Body detoxification (cleanses/flushes) is often used as part of naturopathy. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines detoxification as “the process of removing a poison, toxins or the effect of either from an area or individual.”
The origins of detoxification can be traced back to ancient medical systems such as Ayurveda (India) and the procedure of “jie du (removing toxins)” (China).
Acceleration in global industrialization has resulted in build-up of unprecedented levels of synthetic metals and chemicals in the human body, known as persistent bio accumulative toxicants (PBS).This “toxic load” contributes to adverse reproductive and neurological conditions. It can even lead to conditions like endocrine disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers.
Detoxification may be done via colonic irrigation/colonics and enemas.
When waste is not regularly eliminated through regular bowel movements, fecal matter builds up on the walls of the colon. This causes the following adverse effects:
- Hinders the absorption of important nutrients
- Enables harmful bacteria to grow quickly
- Allows toxins to be absorbed into the blood via the capillaries in the colon wall
The procedure involves a gentle infusion of water through all 4-5 feet of the colon, resulting in the dislodging of impacted waste. Trained professionals can remove additional waste by massaging the abdomen, reaching certain acupressure points, and directing the client to breathe in a certain way.
An enema is a procedure that involves introduction of a fluid into the rectum for the purpose of either cleansing, administering medication, or passing opaque substances for radiologic investigation of the lower intestine.
The difference between an enema and a colonic irrigation is that an enema can be used for a shallow cleanse – only cleansing the lower rectum and colon, or a deep cleanse, whereas a colonic irrigation cleanses throughout the length of the colon.
Popular types of enemas are:
Saline enema: Generally considered safe, saline enemas work by pulling water from the body into the lower colon and rectum, causing a bowel movement. They can be done effectively with a home enema kit or are available as pre-mixed in a disposable squeeze bottle with a pre-lubricated syringe for insertion into the rectum.
Coffee enema: Approximately 2 tablespoons of coffee are brewed in 1 liter of distilled water. Certain compounds are present in coffee, such as cafestol palmitate, stimulate glutathione-S-transferase activity, which trigger the release of bile from the liver. This improves digestion by helping the breakdown of food. Other substances like caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine improve the flow of bile by widening the bile duct and blood vessels. This stimulation is used to treat cancers through therapies such as Gersons therapy which is immensely popular
Mineral oil enema: Castor oil, liquid petroleum, or mineral oil enemas are recommended for people who should avoid straining, usually after surgery or childbirth. The oil prevents the loss of water from the stools and allows it to be easily passed through the rectum.
Barium enema: This is a medical diagnostic enema which is used to prepare the large and small intestines for x-ray examination, especially in cases of inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer.