I learned a lot from my patients over the years. One extraordinary report came from a lady in her forties. She was lively and intelligent; a person I would trust to not make up wild stories.

She had gone in for a colonic irrigation and was surprised at what she saw. Most colonic therapists have a short section of transparent pipe in the enema tube, to allow visualization of the fecal matter being retrieved. Apparently this lady saw some food coloring balls that she quite distinctly remembered was a type she used to eat as a child but had never swallowed in nearly 40 years!

The only conclusion was that this material had been inside her colon for decades.

Now “colonic therapists”, or whatever they call themselves, are guilty of many wild claims. Most of them don’t go beyond the plumbing idea (I mean, if cleaning out your colon makes you feel so much better, why not take care to put different foods in at the top end? Duh!)

Be especially aware of the bentonite scam that many pull. They get you to swallow bentonite for several days before your appointment and then, presto!… he or she is able to produce skeins of stringy, tarry looking substance from the enema. They claim this is “impacted feces” but in fact it’s just the bentonite. That’s how it looks when it has passed through the digestive system.

But maybe some of this colonic folk lore is real and has scientific support?

A Danish scientific paper, from researchers at the Gastroenterological Clinic, Elsinore Hospital, put a respectable skin on the topic of long-impacted feces. During a careful and non-sensational enquiry, they found impacted feces or, as they termed it, “hidden constipation”, was very real. What’s more it was associated with bloating, pain, irregular bowel, diverticula, polyps, hemorrhoids and even malignancy.

So it needs to be taken seriously.

All together, a sample of 251 patients, 159 of them female, was drawn from 645 referred patients, between 1988 and 1999. Nineteen selected symptoms were recorded; plus abdominal palpation, barium enemas and proctoscopy were performed, with special reference to identifying fecal reservoirs.

64% of patients had bloating; 60% abdominal pressure; 26% pain; 58% were tender over the right lower abdomen; 42% had fecal masses and 33% had meteorism (accumulation of gas that makes the abdomen sound like a drum when tapped). None of this was related to age.

But older patients had a much higher incidence of hemorrhoids (grade 2 or more) and diverticula.

62% of patients had detectable fecal mass on the left side; but over 50% also had a right sided palpable abdominal mass (additional fecal reservoir).

A malignant tumor was found in four patients, polyps in 20 patients, and in 105 patients left sided diverticula were present.

After a cleansing regimen was conducted the dominant symptoms and signs were reduced significantly. So the colonic therapists are on to a good thing, it seems!

[Dan Med Bull. 2004 Nov;51(4):422-5]

Treatment For Impacted Feces

The Danish researchers used what they called “propulsion therapy” to correct the problems they encountered. We would call it colon cleansing.

There are many products to address this problem. I especially recommend a colon cleanse called Natural Balance from my friend Graeme Dinnen  (www.resourcesforlife.net)

The following regimen works well for most people, although it may have to be adjusted to suit your particular needs. Finding the correct dosage is important for you to get the best results.  Much depends on your condition: those prone to diarrhea or loose stools might react more immediately to the herbs and may find it helpful to start with half a capsule of Natural Balance each day; those prone to constipation may need to increase the number of capsules until bowel movements come daily.

Begin with one capsule of Natural Balance. The herbs can be swallowed as capsules or made into a herbal tea with warm-hot, rather than boiling water. Natural Balance should be taken at night one hour (or more) after supper. Stir the tea to prevent the herbs clumping. The advantage of taking it as a tea is that water helps comfortable detoxification and you are encouraged to drink at least six 8oz. glasses of pure (not distilled) water every day.

Anyone with a chemical sensitivity should start with smaller doses of Natural Balance – for example1/4 or 1/2 a capsule a day and contact us for further guidance.

The goal is to have at least 2 bowel movements each day. With Natural Balance, if there is no increase in the number of bowel movements within the first three or four days, increase the dosage to two or even three capsules. These can be taken all together. Do not exceed these levels without contacting guidance.

Continue for as long as you feel you are benefitting. This is a gentle yet purgative long-term program which should be taken daily. Although some people have experienced immediate results do not expect them within the first few days. Be ready to honor any bowel movements quickly as your body becomes used to Natural Balance. Don’t get caught out!

Other Formulas

There are many other formulas in this niche. For example, Internal Cleansing Fiber from Ryan Alarid at UltimateLifespan.com here in Las Vegas.

Wherever you shop, look for ingredients like psyllium husk, flax seeds, fennel seeds, licorice root, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, alfalfa, uva ursi leaf, rhubarb root, peppermint leaves, black seed, cumin seed, cinnamon and ginger root.

There will be other ingredients that people swear by. Try a few formulas!

Plus, of course, you can consider colonic irrigation (deep enemas).  Just don’t get hooked on the kinky side and remember, what you put in your gut at the top end is far more important than messing around with the output at the other end.

It’s still about fire in the belly, but this is maybe the ash pit!

For more about “Fire In The Belly”, if you haven’t read the report, go here: http://www.fireinthebellybook.com