Clinical Constipation: A Moving Story

darlene explaining digestive system with chartIf you get to the place in your life where you are only moving your bowels once a month, you are perhaps well-advised to engage the expertise of Darlene Holloway at Alternative Health Center of Cary, the practice she established more than 20 years ago.

A graduate of the Florida Institute of Natural Health and the Florida School of Massage, she is acknowledged as an expert in the field of colon irrigation therapy. In fact, she holds the highest level of certification as an instructor with the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy. Her achievements over several decades led the I-ACT to select her as International Colon Therapist of the Year in 2009.

A client we’ll call Priscilla, who is 47, took that path, with excellent results.

“In addition to her clinical constipation, this young woman had a host of related health issues,” notes Ms. Holloway, “including constant colds and headaches. She had been over-loading her system with laxatives and a poor diet. And scar tissue from a hysterectomy was also an issue.

“There’s an important educational component to this treatment. I took this young woman to a chart (see photo above) to explain that the colon is nothing more than four layers of muscle, five to six feet long. I pointed out to her how scar tissue can push down on the colon, leading to constipation.

“Over time, scar tissue may cause the colon to balloon and create a pouch which fills with waste matter—which was exactly the issue she was dealing with.

“Our purpose with colon hydrotherapy is to hydrate the system, remove waste, stimulate muscle movement, rehabilitate the nerves, muscles, glands, circulatory and immune systems that form the components of the digestive system, and to reposition the intestines.”

The therapy itself, she explains, “is the safe, gentle infusion of warm, filtered water into the rectum using no chemicals or drugs. This is a restorative, painless procedure which is both relaxing and effective.”

Diet as a Factor

warm-curry-soupFor many people, diet is a critical factor underlying constipation, Ms. Holloway finds. “If a client has a diet heavy in flour and pasta, for example, they are in effect creating a glue that sticks to the walls of the colon. To ease constipation, I often suggest daily use of a magnesium product which comes in powder form and is mixed in water. We adjust the use of magnesium to the client’s condition. In an acute case—a client who hasn’t moved his or her bowels naturally for several months, for example—we will use a therapeutic dose. The goal is to get to a maintenance level, where the client has good function on a daily basis.”

Medications and Constipation

vitamin supplement pillsNotes Ms. Holloway, “We frequently see patients who come in with a bag full of medications—which was true of Priscilla—and of course, each of them affects the function of the body. The intent of pain medications, for example, is often to relax muscles—and as I’ve said, the colon itself is a muscle that needs to be moved and exercised to be effective. Anti-depressants also affect the body’s muscular system.

“And, at times, there are structural issues which can underlie chronic constipation. Some clients come to us with a tilted pelvis, and that tilt can inhibit the elimination process. The deep tissue massage and structural integration that we offer, sometimes in tandem with chiropractic adjustments, can help clients overcome this issue. Let me add that we often find constipation is an issue when a client has suffered with sexual abuse. For many, a colonic is a rejuvenating, health-giving experience. For others, in many instances, it is an important ‘letting go’ experience.”

For more information about colon hydrotherapy and other therapies offered at the center, contact:


919 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27511
Telephone: (919) 380-0023

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