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.