Can you please give me some guidelines and suggestions regarding colon cleansing and colonic irrigations? I have clients who are using herbs for this and would like to make sure they are using them correctly, if they should even be using them at all.
The first thing I would recommend is to read Paul Chek’s PTN articles “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! Chapter 1,” and “You Are What You Eat,” his Nutrition and Lifestyle Assessments audio clinics as well as Dr. Clifford Oliver’s audio clinic on The Vitality Index. These are two great guys with lots to offer that could help your client as well as others that have bowel problems. As well, there are many books out there on homeopathic remedies, herbs, supplements and cleanses. My recommendation to you is to educate yourself to better benefit your clients. Constipation problems can lead to diverticulitis, colon cancer, auto-intoxication, autoimmune dysfunction, IBS, Crohne’s, etc. Most of the time, we just need to get back to the basics instead of always thinking there is a magic pill, shake or cleanse that will cure it all. In my opinion, a lot of these things can and do make things much worse. Here are some stats for you on constipation:
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing House:
- Prevalence of Constipation: 4.4 million people
- Mortality: 29 deaths
- Hospitalizations: 100,000
- Physician office visits: 2 million
- Prescriptions: 1 million
- Disability: 13,000 people
You brought up a great concern because most people never take the time to worry about what they are ingesting. People all over the world eat processed and refined foods and wonder why they are obese, commonly sick, jittery, have trouble sleeping, moody and so on. As a society, we eat more and move less. That can only equal one thing when what you eat is CRAP! One of the first things I teach my clients is to start reading labels. Some important facts that I learned from Paul Chek are:
- If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, don’t eat it!
- If it wasn’t here 10,000 years ago, don’t eat it!
- If is has any of the white devils (sugar, salt, flour, pasteurized milk) in it, don’t eat or drink it!
- If it has a shelf life, don’t eat it!
What is the basic point of all that? Well, if you don’t recognize a food/ingredient because it has been processed or is man made, then your liver won’t recognize it as well. This can lead to extreme internal stress, increasing hormone levels and dehydrating you. This can lead to a whole myriad of problems, one of which you are referring to: constipation.
In my clinical opinion, one of the major crutches of society is supplements. The word implies what they are, but society likes to use them as their primary source of nutrients, enzymes and food intake. There are many major problems with this, stress being the most important one. Most of the supplements you buy on the market today are synthetic and depleted of any energy. Using a “this for that” approach never works in the long run. If you think of how most Americans eat, as well as take supplements, no wonder they are constipated and taking laxatives or other supplements. They are eating processed foods, conventional meats, eating man-made fats and chemicals, but to make up for their deficiencies, they take antioxidants, mutli-vitamins, vitamin A, B, C, D and so on. Americans buy $1,300,000 worth of laxatives every day, but they never take the time to listen to their bodies and wonder why they might be constipated. Laxatives can be anything in my opinion. They can be your OTC toxic fleet enemas, herbal remedies, colon cleanses or a hydro colonic. No matter how you slice it, this is a “this for that approach” and can cause increased sympathetic stress to the body.
This is not to say they don’t have a place in the treatment process. Just like MDs and medications, everything has its place in the course of someone’s treatment. A rule of thumb I use with my clients is simple (unless I do some testing through BioHealth): I use the basic principles for the first three to six months. After that time, if we are still struggling and my client continues to have symptoms, then I resort to supplements, herbs, colonics and more advanced testing. I would have to say, though, 9 times out of 10 the basic principles work. They are:
- Think right
- Drink right
- Eat right
- Sleep right
- Move right
If your client is having digestion and elimination problems, she may be experiencing sympathetic overload (chemical, environmental, EMF, nutritional, mental, emotional and physical stressors). You should educate her on some form of Tai Chi, Qi Gong or meditation practices (help her to get more into a parasympathetic state, which will assist with digestion and elimination. Also, find a St. John’s NMT therapist or Upledger therapist for some visceral manipulation work. Your client could also be suffering from:
- A fungal infection - eliminate all sugars from her diet for six months (grains, sugar, alcohol, anything ending in –ose, etc.).
- Chronic dehydration - recommend her to drink half her body weight in ounces of water a day with a pinch of Celtic sea salt.
- Inverted breathing pattern - educate her on how to diaphragmatic breath (assists in massaging the organs and with peristalsis).
- Poor posture - this is a stress to the body and can cause the sternum to become depressed. All the viscera in the abdominal region can become crowded.
Whether it is fungus, the environment or her posture, the core issue is stress. When we are stressed, we become sympathetically stimulated by using our “flight or flight” part of our ANS. When this takes place, all the blood rushes away from the center of our bodies (our organs) and finds its way to the muscles and the extremities. The body is in a state of anxiety and fear, and it is an alarm response in order to “fight or flight.” When this happens, stress hormones go into action (i.e., cortisol, adrenaline, insulin, etc). These are hormones that we do need to use, but if we are consistently in a sympathetic state, we are in a catabolic state. When we are in this state, our repair and regeneration hormones are inhibited and digestion stops. Think about a very stressful time in your life - elimination probably was not the first thing on your mind. Getting to safety was your first priority!
The bottom line with all this is getting back to the basics. Most of the time, herbs and colonics are not needed at first. Getting back to the basics is all most people need. Even when you do have a colonic, they can’t get up there all the way anyway. Most of the dysfunction is the iliocecal valve (junction between the small and large intestine). Once your client is eliminating again, preferably 12 inches of solid matter a day, then you can recommend a colon/parasite cleanse to remove any old matter that is still hanging around. Only use this when she is not so sympathetically overloaded. If she is, the cleanse will only increase her stress.