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What are the Advantages of a Colonic?

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People get colonics to remove accumulated waste from the colon, help prevent constipation and improve overall health.

Health professionals are divided over the use of colonics. The majority of conventional health practitioners do not feel colonics can improve overall health. They believe colonics should only be used before certain medical procedures, such as a colonoscopy, or occasionally for constipation.

Proponents of colon hydrotherapy believe that fecal matter can accumulate and harden in the colon. They believe this buildup of fecal matter may prevent the absorption of water and nutrients, lead to constipation, allow harmful colon bacteria and yeast to grow and cause stagnant toxins to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the colon wall (called autointoxication)Lack of fiber, excess sugar, and a diet high in red meat are believed to contribute to the problem.

The efficacy of colon cleansing is based on the concept of "auto-intoxication", the idea that food enters the intestine and rots. The ancient Egyptians believed that toxins formed as a result of decomposition within the intestines, and moved from there into the circulatory system causing fever and the development of pus. The Ancient Greeks adopted and expanded the idea, applying their belief in the four humours. In the 19th century, studies in biochemistry and microbiology seemed to support the autointoxication hypothesis, and mainstream physicians promoted the idea. The idea was promoted most strongly by Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, who thought that these toxins could shorten the lifespan. Over time, the concept broadened to "auto-intoxication" which supposes that the body cannot fully dispose of its waste products and toxins, which then accumulate in the intestine. In some cases, the concept led to radical surgeries to remove the colon for unrelated symptoms.

Auto-intoxication enjoyed some favor in the medical community from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, but was discarded as advances in science failed to support its claims. A 1919 paper Origin of the so-called auto-intoxication symptom in the Journal of the American Medical Association marked the beginning of the rejection of the auto-intoxication hypothesis by the medical community.

Despite this, "auto-intoxication" persists in the public imagination. The practice of colon cleansing has undergone a resurgence in the alternative medical community, supported by testimonials and anecdotal evidence and promoted by manufacturers of colon cleansing products

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