Colon Cleansing Introduction
–Holistic Medicine Practitioner-
–Holistic Medicine Practitioner-
Why Cleanse The Colon?
Excess mucous and food debris can become permanently stuck to the walls of the colon. It is similar to the furring up that occurs in hot water pipes. Layer after layer of mucous builds up and slows the passage of food as through the bowels.
The mucusy material is decomposed by the intestinal bacteria and fungi and creates a lot of toxins in the bowels. The colon wall is built to handle a certain amount of toxins but when the bowel wall defences are overwhelmed the toxicity passes into the blood and lymphatics (the body fluids), which will transport these poisons to the liver and rest of the body. The poisoning of the body's tissues by toxins produced in the colon can compromise and down grade your whole health. A small manageable amount of toxins is a normal product of even healthy digestion, but our modern diet and life style can produce an excessive toxic burden. In an ideal world we would never have eaten any refined low fibre foods which produce a sticky residue, we would eat lots of vegetable fibre to keep the stools moving and none sticky, we would never have taken antibiotics, the pill or steroids all of which destroy the healthy bacteria and can destroy the bowel flora for years and finally we would not live sedentary lives which do not include enough body movement to assist bowel health.
Cleansing the colon removes build up of toxic material accumulated over years, and detoxifies your body. The herbs used restore muscle tone so that you have natural daily bowel motions without any need for laxatives; the herbs also break down the old impacted mucusy material. The liver and kidneys are detoxified and pancreas function improved as extra benefits. You should feel lighter, get a flatter stomach with no bloating, you may lose weight and your skin may become healthier. Quite a number of people with sinus and catarrh problems will experience great improvements.
Is This a Big Problem?
Yes! In Britain laxative sales are big business, many people suffer sluggish bowels and constipation. When food has been inside the body for more than 24 hours it has no useful nutritional value and is simply rotting toxic waste which poisons your body. Some of these toxins are known to promote bowel cancer, which is now the third leading cause of death due to cancer. This is not however a cancer treatment.
It has been estimated that the average middle aged person who eats meat and dairy foods will have several pounds in weight stuck to the walls of their colon. This burden will over run your toxin defences and result in some level of internal poisoning. Even vegetarians do not avoid this problem, the dairy foods many vegetarians eat create a lot of sticky mucous. Even non-dairy eating vegans may have previously built up toxic debris, which is permanently stuck to the walls.
Can I Not Just Eat a Good High Fibre Diet To Cleanse My Colon?
Obviously diet plays a very important role in reducing the build up of new materials once the bowels are clear, but sadly diet alone does not clear the permanently stuck old material.
The two methods used for cleansing the colon are colonic irrigation and herbal capsules. I highly recommend colonics as an optional extra (there are several qualified practitioners here at the Hale Clinic) along with taking herbal formulas. To get the most out of your colonics start the herbs several weeks before the colonics. Ask my reception for a leaflet with more information on this colonics.
How Do The Herbs Work?
The main formula I use is Dr Christopher’s Lower Bowel Formula also sometimes called CO TON A, this is a very well tried and tested herbal formula, perfected over several decades.
It is not a laxative that creates a dependency, but is designed to soften and loosen the sticky material stuck on the bowel wall causing congestion and constipation, or in extreme cases may paradoxically cause irritation and diarrhoea. In addition to cleaning the bowels the herbs also soothe this irritation. This formula has been used successfully for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Some of the herbs strengthen the muscles in the bowel walls to establish good tone and eventually restore regular motions. When toxins “leak” out of the bowels they flow through the lymphatics, the liver and eventually reach the kidneys some of the herbs in the formula assist these organs and systems to detoxify. To help digestion in general herbs are included to improve the functioning of the pancreas. This type of treatment will help many people with low blood sugar problems and bloating.
The herbs are taken over several months, six days per week, along with ground psyllium husks to dissolve the mucus material and sweep it out. For optimum results you should also perform a regular abdominal self-massage.
What Benefits can I Expect?
-Regular and easy bowel movements.
-Better digestion less bloating.
-Better absorption of nutrients as the walls of the intestines are cleansed of mucous.
-Many people report a flatter tummy and reduced appetite.
-Help with weight loss and weight gain.
-Cleaner lymphatics as these are not so burdened; this may reduce the frequency of cold and saw throats.
-Better health in general as your system is less toxic.
Colon cleansing can become a regular practice if this is a sluggish part of your system, it can also be done by anyone wanting to detoxify there system to improve their health in general or for a specific purpose like before pregnancy.
Once the bowels are cleaned you use good quality pro-biotic to re-establish a healthy bowel flora. This will maintain the benefits you have achieved.
