HYDROTHERAPY, PACKS & COLONICS

by Walter Last

Hydrotherapy, packs and colonics as well as other methods of intestinal sanitation are time-honored naturopathic methods for cleansing and improving the body.

HYDROTHERAPY

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to treat disease, such as drinking large quantities of water to flush out toxins, taking hot and cold baths, sauna, packs and colonics (high enemas).

BATHS

Hot Baths

Hot baths are useful for relieving aches, pains and stiffness, for releasing toxins stored under the skin, and for cleansing the skin of fungus infections. Gradually increase the temperature of the water, as far as you can reasonably endure. Remain submerged except for the face - for 10-20 minutes. For conditions associated with magnesium deficiency, add from 1 or 2 kg of Epsom salts - the greater the pain, nervous tension or stiffness, the larger the recommended amount. For general relaxation just add a handful of Epsom salts.

Become accustomed to hot baths gradually by increasing duration and maximum temperature of the bath on successive occasions. Have someone on call, especially if you have a heart problem. Do not use a hot bath in the case of low blood pressure, fatigue, distended veins or a weak heart, and be cautious if the blood pressure is very high.

To improve dermatitis, you may place a closed muslin bag filled with up to 2 pounds of bran in a hot bath. To relieve itching skin, add a spoonful of baking soda. If a full hot bath is too severe, you may have a hot foot or hand bath with Epsom salts to relieve arthritis.

After the bath, cover the body with a large bath towel and -without drying - cover up in bed to induce sweating. Rest for 30 minutes or overnight. Afterwards a massage or a quick rub with olive oil and peanut oil is recommended.

Overheating Baths

The following method may be used for general health improvement and to overcome chronic infections. However, I do not recommend it any more as a specific cancer treatment. The reason for this is that in this condition it appears to work only when the blood sugar level during the overheating is low and the temperature high enough; otherwise tumor growth may be stimulated. Nevertheless, even with cancer it is still good to have an occasional overheating bath followed by sweating.

Cancer cells and viruses are weakened and start dying over 40-41ºC while normal cells can withstand higher temperatures. This explains the curative effect of high fever on cancer and infectious diseases. In home treatment fever can be simulated by overheating baths.

Start with a very warm bath and slowly add hot water to reach 42ºC. Initially remain only up to 10 minutes at the maximum temperature but gradually extend this to 20-30 minutes. If you want to continue with a regular overheating treatment, then increase the temperature by 1ºC each week up to a maximum of 47ºC.

If the weekly temperature increase is too severe, increase more gradually. If the maximum temperature cannot be reached, then just extend the duration at your highest possible temperature to one hour. The Japanese traditionally bathe at 48ºC. First-degree burns start at 50ºC. During and after the bath drink several glasses of water to make up for fluid losses. The body should be completely immersed but the forehead may be cooled with a cold cloth.

As a safety precaution keep the bathroom door open and have a helper close by. You are safe while lying in the water; the danger arises when leaving the bath. Therefore, strictly observe the following rules:

1. If you must leave the bath suddenly, immediately lie down again in front of the bath;

2. Normally remain in the bathtub until all the water has been drained;

3. Alternatively add cold water until the bath water feels only warm.

In any case, dry yourself only while sitting, never standing, afterwards cover with sheets and blankets and sweat for up to one hour. Do not use overheating baths in very weak conditions.

Warm Baths

Excellent for relaxation; stay in a warm bath for 10-20 minutes. Fragrant oils may be added. Staying in a hot or warm bath for longer than 30 minutes is exhausting. If stimulation is desired, a warm or hot bath should be followed by a cold bath, a cold sitz bath or a cold shower; you may also use hot and cold alternating showers or cold-water sponge rubs. Cold-water stimulation is especially important for low blood pressure and distended veins.

Sitz Bath

To improve elimination and the condition of the sexual glands and organs, a cold sitz bath is excellent. After warming the body by exercise, a hot bath or shower, sit for one minute in about 8 inches of cold water. Gradually, the sitting time may be increased to three minutes. Keep the feet out of the water.

