retain fecal matter, and I never thought about it unless my movements became so hard that it was painful to eliminate.

Later in life, I continued this pattern of putting off bowel movements, even though outhouses and potties were a thing of the past. As a young adult I could always think of something more interesting to do than sitting on a pot, besides it was messy and sometimes accompanied by embarrassing sound effects which were definitely not romantic if I was in the company of a young man. During two pregnancies the tendency to constipation was aggravated by the weight of the fetus resting on an already sluggish bowel, and the discomfort of straining to pass my first hard bowel movement after childbirth with a torn perineum I won't forget.

Rapid Relief From Colon Cleansing

During fasting the liver is hard at work processing toxins released from fat and other body deposits. The liver still dumps its wastes into the intestines through the bile duct. While eating normally, bile, which contains highly toxic substances, is passed through the intestines and is eliminated before too much is reabsorbed. (It is the bile that usually makes the fecal matter so dark in color.) However, reduction of food bulk reduces or completely eliminates peristalsis, thus allowing intestinal contents to sit for extended periods. And the toxins in the bile are readsorbed, forming a continuous loop, further burdening the liver.

The mucus membranes lining the colon constantly secrete lubricants to ease fecal matter through smoothly. This secretion does not stop during fasting; in fact, it may increase because intestinal mucus often becomes a secondary route of elimination. Allowed to remain in the bowel, toxic mucus is an irritant while the toxins in it may be reabsorbed, forming yet another closed loop and further burdening the liver.

Daily enemas or colonics administered during fasting or while on cleansing diets effectively remove old fecal material stored in the colon and immediately ease the livers load, immediately relieve discomfort by allowing the liver's efforts to further detoxify the blood, and speed healing. Fasters cleansing on juice or raw food should administer two or three enemas in short succession every day for the first three days to get a good start on the cleansing process, and then every other day or at very minimum, every few days. Enemas or colonics should also be taken whenever symptoms become uncomfortable, regardless of whether you have already cleaned the colon that day or not. Once the faster has experienced the relief from symptoms that usually comes from an enema they become more than willing to repeat this mildly unpleasant experience.

Occasionally enemas, by filling the colon and making it press on the liver, induce discharges of highly toxic bile that may cause temporary nausea. Despite the induced nausea it is still far better to continue with colonics because of the great relief experienced after the treatment. If nausea exists or persists during colon cleansing, consider trying slight modifications such as less or no massage of the colon in the area of the gall bladder (abdominal area close to the bottom of the right rib cage), and putting slightly less water in the colon when filling it up. It also helps to make sure that the stomach is empty of any fluid for one hour prior to the colonic. Resume drinking after the colonic sessions is completed. If you are one of these rare people who ‘toss their bile', just keep a plastic bucket handy and some water to rinse out the mouth after, and carry on as usual.

Enemas Versus Colonics

People frequently wonder what is the difference between a colonic and an enema. First of all enemas are a lot cheaper because you give them to yourself; an enema bag usually costs about ten dollars, is available at any large drug store, and is indefinitely reusable. Colonics cost anywhere from 30 to 75 dollars a session.

Chiropractors and naturopaths who offer this service hire a colonic technician that may or may not be a skilled operator. It is a good idea to find a person who has a very agreeable and professional manner, who can make you feel at ease since relaxation is very important. It is also beneficial to have a colonic therapist who massages the abdomen and foot reflexes appropriately during the session.

Enemas and colonics can accomplish exactly the same beneficial work. But colonics accomplish more improvement in less time than enemas for several reasons. During a colonic from 30 to 50 gallons of water are flushed through the large intestines, usually in a repetitive series of fill-ups followed by flushing with a continuous flow of water. This efficiency cannot even be approached with an enema. But by repeating the enema three times in close succession a satisfactory cleanse can be achieved. Persisted with long enough, enemas will clean the colon every bit as well as a colonic machine can.

Enemas given at home take a lot less time than traveling to receive a colonics at someone's clinic, and can be done entirely at you own convenience--a great advantage when fasting because you can save your energy for internal healing. But colonics are more appropriate for some. There are fasters who are unable to give themselves an enema either because their arms are too short and their body is too long and they lack flexibility, or because of a physical handicap or they can't confront their colon, so they let someone else do it. Some don't have the motivation to give themselves a little discomfort but are comfortable with someone else doing it to them. Some very sick people are too weak to cleanse their own colon, so they should find someone to assist them with an at-home enema or have someone take them to a colonic therapist.