How to do the Colon Cleanse
Performing this cleanse is easy and costs very little, all it consists of is:
1/ Taking 1 or 2 herbal capsules with each meal and
2/ Twice a day between meals adding a teaspoon of psyllium husks to your drinks when you are hydrating.
You can find Dr Christopher’s lower bowel formula (co-ton A) online, it’s available from iherb.com and the UK Amazon.
It can be found in different versions:
There’s a goldenseal free version which is for use during pregnancy,
and the regular version comes in gelatine or vegi/vegan capsules.
Use the regular unless you’re pregnant.
Start with 1-2 capsules with each meal.
You are just the number of capsules according to the consistency of your bowel motions:
Take more capsules if you are constipated or bloated and fewer if your bowels become loose.
A typical dose might be:
1 capsule at breakfast
1-2 capsules at lunch and
2 capsules with dinner or the largest meal of the day.
The minimum dose should be 1 with each meal. You may take up to 5 capsules with each meal if you’re seriously constipated. When you take a very high dose you may get temporary cramping in your colon and diarrhoea.
In the first few weeks of the cleanse you may need to vary the dosage frequently as your body adjusts to the herbs and you are eliminating the most recently impacted sticky mucus material.
Remember to take the herbs only six days per week. If you take them seven days per week your body get used to the herbs and you will quite quickly become immune to the benefits.
The herbs soften the impacted material only in the presence of water so you must drink lots of water and take extra fibre to hold a reservoir of water in the bowel. You also need fibre to push and carry the softened mucus which is very sticky out of the colon. The fibre must used must hold a significant volume of water and provide a gentle scouring action, to assist cleansing the bowel wall.
The best fibre suitable for this purpose is whole psyllium husks or psyllium husk powder:
This is the original type of fibre used for colon cleansing it is cheap and is useful for lowering cholesterol. Many people find psyllium husks unpleasant to take, but they are essential so just get used to it! You can use a two glasses method: add the psyllium to a little tumbler of water, drink it down very quickly then follow with a larger glass of water/juice. Alternatively I still into a tall glass of water and juice and consume it as it’s a fruit juice jelly.
Dosage: Begin with ½ a teaspoon once a day adding an extra half a teaspoon every 3 days until you reach 2 slightly round teaspoons. It’s a good idea to give the herbs a head start of a few days before beginning the psyllium just to get things moving.
Take the psyllium twice per day between meals at least half an hour before eating with lots of liquids. You can eat fruit and nuts at the same time as a mid meal snack. Hypothetically you could take a small to medium dose of psyllium at the same time as eating to make you feel fuller and help you lose weight, my concern with this is that it might cause indigestion and make you feel bloated; if you try it please let me know he get on.
When you do the Colon cleanse you should keep well hydrated and perform the following techniques to keep your lymphatic system moving and draining, when I first did this cleanse many years ago I didn’t pay attention to these techniques I got headaches and broke out in spots, as soon as I paid attention to my lymphatic drainage the spot and headaches went away.
Abdominal Self Massage
You should perform abdominal self-massage during this program. This serves three very important functions: Firstly it helps to dislodge mucus matter adhering to the walls of the colon, by physically squashing and moving the colon walls you will dislodge the hard to move material. Secondly you will assist blood and lymphatic drainage in the area which speeds up detoxification of the released toxins. Thirdly you will help to rebuild muscle tone in the colon, which may have become loose in some parts and contracted in others.
You may be interested to know (or you may be horrified) that more than one pound of waste products are discharged through your skin every day. For the skin, apart from holding us in one piece and being (hopefully) our pride and joy, has a very important job to do, it is actually an organ of elimination just like our kidneys and colon. These organs work day and night to keep us free of poisons and waste products produced by eating drinking and everyday living plus all the poisonous pollutants we ingest in a post industrialised would. Our skin must share in this work too or we get into trouble.
If the skin becomes inactive with its pores choked with millions of dead cells, then uric acid and other toxic wastes will remain in the body. The other eliminative organs -mainly the kidneys and liver-, will have to increase their labour and may eventually become over worked. When the kidneys and the liver cannot cope with their workload toxins and wastes begin to build up in the tissues and sooner or later disease will follow. One can feel sluggish ones, skin looks sallow and the toxic build-up can contribute to the development of serious illnesses. So there is a great need to keep a healthy and well functioning skin.
But does the ritual with the soap and water actually do the job?
Soap and water is effective at removing the oily build up that collects dirt and excessive bacteria which causes body to smell. However it is quite inefficient at removing the dead and unnecessary skin cells which congest our skin pores. Skin brushing also stimulates the movement and drainage of the lymphatic system -your bodies sewerage system.
