Difference Between Colonic Irrigation and Enema (Procedure)

Both colonics and enemas aim at cleansing the colon by introducing water into the colon via the rectum. Both the treatments are relatively similar in approach as well the health benefits, but there are some differences between the two procedures.

For instance, during an enema, the water is inserted only once into the colon. But in the case of colonic irrigation or colonic hydrotherapy, the water is infused into the colon several times.

The main objective of enema is to evacuate just the lower colon, while colonics are perfect for clearing a larger part of the colon.

Another major difference between colonics and enemas is that colonics require special equipment and the procedure must be performed by a trained colon hydrotherapist. On the other hand, enemas can easily be performed at home with a DIY home enema kit which you can easily get from a drugstore.

How the two differ in terms of the procedure?

A colonic lasts for about 45 minutes to an hour. The process starts by performing a thorough medical consultation of the client with the colon hydrotherapist.

The client is then asked to change into a gown and lie on the table with face-up and the therapist then inserts a disposable speculum into the anus. The speculum is connected to a plastic hose (disposable) which is then connected to the actual colon therapy unit.

During the process, warm filtered water is gradually released into the colon. The infusion of water into the colon leads to the contraction of colon muscles which is known as peristalsis. It is this movement that the leads to the evacuation of the fecal matter along with the water. The fecal matter is then removed from the body via a hose attachment. The remaining fecal matter and water can be released by the client in the bathroom.

On the other hand, enemas can easily be performed in your own bathroom by yourself. You just need to lie down on your back and insert the enema nozzle gently up your anus. The nozzle is attached to a tube which carries water from the container holding the liquid.


The pinch clamp is released and the water flows through the hose and enters the colon via the rectum. Once all the water or enema solution is administered, it needs to be retained for the stipulated time, which may vary from 5-15 minutes. Post the time lapse, the enema solution along with the fecal matter can be released in the toilet.


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