Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Colonic therapy: panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Colonic therapy – also known as colonic irrigation, colonic hydrotherapy or a high enema – is…

The available evidence shows colonic therapy is neither safe nor effective. MoHotta18

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines.

Colonic therapy – also known as colonic irrigation, colonic hydrotherapy or a high enema – is an alternative therapy which allegedly helps remove toxins and waste from the bowel (or colon).

The process involves pumping large volumes of fluids into the colon via tubes inserted into the rectum. The fluids can be water or water infused with herbs or enzymes. Some even swear by coffee enemas as a health cure-all.

Early colonic therapy

Historically, colonic therapy was based on the ancient theory of autointoxication – that intestinal waste products from incomplete digestion could poison the body and therefore cause disease.

The theory can be traced back to the medicine of most ancient cultures. In the west, humoral medicine came from the idea that all diseases were caused by the imbalance of the four body humors; conversely, health constituted a balanced mix of these humors. Waste products formed in the intestinal tract were thought to be a major potential contributor to humoral imbalance. In fact, both Hippocrates and later Galen viewed autointoxication as a major etiologic factor of disease.

In the 19th century, autointoxication was an imperative doctrine of medicine. And by the turn of the century, there appeared to be some possible scientific backing. Elie Metchikoff, who received the 1908 Nobel Prize for his theory on phagocytosis, proposed that “chronic poisoning by intestinal microbes weakens our cellular elements… and might provoke senile phenomena”.

When it became clear that the scientific rationale was wrong and colonic irrigation was not merely useless but also potentially dangerous, it was exposed as quackery and subsequently went into decline.

There has been some recent resurgence of colonic irrigation. But even today’s experts on colonic irrigation can only provide theories and anecdotes in its support.

Claims versus evidence

Practitioners and supporters of colonic therapy variously claim the procedure can detoxify the body, boost the immune system and prevent or alleviate a range of health problems.

But the human body rarely needs such assistance. The digestive system is cleverly designed to absorb nutrients from foods and pass remaining waste material out of the body. It also has the capacity to expel toxins, illness-causing microorganisms and foreign substances.

A systematic review of the scientific literature found there is no evidence to support the use of colonic therapy for general health promotion or maintenance. The 2010 review examined published literature of both the traditional and complementary and alternative medicine arenas.

There are, however, multiple case reports of harmful effects from colonic therapy. Mild side effects reported following colonic irrigation include cramping, bloating, nausea and local discomfort or pain.

Serious adverse effects have included infection, bowel perforation, air embolism and electrolyte imbalances. Such complications require medical or surgical intervention, and indeed fatalities have also been documented. People with a history of gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease may be at higher risk of these adverse effects.

Colonic therapy and cancer

Controversially, colonic therapy has also been used as part of alternative cancer treatment programs such as Gerson therapy.

Apart from the lack of efficacy and potential risks of colonic irrigation, medical professionals are concerned that people with symptoms or a diagnosis of cancer who are attracted to these alternative therapies may delay seeking appropriate medical advice or treatment. Bowel cancer, for instance, is successfully treated in about 90% of cases if it is diagnosed and managed early. Delay in seeking effective treatment can be a fatal mistake.

More recently, colonic irrigation has also been promoted as an alternative cleansing preparation for colonoscopy – a medical procedure which examines the lining of the bowel for abnormalities such as polyps and cancer.

As colonic irrigation is performed through the anus, it will not necessarily clean the upper colon adequately. And without adequate cleansing, a perfect view of the bowel cannot be obtained at colonoscopy, running the risk of missing potentially important pathology.

Bowel cleansing before colonoscopies currently involves dietary modification and the use of a laxative or bowel preparation medication. A number of these medications are available, so there is no place for colonic irrigation as an alternative to current medical practice in Australia.

What about the idea that food waste accumulates in the colon?

The respected American Cancer Society has determined that the “available scientific evidence does not support the premise that toxins accumulate on intestinal walls or that toxicity results from poor elimination of waste from the colon”. And Bowel Cancer Australia, a national organisation dedicated to reducing the impact of bowel cancer in the community, agrees.

So it’s clear that despite colonic irrigation’s long history, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that it improves health. There are, however, many reasons to avoid the procedure.