Of course it's still fun to jump into the tub, but once you start to skin brush you won't need to use quantities of harsh soap. That in itself will make a lot of difference to the quality of your skin.
With regular skin brushing you should notice improved circulation, better energy, skin softness and quality, whole body freshness are all areas of improvement you can look for when you make it a regular habit.
You are stimulating the flow of energy in the acupuncture meridians, and enhancing the lymphatic drainage, thereby aiding detoxification, and seeding up the benefits of any other natural therapy you are doing.
How to Skin Brush
Skin brushing is done dry, not with water.
Start at the soles of your feet and brush your way up your legs, brushing several times in one place as vigorously as you feel able to. Do it gently at first, you'll find you can build up the pressure in time. Then do your hands and up your arms. On your back and stomach the direction does not matter you can even go round in circles. In the breast area work away from the nipple especially concentrate on the area on the outside of the breast towards the armpit which is rich in lymphatic vessels. It is very beneficial to skin brush in the breast area to prevent breast disease and ideally should be done daily after removing your bra. Do not brush your face but give the back of your neck a good go. For hygienic reasons you may want to wash the brush every once in a while in warm soapy water and dry in a warm place.
A recommended programme would be 10 minutes per day for say 5 weeks, thereafter, 10 minutes three times per week. Women should brush the breast area after wearing a bra for a few hours because bras block lymphatic drainage and lead to toxic build up. The correct direction is away from the nipple.
Skin brush more frequently whenever you are ill and detoxifying.
Exercise During the Colon Cleanse
Proper exercise can have a surprisingly powerful effect on moving the bowels. You want to do exercises that involve shaking or bouncing the body up and down. Running is good (be sure to have proper shoes and change them regularly to avoid knee/back injuries), horse riding is exhalent if you have a horse, and best of all is rebounding i.e. jumping up and down on a rebounder which is a mini trampoline about four feet across. You can buy these in for about £50-100 (don’t get the really cheep £20 rebounder from Argos). The folding leg option allows you to store it against a wall or rolled behind the sofa. I like the “pro-bounce”.
If you have week knees or are over weight land on both feet together to reduce stress on the knees. It is a good idea to wear trainers in the beginning until your ankles become stronger, make sure when you land that you land on the whole sole of your foot to avoid a twisting an ankle. You can holed small dumbbells in you hands or wear wrist and ankle weights to turn your rebounder into an exhalent aerobic exerciser right in your living room. Daily re-bounding is a very effective way antidote the sluggish sedentary office work most of us do. It shakes up and moves the lymphatic system and reduces thread veins in the legs.
Eat a diet very low in mucus forming foods which clog the intestines and reduce the efficiency of the herbs. Mucus forming foods are:-
VERY HIGH - dairy (especially cows dairy as opposed to goats and sheep’s), hard cheeses are very mucus forming soft cheese like mozzarella are much less mucus forming. Plain yoghurt is not mucus forming.
QUITE HIGH – eggs, meats, fish, goat and sheep dairy foods, bread (wheat bread is much more mucus-forming than rye/spelt/kamut bread) and soya products.
- MEDIUM - all pulses/beans.
- LOW - all grains, vegetables, fruit and sprouts are totally non-mucous forming. The more processed a food the more mucous forming it will be. As a rough guide eat no more than two slices of bread daily, or equivalent of flour products. Eat dairy foods only two or three times per week if at all.
To put it simply fill yourself up on vegetables, pulses/lentils and moderate potions of whole grains like brown Basmati rice. Eat fish, small portions of meat (for office workers an appropriate portion size of meat is about the same size as a pack of playing cards), have no cheese except mozzarella and small amounts of goats or sheep’s cheese. You can eat as much yoghurt as you want, as long as it’s plain organic yoghurt made without added sugar, it’s actually recommended to include plain yoghurt in your diet to supplement the friendly bacteria. The benefits and advantages of eating pulses/lentils cannot be recommended strongly enough; they are high in protein, low in fat, contain sustaining low GI carbohydrates, are easy to digest (when properly cooked), they are a good source of fibre and minerals, and are as cheap-as-chips. Learn to cook them! The easiest and best ones to start with are the red (orange) lentils, they need no pre-soaking –just a good pre-rinse- and do not produce intestinal gas. On the vegetable front try literally doubling your vegetable intake, then maybe trebling it! Vegetables either raw or ‘just’ cooked are the main source of roughage or insoluble fibre. This indigestible fibre bulks up the bowels, producing soft and easy to pass bowel motions. This is the goal of this cleansing program. It is now known that this insoluble fibre significantly reduces your risk of bowel and breast cancer. A healthy non-vegetarian plate would have about 75% vegetables on it, 15% grains/carbohydrates, and 10% meat, fish or eggs. It would look like a vegetarian meal with a small portion of meat on the side. A vegetarian plate would be 60% vegetables, 10-15% grains/carbohydrates and 25-30% beans/pulses/lentils.
