When I’m working in my clinic I talk to my clients a lot about the importance of strong and healthy roots to help maintain our health and wellbeing. I use the analogy of a tree and how it depends upon a healthy root system to supply water, nutrients and oxygen to the branches, to enable the tree to produce healthy leaves, blossoms and ultimately fruits. If, for some reason, this process is interrupted, and the roots are no longer able to supply these important substances, then the tree will eventually wither and die.
We are no different really. We each have our own root system, and it’s called the digestive system, with its alimentary canal, a long and continuous tube from the mouth to the anus, and the accessory organs of digestion attached to this canal, including the stomach, pancreas, liver, gall-bladder, small and large intestine. We eat food, it is broken down and digested mechanically by the ‘washing-machine’ like action of the stomach, as well as chemically with hydrochloric acid, enzymes and bile. Absorption of nutrients takes place in the 16 feet or so of small intestine, and these nutrients are taken to the liver, where they are transported to different organs and systems of the body via a huge network of arteries and capilliaries. What is left, the faeces, is expelled from the body via the body’s sewer system – the large intestine. In an ideal world, this should happen on a daily basis, but for many people it’s several days, or even weeks, before they are able to empty their bowel. This is simply not acceptable especially when we consider that chronic constipation is a risk factor in developing bowel cancer.
For people that suffer with chronic constipation, I will advise on diet and lifestyle factors that may be affecting their large bowel’s ability to expel its contents along and out, including:
- Eating a minimum of 5 portions of vegetables and fruits daily
- Drinking at least 2 litres of pure water daily
- Exercising for at least 20 minutes daily
- Managing stress levels, so doing some yoga, mindfulness or meditation for 10 – 15 minutes a day
However, I have found many, many times, that people do try and do all the correct things to help avoid constipation, but they are still suffering. In such cases, I will recommend that they consider having a colon hydrotherapy treatment with me so that I can check transit time in the bowel, and so that I can thoroughly cleanse their large bowel. Many times, I’ve found that the rhythmic introduction of water, in and out of the bowel, during colon hydrotherapy treatment, triggers transit time and gets the bowel to empty very effectively, giving quick, welcome relief.
I will always recommend that a person who suffers with a ‘lazy’ bowel takes a live bacteria capsule twice daily before meals. Research shows that live bacteria have multiple health benefits, including helping to digest our food, ensuring important vitamins and hormones are manufactured, helping to ‘crowd’ out pathogenic disease-causing species and strains of bacteria, harmful yeasts and fungi too. Live bacteria have also been shown to increase transit time in the bowel, reducing the risk of developing constipation, and reducing the risk of contracting life-threatening gut infections like C. difficile.