Colonic Frequently Asked Questions

Open Colonics or Closed Colonics?

The Two VERY Different Methods of Colonics

Open Colonic Hydrotherapy @ Brunswick Holistic Health

We have been offering Colonics at our clinic since 2006, so have helped many people to cleanse their bowel, detoxify and improve their gut function. 

We offer the Open method of colonics, which is safe, effective and less daunting than the Closed method of colonics.

The Process:

When you book in for Colonic Hydrotherapy at Brunswick Holistic Health, we'll ask you to fill in a Health History Questionnaire, which details the contra-indications and risks and ensures the therapy is right for you.

Upon arrival, we give you a magnesium drink to help you relax, before taking you into the treatment room to explain the colonic process.

When we leave the treatment room, you undress from the waist down, and lie down on the treatment bed with your knees bent in a comfortable position so you can insert into yourself, a small rectal tube. The rectal tube is sterile, single-use and disposable. Its made of soft flexible plastic with a rounded tip, about the size of a biro - you are given a glove and some lubricant to help gently put it inside yourself about the length of your pinky finger. You don't even feel it once its in there, and its not painful to insert.

Once you are ready and covered over with the sheet provided, you ring a buzzer and we will come in to start the flow of water. Its a very gentle flow of warm, filtered water. It gently fills you, then you push it out. This process repeats itself over the 40-minute session.

During this time, you will be entertained by the "viewing tube" beside the bed - yes, if you choose you can watch the contents of your bowel flow by. Icky but fascinating!

You are in the treatment room by yourself for the session, though you can press the buzzer for the assistance of our degree qualified health professsionals at any stage, if you feel uncomfortable or unsure.

What's the main difference between Open and Closed colonics?

An Open colonic is where the water flow remains on during the treatment and the patient has complete privacy during the session to eliminate waste.

A Closed colonic involves a colon hydrotherapist being present during the session to switch on and turn off the water flow at different intervals, and perform abdominal massage during the treatment while waste is being eliminated. 


The water used in the Open method is gravity fed, so there's no pressure at all. This makes it safer than the Closed method where the practitioner is filling you full of water to the pressure they deem appropriate. In the Open method you will feel when you're full and naturally push out then, rather than rely on the therapist's judgement and perception of what's going on inside your body. As advocates for body autonomy, we prefer the Open method of colonics, as the client is in full control of their experience.

The Open method is also safer as you're putting the tube inside yourself, so will feel what is the right angle etc. and (of course) will stop and seek assistance if there's any discomfort. This helps to prevent any damage to the rectal opening. Also, the tube used in Open colonics is small, soft and flexible, unlike the speculum used in Closed colonics.

Why choose Open colonics?

People love that our system is self-administered in privacy. It makes the process of colonics a lot less daunting. Our Naturopathic staff are available to assist you if you press the buzzer at any stage during your session, so you can feel safe that help and professional advice is available if required. Most people prefer to be left alone during colonics though - pooing is a private process!

In the Closed method of colonics, some find it confronting to have the therapist insert the speculum, and then be present while having an enormous poo.

Colonics is all about letting go, so the more you can relax into the process, the more water you allow into yourself to complete the cleaning process, and the less likely you are to experience cramping and other possible side effects.  

Further analysis:

A lot of clients are eager to learn more about the health of their stool. The appearance and texture of the stool can give insight into your digestive health, however the naked eye cannot detect pathogenic bacteria, yeast or parasites. If you're interested we can refer you for a CDSA (comprehensive digestive stool analysis), or a Microbiome Map, which are both performed at the microscopic level necessary to determine if there is pathogenic material in the stool.

If you'd like to have a in depth consultation about your health concerns, you can book in for a private consultation with any of our team of qualified and experienced health professionals.

To find out more about Brunswick Holistic Health, colonics, naturopathy and our other healing modalities, book online, or call us on 03 9388 2422.

What are the benefits of colonic hydrotherapy?

Colonic hydrotherapy cleans all the accumulated wastes from your insides, which helps your body to function optimally. Our patients find that digestion improves, metabolism improves, circulation and immunity improves. You will be left feeling light and energized.

If wastes accumulate in the colon the toxins get reabsorbed into the blood stream. Over time this means you are slowly poisoning yourself with your own wastes. So by keeping your insides free of toxic accumulations you can help to maintain health throughout your life.

Is it embarrassing?

No, the procedure is self-administered and you remain covered at all times. Your 40 minute session is carried out in total privacy, however if assistance is required our naturopathic staff can be called at any stage by pressing the buzzer.

