Preventing Difficult Colonics

“Awakening the Sleeping Dragon”

Adapted from Sheila Shea

Difficult colonics is an issue that comes up from time to time in Colon Hydrotherapy.  Sheila Shea the analogy with the ‘sleeping dragon’ to give insight into why difficulties might occur during your colonic.

“Unleashing the forces of the dragon, unleashing the powers of the gut, opening what has been asleep for many years, if not decades, is potentiated in intestinal healing. The colonic and the person have the power to awaken that which has not been stirred, has not been touched, has not been opened, has been left uncomfortable, ignored, poisoned, drugged, isolated, and alone. The intestines are the seat of personal power and energy. Awakening and enlivening this center brings power back to the person. The dragon awakens and takes space,” Sheila Shea, MA.

Many newcomers to colon hydrotherapy expect instant release of all waste from their large intestines or colon. When this doesn’t happen, some clients feel like their colonic was not worth while. But, I have learned when nothing comes out, I typically have a more difficult case in my hands. The ability or inability to release is an important measure for assessing a colonic session.

From Sheila, “The first job is to get the gut muscles to respond by creating what I call a ‘flow through.’ ‘Flow through’ is the ability to eliminate or have material flow through their alimentary tract from mouth to anus without restriction. I call it ‘awakening the sleeping dragon.’ Then other levels of work can begin such as cleansing the walls and balancing the flora.”

What do I mean by a difficult colonic? A difficult colonic can mean nothing comes out, very little comes out, or the person experiences slight pain or a deep sense of urgency when the ‘dragon begins to awaken.’

Here are some reasons for difficult colonics:

Dehydration is an initial reason for a difficult first cleanse. I know I might be in for trouble when I find out the person is drinking one quart or less of fluid daily.  The lack of fluid allows hardening of waste in the gut. Dehydration may also affect the quality of intestinal muscle tissue and it’s ability to expand and contract property.  

Constipation is another potential cause. I often ask a client how long it has been since their last bowel movement and what their bowel movements have been like.

Other scenarios might involve exhaustion, abuse, hyperactivity, adrenalization, emotional upset, obesity, distended abdomens, and legal or illegal drugs. Many of these situations are related to the emotional body.

Some individuals have habitual holding patterns in the muscles that might be due to emotional imbalances, inflammation, and injury. Anything that causes someone to contract their muscles and not allow them to return to the relaxation state can create this holding pattern.


Some diseases like Hirschsprung’s remove some of the intestinal nerve endings and hence the gut muscles do not work. Some diseases result in bowel inflammation leaving fibrotic tissue inflexible. Other types of inflammation leave narrowing with the potential for obstructions. Pain and nausea may be signs of this.

Another situation is the urgency some of the first-timers feel. Nothing is coming out and suddenly their muscles start moving, the dragon awakens. Clients can feel movement for the first time. At this point, some clients feel so overwhelmed by their thoughts of what ‘might’ happen that they hold back or hold in which is in opposition to the bodily movements that are occurring.

Some of the initial sessions with first-timers are just the opposite. The muscles do not respond. The colonic is like CPR. The aim is to get the ‘heart’ going again or in this case, to get the intestinal muscles to start pumping or ‘perstalting’ as we say for the intestines. Breathing, massage, other subtle body therapies and the introduction of water into the large intestines aid in this process, but for some it can be a more difficult process or may tak some more ‘learning from the gut.’  

In all of these situations, the colon hydrotherapy session is a rehabilitating and retraining of the gut muscles to preform in they way they should be preforming or a retraining of the client to take actions to help their body perform.

Client preparedness:

A client’s action toward their healing is integral to the colonic process. If a client makes sure to have high fluid intake, eat many fruits and vegetables, appropriate proteins, electrolytes and flora, take time for excercise, and take time for rest and meditation, they will typically begin to experience more rewarding colonics.

My biggest responsibility is to educate my clients; to provide them a context in which their inability to eliminate is occurring, to let them know why it might happen, to give them the tools for releasing, to set forth a plan of sessions that will allow them to gradually let go. If it were so easy to come out, I would not be in business.  Most clients think they get hooked up and everything flows out. It’s not always the case, but there is still a lot that can be learned from taht experience. And, I do not believe that is a situation to give up! Typically, persistance with a series can yeild the greatest benefit to these clients. Just remember, about 10-20% of the clients I see have a difficult first cleanse and IT’S OK!   Every individual’s health journey is unique. Keep in mind, the more the client prepares, the better the session goes. As a rule of thumb, the client’s elimination improves as they continue to progress through each series. Through this process, you can awaken your sleeping dragon. The ‘dragon’ is the symbol for developing personal power and the intestines are the site of that power.