Colon cleansing is an ancient and time-honored health practice for rejuvenating the system; it was used in Egypt over 4,000 years ago. Later, Hippocrates taught these procedures in his health care system. The large intestine, or colon, is healed, rebuilt, and finally restored to its natural size, normal shape, and correct function.
Colon therapist Anita Lotson explains the procedure and some of its physical and psychological benefits: "There are several stages of therapy. The first segment involves cleansing, a thorough washing of the large intestine. The colon is irrigated by a technique whereby water is gently infused into the large bowel, flowing in and out at steady intervals. Through this method, water is allowed to travel the entire length of the colon, all the way around to the cecum area. The walls of the colon are washed and old encrustations and fecal material are loosened, dislodged, and swept away. This toxic waste material has often been attached to the bowel walls for many, many years. It is laden with millions of bacteria, which set up the perfect environment for disease to take root and entrench itself in the system, wreaking havoc. As this body pollution is eliminated, many conditions -- from severe skin disorders to breathing difficulties, depression, chronic fatigue, nervousness, severe constipation, and arthritis -- are reduced in severity, providing great relief, especially when augmented with dietary changes and other treatment modalities.
"The next phases are healing, rebuilding, and finally restoration of a healthy colon, functioning at maximum efficiency for the final absorption of nutrients, and the total and timely elimination of all remaining waste materials. During the healing phase, we begin to infuse materials into the bowel that will cool inflamed areas and strengthen weak sections of the colon wall.
"Flaxseed tea, white oak bark, and slippery elm bark all soothe, lubricate, and introduce powerful healing agents directly into the large intestine. These herbal teas may be taken orally as well. Simple dietary changes have been made by now, such as the addition of water. This simple measure spells the difference between success and failure in alleviating many bowel conditions. I ask all my clients to double their intake of water.
"I love to see people's change in attitude from the time they come in to the time that they leave. Sometimes people are very irritable when their bowels are backed up. They're often depressed, and sometimes nasty. By the time they leave, you can see a smile and a bounce in their step. It's a different person altogether."
Detox Drink: An excellent formula for colon cleansing is a drink made from ground flax seeds, psyllium seeds, and bentonite, which is a liquid clay. "Clay absorbs toxins," says Lombardi. "The seeds expand in the water and become like a brush. They brush the interior tubing, our pipe system. When the pipe system is completely clean, foods are absorbed through our digestive system."
Nina Anderson, author of Over Fifty, Looking Thirty: The Secrets of Staying Young, attributes slow aging to sufficient enzyme levels: "Many scientists say that people get old before their time due to enzyme exhaustion. Some people are old at 40 because of the lack of enzymes, while others are young at 80 because of an abundance. Above all else, I would advise anybody who is trying to avoid looking and feeling older as they get older to take supplemental enzymes."
She goes on to explain that enzymes allow nutrients to be used. For example, you have enzymes in the heart that allow magnesium to be used. Without those enzymes, magnesium cannot not get to the heart: "Enzymes are molecule catalysts found everywhere in your body. In fact, there are over 1,300 different ones. They make everything happen. In my book I use this analogy: minerals are building blocks of your body. They are the nose, eyes, ears, bones, all the things that hold you together. Something has to build this. Enzymes are the construction workers that facilitate everything in the body going together."
Anderson recommends eating more raw foods, mineral supplements, and digestive plant enzymes to increase enzyme levels. Raw foods are loaded with enzymes. Fruit and vegetable juices are filled with enzymes. When food is processed, the first things taken out are enzymes. Why? Because the enzymes are what allow the food to ripen. However, if the food becomes too ripe, it rots. To stop it from ripening and rotting so that it can be sold longer, these enzymes must be destroyed. But if you destroy the enzymes, you destroy the food's life force. It will have carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, and minerals, but not its life force.
"The mineral supplements to take", Anderson adds, "should be in crystalloid form, with electrolytes. The crystalloid form goes right into the cell walls. This fortifies your body.
"Plant enzymes assist in the digestion of food right on through the intestinal tract. You want to help the digestive process for the whole length of the digestive tract. With supplemental enzymes, you won't have an upset stomach anymore or feel bloated and exhausted after a big meal. The skin will start to improve too. The skin manifests everything that happens inside. If your inner organs start to degenerate, if they are not functioning properly, this kind of stress shows up on your face. The first thing people do when they start getting older is look in the mirror and go, 'Oh my God, I've got wrinkles.' They spend millions trying to get rid of them. But what they have to realize is that wrinkles start from inside. You have to work on the inside to get the outside to reflect that good health.