Showers

For general stimulation and improving the circulation, use alternating hot and cold showers, alternating about three times between hot and cold, and starting with hot and ending with cold.

Foot Baths

To increase the circulation with burning or aching feet, mix some tannic acid or mustard powder into a hot footbath; to keep the feet warm, some cayenne pepper may be added instead. Generally, for leg problems, have alternating hot and cold footbaths.

Cleanse the Aura

Use a cold shower in a way that your feet do not stand in the water that is running off your body. Use unchlorinated water. You may also stand naked on a grid or a raised structure in a heavy rain shower. Alternatively, straddle a creek or stand on a rock while a friend pours buckets of water over you.

PACKS

Water Packs

Hot packs (fomentations) can be used for the relief of muscle pains, but are better in combination with Epsom salts. Cold packs are effective for insomnia, high temperature, nervous indigestion and wind, headaches, sore throat, oedema and sprains. For fever, the pack may be changed every five to 10 minutes, while for relaxation; it may be left for a long time. For insomnia and nervous indigestion, place the cold pack on the abdomen.

Castor Oil Packs

These are excellent for improving intestinal functions and for stimulating the immune system, as well as in problems with the sexual glands and the bladder. Castor oil packs on the abdomen should be used at the beginning of all serious health improvement, especially if there are any problems with digestion, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, arthritis and cancer.

In addition, hot castor-oil packs may be applied directly to weak, painful or swollen body parts, for example, on weak eyes, or eyes with cataracts, stiff neck, painful back, swollen knee, on cysts and tumours, and on the heart. Persistent use of castor oil packs frequently gives excellent results when other methods fail. For external use only, agricultural castor oil may be used.

Carefully warm some castor oil (it burns easily); soak a woollen cloth and fold it in three or four layers. Cover the abdomen from the lower ribcage down to the pubic bone. If the cloth is not big enough shift it on successive days of treatment; favour especially the body parts that cause pain or problems, for example, the liver and gall bladder area.

Next apply a plastic covering over the cloth, and on top of this a hot-water bottle, and possibly a long towel wrapped around the torso, fastened securely. If used in bed, place additional plastic underneath or use old linen. Leave the pack in place for one to two hours, or overnight. Afterwards, sensitive skins may be wiped with warm water containing baking soda. Store the pack for repeated use in the same pot or tin, adding more oil as necessary.

Use the pack in a series of three to five days, interrupt for several days and repeat the series as often as required. During or after a period of applying a pack on the liver and abdomen, take several tablespoons of olive oil at bedtime to induce emptying of the gall bladder.

Epsom-salt Packs

Recommended for arthritis, neuritis, paralysis, back pain, gastritis, colitis, infections and kidney problems. Dissolve Epsom salts in hot water to make a saturated solution, soak a cloth in it and apply hot. Keep warm with a hot-water bottle. Alternatively, Epsom salts may be spread liberally on a hot wet cloth and applied. Leave on for one or two hours; repeat as required.

Rock-salt Packs

A pack of hot, coarse rock salt is effective for the relief of muscle pains, especially backaches. Cover a hot-water bottle with a moist cloth, sprinkle on a thick layer of coarse rock salt and lie with the painful area on top of this, or place on the painful area if more appropriate. Keep as hot as you can stand it for an hour or two. Renew the salt if it is necessary to repeat the pack.

Onion Packs

Good for loosening phlegm, asthma, bronchitis, colds and pneumonia. Wrap a large onion in metal foil and bake it until soft. Pulp the onion in its juice and spread it over the upper chest and throat area. Cover with plastic or cloth and keep warm for an hour with a hot-water bottle. Repeat as required.

Potato Packs

Raw potato packs are excellent for irritated and weak eyes, as well as for blindness and cataracts. Grate a refrigerated potato - preferably use the outer parts of old, organically grown potatoes. Cover the eyes for 30-60 minutes, and possibly put the potato pulp in some gauze.

