Monday, November 29, 2010

Development of Reflorastation

by Victoria Bowmann, PhD
During the years that I had been a colon therapist from 1978 to 1991, there were times that I felt that I wasn't doing a complete job. Certainly the quality of my colonic was as it should be, however it was difficult for individuals to completely resolve their bowel issues. It was at this time that I began to challenge and question the extent of my education. 

I came across an article written in the Lancet December 24-31, 1983. The Lancet is a prestigious medical journal published in the United Kingdom. The title of the article was titled: "Rectal Infusion of Bacterial Preparations for Intestinal Disorders." In this study there were four patients treated: two patients with chronic constipation, one with constipation as a result of an influenza like syndrome, and one with your will bowel syndrome which diarrhea and abdominal pain. 

The rectal infusions of about 150 million bacteria suspended in 50 ml saline were given once a day for 3 days. Bowel function promptly returned to normal in all four cases and remained normal (one or two normal stools a day) without further treatment.
As I contemplated this medical article I realized, that from a holistic point of view, I was doing an incomplete job. While I was doing a very good job of cleaning out the colon during my colon hydrotherapy sessions, I was not restoring the environment of the colon to a healthy state. One of the holistic physicians who referred clients to me was Abram Ber, a licensed homeopathic medical physician. 

One morning, I went to his office and asked if we could talk for a few minutes. During this time I brought a copy of the Lancet article to him and discussed my desire to advance my colon hydrotherapy sessions. Obviously, I wasn't interested in using feces from a healthy donor but rather the introduction of probiotics; which are readily available in capsule form. It was decided to begin with Lactobacillus and Bifidus, since these are the two prevalent beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. 

My first attempt at Reflorastation was with a close girlfriend, Arlene, with a lifetime history of chronic and severe constipation. She had tried many things to resolve this including: dietary changes such as food combining, vegetarian diet, macrobiotic diet, as well as exercise programs such as yoga, and being an active tennis player. She also drank plenty of water and tried any other reasonable suggestion that others offered. This woman was also an active member of our holistic community.

When I brought my ideas to Arlene, she was willing to become my first research subject. In fact, she helped to design the methodology in which the treatment is administered. Due to her extremely slow transit time, it was decided to do two colonic hydrotherapy sessions on consecutive days prior to the introduction of the Lactobacillus and Bifidus.  

Together we devised a way to suspend of the bacteria in water and administer it through an enema tube into the rectum after her second colonic. The following day she had no bowel response. However, on day two she had a normal healthy bowel movement. This response continued for 13 days, at which time she missed one day for having a healthy bowel movement. The following day, her bowels began moving correctly again. 

When I returned to Dr. Ber's office and shared this research, he commented that we had a breakthrough in helping others with chronic constipation with a natural holistic approach. It was decided at this time that he would refer patients for two colon hydrotherapy sessions on consecutive days to be followed with one bacterial introduction of these two probiotics. He evaluated his patients six weeks later and noted the health progress improvement was more than he previously had seen. 

It was at this time that our definition of Colon Reflorastation crystallized. It is as follows:

Colon Reflorastation is the introduction of healthy intestinal bacteria supplement into the rectum, which delivers it into the sigmoid flexure of the colon. After one hour of retention, it will colonize the bowel; three days later, it will be stabilized. This health procedure is only designed to reinforce the homeo-dynamic balance of the bowel flora. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

A hypothesis is a proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation. Dr. Ber and I decided to continue our investigation in the beneficial effects of replacing the healthy bacteria removed during a colonic irrigation.

Stages of Development: Reflorastation

The next step was to accumulate as many varieties of bacteria as was available to health professionals. Not only did we select the greatest variety of bacteria but also the same bacteria from different manufacturers. Some of the bacteria were available as a single strain; others were in combinations of several types of bacteria.

It was necessary to determine a single unit for testing purposes. One capsule could be one unit. Since several products that were being tested came in powder form, I determined that a certain quantity of this powder constituted one unit. These were place in amber glass containers, sealed and labeled with only a number. In this way there would be a blind component to the study, since the doctor testing the product and the patient being tested would not know which product was being evaluated.

