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Notes from Your Colon Hydrotherapist

Cleansing Reactions & Strategies
by Shelia Shea

What happens after the colon hydrotherapy session?  How do you feel physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually?  What are the feelings and states of people who have gone through a series of colon hydrotherapy sessions.  I believe everyone’s response is unique just like their DNA.  Most people feel much better after a session.  Clients say they think more clearly, feel more uplifted, and enjoy working out more.  A few clients have a cleansing reaction.  This article will address some of the signs of cleansing as well as other benefits of colon hydrotherapy sessions.


According to Michael Cronin, ND, president of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, one of the major benefits of colon hydrotherapy is hydration.  He stressed the importance of hydration in colon hydrotherapy sessions.  Dr. Cronin recognizes dehydration as a serious condition.  The vast majority of clients I see suffer from dehydration.  One major cleansing premise is to hydrate what is dehydrated and eliminate it from the body.  Certain herbs and diets promote this process when taken with high fluids and colon hydrotherapy sessions.

Anyone who has waste dehydrated in their system might go through some internal changes after colon hydrotherapy sessions. When the waste hydrates, much of it can be toxic.  It contains acids, undigested matter, and parasites.  These toxins begin circulating through the system.  People can feel the corresponding symptoms related to whatever toxins are present.  A few practices can help you through this such as keeping your fluids high to dilute the toxins.  Some clients feel a dietary disequilibrium in the cleansing transition.  Eating and drinking natural foods assists in stirring up waste and can cause more gas and bloat until the system is sufficiently cleansed.  Remember, dehydrated wastes swells.

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During the colon hydrotherapy process some people may loosen up more toxins than they eliminate.  They might develop a headache, feel nauseous, or have low energy.  Some people have had these patterns before the colon hydrotherapy sessions and they are retracing  through symptoms.  Nausea and headaches may also be signs of liver cleansing.  Headaches indicate that toxins are in the bloodstream and circulating in the brain.  Drinking plenty of fluids, taking a small amount of bentonite, and resting can help through this stage.  Chlorophyll and blood-cleansing herbs are indicated.  Ginger is good for nausea.  The client might even consider doing another colon hydrotherapy or an enema to keep the toxins moving out.  Cleansing does go faster when fasting is taking place during colon hydrotherapy.

One major cleansing premise is to hydrate what is dehydrated and eliminate it from the body.


Skin problems can come up, reoccur, or be exacerbated with colon hydrotherapy.  Skin is a major organ of elimination.  Some people will cleanse through their skin if toxins are not cleansing quickly enough from the intestines. Skin problems can indicate a difficult transit in the intestines.  I have observed on barium X-rays many cases of extra intestines, and coiled or looped intestines.  Add to that the possibly enlarged small intestine and / or weak abdominal tissue. 

The colon hydrotherapy session helps to restore, rehabilitate, and reposition the muscles as well as get the waste moving out.

Skin problems can also be a result of subtle hormonal changes.  Some skin conditions reoccur after a number of colon hydrotherapy sessions have gotten the cleansing process to a deeper layer.  A client of 84 years had a reoccurrence of shingles after receiving a number of sessions.  It was ready for elimination.  She fasted through it, the pain passes, she lost 15 needed pounds, and her skin returned to normal.

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For those who have sensitive mucous membranes  and skin around the anus.  It can be due to amounts of acids for the tissues and organs,  especially the liver, being eliminated in the cleansing process.  They are hot and toxic.  People can feel the heat passing out of them.  Sometimes the skin in the anal area becomes red.  Acids result from the breakdown of proteins, and bacterial by-products.  It is important to keep on hand a comfrey salve that might include calendula, golden seal, chickweed, aloe, vitamin E, olive or almond oil.  This can be used regularly to massage the inflamed areas until the skin returns to normal.

Internally, the following practices are helpful.  Use blood cleansing herbs such as chaparral, good also for intestinal inflammation.  Use demulcent or soothing herbs to soothe the inflamed tissue like comfrey, slippery elm, and marshmallow.  Drink vegetable juices with a high chlorophyll content to help neutralize the acids in the blood stream.  Take large doses of the micro-nutrients: marine algae, blue-green algae, and cereal grasses (Barley Green is a popular one) to fortify the body, help build new blood, feed the organs, and energize the cells.  If the situation is severe or the discomfort is prolonged, it is appropriate to slow the cleansing down.  Cut back on herbal doses and modify the fast or diet.


Some clients report they feel fatigue after the session.  When the body is full of toxins, many of our major internal systems such as nervous, immune, and endocrine are assaulted.  When those toxins are removed, the body can begin to feel the fatigue that was overridden by the toxic irritants.  This kind of fatigue calls for more rest, introspection, relaxation techniques such as yoga or walking and tuning in to what you need.

