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A guide to colonic hydrotherapy

colonic hydrotherapy training and careers

What is colon hydrotherapy?

Therapeutic treatment known as colonic therapy, colonic irrigation, or colonic hydrotherapy has been practiced in some form for thousands of years.

Since the 19th century, it has gained popularity in Europe and the United States, and it is increasingly used to treat health conditions such as incontinence, contribute to ostomy care, and cleanse the colon prior to surgery.

Practitioners with appropriate colonic therapy education use specialized equipment to administer gentle infusions of warm, purified water into the colon. This helps to remove toxins and waste products, and it may even improve overall immune wellness.

How does colon hydrotherapy work?

Colonic therapy can be a powerful therapeutic tool in traditional medical office settings, in addition to alternative treatment centers, health spas and massage therapy practices.

A treatment session usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour, during which the practitioner will use advanced hydrotherapy equipment to introduce water into the colon. Typically, the colon is rinsed using about 25 to 35 gallons of water.

A separate tube removes the water along with any debris. In addition, the colonic therapist may use other treatment methods such as abdominal massage or relaxation techniques.

The field of colonic hydrotherapy

What You’ll Study

Colonic therapy may include classes in anatomy, physiology, digestive health, sanitation, and business skills, as well as colonic hydrotherapy courses that teach you the techniques you’ll need to know to use the equipment properly.

Some colonic hydrotherapy schooling may also include nutritional education, herbal medicine courses, and massage therapy techniques.

Average length of study

Basic colonic therapy schooling can be completed via a 100-hour course from a school approved by the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy or the National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy. More advanced education may require 500 to 1000 hours of coursework.

Average tuition

Colonic hydrotherapy schooling may usually cost between $3,000 and $5,000—relatively inexpensive compared to many health-related courses. However, if your colonic therapy schooling is part of a massage therapy program, tuition may cost $5,000 or more, depending on the length of the program.

Colonic therapy credentials

Currently, most states do not regulate the practice of colonic therapy, although many states are considering requiring licensure for practitioners. Florida and North Carolina are two of the states that require a license and completion of colonic therapy education.

The International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT) recommends getting certified, as well as compliance with all FDA equipment regulations, for those who wish to practice colonic therapy.

Colonic hydrotherapist salary

Although specific salary data is not available, colonic hydrotherapy may be a fairly lucrative addition to a massage therapist’s practice. Individual sessions generally cost about $100 – $150 per hour. You can research related careers and salaries here:


National data

Median Salary: $72,220

Projected job growth: 5.3%

10th Percentile: $31,200

25th Percentile: $50,400

75th Percentile: $100,270

90th Percentile: $156,000

Projected job growth: 5.3%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $75,950 $29,740 $88,770
Arizona $76,770 $36,400 $95,390
California $75,780 $40,930 $156,000
Colorado $52,600 $31,080 $79,030
Georgia $97,930 $55,260 $110,890
Hawaii $83,390 $50,940 $183,620
Idaho $38,030 $17,390 $87,990
Indiana N/A N/A N/A
Maine $61,200 $40,010 $81,350
Maryland $59,790 $50,990 $110,710
Massachusetts N/A N/A N/A
Michigan $51,670 $21,710 N/A
Minnesota N/A N/A N/A
New Jersey $50,400 $27,040 $128,410
New York $63,640 $40,470 $100,270
North Carolina N/A N/A N/A
Oregon $69,330 $36,460 $108,350
Pennsylvania N/A N/A N/A
Rhode Island $98,260 $63,070 $137,200
South Carolina $77,310 $40,310 $83,310
Tennessee $84,880 $63,800 N/A
Texas $73,410 $26,630 $142,510
Washington $63,660 $50,650 $82,960
Wisconsin $66,470 $38,380 $173,460

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2032. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Is a colonic therapy career right for you?

Colonic hydrotherapy isn’t for everyone. To be a respected and successful practitioner of colonic therapy, you’ll need to adhere to strict professional standards and stay up-to-date on techniques in your field and in the health industry.

But if you have an interest in helping clients improve their digestive health and overall well-being, and if you have a talent for putting a wide range of patients at ease, then this may be a good path for you.

Sources: The Colon Therapists Network, Aetna Intelihealth.