Colonic Irrigation (Colon Hydrotherapy) FAQs

Read our Complete Colonic Irrigation FAQ – Questions and Answers about colon hydrotherapy ! UPDATED OCTOBER 2018 WITH VIDEOS !

What is colon hydrotherapy / colonic irrigation?
Colon Hydrotherapy, traditionally known as Colonic Irrigation, gently fills the colon with warm sterile filtered water through a small sterile rectal tube. When the water is flushed out, it carries with it any material that has built up in the large intestine(colon), waste matter, toxins and trapped gases.

What is a Libbe Colon Hydrotherapy open system?
The Libbe device open system is considered to be the Rolls Royce of Colon Hydrotherapy treatment devices, providing more privacy, dignity and efficacy whilst offering the client a more relaxing, safe and comfortable treatment session. This system allows the client and or qualified nurse therapist more control of their treatment. One distinct advantage with the Libbe device is the pencil-thin rectal tube, which clients find extremely comfortable. One of the key factors is that your privacy is protected at all times, since the specially designed bed allows you to easily insert the lubricated thin rectal tube by yourself. Many people find this deeply reassuring and comforting. Once the water flow is turned on, there is no need to interrupt the cleanse. Your colon will gently take in as much water as it can tolerate. When you feel the need to evacuate, you simply release. Because of the continuous inflow and release during the treatment, the body’s own muscles are used to provide a more natural, gentle release. At the same time, the peristalsis (action of the muscles of the colon) is greatly stimulated and this provides an excellent workout for the colon. Because of the nature of the LIBBE device, the qualified nurse therapist does not need to be there with you all the time. This affords you as much privacy as you may desire.

Is there a special kind of water used for Colon Hydrotherapy?
We use highly filtered water which passes through two separate filters before being heated to the correct temperature. This filtered water is capable of absorbing and flushing more toxins out of the colon because of its drawing effect on solid particles, chemicals and other matter.

How is Colon Hydrotherapy different from enemas?
Enemas are good to clean out the sigmoid and rectal areas of the colon, which extend to about 1ft. A series of colon-hydrotherapy treatments can clean out and remove impacted material from the whole colon which is 5 ft long. Additionally, colon hydrotherapy promotes peristalsis and helps the colon muscles regain tone therefore assisting the return of regular bowel movements.

Will laxative accomplish the same result?
Laxatives empty the colon short term but are an irritant to the body. Therefore, the body produces a thin watery substance that goes through the colon and leaves behind impacted toxins and waste. Colon hydrotherapy uses pure water and does not irritate the body. One of the tremendous benefits is that it actually hydrates the body.

What can I expect from Colon Hydrotherapy?
Colon Hydrotherapy is not a cure, but a valuable procedure used to assist, the body for a wide variety of different colon-related conditions. By re-toning the bowel wall and improving colon functions, the entire body is able to function more efficiently.

How do toxins accumulate in the body?
Toxins accumulate in the body as a result of stress and/or consuming too much acidic food, such as sugar, white flour caffeine and alcohol.
When the bowel becomes unnaturally acidic, it attempts to protect itself by secreting a glyco-protein substance that lines the entire intestinal wall. This is known as mucoid plaque. This substance is what makes it hard for the body to absorb vitamins and nutrients, which could result in chronic malnutrition.
When the bowel becomes toxic, it contaminates the blood, which in turn, spreads the toxins to the heart, lungs, brain, muscles etc as it is delivering nutrients throughout the body. In the end, the liver is left to deal with toxic blood, and after years of relentless toxicity, it will become sluggish until it will no longer function. At this point, the toxins will begin to collect in other parts of the body. Disease will manifest wherever they settle. Overall, cleansing allows you to remove accumulated mucoid plaque in order to rebuild your bowel and your liver and protect yourself from disease.

Can you describe what a healthy well – functioning bowel is?
When one feels the urge to eliminate and immediately honours the urge by a trip to the toilet, elimination is quick and painless and will feel complete. Stools are medium to light brown have very little odour and will break up in water.

How many daily movements does a healthy bowel have?
A healthy bowel may have two to three bowel movements daily, depending on what you eat.