At other clinics offering the Closed method of colonics, a therapist inserts a tube into your rectum and is present for the session; this is not the method we use at BHH – no-one will see your private parts, and you will be alone while you purge the wastes.

Does it hurt?

Most people report their colonic hydrotherapy sessions as both relaxing and refreshing, however if you have an accumulation of hardened matter in the colon you may experience some cramping as the colon contracts to expel it. This pain is generally mild, and passes quickly. The use of a heat pack and magnesium supplementation reduces the likelihood of cramping.

Is colonic hydrotherapy safe?

As with any medical procedure there are some risks and contraindications, which are detailed in our Health History form. Colonics is safe for most people, as it is simply a gentle flow of warm filtered water passed into the bowel to clear out accumulated wastes, much like a great big enema. No drugs, chemicals or irritants are used, just pure filtered water. The machine is sterilized after treatments with hospital grade disinfectants, and the equipment used is sterile, single-use and disposable.

Prior to treatment you will be asked to fill in a Health History form to check that colonic hydrotherapy is a suitable treatment for you. It is important that you read over this form and fill in your details soon after making your booking, as some people are excluded from having colonics, or will require a written referral from their GP or gastroenterologist. 

Please do not book in for colonics if you are pregnant or have any of these conditions: diverticulitis (current or within the last 6 months), uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease, severe haemorrhoids, blood or mucus in stools, active inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns/Colitis), colorectal cancer, strangulated inguinal/abdominal hernias, GI haemorrhage/perforation, severe anaemia, abdominal surgery in the last 6 months, advanced liver disease, kidney disease/renal insufficiency.

Is there any risk of viral or bacteria infection from the procedure?

No. The rectal tubes are sterile, single use and disposable and the machine is cleaned with hospital grade disinfectants in between treatments.

The water used in the treatment is warmed to body temperature, and purified with a double filtration system. 

Are there any side effects?

For the majority of people the experience will be comfortable and free of side effects. If you have large amounts of toxic matter accumulated you may feel a little light-headed or queasy, or may experience cramping as this is passed from your system. These feelings are generally mild and pass quickly.

After colonic hydotherapy you may experience detox symptoms, fatigue being the most common.  Detox symptoms are more likely after the first session, or for clients that have a history of poor diet and lifestyle choices, and/or chronic gut issues.

Most people feel fine both during and after their cleanse, though if you have any concerns, please let us know.

How many sessions will I need to have?

As the colon is 1.5-1.7 mts long, one session will only empty a portion of the entire length. If having colon hydrotherapy for the first time (or if you haven't had a treatment for 6 months or more), it's recommended that you have a succession of 3 treatments over the space of two weeks or so.

When you're constipated the accumulations in your colon become very hard and dry and impacted on the colon walls - the first treatment will release some of this matter and start to soften and loosen the accumulations. Then it's ideal to follow-up with that second treatment to release the softened matter, and move further up into the colon to soften and loosen the wastes higher up. For most people the third treatment completes the cleaning of the entire length.

You will find that subsequent treatments are more pleasant and satisfying as you become comfortable with the process, and see the accumulated wastes being released from your body; helping you to feel lighter, cleaner and invigorated.

You don't have to commit to three treatments, but it's highly beneficial. It's also a bit cheaper if you pay for the 3 treatments up front and commit yourself. Having said that, one treatment is still beneficial, and definitely better than no treatment at all! 

Can I have colonic hydrotherapy when I'm menstruating?

Yes. Having colonic hydrotherapy prior to or during your period helps to relieve the congestion in the pelvis, improve circulation and assists in the clearance of hormones from your body; therefore it can be a good time to have colonic hydrotherapy. Remember to remove your tampon before having a treatment.

However, if you tend to suffer from period pain, it's best to avoid colonics while menstruating as you may feel uncomfortable. 

How should I prepare for a colonic hydrotherapy session?

Refrain from eating for 2 hours before your appointment, and drink lots of water to ensure you're well hydrated. Its best if you're feeling relaxed, so avoid caffeine immediately before your session. A calm and positive state of mind is best... In the days leading up to your appointment you could start a detox diet; avoiding wheat, red meat, dairy, processed and deep fried foods, alcohol and coffee. 

How long will the session take?

Allow about an hour for your visit. You're lying on the treatment bed for 40 minutes, however there's a little time to get on and off the colonic irrigation machine, plus some time to relax with your pre-session magnesium drink, and your post-session electrolytes and probiotic. 

