Our new year brings many of us to consider how we can make changes to create greater standards of living and health. Research shows that our digestive integrity and bowel consistency directly affects our health and vitality, which in turn affects our entire lives.

Maybe you eat right, exercise vigorously, and still can't lose your gut. Perhaps you don't feel energized after meals, just fatigued. Many people assume that the body and mind age. This way of thinking is common and keeps people stuck in patterns of accepting less than vital health. Consider that letting go of what is no longer serving us may help us to build the sustainable health we are seeking. I have logical anatomical and physiological explanations with simple solutions that can transform your life.

Look at bowel patterns. Have you ever experienced the need to go to the bathroom in the middle of some social setting, held it in and once you got to the bathroom you didn't have to go anymore? Or have you experienced the opposite, when there is no holding what wants to come out? Our lifestyles and food choices are not always in support of our bodies' needs. We are so often on the run, ignoring the call of nature and consuming meals as we drive. Processed foods become staples of our diets, high stress is normal, and chemicals and hormones are in much of our foods. Is it any wonder we suffer?

Malnourishment in spite of overeating, obesity, allergies, skin eruptions, drug addictions, so-called incurable diseases like chronic fatigue, and a whole litany of digestive ailments are a direct result. What is the answer?

Colon hydrotherapists, certified through the international Association of Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT), provide education and support for regaining and maintaining vibrant health. These therapists are available throughout the world and can be found through l-ACT's web site www.I-ACT.net.

Also known as colonics, colon irrigation or high enemas, this modality is gaining in popularity. Many celebrities receive colonics to fit into their cat suits and Grammy gowns. Colon hydrotherapy is the professional term used to describe a way to rejuvenate every cell in the body. The process greatly enhances the body's ability to eliminate waste as well as it offers an opportunity to exercise the bowel muscles as the hydration of pure water absorbs, providing a bath for your other vital organs. Colon hydrotherapy may also aid in balancing the body's eco-system by cleaning out harmful pathogenic bacteria, allowing the beneficial flora to flourish.

Here is how colon hydrotherapy works. Warm, purified water trickles into the colon via a small disposable tube. The water loosens and softens old hardened fecal matter and undigested food particles that stagnate, putrefy and ferment, washing them through a viewing tube and out into the sewage system, ready to become great fertilizer. The water allows for a gentle exercising of the colon muscles, potentially strengthening and toning the entire bowel. You go through as many processes of receiving and releasing as is appropriate for your individual body during roughly forty-five minutes. No pressure or vacuums are used. Imagine a wave gently rolling onto the beach, carrying away silt and residue. As your bowel contents empty, your liver and Iymph may release, allowing for multiple organ detoxification.

At Alder Brooke Healing Arts in Eugene, Oregon, we practice real therapy. Everybody poops. The more you poop, the better you feel. Healthy people often eliminate after every meal. Education and proper consumption play a key role in the colon therapy process. We teach healthy choices and provide an individualized outline for creating the best path to your highest goals.

A friend told me, "As long as beer and pizza exist, I'm going to need colonics." Colon hydrotherapy helps people like her maintain their habits without suffering. Others do it to enhance an already healthy lifestyle. Colon hydrotherapy is a safe, supportive way to strengthen and rejuvenate the body naturally.

What we do to our bodies has a profound effect on our minds, emotions and environment. What we think and feel creates our realities. Modern science confirms that all life is connected -- every atom, quark, molecule cell and being. Nothing happens to anything that doesn't affect everything else. The popular movie "What the Bleep Do We Know?" features scientists explaining ancient wisdom summed up by the saying, "As above, so below." Or "as outside, so inside." You are what you eat, think feel, breathe, and retain. Imagine how our consumption choices affect our feelings, thoughts, and actions and therefore the whole world. What we do to our bodies, we do to mother earth and vice-versa.

Your intestine, very much like a city, is populated by over four thousand types of organisms -- beneficial, neutral, and potentially harmful. Do we want to create a balanced environment of healthy diversity by providing plenty of cleanliness, fresh air and food? Or will we promote the influx of harmful gangs by letting the garbage crews go on strike and filling our inner cities with junk food restaurants and convenience stores which only provide processed foods?

Another example is to look at a community in development. Do we build on top of an old land mine or ~ garbage dump site? If we are developers in Maui, maybe years from now we will learn how that works out. We would not bring new furniture into a dirty home without removing the old furniture, would we?

Imagine your body as the earth. Can you build health in a body polluted with toxic waste? That is what most of us try to do this time of year. We assume that we can take supplements to create greater health. The really smart ones of us decide to make drastic changes in our consumption habits. We begin to eat healthier, exercise and even decide to stop doing some of the things that we know are not contributing to our healthy goals. This is all good and great, but don't you think a good clean-up prior to building would be a better start? Let us cleanse and build health on a foundation that can be supportive.

To learn more about optimizing your health by healing from the inside out, go to my web site www.alderbrooke.com. Click the testimonial option to read some great stories from my customers. A favorite of mine is written by Robert Wolfe, a real power-pooping promoter. His life was transformed by colon hydrotherapy. He became a happy man. It is amazing the amount and quantity of stored toxins that even seemingly healthy people pass.

Next month's issue of Holistic Health Magazine will feature some of the specific ideas about how you can begin the cleansing within. As the seasons change, our food choices and lifestyles change. This is a great time to take advantage of the opportunity to let go of the old and make room for the new and the fresh and the vital.

At Alder Brooke Healing Arts, we consider each individual as a whole. Restoring inner health, strengthening the immune system, and establishing patterns of living that support our whole being allow us to assist in creating happier inhabitants of a more peaceful planet. Hydrating with purified water enhances our body's ability to eliminate waste, absorb nutrients and heal itself, beginning personal and planetary healing on a cellular level.

Tara Alder is certified by the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy. She can be reached by telephone a 541.513.7894 or through her web site www.alderbrooke com.