COLON TREATMENT - CASE STUDY

Occasionally (through my monthly Well Woman E-zine) I make a request for Treatment Case Study Volunteers. This is where clients can try new treatments I have trained in for direct and post session feedback. After completing my third NO HANDS® training course in 2009 where I trained in Colon and Detox Treatments I decided to request a Case Study because I wanted to see for myself what type of affect this treatment potentially could give a client.

It was not a course requirement for certification to complete a case study like the other training and post-grad diplomas I had completed. For me,
I really wanted to see exactly what results could be achieved through regular colon massage sessions over a period of 12 – 20 weeks.

Margaret volunteered soon after she came to me as a client for NO HANDS® Full Body Massage. Due to the nature of what we were investigating and
potentially talking about - you can imagine I didn’t have many willing volunteers and as Margaret says herself – she didn’t believe she had any colon conditions
(IBS / constipation  / diarrhoea etc.) or problems with her bowels, but saw what I was doing as a therapist and wanted to learn more. However,
with hindsight we now know Margaret suffered from bloating and a mild constipation with difficulty passing stools.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Margaret for her diligence at writing a food intake diary and bowel activity list (colour, shape, consistency, volume and frequency) every day, making the commitment to complete the self massage sessions at home for 16 weeks study period, to continue with the
sessions and even trying to get to me through the snow and for being so candid and open about talking about all things bowel related! Boy did we laugh!

Apologies for not writing up the study sooner – however my Luton clinic has really taken off and finding the time in-between
clients and looking after a small child this has inevitably meant delays.

 

TREATMENT PLAN

Originally we aimed to complete a Colon Treatment once a week for 12 weeks. However, with holidays, an extended period of snow
and Christmas the 12 treatments took place over 16 weeks starting on the 9th November 2009.

At session 1, I explained what would happen during treatment, discussed the anatomy of the colon and that we would be concentrating on increasing
the muscle tone of the colon. I then completed the Colon Treatment and taught Margaret how to complete a home colon massage. In addition I gave a
stool chart and discussed with her where her bowel movements lay within the chart. At this point I think it might not be obvious but the Colon treatment
consists purely of massage (no tubes or jets of water!) in addition there is deep tissue and tender point work and vibration techniques.  

Margaret’s instructions were to complete a 15 minute colon massage – daily. Over the study period we then completed six Colon only treatments
and then for the final six I incorporated the Detox Treatment on the foot (firing the reflexes associated with the organs of elimination) as well as the Colon Treatment.

 

OBSERVATIONS

Stools changed colour from a dark brown to a light brown (the colour of cardboard – the ideal stool colour)

Stools changed in both form and appearance. Before the study started her stools were most frequently dark, small hard pellets types (No 1*) that were
difficult to pass and time consuming to expel. After two sessions she noticed the stools had changed in consistency and was now producing larger and
longer stools but still showing a dry cracked surface area (No 3*). In-between these stool movements Margaret would produce long sausage like stools (No 4*), tapered at both ends where the consistency was soft (like toothpaste) and easy to pass and soon she was producing these types of stools for 90% of the time.

As Margaret charted her food intake we were able to pinpoint where she was eating too much processed foods high in salt, sugar or saturated fat by
the stools she was passing. They would revert back to drier scaly stools (No 3*) then after a couple of days of healthier eating they would settle and
return to a smooth paste.

( * Number related to the Bristol Stool Scale - developed by a small team of gastroenterologists at the University of Britol -
it is desgined to be a representative explanation for stools commonly seen in toilet water)

When the Detox Treatment sessions began after the Christmas break, Margaret noticed again after a “bad” food day that the colon recovered even more
quickly as soon as she started eating healthily. She found the Detox/Colon Treatment extremely relaxing and loved having her feet “done” she went home
one time – walking on air.

Margaret noted that by the 4th session the odour of her stools changed and that her usual strong smell had reduced significantly.