Few people these days have any idea how to properly give themselves an enema. The practice has been discredited by traditional medical doctors as slightly dangerous, perhaps addictive and a sign of psychological weirdness. Yet Northamericans on their civilized, low fiber, poorly combined diets suffer widely from constipation. One proof of this is the fact that chemical laxatives, with their own set of dangers and liabilities, occupy many feet of drug store shelf space and are widely advertised. Is the medical profession's disapproval of the enema related to the fact that once the initial purchase of an enema bag has been made there are no further expenses for laxatives? Or perhaps it might be that once a person discovers they can cure a headache, stop a cold dead in its tracks with an enema, they aren't visiting the M.D.s so often.

The enema has also been wrongly accused of causing a gradual loss of colon muscle tone, eventually preventing bowel movements without the stimulation of an enema, leading finally to flaccidity and enlargement of the lower bowel. This actually can happen; when it does occur it is the result of frequent administration of small amounts of water (fleet enemas) for the purpose of stimulating a normal bowel movement. The result is constant stretching of the rectum without sufficient fluid to enter the descending colon. A completely opposite, highly positive effect comes from properly administered enemas while cleansing.

The difference between helpful and potentially harmful enemas lies in the amount of water injected and the frequency of use. Using a cup or two of water to induce a bowel movement may eventually cause dependency, will not strengthen the colon and may after years of this practice, result in distention and enlargement of the rectum or sigmoid colon. However, a completely empty average-sized colon has the capacity of about a gallon of water. When increasingly larger enemas are administered until the colon is nearly emptied of fecal matter and the injection of close to a gallon of water is achieved, beneficial exercise and an increase in overall muscle tone are the results.

Correctly given, enemas (and especially colonics) serve as strengthening exercises for the colon. This long tubular muscle is repeatedly and completely filled with water, inducing it to vigorously exercise while evacuating itself multiple times. The result is a great increase in muscle tone, acceleration of peristalsis and eventually, after several dozens of repetitions, a considerable reduction of transit time. Well-done enemas work the colon somewhat less effectively and do not improve muscle tone quite as much as colonics.

Injecting an entire gallon of water with an enema bag is very impractical when a person is eating normally. But on a light cleansing diet or while fasting the amount of new material passing into the colon is small or negligible. During the first few days of fasting if two or three enemas are administered each day in immediate succession the colon is soon completely emptied of recently eaten food and it becomes progressively easier to introduce larger amounts of water. Within a few days of this regimen, injecting half a gallon or more of water is easy and painless.

Probably for psychological reasons, some peoples' colons allow water to be injected one time but then "freeze up" and resist successive enemas. For this reason better results are often obtained by having one enema, waiting a half hour, another enema, wait a half hour, and have a final enema.

A colonic machine in the hands of an expert operator can administer the equivalent of six or seven big enemas in less than one hour, and do this without undue discomfort or effort from the person receiving the colonic. However, the AMA has suppressed the use of colonics; they are illegal to administer in many states. Where colonics are legal, the chiropractors now consider this practice messy and not very profitable compared to manipulations. So it is not easy to find a skilled and willing colonic technician.

Anyone who plans to give themselves therapeutic enemas while fasting would be well advised to first seek out a colonic therapist and receive two or three colonics delivered one day apart while eating lightly and then immediately begin the fast. Three colonics given on three successive days of a light, raw food diet are sufficient to empty all recently eaten food even from a very constipated, distended and bloated colon, while acquainting a person with their own bowel. Having an empty colon is actually a pleasant and to most people a thoroughly novel experience. A few well-delivered colonics can quickly accustom a person to the sensations accompanying the enema and demonstrate the effect to be achieved by oneself with an enema bag, something not quickly discoverable any other way.

How To Give Yourself An Enema

Enemas have been medically out of favor for a long time. Most people have never had one. So here are simple directions to self-administer an effective enema series.