Read the other instalment of panacea or placebo:

Sign in to Favourite

Join the conversation

49 Comments sorted by

  1. Luke Weston

    Physicist / electronic engineer

    As with a great deal of "alternative" medicine, colonic irrigation seems to be based around "pseudotoxicology" - the pseudoscience of vague, unscientific fear and claims about ill-defined and ill-definable "toxins" and "chemicals".

    report
  2. Tim Scanlon

    Debunker

    Who'd have thought that colonics would be based on crap science.

    report
  3. Sue Ieraci

    Public hospital clinician

    Yet another example of an ancient idea that turned out to be - wrong.

    I suspect that neither Hippocrates not Galen, in possession of the knowledge and evidence we have today, would still subscribe to these theories. Why do 21st century people still hold to them, despite all the evidence?

    report
    1. Leo Kerr

      Consultant

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Why do 21st century people still hold on to God, despite a complete lack of evidence?

      report
  4. Laurie Willberg

    Journalist

    There isn't enough "evidence" one way or the other so it's up to individuals to make decisions based on the available information.
    Colonoscopies are hardly without risk either, and after assessing the risks, many individuals refuse to have them.
    The American Cancer Society is largely a mouthpiece for mainstream cancer treatment and largely exists for the purpose of self-perpetuation.

    report
    1. Andreas Jacques

      Manager

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      It's a bit disingenuous to claim some sort of therapeutic equipoise when there isn't even a plausible mechanism as to why this sort of thing would work.

      If you want to talk about evidence, surely the burden of proof is on the person who wants to stick a rubber tube up someones back passage and fill them full of copious amounts of fluid??

      report
    2. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Andreas Jacques

      Exactly what kind of "plausible mechanism" are you looking for?
      From what I gather, it's about a quart of fluid, so whether or not that qualifies as "copious" is debateable. Moreover, have you any idea about how many enemas are performed in hospitals, etc. so I guess there's no "plausible" reason for that either?

      report
    3. Andreas Jacques

      Manager

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      If you are constipated, an enema might actually do something. Colonically irrigating someone who is not constipated to "cleanse toxins" is significantly more vague.

      I think the history of the procedure is fascinating and the link by Edward below sheds some light on why belief in the practice persists.

      report
    4. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Andreas Jacques

      So the colon may not harbor "toxins"? Is that your excuse for not washing your hands after visiting the toilet? I think you'd have a hard time convincing anyone of that, most of all researchers. You'll find that people who have colonic irrigation (substitute "enema", because that's what it is) usually have issues with constipation and it has an obviously beneficial effect. The perceptual problem of those who have an issue with the practice seems to stem from it not being done in a hospital upon the…

      Read more
    5. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      A simple tutorial for Laurie Willberg: why we wash our hands after the toilet:

      The lower colon and rectum harbour faeces, which contain a range of bacteria (not toxic - "healthy bacteria"). These bacteria, however, are not "healthy" if introduced into the upper GI tract (mouth).

      In general, it is not hygienic to mix upper and lower GI contents. Does that help?

      report
    6. Andreas Jacques

      Manager

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      Hi Laurie - see Sue's helpful tutorial explaining that the location of a bug determines it toxicity rather than them being a priori toxic/non-toxic.

      "Is there some underlying rationale for not wishing to have a clean colon".
      First, you haven't provided any evidence that my colon is not clean (see Sue's tutorial), therefore you need to convince me why I should wash it out.

      We collect bacteria and grime on our skin throughout the day that a shower will not remove, in the same vein as colonics, do you also recommend similarly eliminating skin toxins by having a bath in a dilute bleach solution each night?

      report
    7. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Andreas Jacques

      You still have not answered my question regarding your quest for a "plausible mechanism".
      Much of the bacteria "collected" on your skin is bacteria from within your own body. Our bodies are composed of about 10 trillion cells and are host to 100 trillion bacteria.
      Frankly I'm not interested in your colon or your state of health/disease. In fact, I'm not advocating "for" or "against" colonics either.
      This article seems to be just another in a ludicrous series taking pot shots at alternative…

      Read more
    8. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      We are all gratified that you know why we wash our hands after using the toilet. Now if we can just get hospital clinicians to wash their hands between patients to avoid spreading pathogens I'll be even more gratified.

      report
    9. Andreas Jacques

      Manager

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      Plausible mechanism:

      To decide whether to test a theory, a decision must be made on what is worth testing and what is not. The reason why no one will do a trial of my "dunk yourself in bleach every night" idea is because there is no way to explain why that might be beneficial. In contrast, Barry Marshall's theory that a bacteria can cause a stomach ulcer, is plausible as helicobacter can cause stomach mucosal damage that then leads to ulcer.

