“Remember,” says Dr. Darlene Holloway in her passionate, professional voice, “constipation is a symptom of a health problem, which is simply signaling the fact that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Our job as colon hydrotherapists is to identify the cause of the symptom and offer effective relief.”
Constipation, she notes, is widespread. Laxatives are a multi-million dollar business and, experts say, many millions of people in the U.S. have a significant problem with constipation on any given day.
Dr. Holloway is an expert in the field of colon irrigation therapy, and the founder, in 1992, of the Alternative Health Center of Cary. She is a graduate of the Florida Institute of Natural Health and the Florida School of Massage, and holds the highest level of certification as an instructor with the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy. Her professional achievements and dedication to her clients led the I-ACT to select her as International Colon Therapist of the Year in 2009. She continues to serve on that organization’s Board of Directors.
Following five years of study, she was certified by the American Naturopath Medical Board as a naturopathic doctor.
There are a number of fairly common causes underlying persistent constipation, says Dr. Holloway. “Surgery in the abdominal area, for example—such as a C-section or hysterectomy—can create scar tissue, and scar tissue can put pressure on the colon.
“Remember, the colon—nothing more than four layers of muscle—is 2.5 inches in diameter, and five to six feet long. Scar tissue can push down on the colon, leading to constipation. The scar tissue, over time, may cause the colon to balloon out and create a pouch which fills with waste matter, which is a step on the path to constipation. Colon hydrotherapy can be a blessing in addressing this issue and offering relief.
“Our purpose with colon hydrotherapy,” she says, “in terms of physical goals, 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.”
Colon hydrotherapy, Dr. Holloway explains, is the safe, gentle infusion of warm, filtered water into the rectum using no chemicals or drugs. “This is a restorative, painless procedure that is both relaxing and effective,” she says. The client lies comfortably on a custom treatment table and a small speculum is inserted into the rectum. The therapist then monitors the temperature and pressure of the water infused into and out of the colon—the large intestine—without any assistance on the part of the individual.
“The colon hydrotherapy method cleanses the entire colon without stressing the individual,” she says. “This method provides a closed system in which waste material is eliminated through the instrument and out of the drain line.”
Diet as a Factor
For many people, diet is a critical factor underlying constipation, the therapist 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
Notes Dr. Holloway, “We frequently see patients who come in with a bag full of medications—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 that 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 physical and/or emotional 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