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Colonic hydrotherapy is a natural treatment that has been gaining massive traction over the past few years.

This technique takes advantage of how our colon works to cleanse it from all the toxins and waste products that disrupt digestion.

Keep in mind that colonic hydrotherapy does not include any pharmacological drugs or invasive procedures, as it mimics the way your gastrointestinal tract works.

In this article, we will briefly define colonic hydrotherapy and discuss the underlying mechanism that makes it such an effective treatment option.

What is colonic hydrotherapy?

Colonic hydrotherapy, or colonic irrigation, revolves around the flushing of the colon with fluids to excrete waste products.

To perform this procedure, an expert known as colonic therapist (hygienist) will place you on a table then flushes a large volume of filtered water through a tube inserted into the rectum while another tube will be utilized for extracting the toxins.

Generally speaking, colonic therapists use 30 to 60 liters of triple filtered water to ensure the full cleansing of your small and large intestines, which may take some time to complete the process.

Some people ask “why not enemas?” Enemas are great, but only useful for emptying the rectum (the lowest 8-12 inches of the colon). Enemas usually use 1-2 liters of water are used as opposed to larger amounts listed above. Colon hydrotherapy has the ability to release waste from all areas of the colon (ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid colon regions). It is estimated that one colon flush treatment is equivalent to thirty enemas.

How does colonic hydrotherapy work?

Today, millions of people suffer from digestive disorders that negatively impact their personal and professional lives.

One classic condition that affects a substantial number of the population is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which presents with a variety of signs and symptoms.

IBS is the result of desynchronized neuronal signaling between the central nervous system and gut nerves. As a result, bowel movements will get disrupted, leading to either constipation or diarrhea, while smooth muscle spasms cause the typical pain associated with IBS.

Colonic hydrotherapy aims to help these patients by removing the unnecessary waste products and preventing bacterial overgrowth in the intestines to restore microbial equilibrium and enhance the signaling of the brain-gut axis.

As we mentioned above, this technique works by flushing the colon with large amounts of fluid while utilizing another tube to excrete waste products.

In a 2016 study, researchers analyzed the effects of colonic hydrotherapy on patients with IBS.

The study included 18 participants divided into two groups:

  • 12 patients with constipation-dominant IBS
  • 6 patients with diarrhea-dominant IBS

Participants were then randomized into subgroups while receiving colonic cleansing twice a day for a duration of 1-4 weeks.

At the end of the study, researchers found that participants who received colonic hydrotherapy had significantly improved symptoms of IBS, concluding that “Patients were more satisfied with their bowel movements and found their symptoms were less disturbing.”

Researchers also ensured the safety of colonic hydrotherapy, adding that it can improve abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea associated with IBS.

Is a colonic hydrotherapy painful?

No, colon treatment is not painful at all. Very rarely some people might experience temporary mild discomfort. Occasionally, the colon may “signal” and give a colicky feeling but such episodes are usually brief and easily tolerated.

In survey, 96% of people consulting would recommend the treatment. This shows an extremely high level of satisfaction and positive experience during colonic treatment.

Is colonic hydrotherapy safe?

Yes, colonic hydrotherapy is completely safe. Since they are not self administered but performed by a licensed therapist, colon cleansing have a proven record of safety and effectiveness. The filtered water is administered at low pressure and under constant control by the therapist, so there is no danger of bowel injury. All equipment used is either disposable or sterilized.

What are the circumstances when a colonic treatment cannot be performed?

As with many therapeutic procedures, there are medical conditions when a colonic cleanse would not be accepted. These include diseases such as active gastrointestinal infections, inflammatory conditions (for example, Ulcerative Colitis, Chrohn’s Disease, Diverticulitis, etc), a painful fissure or painful hemorrhoids. In such health related cases treatment cannot be performed until they are healed or in remission.

Other non gastrointestinal related conditions such as liver cirrhosis, severe anemia, kidney disease, congestive heart disease or severe uncontrolled hypertension are absolute contra-indications for colonic hydrotherapy treatment.

Treatments are also not performed during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and during complicated pregnancies. However, we always take a full case history before performing a colonic treatment. Please note that it is always advised to consult with a family doctor or a specialist.

For additional conditions when colonic hydrotherapy is contraindicated, please visit our FAQ page

Takeaway message

Colonic hydrotherapy is a fantastic procedure that works in harmony with your colon to cleanse it from all the toxins and waste products.

Hopefully, this article helped introduce colonic flushing and how it helps with digestive disorders. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact Atlant Health Wellness Center located in Midtown East New York City, New York. Call us (212) 719-3611 or email:

Image credit: by Alicia Harper at