      Colonics doesn't have any specific plausible theory…

      Read more
    10. Andreas Jacques

      Manager

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      Sure it is easy to find examples in health where the evidence is slim or non-existent, but to extrapolate from that and say the evidence base for medicine is no different from CAM is completely false.

      Colonoscopy is diagnostic (and can be therapeutic if you look it up) and trials are done to see whether certain regimes of screening 1) are safe and 2) are effective in reducing the incidence of bowel cancer.

      I understand that proponents of CAM sometimes feel attacked because the evidence for their procedures is weak, but claiming some equivalence between CAM and medicine is just completely unjustifiable.

      There is no doubt some benefit for some people with CAM and I think you would do better to try and explain it by virtue of the unique characteristics of CAM rather than trying to attack medicine to bring it down to the level of CAM on the evidence front.

      report
    11. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Andreas Jacques

      The dunk-yourself-in-bleach theory is what mainstream medicine does with chemotherapy. Like I said, poison/burn/cut.
      Why do you assume that an enema has a "plausible mechanism" and colonics don't? I think you're being rather obtuse about this. Whether it has any other therapeutic value or not hasn't been the subject of enough research, and we're a long way from knowing everything there is to know about biology, physiology etc.
      If you look up the harm that can be done by chemical laxatives like PEG used prior to colonoscopies and other substances that can cause kidney damage etc. you're simply applying a double standard to non-mainstream procedures.
      Colonoscopies are not "therapeutic" they're diagnostic. A polypectomy is therapeutic, however the CAM approach is to determine what's causing the polyps rather than just cutting them off when they appear.

      report
    12. Tim Scanlon

      Debunker

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      Laurie, you have a particularly twisted world view.

      You cite chemotherapy but omit all the targeted therapies, like key hole surgery and site injection. Even in cancer treatment there are site specific treatments using focussed radiation waves.

      Yet you defend CAM, a modality that is yet to prove that it works with any scientific evidence. This modality doesn't identify anything, because you can use a placebo and get just as much benefit.

      report
    13. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      You'll be happy to know that this hospital clinician already does.

      Now, if we can just get journalists to be objective in their reporting...

      report
    14. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      Laurie Willberg is wrong yet again.

      You appear to have confused Polyethylene Glycol (PEG, benign bowel prep), with Ethylene Glycol (antifreeze - highly toxic).

      PEG is used for bowel prep prior to colonscopy or bowel surgery because it is both isotonic (the same sodium concentration as plasma) and iso-osmotic (the same osmotic pressure as plasma) - so it literally washes out the gut, being neither absorbed nor causing excretion of body fluids into the gut.

      The only possible way it could cause kidney problems would be through dehydration - which is more of a problem with "colonics". And, while colonics are instilled rectally through a hose (thereby risking bowel perforation), bowel prep like PEG is ingested by mouth (no such risk).

      Laurie Willberg - if you don't know about something, there is no shame in asking others who do know. Isn't that what journalists do?

      report
    15. will bayley

      holistic health care

      In reply to Andreas Jacques

      medical people are amazing for some strange reason they think that their science is faultless if that is the case why are there 55000 deaths and irrepairibly damaged people that put faith in drug therapies in australia in one twelve month period look up the NSW legal institution figures on damage done by medicine
      unless most people dont know every drug has been given a patent is toxic poison with multiple side effects
      there has never been a double blind trial done on any combination of two or…

      Read more
    16. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to will bayley

      Will Bayley - on what basis do you use "oxygen alkalised water colonic irrigation "?

      What is its pH? Is it isotonic and iso-osmotic with plasma? IF not, how do you prevent fluid exchanges across the gut mucosa?

      DO you audit your outcomes? You say "I have carried out over 5000 colonics in the past 30 years with no problems " How do you assess for "problems"? DO you do follow-ups? What do you measure?

      What is your training in GI anatomy, physiology and pathology?

