Detoxification therapy includes a variety of techniques designed to assist the body in removing the buildup of potentially harmful chemicals and toxins. Practiced by many naturopaths, as well as some chiropractors, osteopaths, nutritionists, and holistically trained M.D.s, the purpose of the therapy is to improve the body’s overall well-being through internal cleansing and purification. Diet and lifestyle changes–such as giving up caffeine and fast food, cutting back on sugar, and quitting smoking–are considered key to the treatment. In addition, other techniques, such as hydrotherapy, colon therapy, chelation therapy, or even a supervised fast, are often suggested as part of detoxification.
Colon therapy is the process of cleansing and flushing out the colon, or large intestine. Also called colonic irrigation or colonic hydrotherapy, the treatment is similar to an enema but more extensive. Whereas an enema (which you can do yourself) bathes only the lower portion of the colon, colonic irrigation (which must be done by a trained practitioner) attempts to clean the entire–roughly five-foot–length.