This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
During colonic irrigation, you will lie on your side or back. The therapist will insert a soft, disposable plastic tube into your rectum, which will remain in place during the entire session. First, the therapist gently pumps a measured amount of body-temperature, filtered water into your colon; this may contain herbs, enzymes, or other "purifying" substances. Then, the therapist may gently massage your abdomen to help release the impacted fecal material from the intestinal walls. Finally, the pump is reversed, and the water is gently vacuumed back through the same tube and into a closed waste system. There is no mess or foul odor.
The process is repeated many times during the session, which lasts about an hour. Approximately 20 gallons of water will be used, but unlike an enema, the therapy does not require any "race to the toilet" afterward, since most of the water is removed by the end of the session.
Some people report feeling lighter and more energized after colonic irrigation. Others may experience nausea, headache, or flulike symptoms. These symptoms generally pass within a few hours. Many colon therapists recommend the oral intake of a restorative electrolyte solution following a colon therapy session.
The number of suggested treatments depends on your reason for seeking out colon therapy. For general health maintenance, once a year is usually enough. However, if you have a chronic condition (such as regular constipation, chronic fatigue, or persistent digestive complaints), you may need several treatments within a few weeks.