      Have you ever missed a bowel cancer? How would you know if you did?

      report
  5. Julie Tyler

    logged in via Twitter

    Another article that fails to connect the dots with regard to good bowel health and perpetuates the myth that what comes OUT of the body or more specifically, what DOESN'T COME OUT isn't worth investigating.
    Because this profession has not had the money to have been able to get a large study mounted showing the physiological benefits of cleansing the body with the colon playing an important role, and more importantly having gotten that study published in JAMA, (even though there are multiple, disparate…

    Read more
    1. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Julie Tyler

      Julie Tyler - how many patients have you treated, with what results? Have you ever done a colonoscopy? treated a bowel cancer patient? Screened for bowel cancer?

      "Have you ever even spoken to GIs who are using colonics successfully to prep the bowel for colonoscopy? "

      Spoken to GI's? Julie Tyler, Graham Newstead would no doubt have performed thousands of colonoscopies, always using bowel prep - not to remove "toxins" but just to be able to see the bowel wall.

      You are lecturing a prominent GI surgeon in such arrogant terms on the basis of what knowledge, experience and outcomes?

      report
    2. Andreas Jacques

      Manager

      In reply to Julie Tyler

      I find the often contradictory discourse in CAM/'natural' medicine to be very interesting.

      For example, one common theme is that antibiotics destroy the bodies natural good bacteria and therefore are an evil foisted on us by big pharma. But then the counternarrative is evident here where our own bacteria are "toxic" and must be flushed out.

      The other favourite is that medicine is only driven by money and vested interests, so of course they would want to crush the small guy just peddling his wares helping those suffering from a variety of diseases.

      In broadbrush strokes CAM is subject to very similar conditions, the homeopath or naturopath who acts as their own pharmacist and therefore directly profits from whatever drug they recommend. Or the colonic irrigator who has an interest in perpetuating the therapy because they own the facilities and the equipment that allows them to derive an income.

      report
    3. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Andreas Jacques

      There is no issue that antibiotics have been overprescribed and this has lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibiotics destroy non-pathogenic (good) bacteria as well as pathogenic bacteria -- which are always present but don't cause a problem until they over-populate. Do some research on Biofilms.
      Also do some research on fecal transplants esp. regarding C. difficile infections for which antibiotics are useless.
      Yup, there's a turf war between CAM and conventional and it's being perpetuated by articles like this. The rationale is always the same: trying to hold CAM to a higher standard than is utilized in conventional.
      CAM is largely focussed on prevention or the restoration of normal function. Conventional still revolves around the poison/cut/burn philosophy with tons of "diagnostic" testing (hugely expensive), overdiagnosis, and the superficial suppression of symptoms only.

      report
    4. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      Lots more fallacies there again, Laurie Willberg.

      "Antibiotics destroy non-pathogenic (good) bacteria as well as pathogenic bacteria." Partially true - they only kill the organisms that are sensitive to them. Colonic irrigation, OTOH, flushes out ALL the organisms, good and bad, does it not (or do the "good" ones happen to be able to swim fast up-river?)

      "Yup, there's a turf war between CAM and conventional and it's being perpetuated by articles like this." No - there is effective medicine…

      Read more
    5. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Your notion that antibiotics "only kill the organisms that are sensitive to them" is completely false.
      For someone who continues to protest that they don't belong to a skeptic cult the language and tone of your posts is a dead giveaway -- if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's likely a duck. Your obsession regarding Homeopathy, which has absolutely nothing to do with colonics and of which you know virtually nothing, is also indicative.
      Yes, the focus of CAM is to restore normal…

      Read more
    6. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      LOL again,. Laurie Willberg. "Your notion that antibiotics "only kill the organisms that are sensitive to them" is completely false. "

      Do you know what antibiotic sensitivity means? It means that an organism that is not "sensitive"' to a particular antibiotic will not be killed by it. That's why we culture the bugs on an agar plate in the lab, and expose them to a range of antibiotics. If the organism is not sensitive to that particular antibiotic, we change it. Does that help clarify?

