Colonic irrigation and lavage employing saline waters number among the balneological treatments which have a direct impact on a diseased organ. The methods derive from a procedure long known to medicine; the enema. During the treatment, water at a temperature of between thirty-nine and forty-one degrees Celsius is introduced into the rectum and the large intestine in measures of five hundred to one thousand millilitres, in other words, from half a litre to a litre. In this way, the residual contents of the large intestine are flushed away, the mucous membrane is cleansed and the warming action has an alleviating effect on spasmatic conditions.
The equipment for administering colonic irrigation and lavage is similar to that employed for gynaecological treatments of the same nature. The apparatus is connected to the drains and the procedure is absolutely painless. When discussing the significance of colonic irrigation and lavage in balneotherapy, it should be noted that the extensive therapeutic potential which the treatment presents is rarely made the most of in medical care. Instead, pharmaceutical chemical agents are employed, unnecessarily placing additional strain on the internal organs while being, at one and the same time, an incomparably less effective method of providing therapy. Even when irrigation and lavage are used, they are performed incorrectly, with efforts being confined to administering an oversized enema, but using too little water and, by the same token, limiting and depleting the arsenal of balneotherapy methods and means.