The colon, or large intestine/bowel, is a vital organ situated at the end of the digestive tract in the abdominal cavity. It thought to be a vestigial structure but with a rich lymphatic supply. It consists of the ascending, the transverse, the descending and the sigmoid colon and the rectum. The anus acts as a valve under voluntary control.
Its functions are to re-absorb digestive juices, water-soluble salts and bile back into the bloodstream and thence to the liver. It also stores and desiccates food and other bodily wastes before elimination. Besides, it houses a vast array of beneficial bacteria. The latter help our immunity to infection, keep high blood cholesterol levels in check, produce some vitamins, and probably also act in preventing colon cancer.
The form of the colon is variable. Most diagrams show an idealised bowel, whereas the length is variable. Although, the path it follows can be tortuous, with many loops. Some unfortunate people have that kind of problem, where constipation runs in their family.
The bowel structure is made from smooth muscle. It is different from ordinary body muscle inasmuch as it is under autonomic nerve regulation. We have no conscious control over it when it’s working normally. However, if the colon is fast and disordered, muscle spasm may result. It is a feature of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, strangely also accompanied by constipation together with bloating, irregular defecation and incomplete evacuation.
The colon is the central part of the eliminative system of the body. So, it is essential to keep bowel function regular to prevent the other eliminative organs becoming overworked. It also helps to avoid the effect of toxins building up in the body.
The contraindications of colon hydrotherapy include: