Do you live with anxiety, depressionconstipation, brain fog or IBS? Have you heard of cleaning out your colon to improve your health through colon hydrotherapy? Water cleans most anything, why not have water clean your colon too, right? Colon hydrotherapy may be one of the answers for you. In this article, we will discuss what colon hydrotherapy is, how it can help you and your health, along with its risks, and when to avoid. Our goal? For you to make the best choice for your health and to make an informed choice when selecting colon hydrotherapy.

What is Colon Hydrotherapy?

Colon hydrotherapy is a healing practice in which the colon (large intestine) is gently cleansed and irrigated by a stream of warm, filtered water. Colon hydrotherapy helps to remove dried fecal matter that can build up within the colon. Cleansing the colon in this way can help support regular bowel movements, rinse out toxins, and improve your intestinal health, as well as make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. Essentially colon hydrotherapy helps with having a clean colon.

Wondering why that is important to your health?

Why is Having a Clean Colon Important to Health?

A clean and healthy colon is important because gut health has such a dramatic impact on our overall health. The gut is where we absorb all the nutrition our bodies need to function. If we're not doing so, we can experience significant fatigue, difficulty functioning, or auto-intoxication. There is also a link between the gut and mental health. The same neurotransmitters found in our brain are also in our gut. Microbiome problems are often related to stress and can lead to depression or anxiety.

While healthy people generally don't need colon hydrotherapy in order to maintain a well-functioning gut, many people do struggle with poor gut health. The stress, poor diet, and exposure to toxins that goes hand-in-hand with modern life for many people has a strong negative impact on the gut and can lead to difficulty digesting food and expelling waste. While a colonic alone probably won't fix any gut issues, it can help support your digestive system, especially when coupled with diet and lifestyle changes.

How Colon Hydrotherapy Aims to Help the Colon Function

The basic idea of colon hydrotherapy is that a healthy gut is a key piece of a healthy body, and a gut that struggles to eliminate waste isn't going to be a healthy one. While many people have healthy, natural bowel movements that properly release waste from their bodies, some do not. Colon hydrotherapy aims to improve a wide range of health conditions and boost wellness by helping your body release any waste that may be stuck in a lower portion of the gut, or colon.

Many people, especially those struggling with constipation or gut-related problems, including gas, fatigue, bloating, candida overgrowth, IBS, bad breath, headaches or brain fog, find that colon hydrotherapy also improves their conditions and improves their overall wellness.

The Many Names of Colon Hydrotherapy

Although colon hydrotherapy is the main name this treatment is referred to as, it can also be called one of the following four names:

1. Colonic

2. Colonic hydrotherapy

3. Colon cleansing

4. Colon irrigation 

Are you thinking, well, so far colon therapy maybe something I should try out, but I don't know what to expect from a session? Worry no more. . .

What to Expect During a Colon Hydrotherapy

Here is some information on what to expect at a colon hydrotherapy session:

Who?: Colon hydrotherapy is performed by certified professionals, known as colon hydrotherapists.

How?: Warm water is gently infused into the colon, with the goal of rehydrating and releasing any waste or mucus that may be stuck to the walls of the colon.

How long?: Sessions usually last 45 minutes to an hour with your utmost privacy and safety in mind.

During a session, you lie on a table, while water is flushed gently into your rectum and colon. The water flows through a tube inserted into your anus called a speculum. Depending on the method of colon hydrotherapy used, you may be alone or with the colon hydrotherapist during your session. You always remain covered for the entire session.

2 Types of Colon Hydrotherapy

There are two methods of colon hydrotherapy - open and closed. Some people find that they are more comfortable with one method or the other.

1. Open Colon Hydrotherapy

During an open colon hydrotherapy session, you are provided with a speculum and are instructed by the colon hydrotherapist on how to gently and safely insert the speculum into your rectum. Water then flows through the rectal nozzle into your colon. When you feel ready to release, you push out the water along with the waste, which flows around the nozzle into an open trough at the end of the table.

You may be alone for part of the session. However, the therapist will check on you periodically and make sure you are comfortable. Consequently, open colon hydrotherapy is considered a more private experience.