The enema bag you select is important. It must hold at least two quarts and be rapidly refillable. The best American-made brand is made of rubber with about five feet of rubber hose ending in one of two different white hard plastic insertion tips. The bag is designed for either enemas or vaginal douches. It hangs from a detachable plastic "S" hook. When filled to the brim it holds exactly one-half gallon. The maker of this bag offers another model that costs about a dollar more and also functions as a hot water bottle. A good comforter it may make, but the dual purpose construction makes the bag very awkward to rapidly refill. I recommend the inexpensive model.

The plastic insertion tips vary somewhat. The straight tubular tip is intended for enemas; the flared vaginal douche tip can be useful for enemas too, in that it somewhat restrains unintentional expulsion of the nozzle while filling the colon. However, its four small holes do not allow a very rapid rate of flow.

To give yourself an enema, completely fill the bag with tepid water that does not exceed body temperature. The rectum is surprisingly sensitive to heat and you will flinch at temperatures only a degree or two higher than 98 Fahrenheit. Cooler water is no problem; some find the cold stimulating and invigorating. Fasters having difficulty staying warm should be wary of cold water enemas. These can drop core body temperature below the point of comfort.

Make sure the flow clamp on the tube is tightly shut and located a few inches up the tube from the nozzle. Hang the filled bag from a clothes or towel hook, shower nozzle, curtain rod, or other convenient spot about four to five feet above the bathroom floor or tub bottom. The higher the bag the greater the water pressure and speed of filling. But too much pressure can also be uncomfortable. You may have to experiment a bit with this.

Various body positions are possible for filling the colon. None is correct or necessarily more effective than another. Experiment and find the one you prefer. Some fill their colon kneeling and bending forward in the bathtub or shower because there will likely be small dribbles of water leaking from around the nozzle. Usually these leaks do not contain fecal matter. Others prefer to use the bathroom floor. For the bony, a little padding in the form of a folded towel under knees and elbows may make the process more comfortable. You may kneel and bend over while placing your elbows or hands on the floor, reach behind yourself and insert the nozzle. You may also lie on your back or on your side. Some think the left side is preferable because the colon attaches to the rectum on the left side of the body, ascends up the left side of the abdomen to a line almost as high as the solar plexus, then transverses the body to the right side where it descends again on the right almost to the groin. The small intestine attaches to the colon near its lower-right extremity. In fact these are the correct names given for the parts of the colon: Ascending, Descending and Transverse Colon along with the Sigmoid Colon or Rectum at the exit end.

As you become more expert at filling your colon with water you will begin to become aware of its location by the weight, pressure and sometimes temperature of the water you're injecting. You will come to know how much of the colon has been filled by feel. You will also become aware of peristalsis as the water is evacuated vigorously and discover that sensations from a colon hard at work, though a bit uncomfortable, are not necessarily pain.

Insertion of the nozzle is sometimes eased with a little lubricant. A bit of soap or KY jelly is commonly used. If the nozzle can be inserted without lubricant it will have less tendency to slip out. However, do not tear or damage the anus by avoiding necessary lubrication. After insertion, grip the clamp with one hand and open it. The flow rate can be controlled with this clamp. Keeping a hand on the clamp also prevents the nozzle from being expelled.

Water will begin flowing into the colon. Your goal is to empty the entire bag into the colon before sensations of pressure or urgency to evacuate the water force you to remove the nozzle and head for the toilet. Relaxation of mind and body helps achieve this. You are very unlikely to achieve a half-gallon fill up on the first attempt. If painful pressure is experienced try closing the clamp for a moment to allow the water to begin working its way around the obstacle. Or, next time try hanging the bag lower, reducing its height above the body and thus lowering the water pressure. Or, try opening the clamp only partially. Or, try panting hard, so as to make the abdomen move rapidly in and out, sort of shaking the colon. This last technique is particularly good to get the water past a blockage of intestinal gas.

It is especially important for Americans, whose culture does not teach one to be tolerant of discomfort, to keep in mind that pain is the body's warning that actual damage is being done to tissues. Enemas can do no damage and pose no risk except to that rare individual with weak spots in the colon's wall from cancers. When an enema is momentarily perceived unpleasantly, the correct name for the experience is a sensation, not pain. You may have to work at increasing your tolerance for unpleasant sensations or it will take you a long time to achieve the goal of totally filling the colon with water. Be brave! And relax. A wise philosopher once said that it is a rough Universe in which only the tigers survive--and sometimes they have a hard time.

