Gut Feeling - The science bit
Interview with Jane Ross, NHS training and research officer and owner of Nevo Health by Paul Dale
What follows is an interview with Jane Ross, NHS training and research officer and owner of Nevo Health, (www.edinburghcolonichydrotherapy.com) who was in charge of the colonic hydrotherapy treatment that I write about in Gut Feeling. In order to support the feature with more in depth and scientific information about the digestive system and colonic irrigation in particular, I asked Jane a few questions and these are her answers. See also URL Gut feling: Part two which is an interview with Scotland’s leading colon therapist Anna-Lise Miller from The Institute of Professional Colon Hydrotherapy www.ipch.org.uk
Jane, can you tell me what was the kind of treatment I had the day I came to Nevo
Hi. It was colonic hydrotherapy or colonic irrigation using a gravity system.
Can you briefly explain the procedure?
The colon, bowel or large intestine, is the end section of your digestive system. The colon is approximately 5 feet long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Its major functions are the absorption of water and minerals and the formation and elimination of waste.
Colonic Hydrotherapy is simply a warm internal bath that cleanses the body of the poisonous wastes and gasses that can build up over time. The gravity system allows warmed, purified water to be gently introduced into the colon. This helps soften, break up, and remove impacted and dehydrated faecal mucus, parasitic and other waste materials from the colon walls.
No special preparation is necessary before your colonic treatment appointment, although large meals and lots of fluids are not advised.
When visiting a colon hydrotherapist they will expect you to be nervous, but you will be put at ease with a full explanation of the entire process. The treatment room has a very calming décor and equipped with a private bathroom. All equipment used is sterile single use disposable and your dignity is ensured throughout the treatment and the first appointment includes taking your case history, explaining the procedure and the treatment itself. This can take up to I hour – 1 hour 15 minutes
The procedure itself begins with a brief rectal exam carried out, and then a small speculum is introduced 1.5inches (4cm) into the back passage. An inlet and outlet tube is attached to the outside of the speculum. The inlet pipe it attached to the water system and the outlet pipe placed into a sealed drainage system. Throughout the treatment warmed purified water enters the colon and wastewater, waste and gas are removed via the outlet pipe into a dedicated waste drain
The water pressure is carefully controlled and is in fact lower than is normally generated during a bowel movement.
At first, water is fed into the lower bowel whilst you are on your left side, then after about 5 - 10 minutes your therapist will ask you to turn onto your back, and using gentle massage techniques across the bowel profile, will work around the whole bowel assisting the elimination of waste and gas pockets. You will be covered with warm towels and a blanket throughout the procedure.
In all, the colonic treatment takes about 30-45 minutes on the couch.
Does this type of colonic irrigation differ from how it is done elsewhere?
I have had the therapy myself in several of the alternative centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow and the process is very similar.
Was there anything unusual that happened in my treatment? I had to dash to the toilet a few times, is this normal?
During your treatment you had what is called “a toilet break”. This means that the treatment is interrupted and you are able to sit on a toilet to allow any waste to be evacuated in the traditional manner. There are different reasons for you to need to do this during a session. In your case you had a feeling of urgency as your colon began releasing the waste that was built up. As a client you have to feel in control with the therapy and also trust the therapist will not allow you to feel uncomfortable. If you feel that what is being released you would rather pass on the toilet then a toilet break can be built into the process.
For someone starting out with colonic irrigation like me how often do you recommend I go?
The number of treatments is very much dependant on the individual client. It depends on dietary habits prior to the therapy, lifestyle and any possible issues with health or food sensitivities. The therapy itself is not a quick fix for any one issue. There will be a need to commit to looking at all dietary habit, lifestyle and colonic treatments. It may vary from only one treatment to several spread out over a period of time, after which preventative or maintenance treatments may be recommended.
You seemed totally unfazed and unembarrassed by the procedure, how did you train to be so?
I feel that the procedure is quite an intimate process and one of the crucial aspects of the entire process is to be ultimately professional and maintain the client’s dignity throughout. This philosophy or attitude is something that if feel passionately about and was gained over 20 years as a nurse within the NHS. 15 of those years spent in intensive care, an environment where patients are at their most vulnerable and their family and friends needing absolute professional support
You seem both passionate and highly knowledgeable about colonic treatment, how do you react to sceptics?
I feel that people have the right to explore therapies and treatment that are available to them. Individual choice is essential. What is important about any therapy that is nod deemed as conventional is that the practitioner is highly qualified, experienced, and professional and believes in the therapy they are offering. The client also needs to have all options explained to them and the whole treatment discussed so they can make an informed decision if it is right for them.
Scots don’t have a very good reputation for diet and by extension their own stomachs, do you think colonic treatment should be part of a larger program of a digestion awareness programme in Scotland?
I feel that as a nation we need to closely reassess our diet, lifestyle and attitude to health. I feel that colon; dietary awareness has a definite role to play in readdressing the ill health in our nation.
How do you see colonics in Scotland developing in the future?
There are many people who for reasons of ill health would greatly benefit from the option to experience a colonic hydrotherapy session as part of a care package. It would be fantastic if a session could be offered within the NHS as not only a treatment but more importantly as a preventative health promoting therapy.
Is it a career you would recommend getting into?
I certainly feel passionate about the therapy as part of the treatment portfolio we offer within Nevo Health.
Any other types of colonic treatment not already mentioned, where people can get them etc.
Anna-Lise Miller and her husband Brian offer a whole range of related health therapies in their fantastic centre The Whole Works www.thewholeworks.co.uk
Anything else you wish to add
At Nevo we offer a full range of detox and health promotion therapies.
Nevo Health, 91 Montgomery Street, Edinburgh, 0131 556 0432.