      And…

      Read more
    7. will bayley

      holistic health care

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Sue you are lost in space and over awed by your single minded knowledge of poor practice keeping people healthy
      go back to my previous post it explains how I save my own life by getting completley away from toxic poisons namely drug therapy
      and grasping best practice cleansing and diet therapies as said iny last post I am 66 never touched any toxic drug in 33 years and in perfect condition I have has over fifty irrigations and take floracor-g1 to re-establish microflora recolonization and inhibit pathogenic organisms
      why people criticize something they have 100% no knowledge or experience of shows a shallow narrow minded outlook anything other than your own modality which is far from perfect
      Will bayley perth

      report
    8. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to will bayley

      will bayley - you are responding to a post where I corrected laurie willberg's knowledge about antibiotic sensitivity. DO you have something to add there?

      IN terms of colonic irrigation - read the original article, by a medical specialist who has treated countless patients. He definitely does not have "no knowledge" in this area. Is he "lost in space" too?

      report
    9. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to will bayley

      Each year over 14 million healthy Americans are getting screened for colon cancer. Of these, according to the report “Complications of Colonoscopy in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System” by the Annals of Internal Medicine, an estimated 70,000 (0.5%) are killed or injured by colonoscopy-related complications. This figure is higher than the total number of annual deaths from colon cancer itself, 22% higher.

      Sue tends to become rather sanctimonious whenever someone supports a non-mainstream procedure while completely ignoring the risks of mainstream practises.

      As far as antibiotic treatments go, nobody's GP takes cultures from their patient to send to a lab before writing a prescription... Most of the time the GP is guessing whether it's bacterial or fungal. If s/he's wrong first time around they write a prescription for the "other one" on the next visit (of course neglecting to tell the patient they goofed first time around because we can't have that, can we?)

      report
    10. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      Laurie still doesn't know how antibiotic prescribing works - it doesn't require a culture to be taken in every case - but a knowledge of the general antibiotic sensitivities in one's local area of practice.

      Nonetheless, Laurie, cultures are frequently done in Australian medical practice - for example, urine samples to detect urinary tract infections. The majority of the time, the differential diagnosis is not bacterial vs fungal, as Laurie again wrongly states, but either between various bacteria…

      Read more
    11. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Well Sue your contentions might work with uneducated or unsophisticated patients but as usual you misrepresent the true picture. Most GPs employ guesswork combined with a drug compendium. You also either don't know about antibiotic resistance and biofilms and like to turn a blind eye to the problems patients have with recurring infections.
      Very often the difference in diagnosis is bacterial vs. fungal, so I pity any patient you may have who has suffered as a result of your incompetence, and hope…

      Read more
    12. Andreas Jacques

      Manager

      In reply to will bayley

      Oh I agree completely with your reasoning Will - my grandfather smoked a pack a day and lived until he was 99. He was living proof that cigarettes don't do you any harm.

      report
    13. Andreas Jacques

      Manager

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      When you clearly don't have a grasp on medical topics you should at least have some humility instead of making arrogant and false assertions e.g. saying "very often" diagnosis involves distinguishing between bacteria and fungus. Plain wrong.

      I can also see that you have never actually read the Annals article that you quote, or you would know that 95% of the serious complications were in patients that had not just a colonoscopy, but also a biopsy or a polypectomy. This data can in no way be used to talk about colonoscopy in general.

      It seems highly likely that you are just regurgitating numbers to suit your argument without actually bothering to understand them.

      report
    14. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      Very amusing, Laurie Willberg - the more your errors are corrected, the more shrill you become.

      Please list the conditions in which "the difference in diagnosis is bacterial vs. fungal", and demonstrate how you concluded that these situations occur "very often".

      I have already outlined how you misunderstood the paper you linked to.

      A piece of advice - it would be best to stop commenting about the behaviour of GPs - especially using the absolutes "all" or "none", as you clearly have no idea.

      report
    15. Laurie Willberg

      Journalist

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      It would be helpful if you listed the difference in diagnosis to indicate that you actually know how to prescribe. If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.
      You have an issue with chronic denial of information that does not agree with your opinions which are actually pretty easy to deconstruct. Anyone who would attack colonic irrigation which is pretty much the same as an enema (kits easily available at any drugstore, but that's okay in your view) really should get a life if nothing else. Your backup position is the supposed appeal to authority of the author of this article and to personally mock anyone who disagrees with you. Pretty lame, Sue.

      report
    16. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Laurie Willberg

      OK - so you don't know about all those conditions where you say "the difference in diagnosis is bacterial vs. fungal"?