2. Closed Colon Hydrotherapy

Closed colon hydrotherapy is similar, but uses a larger speculum. The speculum is designed so that any waste that comes out of your colon flows into and through the speculum, rather than around it, into a closed outflow tube, through the instrument, and into the waste system. A separate inflow tube is attached to the side of the speculum. Once the speculum is inserted, the therapist remains in the room with you for the entire session and controls the instrument temperature and rate of water flow.

Once you understand the differences and similarities between the two types of colon hydrotherapy, you might find yourself asking: What should I do to prepare for a colon hydrotherapy session?

Timetable for Preparing for a Colon Hydrotherapy Session

Here is a timetable of what you should do in preparation for a colon hydrotherapy session:

24 hours before: Drink lots of water.

24 hours: Eat a lot of greens.

24 hours before: Avoid alcohol, processed foods, and rich and heavy foods.

2 hours before: Do not eat any food for at least two hours prior to a hydrotherapy session.

1 hour before: Water may be consumed up to an hour before a session.

Because colon hydrotherapy can be dehydrating, it is important to drink plenty of water both before and after your session.

Now how about if we dive into the benefits of choosing colon hydrotherapy?

6 Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy

Colon hydrotherapy works by rehydrating and flushing out dried, impacted feces from the inside of the colon. This unblocks your colon, allowing for natural bowel movements, which help your body to properly eliminate waste and toxins once again. Because of this, a colon hydrotherapy session can yield many benefits. The Washington Health Department conducted a review of colon hydrotherapy and colon hydrotherapists. Here is a list of benefits that were found:

1. Indigestion: A decrease in indigestion

2. Bowel function: An assessment of the level of bowel function and higher functioning of the bowel system.

3. Constipation: A reduction in the level of constipation. 

4. Wellness: A boost in overall health. 

5. Gut health: Improved functioning of gut health. 

6. Toxins: Removal of toxins leading to a reduction in chronic inflammatory disease.

There are four other benefits of colon hydrotherapy: They are benefits that interconnect to gut health, goals for detoxification, weight loss, and mental and emotional well being. Let's take a deeper look at how colon hydrotherapy can be helpful in these four areas.

1. Colon Hydrotherapy and its Impact on Gut health and Constipation

Colon hydrotherapy can be an effective treatment for constipation or difficulty having a bowel movement. If you are struggling with constipation, especially constipation that hasn't responded to other treatment approaches, colon hydrotherapy can often help clear out blockages that are getting in the way. Colon hydrotherapy can also actually strengthen the muscles of your colon, making it easier to have a natural bowel movement once constipation has been passed.

Likewise, many people have found that other gut problems, such as IBS, gas, or bloating, can be improved by colon hydrotherapy. Because gut health can even impact tension and stiffness in the body, some patients have also experienced relief from back pain after a colon hydrotherapy session.

2. Colon Hydrotherapy is not Weight loss Miracle

Two questions are frequently asked when people who are weight conscious ask when they look into colon hydrotherapy:

1. Does colon hydrotherapy help lose weight? 

2. Can a colonic flatten your stomach?

Here is what you need to know in regard to these two questions. Doing a colon hydrotherapy session or more than one session for weight loss will not result in a miracle of instant loss of weight. However, this is what it can do for those seeking to lose those few extra few pounds - It removes impacted feces stuck in the colon and making it easier for some people to have bowel movements, colon hydrotherapy can help clear out your gut. This can remove weight gain caused by constipation.

3. Colon Hydrotherapy and its Role on Detoxification

Some people also use colon hydrotherapy to detoxify their bodies. While this has not been the subject of significant scientific study, many have found the process to improve their sense of well-being. Patients also have reported experiencing clearer skin and eyes, an increase in energy, and better circulation.

4. How Colon Hydrotherapy can Help with Mental and Emotional Health

Gut health can also have a profound impact on mental and emotional health. Gut issues can lead to trouble thinking and brain fog, as well as anxiety and depression. Supporting the gut, especially the proper elimination of waste, can improve such symptoms. Some people have also found colon hydrotherapy to promote feelings of emotional cleansing and release.