"Without the proper enzymes, none of the other good things you do matter. For example, the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K require fat for absorption. That fat has to be broken down by an enzyme, lipase. If lipase is not present in sufficient quantities, that fat will not be broken down. If the fat isn't broken down, the vitamins will not be released. Therefore, you can spend a fortune on vitamin pills, and if you don't have the proper enzymes to release those vitamins into your system, they are just going to be flushed out."
Enzymes can be used externally as well as internally for youthful effects: "There are amazing enzyme treatments for the skin. Papaya enzymes are wonderful. Or you can mix a plant enzyme powder and put it on as a mask. Not only does it take the lines out of your face, but it fills them in and builds up collagen. It can also get rid of age spots and shrink moles. When you use enzymes as a mud pack when you come in from the sun, it fights free radicals that otherwise might foster melanoma."
EXERCISE AND OTHER TECHNIQUES
When we exercise, we detoxify as we sweat through our skin and exhale from our lungs. Some good exercises include jogging or daily brisk walks, yoga stretches, and jumping on a minitrampoline, which exercises every cell in the body. Exercise slows down the aging process because it stimulates detoxification.
Chiropractor Dr. Mitch Proffman says that traditional cultures have appreciated the connection between physical fitness and longevity, making athletic activities a part of women's ritual ceremonies: "In traditional Navajo society women would run three times daily as a formal part of the four-day rites of passage after the onset of menstruation. The first run was at dawn, and each subsequent run would be for a longer distance. It was believed that the total distance a woman could run would determine her longevity."
He goes on to state that recent research supports the connection between exercise and a longer life: "The Journal of the American Medical Association has reported that exercise increases people's life spans. Women walking forty to fifty minutes, three to four times per week, live longer. The same article claims that exercise decreases the chance of dying from all known diseases. This can be attributed to the fact that most major diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, are stress-related, and exercise reduces stress.
"Another important function of exercising is that people's mental abilities improve. In a recent study at the University of Illinois, Dr. William Greenboro, Ph.D., studied four different groups of rats. One group led a sedentary life. Another group played aimlessly on wood and plastic in their cages. A third group was on a special motorized wheel, and a fourth group walked through intricate mazes and ropes. The finding was that all rats that exercised in any manner had more capillaries in their brains and better brain function. This suggests that exercise fuels the brain with more oxygen and increases natural growth factors, in humans as well as in rats."
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., president of John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine in Seattle, Washington, says that strengthening exercises are the best defense against the increased frailty women face as they age: "It turns out that the majority of the debility of old age is simply due to people not using their muscles. The full strength of what one had at twenty and thirty is almost completely returned with weight strengthening exercises. There are a lot of different weight training programs out there. I have been doing some research. The one I find most effective, and am now using personally, is something called Super Slow. Weights are used in a very, very controlled, very, very intense way to get maxi- mum effects from the exercise. I am quite impressed with what I have seen."
Continued in Part III:
* Stress Release * Breathing Exercises * Skin Brushing
This article was excerpted from the book:
For Women Only! Your Guide to Health Empowerment, ©2000
by Gary Null & Barbara Seaman.
Gary Null, Ph.D. is one of America's leading health and fitness writers and alternative practitioners. Trained as a nutritionist, he is the author of dozens of books and hundreds of medical articles. His one-hour health radio program airs daily on WBAI in New York City, and is carried weekly to 32 stations nationwide over the Virtual Radio Network. Null is a former faculty member of the New School for Social Research and a National TAC Master Champion Racewalker. Among his many best-selling books are Get Healthy Now!, Healing Your Body Naturally, and The Ultimate Anti-Aging Program. He lives in New York City.
Barbara Seaman has been cited by the Library of Congress as the author who raised sexism and health care as a worldwide issue. Her The Doctors' Case against the Pill is credited with influencing the FDA to require informational inserts in packages of oral contraceptives and other medicines. She also wrote Free and Female and Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones. The New York Times wrote that these three books "triggered a revolution, fostering a willingness among women to take issues of health into their own hands." A founder of the National Women's Health Network and a contributing editor to Ms., Seaman lives in New York City.