Providence Woman Trying to Run Colon Cleansing Service Out of Home

Providence Woman Trying to Run Colon Cleansing Service Out of Home

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- A woman is fighting the City Council in Providence to issue her a permit to run a colon cleansing service out of her home.

Colon hydrotherapy is a licensed procedure in other states, but in Utah is considered only a homeopathic method. Colette Yates says she has invested two years and roughly $40,000 on her home business, which focuses on removing waste from the large intestine by injecting water into the colon, where it loosens and softens waste. The water is injected through the rectum.

The Providence Planning Commission recently recommended denial of Yates' request for a permit to operate Alternatives in Health in her home. Planning commissioners said they wanted to avoid setting a precedent of allowing medically oriented businesses in residential neighborhoods.

Yates said commissioners are wary because they're not familiar with the procedure, though she provided them with detailed videos and literature.

The International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy describes it as a "safe, effective" method of removing waste from the large intestine.

"I feel it's a modality not unlike massage therapy or dermatology procedures that are already going on in this area," Yates told commissioners. "It's world-renowned, and people are doing it everywhere ... but it's relatively new to Cache Valley."

Yates became inspired two years ago to practice colon hydrotherapy after it relieved her of painful complications from fibromyalgia. She traveled to Florida for training, invested thousands of dollars on the specialized equipment, renovated two bedrooms in which to perform the procedure and obtained professional liability insurance.

Yates says she had accumulated several clients through word-of-mouth and referrals from chiropractors.

"I've helped people who've gone to doctors that said, 'We can't do anything else for you,"' Yates said. "They walk in to me so bent over and so sick that they can't function, and I'm able to help them with that."

Commissioners questioned Yates on how she would safely monitor the water pressure in clients (observing pressure gauges with automatic shut-off) and how she would dispose of waste (a closed plumbing system flushes it into the sewer).

"I haven't heard anything negative about it -- and I've been asking -- but I think it belongs in a chiropractic office," said Commissioner Kristina Lamborn, who voted to recommend denying the permit. "I feel very strongly about that."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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