Unfortunately....the people who most need to do a Colon Cleanse are also the ones who experience the greatest difficulty with it...those who have a history of chronic constipation and sluggish digestive functioning. I appreciate the frustration...the cleanse would help to address these problems, but how can you do it without making matters worse?!
There are some steps you can take PRIOR to beginning the cleanse that will improve bowel functioning and promote greater success with the cleanse.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE WELL HYDRATED BEFORE YOU BEGIN A COLON CLEANSE. Low-grade dehydration is very common and is one of the primary causes of constipation. Drinking a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water a day for several weeks before beginning a Colon Cleanse can increase your success with the cleanse.
GET REGULAR EXERCISE. A sedentary life-style is also a major contributing factor to constipation. Strong peristalsis requires good muscle tone and exercise also stimulates lymphatic flow which in turn promotes peristalsis.
WHENEVER POSSIBLE, AVOID MEDICATIONS. Many medications... prescribed and over-the-counter...produce side-effects that effect digestive functioning. Pain and psychotropic medications are particularly problematic concerning constipation.
CHECK YOUR SUPPLEMENTS. Iron supplements...or iron contained within a supplement formula...can cause constipation.
GET SUFFICIENT DIETARY FIBER. Make sure there are fresh vegetables and fruits in your daily diet...and include raw foods. Legumes and whole grains also provide fiber. Fiber is necessary to provide bulk to the stool and exercises the bowel muscle.
INCLUDE GOOD OILS IN YOUR DIET. Oils are necessary for providing lubrication and also stimulate the flow of bile which promotes peristalsis.
USE DIGESTIVE ENZYMES. What you eat is important...but what you absorb is what really counts! Unless your diet is predominantly raw, chances are that you lack a good reserve of digestive enzymes. Undigested food particles contribute to many digestive problems...gas, bloating, allergies and sensitivities and irritation...which in turn can contribute to constipation.
CORRECT YOUR PH. An acidic body is more prone towards constipation...which in turns increases acidity. Alkalinize your body with sufficient minerals including trace minerals and add fresh juices to your diet...especially the green ones. Minerals are involved in every process in the body including muscle contraction and relaxation...both of which are part of normal peristalsis.
ENCOURAGE THE URGE. Constipation is also caused by habitually ignoring nature's call...over time the urge is no longer recognized. Allow time to move your bowels and retrain yourself to recognize the body's signals that you need to use the bathroom.
DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE EFFECTS OF STRESS. Stress may very well have the greatest impact on digestive functioning....a person can do everything right and still suffer with digestive problems as a result of stress. Take steps to reduce and manage stress...meditation, deep breathing, exercises like yoga or taiji...whatever works for you.
MAKE CHANGES IN YOUR DIET. Reducing or eliminating processed and refined foods is beneficial for everyone...but it may not be enough! A healthy food for one person may not be so healthy for another...you have to listen to your own body, monitor how you respond to particular foods and watch for patterns. (*I recently had a client with a long-standing problem with constipation. Her diet appeared quite healthy and she had taken numerous steps to address her problem...with limited success. She switched to a low-carb diet and her constipation has vanished....after only 5 days! Clearly, her previous 'healthy' diet wasn't healthy for her.)
USE SAFE, HEALTH-PROMOTING MEASURES TO GET THINGS MOVING. Colonics, enemas, castor oil packs, abdominal massage, reflexology, spinal adjustments, acupuncture, herbs, etc. may all provide benefit for constipation and other digestive dysfunctions. While herbal laxatives and salt flushes may provide some immediate relief from constipation...they come with a price! Laxatives can become habit-forming and lead to weakened bowel tone and impaired peristalsis in as little as a week of regular use...and salt flushes can result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalance when used frequently. In both cases the 'cure' further exacerbates the problem and a vicious cycle begins. Many people find that the simple step of drinking a couple of glasses of warm water first thing every morning is all it takes to get going regularly again!
This is not an exhaustive list...I'll post other suggestions as I think of them! ; )