What does it feel like?

You will feel the water gently fill your colon, and then naturally get the urge to push it out. It's the same feeling as when you need to poo, which is caused by the walls of the colon stretching. After you have purged the water and wastes, the water will again fill you up until again you feel the urge to push it out. This process is repeated many times over the 40 minutes. For most people there is no pain or discomfort, just the feelings associated with having a regular bowel movement.

Will the wastes go up into my stomach?

No! Colon hydrotherapy cleans the colon only, which is the lower portion of your digestive tract. Between the colon and the small intestine there is a valve, so no matter can go up the wrong way. The flow of water from the tube is gravity fed and very gentle. There is no pressure exerted, so wastes will not be blasted from your colon into your stomach.

How will I feel after the treatment?

Most people report feeling light, refreshed and invigorated. You can return to work or carry on with your usual activities after a hydrotherapy session.

If you are very clogged up and toxic you may feel tired after your first treatment, so in this case it's best to have no plans other than a quiet evening at home, a light and nourishing meal, plenty of water and rest.

Do I need to take probiotics (good bacteria) after colonic hydrotherapy?

After your treatment you will be given a practitioner-only probiotic supplement, but after that, it's up to you.

Good bacteria in our gut is so important for our health – not only for our digestion, but also for our mental health and immune system. Gut bacteria is disturbed by many of the influences of modern life – alcohol, refined sugary foods, coffee, the Pill, cortisone (steroidal anti-inflammatories), chlorine (in tap water) – so we think it's a really good idea to take a probiotic supplement.

Probiotic means "for life"; it's really is quite amazing how the right bacterial colonies support our health. So we suggest trying a probiotic supplement, and see how your health improves. Ask for advice before purchasing as there is a huge variation in the quality of products available. Our Naturopaths can also advise on how to feed the good bugs in your gut, to keep a healthy microbioeme flourishing. 

How does colonic hydrotherapy compare to having an enema or using laxatives?

The positive effect of colonic hydrotherapy is far superior. Laxatives are essentially poisons that irritate the colon wall and cause it to contract. They often cause cramping and discomfort, diarrhoea, loss of electrolytes and dehydration. If used over a period of time the colon becomes "lazy" and will not trigger the urge to defecate without laxatives, therefore you become reliant on them.

In contrast, colonics gently cleanse the colon of impacted and accumulated wastes and encourages natural persistalsis (the rhythmic contraction of the colon). The body is hydrated as the colon absorbs the pure water.

Colonics do not foster reliance, but help to restore digestive function by cleaning out and exercising the bowel. People often find that long-term digestive complaints are resolved by a series of colonics and normal regularity is restored.

An enema works in a similar manner to colonic hydrotherapy, but is not nearly as effective. An enema only cleans a small portion of the lower colon (the rectum), while colonics clean the entire length (1.5-1.7 mts) in a series of sessions. One hydrotherapy session is said to be the equivalent to 30 or 40 enemas!

Can I become addicted to colonic hydrotherapy?

No. Unlike laxatives, colonic hydrotherapy promotes and restores normal digestive function therefore you will not become reliant on the procedure. Having said that, we do notice that the more sessions you do, the more enjoyable it becomes, so it could be considered addictive in this way!

Will colonics help me lose weight?

Most people carry many kilograms of accumulated wastes in the colon, so by cleaning these out, yes, you can lose up to 2kg in each treatment. Often people are pleasantly surprised by how effectively colonics flattens the abdomen, as we can be bloated with accumulated wastes, or by gases caused by bad bacteria.

Colonics also helps to improve metabolism and the absorption of nutrients, so will contribute to weight loss by boosting the rate that we burn fat, and by helping to decrease the amount of food we eat. The therapy is also fantastic for kickstarting a new and healthier way of life, as after a series of treatments you feel so clean and sensitive that you're far less inclined to put crap in your body.

So colonics is a highly beneficial adjunct to any weight loss program, but for long term weight loss you do need to exercise and have a healthy diet. A naturopath can help you to devise a comprehensive approach if you're wanting to shed some fat, as there are also many nutrients that will assist in a weight loss program.

Find us

03 9388 2422

Hardwick Building
22 Tripovich St
(Cnr Ballarat St)
Brunswick VIC 3056

* Parking is best found on Ballarat St or the carpark on Victoria St near Sydney Rd.

  • Monday
    8.30am - 7.30pm
  • Tuesday
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  • Wednesday
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  • Thursday
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  • Friday
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