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The ins and outs of the self-administered enema

| NOV 25, 2016

If you have never self-administered an enema, you are in for a real treat! Before you cringe and run away here’s something to consider: what’s more horrid; having a healthy, clean colon or living with a colon impacted with putrid faecal matter from yesteryear?

It’s quite simple. The ability and confidence to occasionally self-administer a therapeutic enema can dramatically improve your quality of life and from the comfort of you own bathroom. This is a simple and effective self-care practice that takes less than 20 minutes at basically zero cost and with instant results.

Water enemas were standard practice in hospitals prior to most surgical procedures for pain reduction in the body.

Enema history

Therapeutic Enemas (know as Basti) are foundational to Ayurvedic healing and are used to treat the entire body and mind with a recorded usage of almost 5000 years. In 400 B.C. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, recorded using enemas for fever therapy. During the middle ages, enema popularity continued to grow and they became a stylish practice of the wealthy and even royalty. In the 19th century the American, Dr. Kellogg, became a strong supporter of the enema in the treatment of the many diseases of the time. Clearly, we’ve been putting water up our bottoms for a very long time. Luckily we no longer need gourds or bullhorns to do so.

So what are the benefits of enemas?

  1. Pain relief

Up until about 20 years ago, water enemas were standard practice in hospitals prior to most surgical procedures for pain reduction in the body, often ceasing the need for medical intervention altogether.

  1. Constipation relief

Constipation is extremely common but not a condition to take lightly as it has serious long-term health implications. Although constipation must be remedied through diet and lifestyle, a self-administered water enema is a quick solution for immediate, albeit temporary, relief to a very uncomfortable state.

  1. Immediate energy boost

Residue faecal matter sitting in the lower colon will leach into the blood stream causing low energy, pain and a depressive state. As soon as this has been flushed away, there’s an immediate resurgence of energy to the body.

The water enema versus the retention enema

There are two types of enemas which differ in both intention and method. The first is the water enema, also sometimes called a high enema. The second sort of enema is the retention enema, also sometimes called medicated or medicinal enemas.

Water enemas are able to reach the last 1⁄2 meter of the colon, where most of the toxic waste lives and can accumulate.

The intention of water enemas is to help remove impacted faecal matter in the lower colon. They manage to reach the last 1/2-meter of the colon, where most of the toxic waste lives and can accumulate reducing the amount of toxicity leaching into our system. They’re referred to as “high enemas” because the water source should be quite high, using gravity to add some force to the water flow. This practice is quite simply about using clean water to clean, moisten and loosen any gunk that’s stuck.

Coffee enemas increase the activity of the protective enzymes and amino acids of the liver and gut to bind to toxins while boosting bile flow.

The objective of the retention enema is not to clean the colon, like the water enema, but to use the thin the permeable membrane of the colon to introduce medicinal solutions into the bloodstream. The membrane of the colon is the most permeable surface in our body and by leaving a solution in there long enough (usually between twelve and fifteen minutes), it can pass through into the blood stream.

Honourable mention: The coffee enema

If you’re familiar with popular detox practices you’ve probably heard about the coffee enema. Coffee contains caffeine and other beneficial molecules that stimulate the production of glutathione S-transferase (GST) in the liver, the “master detoxifier” in the body. Coffee enemas increase the activity of the protective enzymes and amino acids of the liver and gut to bind to toxins while boosting bile flow, allowing for the safe elimination of toxins. Dr Max Gerson, the pioneer in researching the science of using components of coffee to heal the body, believed coffee enemas reduced toxicity in the body by a massive 700%

Additional reported benefits of coffee enemas include boosted energy levels, heightened mental clarity, elimination of parasites and candida as well as easing chronic pain in the body.

Other types of retention or medicated enemas used in Ayurvedic Basti treatments as well as modern hard-core health hackers are ghee, sesame oil, raw aloe vera, spirulina, mineral salts, probiotics, milk thistle, herbal extracts...the list goes on. The objective is quick absorbency, almost immediate bio availability and a way of administering powerful herbal solutions into the body while bypassing the digestive system.

Will retention enemas be on the 2017 health trend alert lists? Probably not, but if so, you saw it here first.

Want to read more about maintaining good health? Check out our omega 3 fish oil benefits guide

Emily is a certified nutritionist and detox specialist. She has studied alternative medicine from the Andes to the Amazon. In 2011 Emily also spent some time in Kerala, India studying Ayurveda and Pancha Karma. Since then she has guided hundreds of people through her Ayurveda inspired and Amazonian-sourced detox programme with outstanding results. Born in London and hailing from Toronto, she is now back in the UK with the mission to educate and empower people to take control of their health and well being. 

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