Traditionally, when this herbal cleanse was created it was not recommended to take probiotics at the same time; you would first clean the bowels and then repopulate with friendly bacteria afterwards. The concern was that the herbs would kill some of the bacteria in the probiotics. Today however our understanding of the properties of different bacteria, and the available probiotic preparations have advanced tremendously. The friendly bacteria L Salivarius and L Plantarum are very robust and capable of withstanding the effects of the herbs. In the bowels these bacteria naturally breakdown and eat up impacted stagnant material and therefore are the ideal choice to use during this program. Adding these bacteria to the program will speed up and assist the cleansing process, however the program does work without them if you want to reduce additional costs.
L Salivarius is the more powerful of the two.
I recommend New Chapter All-Flora and New Chapter Probiotic Support. Available from the Nutri Centre. Alternatively: NOW GR8-Dophillus or Natures Plus Ultra Probiotics.
Once you have been on the herbs for several weeks you can assist and speed up the hole process by having several colonics or even several causes of colonics say 3 once per week every two or three months. If this is too expensive just have one per month or every six weeks. A colonic efficiently washes out all the material that the herbs have softened, think of it like stripping paint the herbs soften and the colonic removes to reveal a new hard layer. The herbs are especially useful during colonics because they tone the bowel walls muscles and help it to reform its ideal shape.
Coffee Enemas (Optional)
To enhance the cleansing effect you can self-administer a weekly or twice weekly coffee enema. See coffee enemas in my self-help pages.
What Should I Expect?
For the first three weeks you generally get a welcome ease and increase in bowel motions, at this time you may need to vary the dosage often. After three weeks typically people will become bloated and constipated again. What is happening is that the herbs are releasing the top layer of mucus matter, which is easily dislodged, breaking away rapidly all at once causing congestion. You may notice the stools becoming sticky and containing stringy mucus. All this is a good sign and is simply dealt with by increasing the dosage of herbs, try say 2 with dinner and lunch or more if needed. This may last one to two weeks thereafter you are down to the harder material, this will come away in waves periodically causing constipation at which times you simply increase the dosage of herbs. With successful cleansing you will see dark black or grey material in the stool, this is old impacted mucus and food.
How to Test When You’ve Completed the Colon Cleanse
To fully cleanse the colon and correct muscle tone can take anything from six months to one and a half years. Every three months try drinking a glass of carrot juice with each meal for two days. This will stain all the new food as it passes through the intestines, any dark coloured patches or strips on the stool show that you are still eliminating old impacted material and need to continue. The cleansing process is completed when:-
1) You try the carrot juice test and the stool is a uniform colour, and
2) You can wean your self off the herbs and still maintain one easy bowel motion per day.
Now is the time that you should embark on vigorously impregnating the intestines with the healthy “friendly” bacteria (acidophillus and bifidofillus). To do this take Biocare acidophillus powder 1/3 teaspoon twice per day finishing two pots and then switch to Biocare bio-acidophillus capsules again two pots. You can continue to take bio-acidopillus at a maintenance dose of one capsule per day or several days per week on an ongoing basis and keep to a low mucus forming diet. You may want repeat the herbal cleans for a shorter time following a period of poor diet; for example you could take the herbs for a month after Christmas and new years overindulging, but please do not abuse the herbs to prop up a poor life style/diet.
For assistance performing this detox and an individualised treatment for digestive problems please call me or book an appointment.
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Be WellToday I primarily use nutritional medicine, cognitive hypnotherapy, NLP and Bicom therapy to treat mental, digestive and functional health problems like chronic fatigue and IBS.
I have extensive experience (both professional and personal) and several forthcoming books in nutritional approaches to balancing brain chemistry treating depression, bipolar syndrome and anxiety. You’ll be able to read the most of the contents of these books for free on my balancing brain chemistry site.
In 2013 I published my first book Sleep Better with Natural Therapies
I practice at the Hale Clinic (central London) as a holistic medical practitioner and have been in practice since 1988.
Over the years I’ve trained in Nutritional /naturopathic medicine, Cognitive Hypnotherapy and NLP, body-centred psychotherapy, Chinese herbal medicine, Acupuncture, Bicom resonance therapy, meditation and Kundalini yoga.
Today combine the above techniques for a mind-body approach to health. I see clients for mental health problems (depression, bipolar syndrome, anxiety, drug addiction), digestive health (IBS, bloating, candida, constipation), chronic fatigue, imbalances in blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines.
For a more information on my practice and a list of conditions I treat click here About My Practice
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