Eventually it will be time to remove the nozzle and evacuate the water. Either a blockage (usually fecal matter, an air bubble, or a tight ‘U' turn in the colon, usually at either the splenetic, or hepatic flexures located right below the rib cage) will prevent further inflow (undesirable) or else the bag will completely empty (good!) or the sensation of bursting will no longer be tolerable. Go sit on the toilet and wait until all the water has passed. Then refill the bag and repeat the process. Each time you fill the colon it will allow more water to enter more easily with less unpleasantness. Fasters and cleansers should make at least three attempts at a complete fill-up each time they do an enema session.

Water and juice fasters will find that after the first few enemas, it will become very easy to inject the entire half-gallon of water. That is because there is little or no chime entering the colon. After a few days the entire colon will seem (this is incorrect) to be empty except when it is filled with water. This is the point to learn an advanced self-administered enema technique. An average colon empty of new food will usually hold about one gallon of water. That is average. A small colon might only hold 3/4 gallon, a large one might accept a gallon and a half, or even more. You'll need to learn to simultaneously refill the bag while injecting water, so as to achieve a complete irrigation of the whole colon. There are several possible methods. You might try placing a pitcher or half-gallon mason jar of tepid water next to the bag and after the bag has emptied the first time, stand up while holding the tube in the anus, refill the bag and then lie down again and continue filling. You might have an assistant do this for you. You might try hanging the bag from the shower head and direct a slow, continuous dribble of lukewarm water from the shower into the bag while you kneel or lie relaxed in the tub. This way the bag will never empty and you stop filling only when you feel fullness and pressure all the way back to the beginning of the ascending colon. Of course, hanging from a slowly running shower head the bag will probably overflow and you will get splashed and so will the bathroom floor when your wet body moves rapidly from the tub to the toilet. I've imagined making an enema bag from a two gallon plastic bucket with a small plastic hose barb glued into a hole drilled in the bottom or lower edge. If I were in the business of manufacturing enema bags I'd make them hold at least one gallon.

A word of caution to those folks who have a pattern of overdoing it, or tend to think that more is better. This is not true when it comes to colon cleansing. Do not make more than three attempts to fill and clean the colon with an enema bag. Usually the colon begins to protest and won't accept any more fill-ups. When having colonics on a colonic machine it is a good idea to continue until the water comes back reasonably clear for that session. It is not a good idea for a faster to have colonics that last more than three-quarters of an hour to an hour maximum, or it will be too tiring. Even non-fasters find colonics tiring. After all, the colon is basically a big muscle that has become very lazy on a low-fiber diet.

I've personally administered over five thousand colonics, taught several dozen fasters to self-administer their own and stood by while they gave themselves one until they were quite expert. In all that experience I've only seen one person have a seriously bad result. This was a suicidally depressed water faster that I (mistakenly) allowed to administer their own colonics with my machine. This person not only took daily colonics, but allowed water to flow through their colon for as long as two hours at a time. Perhaps they were trying to wash out their mind? After several weeks of this extreme excess, the faster became highly confused and disoriented due to a severe electrolyte imbalance. They had to be taken off water fasting immediately and recovered their mental clarity in a few days. The loss of blood electrolytes happened because during colonics there occurs a sort of low-grade very slow reverse osmosis.

Curing With Enemas

It is not wise to continue regular colonics or enemas once a detoxification program has been completed and you have returned to a maintenance diet. The body should be allowed its regular functioning.

But because enemas immediately lower the toxic load on the liver, I do recommend people use them for prevention of an acute illness (you feel like you are coming down with something), and for the treatment of acute illnesses such as a cold. I also like to take one if I have been away traveling for extended periods, eating carelessly. But do not fall into a pattern of bingeing on bad food, and then trying to get rid of it through colonics or laxative. This is bulimia, the eating disorder discussed earlier.

The Sheltonite capital "N" Natural capital "H" Hygienists do not recommend any colon cleansing, ever!. They think that the colon will spontaneously cleanse itself on a long water fast, but my experience learned from monitoring hundreds of fasters is that it doesn't really. Herbert Shelton also considered colon cleansing enervating and therefore undesirable. Colon cleansing does use the faster's energy but on the balance, colon cleansing saves more work on the part of an overburdened liver than it uses up.

Go to Chapter Five

April, 29 
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