Choosing a Therapist

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Choosing a Therapist:

One thing most people may not understand about colonic therapy is that not all colon therapists or their equipment are created equal. And the crazy thing about this statement is that it is not a matter of always getting what you pay for. There are many colon therapists that charge a higher fee for their colonics thinking that clients will believe that they must be more expensive because they are more experienced or better qualified. This is not always true. The cost of a colonic session in this area varies from about $75 – $115 for a single colonic treatment. Most colon therapists offer package discounts and may further discount their services based on how you pay, making the cost of a single colon hydrotherapy treatment in the package a total of $70-90. I wouldn’t choose a therapist based on price alone although if I found one that I was already comfortable with I would hope she was relatively affordable. And coincidentally I would not go to an affordable colon therapist unless I was certain that she was the woman for the job.

This page contains information and advice I would personally give to a family member for finding a colon hydro therapist that practices in ways that I feel are important.  Or if I were on vacation and needing a colonic I would follow a process similar to the one below to select my colon therapist.

I do not know all of the colon therapists that practice in the Boise area but I have heard a lot about most of them. We are fortunate in that many of the colon therapists in the Boise area are competent and compassionate. It is important to have both going for you to be an effective colon therapist. I will give you a list of questions I would always ask when selecting a colon therapist and things I would watch out for during a colonic that could lead to trouble. I don’t expect a colon therapist to do any more or any less than I would do for my clients best interests and these questions can guide a person who knows nothing about colonic irrigation to find a safe and effective practitioner.

I have no problem posting this information on the web for all to see simply because if a more inexperienced colon therapist sees it and uses the information to make themselves a better therapist; that is in my eyes is the most positive outcome I could hope for. I am not interested in being in competition with other colon therapists or keeping all of my methods secret. I have learned a lot from other therapists. Sometimes I read things on other colon therapists sites and those things strikes a cord with me and I may make a change if I feel the need to do so. If colon therapists can learn from one another the colon hydrotherapy profession as a whole would be better. Sure, I would like to keep my clientele loyal to me, but if they should choose to go see another person for financial reasons, location, scheduling difficulties or any other reason I hope the person they go to has read this part of my website. :) At least they may end up being cared for by a colon therapist who will be safe in his or her methods, and effective at communication and client education. These are what I believe should be minimums in any colon therapists practice. As well as my personal reasons for choosing to use the closed-system equipment only.

~We will start with the beginning of treatment. Ask the therapist if they have to be in the room when you are being hooked-up to the equipment. Don’t be obvious about what you want them to say, just ask. If they say anything other than “Yes, the therapist will be with you at all times”. I personally would end the call. There are therapists who will allow clients to preform part of or all of the colonic themselves or they use equipment designed to allow the client to do it alone. If you are using equipment that has you in a supine ( or reclined back ) position see if the speculum appears to be very flexible and soft and smooth tipped so that the risk of perforation is much less. Because of my nursing background I tend to be extremely cautious when it comes to introducing anything into the rectum and the absolute safest position is lying on the left side. The colon therapy equipment designed to have the client insert it themselves does place the client in a position that is not recommended by standards of practice for medical professionals. It is widely known that inserting anything into the rectum when the person is not laying on thier left side potentially exposes the colon wall to direct pressure from the object being inserted and increases the risk of perforation. For this as well as for other personal reasons I only advocate the use of the closed system in most cases. Most medical professionals will tell you a person needs to be side-lying on their left side to insert anything into the rectum safely; perforation of the colon can be deadly so be careful if inserting your own speculum in any position other than left side-lying. I apologize for being repetitive, but I feel the need to fully defend my opinions here so that a colon therapist who uses the open-system will understand that I am not making a personal attack; just stating the facts as they were presented to me in my nursing days 🙂 I will also say that open system therapists are the experts at their own equipment and supplies so for direct first hand knowledge regarding open system colon therapy; you really need to get their opinion about this topic as well.

