Rebuttal letter to an article (excerpt below):

I don’t trust that this pressure applied again and again inside the colon doesn’t put pressure on the ovaries and other organs in the body and cause some distress. My personal decision is that I only will use the force of gravity should be used when it comes to my colon hydrotherapy.

GPACT believes Ms. Torres’s post to be a blatant misrepresentation of Colon Hydrotherapy systems and methods.

March 6, 2012

“Dear Ms. Torres, As a member and a spokesperson for the Global Professional Association of Colon Therapists (GPACT) I would like to respond to your article about Colon Hydrotherapy. The members would like to collectively set the record straight about some of the types of colon therapy and our stance on the advancement of this important health regime. We do applaud your support of colon hydrotherapy as part of a wellness journey and as well as a way to assist the body to correct digestive imbalances.

GPACT posits that the following areas need clarification: 1) the types of colon therapy methods available, 2) claims of one system being superior to another, 3) understanding the proper choice of tubing and speculums to assure the safety of professionally administered colon hydrotherapy, and 4) use of the term “pressurized” to describe the controlled water introduction method of colon hydrotherapy. Your assessment that the therapist has everything to do with a comfortable and successful colon hydrotherapy experience is certainly right on! Colon hydrotherapy is a very personal experience requiring trust and comfort in the interpersonal relationship between therapist and client. It is quite possible for a colon therapist to overcome any limitations of a particular colon therapy device with knowledge, experience, and active listening. We do want to point out, however, that a “comfortable” therapist can unknowingly use techniques that have been recently determined unsafe. In addition, a therapist may be very charming and helpful, but if that therapist is using a device that is not FDA approved, the session is not safe. We encourage all colon hydrotherapists to seek professional certification, use only FDA approved equipment, and keep abreast of the latest developments and recommendations with regard to safety precautions.

We would like to address the types of colon therapy available today. First, we want to emphasize the Wood units are not FDA approved. We have recently encouraged Ms. Woods to seek FDA approval for her devices. This would assure the public that minimum requirements for safety are met. We recognize two basic types of water delivery, controlled and gravity flow. The gravity flow can be somewhat controlled with a type of clamp on the tubing, but, by and large; the flow is dependent on the receptiveness of the person’s colon and the height of the water source from the client. A controlled water flow is operated by the therapist from a valve on the device. Water flows into the device from the clean water pipes, is filtered for sediment and chlorine and water-borne organisms and then is very carefully introduced via the speculum or tubing that enters the client. A controlled water flow that is monitored by the therapist is safe, as the device is reading the pounds per square inch (PSI) and will not exceed 2 PSI during the “fill” phase. By the way, a person can purchase a type of gravity fed system for the home called the colema board. This device allows a set up in a bathroom with a board that has an opening that fits over the toilet. Without going into detail about this unit, I will say that the device can be used as an open or a closed system. The gravity flow systems do not offer any way to know the amount of pressure since there is no system in place to gauge but on a person’s own tolerance. No doubt that the 2PSI pressure is not commonly exceeded: as with the controlled system a well-trained therapist knows that it is uncomfortable for clients beyond this point.

We recognize two basic types of colon therapy, open and closed. With the open systems, waste is expelled into a basin and washed away with a cleansing water flow to the view tube. The LIBBE® units are such units and can be fed by either gravity or controlled water flow. The Angel of Water® and Water Lily® is another “open” system. Many times, people use the “open” systems as client administered sessions. In other words, the client is taught how to control the water flow and/or temperature and then left with a call bell in the event they need assistance. We do recommend that all colon therapy sessions be monitored by the therapist; and, while clients may wish to self-administer some of the session, we recommend that safe methods for controlling the pounds per square inch (PSI) be used. It is always more effective if some abdominal massage and comfort measures are offered to the client. The closed method of colon therapy means, as you correctly pointed out at the end of your article, that the waste is totally contained in the tubing. The client is encouraged to relax and let the colon do all the work and not strain or push. This is true whether the water flow is per gravity or per controlled flow. A controlled water flow has the advantage of safety as the therapist always knows how much PSI is being used. FDA approved units are those where the PSI is monitored by the therapist, whether open or closed. With the closed units, the therapist operates all of the water pressure and temperature and is present anytime water is being introduced to the colon with the outflow valve closed. If a therapist is encouraging a client to “hold” water past the point of comfort, this is considered an unsafe practice.

This well-intentioned yet unsafe technique is used by therapists who have inadequate or improper training and is not an issue related to the type of system used. The session can also be unsafe if the therapist is using the method of pulsing the tubing causing mucosa trauma. Unless the tubing is soft enough to prevent any “suction” effect on the colon lining, and the speculum is short enough to prevent “over insertion” pulsing the tubing may damage the intestinal lining. This safety issue related to pulsing the tubing is present with both gravity fed and controlled water flow methods. We encourage all colon therapists to become updated on the most recent findings related to safety. Other safety precautions require the use of disposable speculums, insertion tubes, and tubing for the water and waste flow. Autoclaving is neither recommended nor acceptable by GPACT. Another safety concern is the use of non-latex materials. The “rubber” tubing that is mentioned as a plus for the Wood unit is composed of latex. High percentages of the population are latex sensitive. Many times, individuals do not know if they have a latex allergy. A latex allergic reaction can be quite dramatic, so we recommend a completely latex free experience for all clients.

The entire tubing “set” meaning inlet hose, outflow tubing and speculum are requirements of GPACT members. In summary, a safe colon therapy procedure is one where the device used is an FDA approved one; uses disposable (one time use), latex free speculums, insertion tubes, water, and waste tubing; has a method for monitoring and controlling the maximum pounds per square inch of water pressure; delivers filtered, purified water to the client; is monitored and assisted by a certified colon therapist; and conforms to the latest safety practices as developed via research and medically supervised sessions. At the present time, the procedure of colon therapy is FDA approved for cleansing the colon prior to diagnostic examinations.

Amy Sanders, President, and Founder of GPACT has been involved for 15 years in research related to the safest protocol for using colon therapy for such procedures. GPACT promotes medically indicated uses of colon therapy and strives to promote further research to help widen its use for general well being. GPACT is financially supporting a university-sponsored placebo-controlled study comparing colon therapy and probiotic implantation to oral probiotic administration alone in people who have ulcerative colitis. This is an exciting landmark for colon therapist worldwide as it could demonstrate clinically significant benefits for colon hydrotherapy. We encourage all colon therapists to join our communication group so as to become more aware of the latest developments and offer the safest procedures for clients. In closing, we wish to thank you for helping raise awareness of our profession and welcome continued dialog to raise the bar helping people help others naturally!

Priscilla Cobb, RN, MSN
Scientific Liaison GPACT
The Global Professional Association for Colon Therapy