Holistic Nursing Services

Freddie WindRiver, Licensed Nurse                                                     Shutesbury, MA  (413) 259-1416 

Holistic Nursing Services

Colon Hydrotherapy

Getting a colonic

Taking a Sauna

Giving yourself an enema


How to Give an Enema - To yourself or to someone else

    The first and most important thing to do to enable a successful enema is to RELAX! Copy these instruction to refer to during the process.  Find a comfortable place to lie down near your toilet.  If you use your bed, place a water-proof covering under an absorbant towel to lie on.  If you prefer the floor, treat yourself also to something soft to lie on.  Find a picture of the colon http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/anatomiccolon/anatomiccolon.pdf  so you are familiar with its shape.  Put on some soothing music, do some deep breathing, and give yourself ample time and privacy. 

    Experiment with water temperature; most people are comfortable with water close to the body's natural internal temperature of 98 degrees.  You can test it on the inside of your wrist for comfort.  After you fill the bottle, or plastic water reservoir, with the delivery tube clamped, unclamp the tube briefly so a little water runs out in order to fill the tube with water.  If you forget this step, you will give yourself a tube-full of air first, which compounds the difficulty of holding enough water to start the cleansing process.

    From the floor, any enema lying down should include a fill from your enema bag hung on a hook about shoulder height, so the bottom of the bag will be a little above your hips.  If you plan to use a knee-chest position after the first fill, the hook from which you hang the bag should be above your head; both will need to be higher if you lie on a bed.  The bag should be hung near your feet to maximize the reach of the tubing.

    You will get a better cleansing if you start your first fill lying on your LEFT side. It's helpful to use plenty of LUBRICATION (such as olive oil or KY Jelly) on your anus and also on the tip of the tube. Close the clamp so that water is not flowing through it and insert the tube. When the tip reaches a sharp bend in the colon, about 4 inches in, you will feel resistance as you push it forward. At this point it helps to open the clamp slightly on the delivery tube so water is trickling into the colon only while the rectal tube is being pushed around that bend in the colon. Then the clamp should be closed again while the tube is being inserted along the next length of colon so you can relax your rectal sphinctor.  When the tip of the tube is being inserted, it should slide along easily.  For the first fill, at least a foot of the tube should be inserted. 
    When you decide you have inserted the tube to a preferred depth, you will open the clamp on the delivery tube to allow water to fill your colon very slowly. It helps to message your lower abdomen very gently in the direction of the fill, referring to a picture of your colon. When you feel your first urge to eliminate, close the clamp on the delivery tube to stop the flow and take several deep abdominal breaths. When you are comfortable, resume filling. You may alternate between filling and breathing several times. When you are no longer able to relax with a fill, it is time to remove the equipment and sit on the toilet to eliminate. Do not set strict goals about how much water you must receive before elimination. Sometimes your colon can easily receive more water than others. Remember that the goal is elimination, and if your are more relaxed with sitting on the toilet after a short fill, you can always introduce more water later.  As the water is released, waste almost always accompanies it.  If not, you are probably constipated, and a second fill will get the waste softened enough for release.

    Taking an enema should involve several fills. For the second and later fills, it works just fine to lie on your back, or use a knee-chest position. Try to insert 2 or 3 feet of the tube. Inserting it a yard is required to deliver the water up into the Transverse Colon, and this will be important if you plan a retention enema with herbs or other substances added to the water.

    What to avoid: What affects the flow of water most strongly is gravity. Therefore it is never effective to instill enema water while sitting on a toilet because it will not flow uphill into the colon. It can be effective, however, to use a small bulb syringe douche to insert a small amount of water, less than 1 cup, into the rectum to induce a bowel movement while sitting on the toilet. This is a very effective procedure for bowel training and for initiating a bowel movement at a convenient time; but this is a douche, and is not a cleansing procedure.

    It is also not an efficient enema to use a short 3 inch rectal tip which delivers water only a few inches into the rectum but below the colon, especially in a sitting position. If the water does not flow in about a foot, around the bend into the Sigmoid Colon, a large enema can overstretch the rectum, damaging it. Therefore it is important both to lie down during instillation, and to use a long rectal tube.  Don't be fooled by the fact that almost all commercial enema equipment provides us with the damaging short rectal tip.  I have long rectal tubes on hand for $5.

    Damage from a large enema in an upright sitting position is, in my opinion, the primary reason some people believe enemas are dangerous. Once the rectal sphincters have been overstretched, a person may not be able to have a bowel movement without resorting to an enema, leading to the belief enemas are habit forming. I can assist my clients in such circumstances to rest their damaged muscles with safer hydrotherapy methods and regain their own ability to defecate. Far better is to use a safe enema procedure and avoid the damage.