~Next ask if the therapist will be in the room for entire the colon therapy treatment. If they say anything but “Yes.” again, I would end the call. Many people do not have adequate sensation within the intestines to know when they may be hurting themselves or stretching their colon out. I know this for a certainty. I have a pressure gauge on my colon therapy device and I have seen clients whose pressure is building and they are needing to release and when I ask them if they can feel it, they tell me no.  A therapist should be actively engaged in the treatment and utilizing and monitoring her pressure gauges on the equipment and ensure that she is not overfilling you! This again means equipment designed to allow a person to administer their own colon therapy without supervision and guidance by the colon therapist would not be an option that I would choose. Your health is more important than your privacy. If the colon therapist leaves you alone for any period of time it should be for your own benefit, not for them to use the restroom, return phone calls, or attend to other clients. If you have an emergency they need to be immediately available to you.

~Ask the therapist how they do “fills”. Many colon therapists will have the client tell them when to release a fill. This practice can be very counterproductive. The colon can only hold so much of a capacity without stretching. A person who regularly goes to a colon therapist that allows the client to decide when ‘enough is enough’ can in fact become stretched out so badly that the only time that person can have a bowel movement is during a colonic session. This is one of the reasons you may here about someone becoming “addicted to colonics”. Sometimes a client can give an accurate opinion of how full is full enough sometimes they would push it too far. While this keeps the client coming back for more sessions this is an irresponsible, selfish and again potentially dangerous thing to do. Do I believe that a colon therapist would do this on purpose? I sure hope not. This is another reason no one should ever administer their own colonic irrigation, unless they are a colon therapist.

~Most colon therapists use disposable equipment all the time but some will use metal attachments that can be sterilized so it doesn’t hurt to ask. I would not go to a therapist who re-uses sanitized equipment, just becuase its an uneeded risk in my opinion.

~Ask them how much you can expect to “lose” during your colon therapy treatment. Okay, so this is a trick question. While it is true that a person can have up to 25 pounds of waste sitting inside the intestines, no one can be certain how many pounds of that will be eliminated during a treatment and in fact the best answer is that during your first colon therapy treatment you may not have anything come out at all. The colon has to be strong and the material inside the colon needs to be well-hydrated for your body to be able to eliminate it well during treatment. Most people have their big losses after having several treatments and making some changes to other areas of their lives. The pounds of waste lost with colonics are not fat. However, most of my clients will lose a considerable amount of body fat once their bodies are functioning properly, but it does not happen overnight. It can take 2 months for a person to drop 10-15 pounds unless they are doing a weight reducing cleanse in which case that can be lost in a matter of a few weeks. You can read more about my personal experience with colon hydrotherapy and my own fat losses under Angie’s Story.

~Ask if they do abdominal massage during colon therapy. Most therapists will say unequivocally, “Yes”. It’s very important. Massage is one of the most effective tools I use in my colon therapy treatments.

~Ask if they have an attached, private bathroom. The answer should be yes. You don’t want to be running down the back hallway of a plaza style facility in your hospital gown, or going into a shared bathroom after colon therapy. It should be within a few feet of the colonic treatment table and used exclusively for clients; and should have only one toilet in the bathroom. None of that partition stuff we are all used to with public restrooms; no one can relax enough to eliminate in those things!

~Ask the therapist how many colonic treatments you need. The colon therapist should have an answer that in some way tells you that everyone is different. Basically, most colon therapists can tell you more about this after spending one colon hydrotherapy session with you. For the most part a person will require 10 colon therapy sessions within their first month to see really great results and need to be seen once a month or so when they are trying to maintain their results. Some colon therapists require you to buy and use 10-15 colonic treatments your first month or they will not see you. I do understand this method of thinking; they really want everyone to have great results and most everyone will if they have that many colonics in a short period of time. However, if you can only afford 1 or 2 colon therapy treatments it is still good for you to do them. Most of my clients will do about 6 to 8 colonics for preparation, then go on a fasting type of cleanse where they will have one colonic every day for 3 to 5 days during the fast. After that they will have a couple more colon therapy sessions coming off of the fast and then move to the once colonic a month maintenance. They typically do a colon cleanse a few times a year from that point on and don’t require the 6 to 8 preparation colonics if they have been seen once a month since their last cleanse.