Pre-treatment Margaret’s usual toilet routine was to take a newspaper into the toilet and sit and wait for 20 minutes before she was physically able to
pass as stool. Margaret noted that for 70% of the time she would be straining to go to the toilet. She used to call this her “Chill Out” time where she had
time to herself to think and contemplate the world. During week four Margaret noted that she no longer has her “Chill Out” time because the stool
consistency had changed and were easy and quickly able to pass – literally dropped out as soon after she sat on the toilet.

The frequency of passing waste material also increased. Margaret’s old pattern was to go usually once a day or sometimes not until the second day.
By week 3 to 4 on average she was going two to three times a day and she noticed that she was clearing out a lot of waste at each sitting.
In addition the volume of material coming out she reported that it did not compare to the amount of food that she had actually been eating.
At one session she noted with disbelief that one stool seemed to be half the length of her colon.

Margaret used to suffer from trapped wind which would often be uncomfortable to the point of painful. Post session she noticed that she would be
releasing a large quantity of trapped gas. During the abdominal massage session I would seem to work and move the air around the colon and then she
would be able to pass it out. She particularly pointed out that after the first few sessions she released lots of wind. Margaret rarely suffers from trapped
wind anymore as she is able to use the self massage techniques to stop any build-up and if she does become uncomfortable she knows what to do to release it. Interestingly when she does pass wind she tells me the smell is not so toxic as before and that it smells like what she has recently eaten!

Before the case study started Margaret would time where she went to the toilet. Often holding in until she could find a toilet away from her busy work
where she could go in peace. This increased her problems by compacting and placing strain on her anal sphincter muscles causing her more difficulty
when she did find a quiet place to “Chill Out”. Now she has more confidence to go anywhere knowing how waiting to go affects her body and now the
stool aroma has decreased significantly she goes when she needs to. As a result she finds she can’t bear the smell of other people’s poo
and she has become quite sensitive to it.

At the end of the case study Margaret’s stomach felt less sluggish and had more energy – her “dog tiredness” was not as bad.

 

DYSMENORRHOEA 

As with a lot of women Margaret would suffer from very heavy painful periods. In the 10 days leading up to a cycle she would suffer lower
back pain and a drawing / griping abdominal pain an hour before starting and then lower back and abdominal pain for the first couple of days
of her period. She would take painkillers and in her own words would become a “zombie”.

Margaret went to a wedding on the 29th December 2009 the first day of her period and so expected to feel terrible and wasn’t looking forward
to it at all. However, she didn’t take any over the counter painkillers and had no pains whatsoever (she has also stopped taking painkillers for period
pain since that date). The sessions started in early November and so Margaret had only one bleed before the wedding. She had noticed that her lower
back pain reduced significantly, the griping abdominal pain had gone right before her period and the first two days of her period became pain free. She
actually said that unless she could see blood loss she wouldn’t have known she was having a period. The only thing she had done differently in these
months was to come for Colon Treatment.

Some months on (Aug 2010) Margaret still comes to me once a month before her period for a Colon Treatment. I am able to do deep tissue work
with her and it has kept her period pain at bay for quite a few months now.

Whatever the underlying pathology of an individual’s dysmenorrhoea I believe there will inevitably be abdominal muscular tension of varying degrees.
Muscles work not only to move the skeleton but also have a protective quality guarding organs and over time can become extremely tense.
Most therapists don’t do abdominal massage but as I am finding this is one body area that requires work.

Margaret is just one case study – however since last year I have performed many blocks of Colon Treatments with similar results from a lady suffering
with chronic IBS, bloating and diarrhoea who found the griping pains reduced significantly. The stomach is a sensitive area and holds a lot of tension
often clients will tell me that they feel their muscles have released and softened after a session.

 

SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN

An extremely interesting benefit came from our Case Study sessions. Margaret is in fact a Massage Therapist who co-ordinates massage therapy for
90+ children at a local school for profound and multiple learning difficulties and severe medical difficulties. Margaret is also a qualified Infant Massage Instructor.

