Colon Cleansing

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Colon cleansing is a health maintenance technique that continues to grow in popularity. It is a way of cleaning the intestinal tract by removing built-up, compacted fecal matter that commonly forms on its walls. It's been estimated that the average 30-year-old has anywhere from ten to 15 pounds of this compacted matter clogging up the intestinal tract. This material can be as hard as wood and interferes grievously with the digestion process, as well as the body's other systems.

The result is a negative overall impact on one's health. In normal digestion, the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are absorbed into the body through the colonic lining. This is how we derive nourishment from the food we eat. However, when the walls of the colon are caked with a hard, impenetrable substance, guess what? With a virtually laminated colonic wall, only a fraction of the nutrients that our bodily tissues and organs need for proper functioning can get there. This can result in malnourishment, fatigue, dizziness, even depression.

Colon Cleansing and Disease Prevention

Besides causing nutritional problems and weakness, a blocked colon can lead to a plethora of serious diseases. These range from non-life threatening but chronic conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn's Disease, to cancer and diseases of the immune system. How is this so? Well, the colon was never intended to be a permanent storage space for undigested food. It was meant to be the final stop for broken-down food particles that were to be either absorbed into the bloodstream in the form of nutrients, or passed out of the body as waste.

However, a blocked colon becomes a warehouse for rotting food matter and gases--in effect, a breeding ground for toxins and disease. A blocked colon is a toxic colon. These toxins festering in your colon can eventually be carried through the blood to your vital organs, causing untold damage. This is why it's so important to have regular bowel movements to get rid of the matter in your colon so that it doesn't convert into pathogens, or disease-causing material. However, again we have the issue of the impacted fecal matter. This is where colon cleansing enters the picture: by sloughing, loosening, flushing, or melting off fecal plaque from the colonic and/or intestinal walls.

Colon Cleansing for the Intestinal Tract

What we call the intestinal tract is comprised of the small intestine, the large intestine, and the colon itself. All in all, the intestinal tract averages about 35 feet in length. The intestinal lining must be maintained in optimum condition to avoid the build-up of plaque and obstructions that interfere with proper digestion and create toxicity. Today's various colon cleansing techniques, including enemas, herbal supplements such as psyllium husks, colon hydrotherapy, and oxygen-based colon therapies, all attempt to create a healthy, clean colon by getting rid of built-up fecal plaque in the colon, intestinal tract, or both.

Some people may be wondering why I do not include laxatives in this list of colon cleansers. Though laxatives do cause contractions in the colon and rectum, which lead to bowel movements, they're nothing but a temporary fix for constipation and do absolutely nothing to cleanse the colon. Besides, they're dehydrating, potentially habit forming, and often abused, which can cause permanent nerve damage to the bowel. For these reasons, I do not recommend laxatives as a colon cleansing technique.

Colon Cleansing and Diet

Some colonic experts assert that people who eat a Western diet (in other words, heavy in processed foods and low in fiber) are carrying around an average of eight undigested meals in their colons! This is not a healthy way to live. For that reason, a thorough colon cleanse is recommended at least once a year for optimum colon health. I mentioned earlier the link between the condition of the colon and vital organ health; some of the more comprehensive treatments include cleansing of the internal organs as well.

Of course, we can't just rely on colon cleansing sessions to keep us in good shape. We must also make the commitment to a healthy diet that supports good intestinal health. This means a diet rich in fiber, such as whole grains, legumes, and raw fruits and vegetables, while cutting down on refined and processed foods. Drinking at least eight glasses of purified water daily and exercising regularly are also important for keeping the colon in tip-top condition.

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