How many sessions are recommended?
We offer a bespoke treatment plan best suited to the individual’s condition and needs. Please refer to treatment programmes section.

How much time is required for a Colon Hydrotherapy session?
Please allow two hours for your first visit, one hour for the lifestyle consultation and one hour for your first treatment. Please allow one hour for each subsequent visit.

Is it possible to have colon hydrotherapy treatment whilst having periods?
Colon Hydrotherapy is perfectly safe during this time, and will help decrease the cramps and the bloating accompanying the menstruation.

How does Colon Hydrotherapy affect the Bacteria balance in my body?
Colon hydrotherapy does not flush all good or bad bacteria out of the body. Once toxins are remove from the colon, the beneficial bacteria have a cleaner habitat facilitating their reproduction and multiplication, therefore achieving a positive bacterial balance.

What are the signs or symptoms when we first begin to omit toxic substances and begin to clean out the colon?
When a regular diet of stimulates such as coffee, tea, alcohol, sugar and others are eliminated from your diet, some clients comment about having headaches, flu-like symptoms and even mild depression. At this stage of a detox, cleansing through Colon Hydrotherapy helps to flush toxins are out of the system, hence Colon Hydrotherapy is recommended with back to back sessions for the first two weeks.

Why do the symptoms or signs happen?
This is due to the body discarding toxins which are removed from the tissues and then transported by the blood to the liver and then the colon for elimination.
All symptoms generally pass by the third or fourth session of Colon Hydrotherapy. Clients often comment on their increased energy levels after the second session.

Is Colon Hydrotherapy habit forming?
No, colon hydrotherapy is not habit forming. On the contrary, one of the features of colon hydrotherapy is the toning of the colon muscles, which helps in maintaining and resuming regular bowel movements.

How will we know when the colon is empty?
The colon will probably never be empty, as it’s an organ in continuous use. As more of the impacted material is released clients comment on feeling the water enter higher regions of the colon without any sense of obstruction. The objective should not be an empty colon, but rather a well functioning colon.

Is Colon Hydrotherapy painful?
Only in the case of an impacted colon you may experience a slight discomfort. Some cramping may occur as the colon contracts to expel waste. Once the major impaction is removed, you will find the session pleasant and relaxing.

Is Colon Hydrotherapy embarrassing?
Your dignity and privacy is completely maintained at all times in the comfort of our calming and soothing private treatment rooms. During your bowel movement there is no odour with the Libbe Colon Hydrotherapy open system.

Is Colon Hydrotherapy Safe?
Colon Hydrotherapy is safe provided you do not have any contraindications (see below) and you visit a qualified practitioner which at a minimum is qualified as a Colon Hydrotherapist from one of the many associations worldwide. We do recommend always having colon hydrotherapy in a clinical setting especially if you suffer from constipation, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome or you suspect any digestive conditions. There are adverse effects and risks should you not be suitable or should the treatment not be performed correctly. This is in line with the recommendations from the UK National Health Service NHS which are referenced at the bottom of the page.

Are there any contraindications to Colon Hydrotherapy?
Yes, there are. It is important to keep this in mind when deciding where to go for your treatment, it is a decision that should not be taken lightly. There are a few contra-indications to keep in mind when considering colon hydrotherapy, including recent colon and abdominal surgeries, hernias, uncontrolled high blood pressure and other conditions. We thouroughly check the suitability of each individual prior to starting any treatment. In some cases, we may refer you to your doctor for further examinations to assess suitability for treatment.

Is Colonic Irrigation Risky/Harmful?
Yes if you have colon hydrotherapy and you are not suitable for it – you could have complications. Most of these are minor like cramping, diarrhoea, dizzyness, soreness, but there have been more serious accidents reported, like low levels of minerals, infections, kidney failure, punctured bowels. It is important that you visit an establishment that you trust when you decide to undergo colon hydrotherapy.

For a more in-depth look into the risks associated with colon hydrotherapy, this extensive article written by our Clinical Director Miss Velile Ndebele covers the all medical literature from the last 40 years around the risks associated with colon cleansing and colonic irrigation.