Those are the benefits of colon hydrotherapy, but what about safety? Can colon hydrotherapy be harmful? Is colon hydrotherapy dangerous? Let's find out what the answer to these two questions is...

2 Factors to Safety for Hydrotherapy

Both open and closed methods of hydrotherapy are safe and effective when with the two factors in place:

1. Hydrotherapists: Properly trained and certified

2. Equipment: Sterile, disposable, and FDA approved equipment 

3. Water: Filtered water 

Want to ensure that these three safety aspects are in place prior to making your appointment and during your hydro colon session?

Ask what kind of water is used and look for signs that what is stated as being used can also be verified. You could even go as far as asking to see the water filters that are used.

When it's being presented for your session, always make sure that the colon hydrotherapist opens the brand new speculum in your presence.

13 Times Colon Hydrotherapy Should be Avoided

If you have serious bowel or intestinal health conditions, such as colon cancer or ulcerative colitis, colon hydrotherapy can be dangerous. The FDA recommends that if you have one of the following conditions that colon hydrotherapy be avoided:

1. Hypertension

2. Congestive heart failure 

3. Aneurysm

4. Severe anemia

5. Gastrointestinal hemorrhage or perforation

6. Severe hemorrhoids 

7. Renal insufficiency 

8. Cirrhosis carcinoma of the colon

9. Fissures 

10. Crohn's disease

11. Abdominal hernia 

12. Recent colon surgery

13. Pregnancy (Particularly the 1st and 3rd trimesters)

Experts suggest that you check with your doctor and speak with your colon hydrotherapist about any health conditions you may have before beginning treatment.

Some people find themselves asking: What are the side effects of colon hydrotherapy? If you find yourself asking the same question, let's find out about other side effects you should be aware of before you decipher that a colon hydrotherapy session is right for you . . .

The Possibility of Excessive Water Absorption and 7 Risks of Colon Hydrotherapy

If during a colon hydrotherapy session, it is not properly completed, the following was documented through the Washington Department of Health:

If multiple colon hydrotherapy sessions are done especially in a short period of time, a large amount of water, more than is safe, can be absorbed into a person's bloodstream. This can lead to the following risks being a possibility:

1. Electrolyte imbalances in the blood

2. Nausea

3. Vomiting

4. Heart failure

5. Fluid in the lungs

6. Abnormal heart rhythms

7. Coma

3 Other Colon Hydrotherapy Complications

1. Bowel perforation: This is a rare complication, however when it does get immediate medical assistance. 

2. Infection: This usually is a complication that happens because the equipment and materials used are not properly cleaned or is not FDA-approved.

3. Death: Unfortunately deaths have been reported after a colon hydrotherapy session. It is vital to communicate with both your doctor and the hydrotherapist before doing colon hydrotherapy. 

Now that you know both the benefits and the potential risks of colon hydrotherapy, is it the right choice you and your health? Let's take a closer look . . .

Is Colon Hydrotherapy the Right Choice for You?

When deciding if colon hydrotherapy is the right choice for you, there are three factors to consider:

1. Gut health: Do you live with gut issues or conditions? Might colon hydrotherapy help alleviate the gut issues that you are experiencing? 

2. Side effects: Do you also live with any of the 13 stated conditions above where colon hydrotherapy should be avoided? 

3. Comfort level: How do you feel about colon hydrotherapy now that you have educated yourself on the practice?

After answering these questions and three factors, the extra step you can take is talking to your physician about colon hydrotherapy so you can check in about your personal health and how your wellness level may or may not benefit or be a good fit for colon hydrotherapy.

The following experts reviewed and contributed to this article:

Dawn L. Cannon, MD, MS, an adult primary care and preventive medicine physician.

Suzanne Gray, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist & Licensed Massage Therapist

Find a Colon Hydrotherapist near you

There are hundreds of talented Colon Hydrotherapists on!


Colon Hydrotherapist Sunrise - Home: Washington State ... (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2018, from