What is Colon Hydrotherapy?

You might try to answer this question in several different ways and realise that no one answer can cover the whole scope of what colon hydrotherapy can achieve.

For example, you can say that colon hydrotherapy is about introducing large amounts of water into the anus, and removing wastes from the large intestine with the intention of cleansing it. You will be absolutely correct: this is indeed the definition of the procedure of colon hydrotherapy.

If you say that, just as an individual experience of a massage reflects how well people look after their muscles and posture, an individual experience of colon hydrotherapy reflects how well people look after their digestive system, you will also be right, because you will answer the question on how colon hydrotherapy can play a part in people’s health awareness.

Is Colon Hydrotherapy a “New” Thing?

No, colon hydrotherapy is not a new procedure. Enemas and rituals involving the washing of the colon with water have been used since pagan times. The first record mentioning colon cleansing is an Egyptian medical papyrus dated as early as 1500 B.C., which shows that the Egyptians employed purgatives, enemas, diuretics, heat, steam and blood-letting to treat diverse diseases.

Ancient and modern tribes in the Amazon, Central Africa and remote parts of Asia have used river water for bowel cleansing, usually as part of magic-medical rites of passage performed by priests or shamans. Colon cleansing therapies was an important part of Taoist training regimens. These therapies still form one of the fundamental practices of the yoga teaching.

Hippocrates, Galen and Paracelsus, who are recognized as the founding fathers of Western medicine, described, practised and prescribed the use of enemas for colon cleansing.

Both in Europe and in the USA, the popularity of colon cleansing treatments was remarkable in the early decades of the twentieth century, when colon irrigation equipment was commonly used by doctors practising in sanatoria (health spas) and hospitals. From the 1920s to the 1960s, the regular use of enemas was standard practice among most medical practitioners and they were implemented as common treatment in most hospitals.

With the rapid advancement of pharmaceutical approaches to treating various conditions, natural forms of healing, including colon cleansing, had suffered a temporary setback. However, the pharmaceuticals have failed to deliver a neatly packaged ‘pop and go’ solution to annoying and tiring digestive complaints, such as malabsorption caused by underlying stress, constipation, bloating, recurrent yeast infections, dysbiosis, intestinal discomfort etc.

So, having travelled the full circle, we are back to natural healing. Now, having moved to the fringes of mainstream medical practice, colon hydrotherapy is fast becoming, yet again, one of the most popular holistic treatments.

Setting standards in colon hydrotherapy

Find out more about the RICTAT association

The International Register Of Integrative Colon Hydrotherapists And Trainers


All you need to know about Colonic Hydrotherapy

Got a question?

Find a Therapist

Find a Colonic Hydrotherapy expert in your area

RICTAT approved therapists


Be recognised as an expert therapist and enjoy membership benefits

Join today