What is Colonic Irrigation?

Colonic1The foods we eat today and the stressful lives many of us live can interfere with the way the bowel functions. This often leads to digestive problems and a feeling of ill-health. When the bowel does not function well people often report a number of health issues. These may include:

• Constipation
• Diarrhoea
• IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
• Bloating
• Headaches
• Thrush/Candida
• Gas/flatulence
• Weight problems
• Fatigue or low energy
• Skin problems
• Feeling sluggish & Foggy
• Backache
• Sleep problems
• Feeling of heaviness

It is possible these symptoms may also be related to a number of health conditions and it is advisable to speak to your GP for a clinical diagnosis if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Some people choose to try colonic irrigation when they are exploring ways to help with constipation or when making changes to their diet, health or lifestyle or if they are following detoxifying or cleansing programmes.

Colonic irrigation (Colonic Hydrotherapy) is a naturopathic treatment that works by using the body's natural nerve and muscular activity to aid evacuation of waste from the bowel, both during and after treatment. Colonic irrigation may also help to tone and exercise the bowel.

To find out about people's experiences of colonic irrigation at the Natural Health Clinic and how they felt after treatment, please read some of the testimonials. You may like to read FAQ for further information.

There are certain conditions where a colonic treatment would not be undertaken until symptoms are healed or in remission. These include conditions such as active infections or active inflammation (diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, etc), painful fissures and painful haemorrhoids. Treatment is also avoided in cases of congestive heart disease or severe high blood pressure, severe anaemia, liver cirrhosis, kidney problems, hernias. Treatments are also avoided during pregnancy.


"Koren's advice and recommendations helped me greatly in the relief of IBS symptoms."
Joan, Business Advisor

"Koren is brilliant and is really professional. If you think this procedure will be embarrassing then think again as Koren will make you feel at ease throughout. She is also very knowledgeable and can answer any questions you might have. I have had few treatments and it really helped with my liver flushes. After the colonic I feel revitalised and really light and I will continue to go to Koren and nobody else as I believe her to be the best. I would definitely recommend this treatment, and Koren, to anyone."
Edyta, Care Worker

"I have been to see Koren for three or four colonic treatments in the last year as my digestion was very sluggish.
I've found the treatments really helpful. My digestion is much better and I have no bloating or cravings for bread or sugar anymore. Koren is very understanding and puts you at your ease during the treatment. She has also given me some really useful advice on nutrition and supplements. I really recommend seeing her."
Vicky, Business Owner

"Koren is very approachable and understanding, making it easy for me to off load my problems. Her knowledge of the body and dietary needs are exceptional and she gave me answers as to why my body was reacting as it was, which immediately began to put my mind at ease.
Koren took a full assessment of my health, diet and general well-being before treating me. I really feel Koren not only treated me but educated me to think about the way my body reacts to food and how I could help myself by improving my diet.
I came away from sessions completely energised and positive. I always recommend Koren to other people because I feel everybody deserves this level of care and understanding"
Jacks, Jewellery Designer

"I have found colonic irrigation to be extremely helpful for managing bloated stomach and flatulence and easing my IBS. It also seems to help my stomach acid and reflux problems. Koren is an extremely skilled and professional therapist and I feel totally safe in her hands. I will be going back regularly."
Mark, Positive Meditation Coach

"Koren's dietary advice and acupuncture have transformed my health problems - I no longer have problems sleeping and my IBS is much more manageable. As a therapist she is kind and supportive and she really cares about her clients. I feel a tangible benefit from seeing Koren - I would heartily recommend her to anyone seeking support with their health.
Samantha, Marketing Manager

"I go to Koren for colonic irrigation because she is friendly and easy to be with, which makes the whole process really relaxing, and afterwards I always feel positively well inside and out!"
Chris, Teacher

"Koren's treatments are relaxing, intuitive and highly effective. She is very professional and I felt very safe in her hands. I wouldn't hesitate to book another appointment with her."
Jenny, Nurse

"Having received treatments from many practitioners over the years, it has been hugely refreshing to fall into the genuinely professional hands of Koren. The great depth of her study of Natural Medicine is palpable, as is her empathy, medical knowledge and intuitive ability - she's the real McCoy! Koren has supported me through times of intense disruption, and each time her treatments have offered profound support and healing. She is the one practitioner I would wholeheartedly recommend to others: completely confident that others, like myself, will find what they're looking for in her capable hands."
Kath, Marketing Manager

What can I expect from a session?

Before your session, there is the opportunity to discuss your motivation for having a colonic treatment. A full medical case history will be undertaken and the treatment process explained to you. Sometimes herbal infusions are used during a colonic treatment and gentle abdominal massage may be given.

During a treatment, small amounts of water are allowed to enter the bowel. The water acts as a stimulant to tell the bowel it is full, and the bowel muscle responds by eliminating any waste matter along with the water. It acts in the same way as when your bowel is full normally and you have the feeling that you want to go to the toilet.