A worksheet was also developed in which the testing physician would note which numbered bottle tested positive and what quantity of single units was needed. When a patient came for treatment, my research was to chart which products were needed, what quantity was needed, and determine the total quantity of bacteria being administered in the Reflorastation. In addition to this, I also noted the diagnosis and did a written follow up questionnaire at two weeks.

There were four questions on the questionnaire. They are as follows:
  1. Did you have any difficulty holding the infusion? If so, how long did you hold it?
  2. When did your pals begin moving after the infusion?
  3. Did you have any detoxification symptoms? (Flu, etc.) How long do they last? Please explain:
  4. In what ways, if noticeable, do you feel better? Make comparisons to be for the treatment if you would like.
This questionnaire was sent to each patient 14 days after their treatment. It included a self-addressed stamped envelope for their convenience. About 95% of the patients returned the questionnaires. With this information, I was able to begin the development of protocols to help different conditions. 

The testing was done with a machine called EAV: which stands for electro acupuncture by Voll (see definition from

This testing method is as follows: a probe is placed in one hand which connects to the EAV device, one of the patient's feet is placed on a pad which also connects to the device, the testing bottle is placed on a metal plate, and the physician uses a fourth probe to connect with an acupuncture point on the patient's hand. These four connections complete the circuit. A needle on the EAV device will indicate the patient's response to the testing bottle that is on the metal plate.

From this indication, the physician determines if this testing substance is correct for the patient. If so it was indicated on the worksheet as well as how many individual units of that substance was to be administered in their treatment. Over a six-month period of time I charted each of these treatments. I was able to determine the bacteria needed, the most responsive bacteria, and the brands that had the highest quality of bacteria.

By this method, each patient had a custom formula of bacteria. However, I also noted that certain products and certain strains of bacteria were frequently needed. It was at this time that I developed a bulk formula for general use. This formula was comprised of those bacteria that tested positive, necessary, and important in 90% of the patients in this six-month study.
During this testing time I noted that certain diagnosis and conditions had a greater need and affinity for certain bacteria. In an extremely ill patient, it is important to test the specific bacteria. However in most cases the bulk formula is extremely effective in returning the environment of the large intestine to its healthy, vital, natural state.

It became more important to continue my studies in gastrointestinal health. The average human body consists of 10 trillion cells. Even more amazing is that the intestines hold 10 times more bacteria than the number of cells in our body; that's more than 100 trillion bacteria. The concentration of bacteria increase as it moves through our gastrointestinal tract. It is measured in CFU/g, which stands for "colony forming units per gram". This is a more accurate way of expressing the quantity instead of the number of organisms.
In the stomach and duodenum there are 103-104 CFU/g. In the upper intestine, the jejunum, it increases to 105-107 CFU/g. The ileum is part of the small intestine just before the colon where the bacteria concentration grows to 107-108 CFU/g. In the colon, it increases again. It is estimated at 1010-1012 CFU/g; which is how we arrive at 100 trillion bacteria in our intestine.
The microorganisms that normally live in the digestive tract can perform a number of useful functions. Though widely known as the intestinal "microflora" this term is technically a misnomer. The root word "flora" pertains to plants and "biota" refers to microbial life such as bacteria other than plants. It has also been called "microbial flora." Recently the more appropriate term " intestinal microbiota" has come into use. Scientists are moving toward the use of "microbiota" even though it has not eliminated the use and recognition of "microflora" as it pertains to intestinal bacteria.

It is important to remember that the functions of the large intestine are more than the elimination of fecal material. When there are ample quantities of viable probiotics, the effectiveness of these functions is maximized. They include:
  1. The production of certain nutrient including B12 and vitamin K.
  2. The absorption of nutrients missed by the small intestine.
  3. The blocking and binding of toxic materials from the contents of the digestive tract.
  4. Recycle water and bile.
  5. Decompose the chyme (food stuff) into fecal material.
  6. The production of butyrate as a principal fuel for the colonic epithelial cells.