Lastly, I can’t believe I even have to mention this but it comes after hearing stories about a woman who does this to her clients. Ask the therapist if they answer their phone during your colon therapy treatments or attend to other tasks. I would want the therapist to be with me and taking care of my needs. There is no excuse to be on the phone or running out of the room over and over again to handle other things. This is dangerous and it’s unnecessary. There are plenty of us who will gladly give you our undivided attention and make sure you get the most from your treatment.

~Ask them if they recommend any supplements. A colon therapist will use a very small amount of herbal supplements along with nutritional changes and colonics to help get you healthy. Some herbal supplements are helpful between treatment and for maintenance but the bulk of what a person takes should be during fasting colon cleanse and should not cost more that $150-300, and that is being generous. The supplements a person takes long term would be about $50 to $100 a month depending on how many suggestions they are willing to adopt. They may need more if thier diet is a constant struggle for them. This may include a colon and parasite cleanse that does NOT contain senna ( this is HIGHLY addictive even though its natural and can cause intestinal damage if taken too long ) possibly; a good broad spectrum pro-biotic from time to time, and maybe a magnesium supplement when levels are deficient for whatever reason. Colon cleansing herbs are not cheap and are very important during a cleanse and some are needed for long term use, but it shouldn’t be much. Some colon therapists push lots of unnecessary supplements; ask what they are for and how you may know if they are effective for you or not.

Many colon therapists are trained very well and then mentored by another therapist like I was; I feel this is the best case scenario for training a therapist. Hopefully they also have an extensive medical background; its not necessary but it really does help a lot. Unfortunately some colon therapists are trained in a few days on how to run the colonic equipment and given a license. Even well trained therapists can become lazy in their methods; we all can become complacent. Asking these questions will ensure that you are more likely to get a colon therapist who really understands and pays attention to what he or she is doing.

Now, I would like to discuss some of my reasons for advocating the use of the closed-system colon therapy equipment.

The closed-system colon therapy device requires direct and active participation by the colon therapist at all times. I am not very comfortable with the idea of leaving a client alone for any period of time although some therapists do this and are yet very responsible and don’t abuse the ability to be absent during colonic treatment.

The closed-system colon therapy device naturally builds the strength of the colon muscle itself much like the use of weight bearing excercise builds the strength of other muscles. The client is laying flat during the treatment which forces the colon to function without any assistance from gravity and it must work much harder. With the closed-system colonic the colon also has to push waste out through a tube. This tube extends the amount of time that the colon must contract in order to have a bowel movement by 3 to 5 times; again making the colon much stronger. The open-system colonic allows the waste to fall directly out of the rectum without much effort. It is performed with the client laying in a supine position so gravity is helping the colon remove waste, so this system will not work the muscle as much as the closed-system colonic irrigation will.

Closed-system colon hydrotherapy will almost inevitably and eventually hydrate and tone the entire colon. The client is laying flat and the therapist is massaging the abdomen as well as doing short fills of the colon. This causes the water to reach farther up into the colon and helps hydrate the entire colon and soften the its entire contents. In the open system the client is not laying flat and the water must be able to travel up-hill to reach anything beyond the sigmoid.  The open system colon hydrotherapy also does not allow for any fill cycles, which I think are important in a colonic to stimulate a release as well as move water beyond where it would normally flow back out at the slightest amount of resistance. I often wonder and worry about the supine position putting extra and unsafe pressure on the wall of the sigmoid and personally would be concerned about ballooning or herniating the colon if the mucosa is compromised or weak in any way.

The closed-system colonic equipment is “closed”. All of the waste material is inside a tube and quietly and discreetly carried away into the sewer. It is a more sanitary method for the practitioner as well as a less embarrasing method for the client.

There has been limited research done on colonics; I feel its because there is very little  money to be made in healthcare when you are actually improving someone’s health ( we dont have healthcare, we have sick care ), however there has been some research published and it was based solely on the use of closed system colon therapy equipment. Any time I can side with published research and imperical evidence I will do so; as long as it is a beneficial pracice. To my knowledge there has not been any research done using the open system as of yet. Although I feel that hydrotherapy of any kind is better than nothing at all. I do believe that open-system colon therapy is being utilized for colonoscopy prep as of late.

