The history of colonic hydrotherapy
Colonic irrigation was one of the first medical procedures to be carried out in all cultures:
There are reports from Mesopotamia, now known as Iraq, in which a hollowed-out pumpkin was used as a water container and a reed was used as a water conduit for colonic hydrotherapy.
The father of medicine, Hippocrates (460 – 377 BCE), prescribed enemas involving asses’ milk, honey and salt or wine and olive oil. Over 3,000 years ago, Egyptian healers were describing this method of colonic cleansing. The royal household of the time even had an employee whose title was “Tender of the Pharaoh’s Bottom”. He used animal bladders, leather pouches and bottle gourds to squirt water via a reed into his pharaoh’s bowels.
Reports from the time of the Sun King indicate that bowel enemas were a very popular and quick method of treatment when people got constipated after lavish meals and felt generally unwell.
The medics at the time, however, did not know that their treatments were significantly boosting their patients’ immune systems, and that this form of treatment had extremely therapeutic benefits.
In the 19th century, colonic hydrotherapy entered the technological age. Equipment was developed with the specific intention of allowing colonic hydrotherapy to be carried out more quickly.
The handling of the equipment was still unhygienic and the constant insertion of the water tube meant that it was very unpleasant for the patient, who might have to undergo up to 5 enemas at a time.
At the end of the 19th century, underwater bowel irrigation became the norm. The high enema. The warmed water was positioned above the bathtub. A hose carried the water into the patient’s bowel.
By around 1950, over 500,000 treatments had been carried out – mostly in university hospitals.
At the start of the 20th century, this method was also being used in the private sector. A conventional toilet was adapted to include a device for colonic hydrotherapy. Modern testing methods then showed that huge bacterial cultures formed in the water container after just a short space of time that could not be flushed away easily. As a result, this device for colonic hydrotherapy disappeared from the private sector.
With the publication by NASA, colonic hydrotherapy regained its popularity in the 1960s.
NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, developed this modern large bowel cleansing procedure. The brains behind the idea were those of none other than Werner von Braun, who wanted to keep the inflammable bowel gases of the astronauts in the space capsule to an absolute minimum. This form of treatment became the model for all colonic hydrotherapy devices available on the market today.