      Thought so.

      report
  6. Peter Reefman

    Project Manager

    Additionally, there is the dimension of the billions of micro-organisms that inhabit our gastro-intestinal tract, with growing awareness of the beneficial, and in some cases crucial contribution to our health and well-being these "friends" provide. Having a "detox" that would eliminate a significant percentage of these health-providing organisms needs to be part of a wider judgement process that assesses risks and downside versus the expected benefits.

    Likewise, we should exercise caution when…

    Read more
  7. Edward John Fearn

    Hypnotherapist and Naturopath

    While I would not normally recommend Colonic treatments, I respect the right of those who choose to have this type of therapy as long as they are made aware of risks and possible complications that may arise.

    Here is some good advice from the Mayo Clinic for those planning to undergo colonic cleansing:
    “If you choose to try colon cleansing, take these precautions
    Check with your conventional medical providers first, especially if you take any medications or have any health problems.
    Make…

    Read more
    1. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Edward John Fearn

      I don't think Graham Newstead has stated that it should be illegal - just that it is potentially dangerous, based on a flawed theory, and doesn't work.

      Prof Newstead has provided the '"available information".People can, and do, make the choice fo themselves - in spite of the available information.

      It seems ironic that pharmaceutical manufacturers and prescribers are pilloried for continuing to make or use a medication that doesn't work but has significant risk, and yet, in the "CAM" world, this is lauded.

      Vioxx was beneficial for many people, carried a lower rate of gastric side-effects than the conventional NSAIDs, and did not cause heart attacks in those hwo had no other risk factors. SHould it go back on the market so that people can make the choice for themselves, with the available information?

      report
    2. Edward John Fearn

      Hypnotherapist and Naturopath

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Hi Sue
      As I stated earlier colonic cleansing is not something I would be likely to recommend. Ultimately it is a treatment for constipation and there are much better ways of addressing this condition without the adverse risks. Dietary changes and other less invasive measures would be greatly preferred.
      I would agree in principle that rofecoxib be made available in limited cases, possibly as a treatment option in younger people with early onset rheumatoid arthritis. It is also interesting however…

      Read more
    3. Edward John Fearn

      Hypnotherapist and Naturopath

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      I think it’s also important to note that the chief educational body in Australia for colonic lavage therapy “The Australian Collage of Colon Therapy” only offers the diploma course and relevant certification as colon therapists, to Registered Nurses. “The Australian Association of Colon Therapists” is the relevant association for graduates of the collage. The majority of colon therapists in Australia would also appear to be registered nurses.
      http://www.colonhealth.com.au/college.htm

      report
    4. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Edward John Fearn

      WOW - most colonic therapists "are registered nurses? Is AHPRA aware of this?

      (I assume "collage"was a typo - not a freudian slip)

      report
    5. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Edward John Fearn

      Sound advice, Edward.

      I was interested to follow your link to the "colonhealth" website. Did you know that they use just water - not isotonic fluid? What do you think of their methods.

      I was also interested to see that the originator of the business, who is described as a registered nurse, is not on the AHPRA register. Perhaps she uses another name.

      report
    6. Edward John Fearn

      Hypnotherapist and Naturopath

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Thanks Sue
      It was a Freudian slip I’m afraid, if there was in reality “a collage of colon therapy” I am not sure that I would really want to see it.
      A number of colonic therapists do list their AHPRA details on their websites, however I have no further information on the other person in question.
      Yes, an important point you make on the use of plain water in colonic irrigation. I don’t really know why there is such an aversion to using isotonic fluid?
      “The introduction of water used in a colonic irrigation can cause blood isotonic issues, where the process of osmosis means at essential salts are drawn from the blood into the intestine which is why the use of isotonic fluids is recommended”.
      A large number of colonic irrigation websites site the following small study in respect to this issue.
      http://www.gpact.org/electrolytes.php

      report
  8. Angela Rowland

    logged in via Facebook

    I was a bit saddened to read the seemingly hostile comments shared between conversationalist below, but endeavored to read them all as I am trying to weigh up the risks of colonics, after it was suggested as a possible remedy to my friend who has a double protozoa parasitic infection that was obtained while traveling in developing countries.

    She has already tried every available antibiotic for the treatment of her parasites (over the course of a year, over 9 weeks on different repeats, including…

    Read more