Cabbage Leaves

The fresh outer leaves of green cabbages have a tremendous healing potential when applied over weak or inflamed parts of the body. You may hold one or two leaves in place over your abdomen and liver with a towel wrapped around your waist and fastened in place. Do this frequently during your health improvement. You may cut out part of the stem and roll the leaf with a bottle to flatten the ribs, especially if it is to be applied over sensitive skin areas. If no more outer leaves are available, you may also use the paler green inner leaves. However, wilted leaves are useless.

For serious conditions, apply cabbage leaves 24 hours a day, renewing every four to six hours. For cancer, for example, apply a leaf over the tumour site as well as over the abdomen and liver.

Green Leaves

While cabbage leaves seem to have a special healing factor, other edible fresh green leaves may also be applied over problem areas, either whole or as a pulp. To cover a fresh wound, for example, you may simply chew some fresh grass and apply the juicy pulp.

Blistering Agents

The application of blistering agents and skin irritants (rubefacients) produces the quickest relief for arthritis and related inflammatory conditions. The principle is to draw the toxins and congesting energies from the inside to the surface. Liniments, compresses and plasters may be used. Suitable agents are Cantharides plaster, a paste of mustard or cayenne, garlic, oil of wintergreen, vegetable turpentine, kerosene and the white sap of papaw or fig. Initially, they may cause skin reddening, which may give some relief, but if applied for long enough in a concentrated form, they will produce blistering, which is a much more effective healing response.

If the skin is rather insensitive it is more effective to prick it in many places or mechanically irritate it before applying the irritant. Cover with a cloth or plastic sheet until blistering has taken place. Large blisters may be drained. The blister fluid is excellent for making a homeopathic remedy. Cover the blistered area with fresh cabbage leaves. For longstanding conditions, blistering may have to be repeated several times. In very difficult conditions, artificial sores (issues, fontanellas) have been created professionally by cauterising the raw surface of the blister.

Other forms of blistering are sometimes used in folk remedies, such as beating with stinging nettle, exposing the problem joint to numerous mosquito bites, placing it in an ant heap or even provoking bee stings on the arthritic joint.

Kerosene packs are especially good as in addition to the blistering they also have strong antibiotic effects. A kerosene pack is excellent over any tumors, lymph gland swellings, stiffness, infections or inflammations. It is also good around the neck for inflammations and infections in that area or to stimulate thyroid activity. Moisten a cloth with kerosene and keep over the tumor until gradually increasing burning of the skin becomes unbearable. This may happen after about 30 minutes, but can also take hours if the skin is rather insensitive. The longer you can keep it on the better. The skin will be very red and peel a few days later as after a sunburn. Repeat every one or two weeks for as long as required.

The white sap of petty spurge (Euphorbia peplus), also called cancer weed or radium weed, is excellent on skin cancers and insensitive external tumors. Skin cancers may also be destroyed by repeatedly applying a drop of 35% hydrogen peroxide, preferably protecting the surrounding skin with a barrier cream.

Escharotics

However, the most effective way to remove skin cancer, melanoma and tumors close to the skin, possibly including breast tumors, is to apply an 'Escharotic'. These are caustic remedies, commonly with zinc chloride and the herb bloodroot as main ingredients. These may be available from some health shops or naturopaths. Skin cancers may become inflamed for a few days and then form dry pus (an eschar) and fall out after about 10 days.

To reach a tumor under the skin, such as a breast tumor, it may be necessary to leave the paste in place for two or three days and reapply fresh paste several times as soon as any developing pus has cleared. Keep covered with a Vaseline-coated pad that may need frequent changing. Commonly this causes a strong local inflammation with swelling of the breast, redness and pain for several days. The bigger the breast and the deeper down the tumor, the more difficult it is to create a hole deep enough for the escharotic to reach it and the more applications are required. While this can be more uncomfortable and drawn-out than surgery, an advantage is that escharotics have a reputation of not creating secondary tumors and in remote organs. You may ease discomfort during this time with painkillers and anti-inflammatory measures.