Not long after we started the study, Margaret decided to help two boys in her school who she felt would benefit from abdominal massage and used
her infant massage techniques on them and in turn taught their parents. Boy 1 suffers from severe wind and hard stools as he is on a keytone diet and
Boy 2 has a recent history of hospitalisation due to severe bowel compaction. Margaret gave each child an abdominal massage during the week when
they attended school. By the end of November she had enlisted the parents support and trained Boy 1’s parents so he was receiving
abdominal massage seven days a week.

Boy 1
Experienced a lot of bloating and difficulty passing stools. Due to his medical conditions he has low muscle tone and this affected how his bowels were
able to move waste material and form stools. He would often strain to go and each toilet trip would be fairly traumatic for him where he would become
upset and cry and would sometimes hold his breath with the pain so much so he would pass out. 

As he was on a keytogenic diet for his other medical conditions his parents and Margaret soon found out this had a massive impact on his bowels.
At first he found it difficult to tolerate abdominal massage but she persevered and now he loves it.

The first few sessions there was lots of wind in his tummy and during the session was able to release lots of trapped wind. After one particular session
Margaret told me she was amazed that Boy 1 had continued to pass large amounts of gas for up to 30 minutes after the session finished.  It got to
the stage where after his massage either release gas or could easily go to the toilet. At times Margaret would increase the session to twice a day
because she was tuned into this stressor cues and knew that his stomach needed massaging.

Margaret reports that Boy 1’s behaviour has improved tremendously and is much happier in himself because he isn’t in pain. He doesn’t cry anymore
except when he has tummy pain – before he was generally crying throughout the day. He knows it’s his tummy that is painful and that the staff and his
parents can help him relieve it. Before abdominal massage to relieve the build-up of wind/water in the body he would have to have an astroasparate
procedure which is particularly invasive. Margaret says he hasn’t had this done since first starting the sessions.

Boy 2
Was hospitalised with severe bowel compaction in 2009. Due to his medical condition he was on a gastro feed and was experiencing constipation.
Often Margaret would walk him round to calm him if he had been continuously crying, from being uncomfortable. Children unable to move around
freely often experience constipation or a sluggish bowel.

Boy 2 loves his massage time and becomes really chilled from it. Within a couple of days of starting the abdominal sessions he is often so relaxed he
falls asleep. Margaret told me that one day he went to the toilet before the session and then went right after. Now he definitely goes every day at
school and he doesn’t seem to experience constipation anymore.

Both children have more energy and their behaviour changed significantly they are also not as sleepy anymore and can join in more activities.
The school already recognised how massage was an important factor to prepare a child for learning by grounding, focusing, relaxing and ready
to learn but also can be a tool to help them in other physical ways to make their life and bodies more comfortable.

 

BRISTOL STOOL SCALE

Illustration of Bristol Stool Scale Type 1

Type 1: Stools appear in separate, hard lumps, similar to nuts. Type 1 stools remained in the colon the longest amount of time;
a sure sign you’re constipated; most common stools.

Illustration of Bristol Stool Scale Type 2

Type 2: Stools are sausage-like in appearance but lumpy. Indicate constipation

Illustration of Bristol Stool Scale Type 3

Type 3 (Normal): Stools come out similar to a sausage but with cracks in the surface. [increasing your water intake could help]

Illustration of Bristol Stool Scale Type 4

Type 4 (Normal): Stools are smooth and soft in the form of a sausage or snake. [tapered at both ends and a toothpaste like consistency]

Illustration of Bristol Stool Scale Type 5

Type 5: Stools form soft blobs with clear-cut edges, and easily pass through the digestive system. Soft diarrhoea.

Illustration of Bristol Stool Scale Type 6

Type 6: Stools have fluffy pieces with ragged edges. Considered mushy stools, they indicate diarrhoea.

Illustration of Bristol Stool Scale Type 7

Type 7: Stool is mostly liquid with no solid pieces. Passed quickly through the colon; is indicative of severe diarrhoea
possibly as a result of a viral or bacterial infection. See a doctor as soon as possible.