In my practice I spend about an hour and a half to two hours with a client the first time they come to see me. After that they are with me for about an hour. I do feel that if the client was left alone during the actual colon therapy time that a lot of education would be lost. I answer questions gain more background and client history and make constant reminders to my clients during thier treatment. I learn more about their personal lives, stress levels and emotional state. I also can constantly evaluate the way their body is responding to colon therapy treatment. In an open system ( not all therapists do this ) a client is handed instructions on how to preform thier own colon therapy treatment and sometimes they don’t get to talk to the therapist at all. This to me is such a lost opportunity for helping the client.  I think the colon therapist should be present, answering questions, massaging, etc the whole time.

I would encourage you if you are interested in learning more about the open system to locate a therapist who uses open system colonics and ask them why they prefer it as apposed to the closed system. I am sure they have thier reasons. Don’t let me be the authority on thier methods. I can only speak to my own personal opinions and experiences.

I hope this helps anyone out there who is looking for a good colon therapist. I also have a couple colon therapists in the area that I can refer to that meet the criteria I would want in a therapist and can send you thier way if you need to see someone other than myself for whatever reason.

In the meantime, like I have always said. All of us are different, we each are going to be a little different but if you are selective you will find a colon therapist who practices safe standards and hopefully one who fits your personality and uses the system that you personally prefer. Speak with therapists who use different types of systems and find out why they perfer one over the other. Ask them the other questions. Ask them about things that are important to you. If they will not speak with you candidly on the phone you may not want to schedule a session with them. I admit it can be hard to answer a lot of questions over the phone on certain days but if you run into a therapist who doesn’t have the time to answer your questions today maybe take the time to have them call you when they do have time. They may just be too busy at the time that you make first contact. You are selecting a colon therapist, not a window washer. Take your time.

Now, I need to give credit where I am aware that credit is due.  I have heard rumors that swirl around about open system colonic equipment; some say the water cannot be filtered and is not clean or safe for use. They also state that the equipment is not FDA approved, or that all therapists who use these systems leave several clients unattended at all  times. These statements simply are not proven to be true. There are many therapists who use the open system who spend the entire time massaging thier clients, operating the device and helping them throughout the entire treatment. As far as FDA approval is concerned, the approval is for the manufacturing of the system (device) and for what purpose the item is being manufactured for ( medically indicated, vs general other well being types of reasons ). Many therapists do colonics for general well being, improved peristalsis and hydration, bowel management etc. and for this reason we are not allowed to claim FDA approved equipment. It has a legal implication that the device and the reasons we claim to use it for are FDA approved and they simply are not. One thing the FDA does require as part of the intended purpose in the equipment they approve is that a trained therapist administer the treatment. So going to a place where you are left alone is in and of itself a negation of the safety net, if any, afforded by having FDA approval.  The FDA will most likely not any time soon be approving colonics for anything other than medically indicated preparation of bowels for colonoscopy. And any water source can be filtered prior to entering the equipment. It doesnt need to have a filtration system within the equipment itself to be filterable water.  Colon hydrotherapy can be good for you if you go to a good therapist regardless of the system used during treatment.  I just prefer the closed-system for the reasons I gave before. I have, however heard that there are people who have inadequate sphincter control who would do better on an open system colonic than a closed system, and often times an extremely obese client would be more comfortable on an open system table than on a closed one. I have had clients who had some difficulty in the beginning but eventually were able to use the closed-system colonic irrigation and thier sphincter control actually improved.

More important actually than open or closed is the matter of plumbing being installed with backflow prevention prior to installing colon therapy equipment.  This would be a good thing to ask since not all equipment is made to prevent backflow and cross contamination.

So, the bottom line is please ask around. Find a therapist you are comfortable with and ask them lots of questions. I hope this article helps tell you more about how I do things and prompts you to learn more about other therapists and find the right fit for yourself.

I will also say again, this site is full of my own personal opinions. Don’t talk to just myself. Talk to a few different therapists and do your homework about the different types of systems, pricing, etc and make a decision that is best for you. Sorry to keep restating this but I do want people to truly collect many different opinions. Don’t trust me because you like my website.  This is an important decision; take care in making it and give fairness to other therapists by allowing them to speak to their own experience and methods.