Meat Pack

A folk remedy for drawing poisons from the body is to place fresh raw minced meat under the soles of the feet for several hours or overnight. Replace the meat several times if required. The meat is then poisonous, do not touch it and burn or bury it. You may try this - in addition to other measures - in the case of accidental poisoning or bites of poisonous snakes or insects. Raw meat may also be placed over malignant tumours for drawing; again, do not touch when removing it.

BOWEL CLEANSING

Most failures in healing programs occur because bowel cleansing is neglected. Toxins are reabsorbed from the bowels and accumulate in the blood, causing fatigue, migraine, eczema, boils, colds, inflammations, coughs and swellings.

Increasing bowel movements to two or three a day is only a first step. Even more important than the frequency of bowel movements is the speed with which food residues move through the intestines. To check this, eat a highly colored food (for example, beetroot, or several charcoal tablets) with an evening meal. A healthy intestine should eliminate all colouring matter before lunch the following day or at least before evening. If it takes longer, you are constipated. Use appropriate mineral and vitamin supplements, laxative foods, colonics, acupressure and exercise to improve bowel conditions.

Ordinary toilets encourage a sitting rather than a squatting position and this is not conducive to complete emptying of the lower bowels; this is a cause of many health problems. A squatting position is preferable. If you are sufficiently lightweight and nimble you may just squat on top of the toilet, otherwise support your feet with a footstool; additionally, bend forward to exert more pressure on the bowels. In Australia you may buy a plastic form called the “In-Lieu” toilet converter, see Resources. In North America look for “Nature’s Platform”, where you will also find an extensive summary of the health benefits of squatting.

An alternative way of cleaning the bowels is taking an isotonic flush, preferably with some crushed garlic added. People on a low-salt diet may use Epsom salts instead with plenty of water.

Early in the 20th century a British surgeon became famous for curing all kinds of incurable diseases by removing the lower part of the large intestines of his patients. We can do the same and cure or prevent many diseases by keeping our lower bowel very clean. Most individuals are very particular in keeping clean on the outside with much soap and showers, but they do not seem to mind to be stuffed with stinking waste matter. While this does not apply to everyone, it is now very common and predisposes to bowel cancer.

If you prefer to be clean on the inside as well as on the outside, you may develop the habit of rinsing your lower bowel repeatedly after each bowel movement and possibly again before going to bed. You can do this by sitting on the toilet and having an enema bucket or bag hanging from the wall near the toilet. After a bowel movement you insert about half a litre of hand-warm water and expel it immediately. You may bend forward for a while with the bottom up to let the water penetrate further, but this is not essential. Finally rinse the outside. Preferably use some gel or oil before inserting the douche and possibly use a plastic glove. The tube or end-piece should preferably have side holes in addition to the central opening.

A good way of keeping your whole intestinal tract clean is to have one or several drinks with psyllium hulls or psyllium and ground linseed before meals. This is especially important when on a limited food intake, especially on a juice diet. Stir either 1 teaspoonful of psyllium hulls or 1 teaspoon of psyllium and 1 or 2 teaspoons of ground linseed in a glass of water. Drink immediately and drink more water afterwards. Warning: Having too much psyllium with too little water is constipating.

Colonics

Colonics (the name is short for colonic irrigation) are a very effective therapy, bringing immediate relief in many disease problems. The more serious the condition, the more often colonics should be used - once a week at first, but even daily use may be required for a while. After several treatments, you may have a colonic once a month, later once or twice a year. Iris diagnosis may guide you about the frequency necessary. If the intestinal area shows dark or brown discoloration, or if it is quite extended, colonics should be used more often, also if foul-smelling wind indicates putrefactive processes in the bowel pockets.

The aim of colonics is to remove all putrefying matter from the bowels, clean out the bowel pockets and remove the hard crust that often coats the walls. In order to achieve this, the bowels should be filled repeatedly with as much water as possible. It is best to have a thorough bowel movement before starting the colonic.

