RICTAT Position Paper on Integrative Education of Colon Therapists
Colon Hydrotherapy is here to stay. Today we live, on the average, 30 years longer than our great grand-parents, and we will require the use of our digestive system for the whole duration of the journey, from our very first breath and to our very last sigh. One of the roles of colon hydrotherapy as a therapy as opposed to procedure is not only to hydrate and support the large bowel, but also to raise awareness of the importance of bowel health, nutrient-rich diet, stress management and prevention of colorectal cancers, loss of bowel function and constipation-related ill health.
Therefore, the International Association and Register of Integrative Colon Therapists and Trainers (RICTAT) education of future colon hydrotherapy practitioners focuses on the preventative and educational aspects of colonic irrigation therapy. The integrative component of this education plays a critical part in this process. Relations between the large bowel and stress, lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and emotions, as well as the role of gut health in healthy ageing and preventative care are at the forefront of our training of future colon therapists.
The RICTAT Approved Integrative Colon Hydrotherapy Foundation Course is taught by Kelly Hopley at the East Midlands School of Colon Hydrotherapy in Mansfied and Lynne McDougall B.Sc (Hons) RGN, Cert Ed. at Wellsprings Holistic Clinic in Blackburn. Lancashire.
RICTAT Integrative Colon Hydrotherapy Foundation Course is a post-graduate course combining self-study and working one-on-one with the tutors in a distance learning mode with classroom-based seminars and practical training. The prospective students need have the following knowledge and skills base and abilities:
- Capacity to learn independently, research and analyze information;
- critical thinking understanding of the foundations of human anatomy and physiology;
- understanding the foundations of nutrition;
- understanding the foundations of role of exercise and movement in health;
- ability to interact with clients or patients in a therapeutic environment;
- experience of the power of therapeutic touch;
- critical thinking skills and an open mind.
Theory of the Integrative Colon Hydrotherapy (distance learning)
The self-study section consists of 12 modules requiring about 10 hours’ study time each, with four assignments to be completed and submitted before the start of the practical training.
Module 1: The human digestive system
Role of each section of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus and the accessory organs: the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Structure of the abdominal cavity. Development of the digestive system at different stages of human life. Age-related changes in the digestive system.
Module 2: Nutrition and detoxification
Physiology of digestion of nutrients. Four stages of digestion: ingestion, absorption, assimilation and elimination. Digestion of the main food groups: carbohydrates, fibre, proteins and fats. Role of vitamins, minerals and water in healthy digestion. Role of hormones and enzymes in the digestion of nutrients. Role of mindful eating and chewing. The body’s main detoxification pathways.
Module 3: Acidic and alkaline foods
Raw and cooked food, juices, water, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, animal foods, salt and fats in digestive health and disease. Dietary requirements in relation to age, sex and lifestyle. The modern controversies and extreme diets. Biochemical individuality and ways of identifying an individualized balanced diet.
Module 4: Emotions, stress and digestive health
Physiology of stress. Analysis of the effect of stress on the human body, including the digestive system. Relations between stress, hormones and digestion. Job-related stress and circadian rhythms. Stress, smoking and drugs. Effects of stress on absorption and assimilation. Methods and effects of detoxification from stress.
Module 5: Importance of exercise and massage in the maintenance of digestive health
Different types of exercise and their relation with digestion. Importance of massage for the vitality of the abdominal tract and digestive organs. Abdominal massage. Lymphatic drainage. Lymph-boosting exercise. Rebounding and vibration therapy. Importance of maintaining a healthy weight through exercise, good nutrition and stress management.
Module 6: Diseases, disorders and dysfunctions of the digestive system
IBS, constipation, candidiasis, diarrhoea, enteritis, hernias and prolapses, diverticulosis and diverticulitis, colitis and cancers etc. Systemic dysfunctions such as obesity, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction and Syndrome X. Role of stress, lifestyle, occupations and nutritional choices in the development of these conditions.
Module 7. The nervous and immune systems in the large intestine and gut flora
Structure of the gut wall. The enteric nervous system. Probiotic and pathogenic bacteria in the large intestine. Role of soluble and insoluble fibre and prebiotics in the formation of healthy stools. Dysbiosis and leaky gut syndrome. Yeasts and parasites.
Module 8: Defaecation and stools
Optimal healthy defaecation. Physiological, structural and psychological problems related to “call to stool”. Formation of stools. The Bristol Stool Form Scale. Contents of stools and visual signs of health and diseases in stools.
Module 9: The history and the present day of colon hydrotherapy
The main functions of colon hydrotherapy. Role of hydration of the large intestine. Different colon hydrotherapy devices: Woods gravity, closed and open systems. Aqua-Clinic range of devices. Disposables. Hygiene rules of colon hydrotherapy.
Module 10: Indications, contraindications and cautions to performing colon hydrotherapy
Description of the procedure of colon hydrotherapy. The therapeutic aspect of colon hydrotherapy. Adjusting the procedure to the individual needs and health requirement of the patients and clients. Effects of colon hydrotherapy on all systems of the body.
Module 11. Aftercare and health maintenance protocols
Role of enemas in the maintenance of digestive health. Coffee enemas, retention Boundariesenemas, herbs and implants. Cautions to the use of herbs and implants. Support of digestive health through supplementation. Frequently asked question about colon hydrotherapy.
Module 12. Self-care of a colon hydrotherapist
Centering and grounding. Posture and breathing. Boundaries and limitations in relations with clients and patients. Legal and professional requirements to running colon hydrotherapy as a business. Ingredients of a successful colon hydrotherapy business.
Practice of the Integrative Colon Hydrotherapy (40 hours)
The practical module consists of six days of reviewing the theory, seminars, participating in 20 colon hydrotherapy treatments with case histories, and reflective practice. Each student receives at least two colon therapy treatments during the practical week, subject to contraindications. Usually groups contribute to and participate in healthy juicing and drink fresh juices daily.
During the practical module students can also take additional classes in Abdominal Massage (4 extra hours total); Rebounding and Vibration Therapy (4 extra hours total); Juicing for Health (4 extra hours total); and Foundations of Lymphatic Drainage (8 extra hours total, extra day).
The Practical Module is marked on the basis of a continuous assessments of the following skills and competencies:
- Safety and effectiveness of the colon therapy treatment individualized in accordance with each client's needs;
- Maintaining professionalism of the therapist-client interaction;
- Hygiene and protection of client's and therapist's health;
- Ability to combine listening, talking and observation to determine and start removing barriers to healing;
- Ability to use therapeutic touch, water temperature and flow to achieve an effective treatment;
- Ability to design an aftercare programme that is based on nutritional and lifestyle adjustments as the first line of intervention;
- Ability to stay within the professional boundaries of a colon therapist and demonstrate self-care.
The final test is based on the integration of the theory and practice.
- Diploma of Integrative Colon Hydrotherapy Practitioner.
Optional additional certificates
- Foundations of abdominal and colon massage (five case histories will need to be submitted for certification).
- Rebounding and vibration therapy for health and rejuvenation.
- Foundations of juicing for digestive health.
- Practitioner of manual lymph drainage massage (five case histories will need to be submitted for certification).