Please click the practitioner image to the right for prices, availability, and further information.

Colonic Irrigation FAQ's

It is perfectly normal to be a little apprehensive about colon hydrotherapy at first, and naturally you'll have some questions about the treatment. Your ARCH therapist has lots of experience with clients who are new to the treatment and they'll be happy to talk you through any concerns you have.

Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about colonic irrigation:

Q: How do I prepare for a colonic?

A: You don't need to do anything special before your treatment, but for your own comfort you should avoid a heavy meal or drinking a lot immediately before your appointment. You should also avoid alcohol.

Q: What if I am constipated?

A: If you are particularly constipated, you should ask for advice on what you can do beforehand to maximise the benefits of your treatment.

Q: What does a colonic feel like?

A: Most people find the procedure to be quite relaxing, with no discomfort. The colon fills and empties regularly as part of its normal function, so the treatment is nothing new. You may feel varying sensations of fullness and movement in your abdomen throughout the treatment.

Q: Isn't it embarrassing?

A: Not at all. Your therapy will take place in a private treatment room by a trained therapist who understands the sensitivity of the procedure. It is perfectly normal to be a little embarrassed, but your therapist will completely understand and will try to put you at ease. Once the tube has been inserted, you'll remain covered for the rest of the treatment.

Q: Is there any mess or smell?

A: None whatsoever. Modern colon hydrotherapy equipment forms a sealed system that carries away all the waste cleanly and hygienically.

Q: How safe is it?

A: Your safety is of paramount importance. Modern equipment constantly maintains the water temperature and pressure within safe limits, and ARCH standards insist that a new, single use, disposable speculum is used for each treatment.

Q: Does it hurt?

A: Not at all. It may feel a little strange as the small tube is inserted, and you may have a natural urge to squeeze it out again, but this passes quickly. Your therapist will then closely control the filling and emptying to ensure that you remain comfortable at all times. Occasionally the colon may contract during the treatment, giving a cramping sensation but this is easily tolerated and passes as soon as the bowel empties again.

Q: How do I know if a colonic will help me?

A: Everyone is different and colonics help some people more than others. ARCH members do not make any promises or wild claims for our treatments. The best way to find out if they will benefit you is to book a treatment and see for yourself.

Q: What can I expect afterwards?

A: Generally speaking as soon as your treatment is completed you can carry on with your normal routine. You may experience an increase in bowel movements over the first few hours, to eliminate any remaining water or waste. This is perfectly normal and shouldn't involve any undue urgency or discomfort. After that you may find that you don't need to go to the toilet for a while, perhaps as long as a few days, as your bowels have been emptied.

Q: What kind of water is used for colonic hydrotherapy?

A: We use drinking water from the mains supply. This is then thoroughly filtered for your complete safety and warmed to body temperature or just above for your comfort.

Q: Does a colonic wash away 'good bacteria'?

A: Most of the important bowel bacteria are present on the bowel wall and are not removed during colon hydrotherapy. Since these good bacteria breed best in a balanced environment, a colonic cleanse may actually improve their environment and increase their numbers. However, if your therapist thinks that your bowel bacteria may be out of balance, they may suggest a pro-biotic after your treatment.

Q: How long does a colonic take?

A: The treatment itself takes up to 45 minutes, so with changing time, you'll need to allow at least an hour. Your first treatment will normally take longer as your therapist will need to review your medical history and assess your current bowel health before proceeding with your therapy.

Q: Will it be okay to eat after having a colonic?

After a colonic, you can continue with your normal daily routine, including eating and drinking. However, you should avoid any foods that you know irritate or upset your stomach and avoid alcohol. Your therapist will offer advice on healthy eating options to help you maintain the benefits you have gained from the treatment.

Q: How many treatments will I need?

A: This depends on your reason for having a colonic in the first place, as well as how successful the treatment was. Your therapist will advise you on whether you need further treatments, as well as when and how often you need to return.

Q: Are there any after effects?

A: Most people feel great after a colonic, with renewed energy and vitality. However, occasionally some clients may feel a little under the weather for around 24 hours. If you have any concerns, or you feel unwell, speak to your therapist who will be able to explain your body's reactions to you.

Q: Are there circumstances in which I shouldn't have a colonic?

A: Yes, certain medical conditions would prevent you from having the treatment. If you are in any doubt, please feel free to call us for professional advice.

Q: Can I have a colonic during my period?

A: Yes. There is no reason why the procedure would not be successful.

Q: I'm pregnant. Can I still have a colonic?

A: No. ARCH therapists do not treat pregnant women during any term of their pregnancy


Interesting facts

1. The principles behind the therapy have their roots in ideas first developed by the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

2. Princess Diana credited colonics, and the regular use of cleansing enemas, to her radiant complexion and silken hair. In 1993 The Globe reported she received the treatment 3 times a week.