What You Need To Know About Enemas

Embrace a crystal clear colon | Image courtesy of Karim Ghantous
Embrace a crystal clear colon | Image courtesy of Karim Ghantous

You’ve probably heard the word ‘enema’ thrown around, but it can sound a lot like scary medical jargon rather than a simple health procedure you can perform yourself. A standard part of many detoxes, CompareRetreats.com is here to answer all those niggling questions you have: what is it, what are the benefits, and does it hurt?

What is an enema?

The word comes from Ancient Greece and means ‘to inject’. An enema is the process of cleaning the bottom part of your colon with water or a coffee/garlic/wheatgrass solution. Water goes in; waste goes out. They’ve been used for over a thousand years, by the Ancient Egyptians, Mayan empires and Medieval apothecaries. It is typically a medical procedure but has also become common in alternative therapies.

Feel lemon fresh | Image courtesy of Joanna Kosinska
Feel lemon fresh | Image courtesy of Joanna Kosinska

What are the benefits?

Enemas are used medically to empty the bowel before surgery, to relieve constipation, to administer medication, or on occasion as part of a contrast x-ray. As part of alternative medicine, regular enemas will flush out built up waste, cleansing your colon and preventing further build up. Enemas can relieve bloating, headaches, fatigue, allergies, aches and pains, and help with weight loss, digestion and mood.

What’s a typical enema like?

You hang a large bucket of the solution on the roof, gravity allows water to comes down from a tube, and you lie on board over the bathroom while water goes in and out. For further information on this subject, check out the video below: 

Does it hurt?

Enemas are not enjoyable per se, but studies suggest that they have profound benefits for your overall well-being which is why I endured fourteen enemas in eight days on one particularly intense detox retreat. It’s a little bit uncomfortable but not painful.

Should I try it?

Always consult your doctor before administering an enema yourself. If you choose to do one at home, ensure you have read the guides, watched the videos, and are in a clean, safe environment. All equipment should be sterile.

An enema is the perfect partner to a detox | Image courtesy of Toa Heftiba
An enema is a perfect partner for a detox | Image courtesy of Toa Heftiba

If you’ve read all the above information and are still curious but apprehensive about going the DIY route we would suggest booking a colonic instead. If you decide to give it a go, these five tips will help you through:

  1. Try to take in as much water into your intestine as you can.
  2. Try to hold it for at least one minute (try ten if you can) before releasing.
  3. Massage your stomach to ease discomfort.
  4. BREATHE.
  5. Put on some good music or an audio book.

Want to give enemas a go? Check out some of our favourite detox retreats to get your cleanse started.

Dervla Louli

Founder

Dervla Louli is the Founder of wellness travel portal CompareRetreats.com and a Digital Editorial Consultant based in Hong Kong. She was formerly the Digital Editor of Hong Kong Tatler, the Director of Integrated Content at Edipresse Media Asia and the Managing Editor of Sassy Media Group. She has moderated events at The British Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong University and Swire Hotels, and was the youngest panel member invited to speak at the Goldman Sachs' International Luxury Conference in 2013. She is a member of the Global Shaper Community, part of the World Economic Forum and a certified yoga teacher.

2 Comments
  1. A warm (38-39 degrees Celsius), 2 quarts chamomile enema is great for me. I use it especially to reduce cold and flu symptoms and fever. But I love it as a pleasant relaxing and detoxing experience one or two times a month; I made my enema early in the morning or in the late afternoon after 30 – 60 minutes of gentle yoga to relax. After yoga my body is fully relaxed ad ready to enjoy this gentle cleansing procedure. First times it was unpleasant, but I discover quickly that relaxation is the way to transform this procedure in a pleasant experience; to taste the nice feel of the fluid entering and gently expanding my colon. I never force and I always avoid pain; if in some cases my body don’t like the whole 2 quarts I stop before at the minimum signs of unpleasant experience, always avoiding cramps. This is my experience; of course, consulting a doctor in medicine before is always necessary and very important.

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