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Goal:  Get Abdominal Muscles Working

A number of clients carry extreme tension in the abdominal area.  The abdominal muscles are held unnaturally tight.  Scar tissue is in this category.  These people are unaware of or unable to change the situation.  The colon hydrotherapy process helps bring this tension to a conscious level of awareness for elimination.  The whole abdominal musculature relaxes and becomes more supple during the water outflows and abdominal massage.

People who are accustomed to experiencing spasms  in their intestines will sometimes get immediate relief after colon hydrotherapy. Very often the spasms return.  A spastic colon requires  time to heal.  Relaxation techniques, good cardiovascular exercise, and simple diet can help along with the colon hydrotherapy and cleansing. More often a lack of tone occurs; soft or spongy abdominal tissue, weak or thin intestinal walls, diverticulosis or its potential, distended abdomen, prolapsed, extra intestines and “leaky gut syndrome”. These people experience disappointment  because their healing takes time. 

These intestine has slower motility.  Food does not pass through quickly.  Some have been on a low fiber diet or have not been physically active in their life.  Their greatest challenge is to get their intestinal muscles in shape, and peristalsis to work.  A good body-building program will help with emphasis on building a strong  abdominal and of course, a high fiber and fluid diet.

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Not so far removed from the previous condition is another  I hear from some clients.  After the colon hydrotherapy, they do not eliminate for a few days.  I call this length of time until their next bowel movement, the relative transit time.  That is the time it takes for food to go the length of the alimentary canal, mouth to anus.  Most people are not aware that meals they eat may remain in them up to 3 or 4 days.  It takes another 2 to 4 days to fill themselves up again before they eliminate. 

If a person suffers constipation and comes in for a colon hydrotherapy session, they might have an aggravation afterwards of constipation.  The key is to get the intestinal muscles working .  This is partial accomplished by a series of sessions to exercise the colon.  The balance must be accomplished by walking or swimming, diet and hydration.

Emotions and Behavior

People can experience emotional memories as the intestinal muscles get working.  Muscles contain fragments of the emotion-regulating neurohormones.  The actual inflows and outflows of water help to restore peristalsis.  The muscles are able to move on their own.  As muscles come to life, they begin to release hormonal fragments.  One’s earlier experiences can pass through the mind or be felt on the emotional plane. These are great opportunities for reflection and growth.  Identify with the positive in yourself, let go of the negative images and feelings.  Cleansing offers the possibilities of trying out new visions, dreams and behaviors.

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If you develop a symptom between sessions that feels adverse, ask yourself, “Have I done anything else which might have caused this reaction?”  Did I binge out at the family barbecue, eat cotton candy at the Rodeo, consume a four-layer chocolate cake at midnight, or have three bloody Mary’s with old friends?  Sometimes we attribute our distress to the colon hydrotherapy session rather than looking at our own personal behavior.  Often, we have returned to an old eating pattern that didn’t work for us.  Our cleansed state made us more sensitive to the toxic effects of our diet or behavior.

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The emotions can also effect how your intestines function.  What is going on at the feeling level in your relationships, finances, and your life?  If your teenage son just asked for papers of emancipation, your partner decided to take up bungie jumping, or your cat was attacked by an owl, you might feel like leaving town.  Emotional incidents affect how your intestines perform physically. 

When under stress, they shut down.  This is not the time to eat.  Try fluids and breathing.  Some herbs for the nervous and glandular systems will help such as valerian, hops, skullcap, passion flower, dong quai, ginseng, lavender chaste berries.

The Intestines Take Time to Heal

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People often think colon hydrotherapy will “cure” a condition that has taken time to gain a stronghold in their intestines.  Candida, parasites, food poisoning and inflammation can cause damage to the intestinal lining.  The walls take time to heal.  These clients might feel better after the session then experience symptoms again. 

The cleansing creates an environment in which their intestines can heal.  Very effective herbal pathways exist to eliminate parasites.  Gottschall’s book, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet”, can guide your diet.

Creating Healthy Intestines

Positive behaviors and habits can be cultivated that will nurture intestinal health.  Many more books are available on the topic.  In Gastrointestinal Health, Steven Peikin, MD, notes that other areas of the body have diets, such as the Heart Diet, Taking the lead, Dr. Peikin formulated a self-help diet for the GI Tract. 

It could be one of many guidelines from which to view your dietary habits and choices.  The six principles of his program are: high fiber, low fat, low lactose, low spice, low gas-forming legumes, and low calories.  Healing goes beyond diet.

Intestinal health is the last frontier.  It implies a spiritual connection, a mental clearing, emotional health and physical powerness.  It implies letting go of all the taboo, humiliation, shame, abuse and denial that have surrounded the intestines and that live in our psyche. 

The colon hydrotherapy session is a symbolic of “letting go”, releasing, surrendering, sharing, giving and recycling.  You may experience highs and lows along the way.  You are moving and changing inside.  You are at the helm each day making the best possible choices for your intestinal health.  Each person’s path is unique.

Reprinted, article by Sheila Shea, CHT


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