What preparation do I need to do prior embarking on a colon hydrotherapy treatment programme?
We will provide you with an easy to follow dietary regime to best prepare you for the treatment. No fasting is necessary prior to a treatment, and the few dietary adjustments we recommend will greatly enhance the programme’s results. We believe these are very important and we encourage you to commit and to follow them in order to get the maximum benefits from the course of treatments.

What should I do immediately before a session?
It is advisable to refrain from eating or drinking anything two hours prior to your scheduled appointment. This is to avoid feelings of nausea, as well as ensuring maximum comfort during your Colon Hydrotherapy session.

After a session, how might I feel?
You will leave your treatment session feeling rebalanced, rejuvenated, re-energised. This is the Aqualibria promise.

What kind of diet should I follow immediately after a Colon Hydrotherapy session?
Following a cleansing of the large intestinal, the body may feel weary or relaxed. This is simply your body working out and processing through its cleaning period; proper rest is important at this time to give your body time to rejuvenate.
Immediately after receiving Colon Hydrotherapy, it is important to:

  • Drink plenty of liquids (purified water, juices, herb teas and electrolyte liquids).
  • Eat a healthy vegetable soup within the next couple of hours;
  • Avoid eating raw vegetables straight after the treatment. Steamed vegetables and raw fruit are sufficient. (To be chewed very thoroughly).
  • Reduce meat consumption (especially beef, pork as well as chicken), alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake.

We will provide you with a programme to follow for the duration of your treatment programme.

Does Colon Hydrotherapy affect the electrolyte balance in the body?
In the 1989 study – “Effects of Colon Hydrotherapy on Serum Electrolytes” conducted by National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, USA: “No patients experienced any clinically significant symptoms or disturbances”.
This was further corroborated in the early 2000s by the more recent research by Yoko Clinic in Japan – “Influence of Colon Hydrotherapy on Human Intestinal Microbiota” so we can be very confident about this from a medical standpoint.

What is the qualification needed to be a colon hydrotherapist?
Our Clinical Director Miss Velile Ndebele is a Registered General Nurse with futher education in Nutrition, Dietetics and Colon Hydrotherapy with extensive public and private hospital settings experience prior to setting up Aqualibria in 2005. She oversees the clinical staff day to day and personally checks all medical questionnaires prior to approving anyone being administered colon hydrotherapy.
Our qualified therapists are professionally trained in the use of the state of the art open system LIBBE device – the most comfortable and technologically advanced colon hydrotherapy system. Since Aqualibria is the first centre in the UK to offer this type of colon hydrotherapy, Miss Velile Ndebele has undertaken training in the United States with the I-ACT International Association of Colon Hydrotherapists, which is the largest association of colon hydrotherapists worldwide.

Is Colon Hydrotherapy Available on the NHS?
At present, Colon Hydrotherapy is not available on the NHS however your private health insurance may cover for complementary treatments.
We recommend you check with your specific plan and see if you can claim back your colon hydrotherapy treatment.

What is the International Association of Colon Hydroqualified nurse therapists?
The International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT) membership recognizes the many and varied approaches to the age-old profession of colon hydrotherapy. Therefore, we subscribe to the following basic tenets regarding our profession and vow to uphold them to the best of our ability to achieve a common, mutual awareness within the colon hydrotherapy field:

  • The health, welfare and comfort of our clients is our primary concern. We will treat our clients as we would treat ourselves.
  • We will obtain a good, basic education in colon hydrotherapy and will assist schools in maintaining the highest standard of education for this purpose.
  • We recognize the ever-changing nature of, approach to, and attitude towards health care. We will continue our education accordingly thereby keeping abreast of all new developments and advancements in this field.
  • We will share our knowledge and awareness with others in the colon hydrotherapy profession.
  • We recognize the necessity of maintaining a professional relationship with health care practitioners in other fields and of keeping pace with the latest developments in health care.
  • We will work as a colon hydroqualified nurse therapists as our education and training allows and demands and we will not infringe upon other professions we are not qualified to practice.
  • We honor this profession and promise to uphold these tenants. If our work in colon hydrotherapy does not uphold this standard of professionalism, we will leave the profession to those who can.


Updated 24 October 2018 – Written by Velile Ndebele, Clinical Director
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