HOW TO GIVE A COLONIC - To administer a colonic, add 1-heaped teaspoon of salt and 1 level teaspoon of baking soda to 2-3 litres of moderately warm water. Use a bucket enema or enema bag; place it about two feet above the body on a table, chair or the rim of the bath. A good position is to kneel on the floor with the head down. More comfortably, you may lie in a warm bath with the rectum elevated, or you may lie in bed in a similar position or on the right side; use a plastic sheet underneath.

Lubricate the rectal tube and insert it slowly up to a depth of about 20 or 30 cm. If there is any pain or discomfort, do not insert any further. Expel the first lot of water when increasing pressure is felt. After that, you should be able to hold much more water. When renewed pressure is felt, stop the inflow of water and assume different positions, especially lying on the right side for a while to fill the ascending colon. Repeat the expulsion and intake of water until all of it has been used.

Finally, if available, you may introduce a pint of diluted fresh juice of grass or green leaves and retain that for up to 30 minutes. This is the standard procedure for home colonics that applies to all people with normal or acid body conditions. The addition of baking soda is to neutralize the often overacid bowel conditions, while the salt acts partly as a drawing agent and partly to prevent demineralization of the blood plasma by osmosis, which could cause shock. This is important for people with low blood pressure and a poor circulation.

However, those with high blood pressure or very weak kidneys should not add salt and baking soda to the colonic water but use very diluted lemon juice instead. If this causes soreness, or if the body is not too alkaline, use diluted fresh juice of green-vegetable leaves.

If you cannot use a colonic at home, have a series of professional colonics done at a hydrotherapy centre. Everyone would benefit from some form of bowel cleansing from time to time. Instead of a series of colonics, you may use the Basic Cleanse.

COFFEE ENEMA - For stimulating and detoxifying the liver in the case of serious conditions, for example, cancer, a series of coffee enemas may be helpful, especially if there is pain and discomfort. Boil 2 tablespoons of ground coffee (not instant coffee) for three minutes in 1 litre of water, simmer for a further 15 minutes and strain; rinse the coffee grounds with some more water. Use this as a retention enema after cleaning the bowels with a normal enema or colonic. If you can hold only part of the coffee, use the rest with a repeat enema. Try to hold for 10 to 20 minutes. Do not use this if you are allergic or sensitive to coffee.

OXYGENATING COLONIC - This can often improve the wellbeing of people with a poor oxygen metabolism -patients with cancer, for example. These oxygenating colonics are available at some hydrotherapy centres.

As an alternative for home treatment, you may add hydrogen peroxide to a 'rectal implant' after the colon has been cleaned with an ordinary colonic. Use up to one litre of hand-warm liquid in which 1 teaspoon of salt has been dissolved. Initially, include 1 tablespoon of 6 per cent or 2 tablespoons of 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide. Hold this inside for about 10 minutes. If this is well tolerated, double the amount of hydrogen peroxide with each successive treatment until it becomes too uncomfortable and you cannot hold it any more. Then cut back to the preceding level and continue at that rate.

For 'terminal' patients, and under professional supervision, one may start at higher levels and include up to 250 ml of 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide. This may induce the evacuation of much stinking waste during the following days and the patient may look and feel worse. After this, however, there should be a considerable improvement.

VOMITING THERAPY

Induced vomiting, often called an 'upward purge', is very effective for a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, such as asthma, bronchial problems, catarrh, digestive disorders and indigestion, gastritis, hysteria, infections, liver and gall-bladder problems, lumbago, migraine, poisoning including snakebites, and skin diseases including eczema, gangrene and psoriasis.

While vomiting also clears out mucus and decomposing matter, the main benefit is derived from relaxing the digestive organs and the diaphragm while stimulating the solar plexus. A need for this therapy is indicated especially by contracted intestinal reflex areas in the iris, but also if these are whitish or brownish and especially with black lines (radii solaris).

To induce vomiting, drink five or six cups of lukewarm water and touch or tickle the throat far down. Repeat until the water comes back clear. Instead of water, an emetic herb tea may be used: adder's tongue, bayberry bark, black root, boneset, horehound, lobelia (large doses), mustard, ragwort, vervain. Afterwards drink mint tea to settle the stomach.