Perhaps you’ve noticed, detox is the buzzword du jour. Everyone is juicing, cleansing and cupping their way to a totally toxin-free body. I ain’t mad at them – it’s a worthwhile pursuit. But no matter how detox-dedicated you are, you may draw the line at colonics. Perhaps you think about colonics in the way I did: sounds interesting, intriguing even, but nothing I could ever go through with it. Colonics just seem too:
C) the absolute physical manifestation of a TMI
When it comes to detoxing, though, colonics are the gold standard. If you’ve always been colonic-curious but have yet to climb up on the table, read on.
Do I Really Need A Colonic?
This is the question I grappled with…the question that kept me “off the table” for years. But the information on the myriad benefits of colonics, and the rationale behind their purported necessity, is overwhelming. For instance, our bodies fully empty our colons once, very soon after birth, and then never again. That one complete colon cleansing happens after just nine months in utero, before we’ve had a single Dorito. Imagine what can accumulate over a lifetime of even the most careful consumption!
It is this toxic accumulation that can cause and/or contribute to a number of health problems: Acne, allergies, anxiety, bloating, candida (yeast), constipation, depression, fatigue, headaches, hormonal imbalances, insomnia, irritability, poor posture and weight issues. This list, by the way, is far from exhaustive.
After my first pregnancy, I considered getting a colonic (or three) before my next pregnancy. Then pregnancy number two happened sooner than expected, so that plan fell through. The plan remained in the back of my mind, though, as something I’d like to do…someday.
Someday came recently, when I went through two rounds of antibiotics (thank you, wisdom teeth extraction), which is as many times as I had been on antibiotics in my life up to that point. After that ordeal, I really wanted – felt I needed – to reboot my system. It was this feeling that had me finally book a colonic appointment.
How It Actually Goes
The therapist I saw, Gina Mikan, uses the Wood gravity method. A colonic irrigation with the Wood gravity method is an “internal bath” (probably my favorite euphemism ever) that helps cleanse the colon of gas, mucus and accumulated fecal matter. There is no discomfort (really!) and no internal pressure, just a gentle flow of water in and out of the colon, expertly controlled by the therapist. Gina explained, step-by-step, what was going on so I felt as at ease as possible, given the circumstances.
The colonic appointment is one hour. You wear an ankle-length exam gown, naked from the waist down. During the colonic you lie on a massage table below the temperature-controlled holding tank – this is why it’s called the “gravity” method. Water flow, which is always under the direct control of the practitioner, flows into the colon via a small tube and out through a wider evacuation tube, carrying with it waste from the body. As the water flows out, the practitioner (and/or you) gently massages the abdomen and acupressure points to help the body release as much waste as possible. You can actually see this expelled waste through a clear section of the outflow tubing. I know – sounds vile – but if you’re going to get a colonic, it is rewarding to see the results in real time! After the colonic, you spend some time in the bathroom before you go on your way.
How You Feel After
I felt very tired, especially that evening. I was asleep by about 9 pm…and what a great night’s sleep it was! I did feel…lighter, too. I felt good! Since I felt so good, and since I didn’t die of embarrassment (initially I thought I’d only be able to go through with it but once), I decided to see Gina for another session a few days later. It’s beneficial to cluster your first few treatments close together – one sole colonic ain’t gonna do much. You need a series to reap the real benefits, though the exact number of treatments will vary from person to person. Once the colon is clean, it is then recommended to have a regular colonics (Every month, at the change of seasons, etc.) to maintain bowel (and overall) health.
Did I Lose Weight?
Sorry, I don’t weigh myself so I can’t really tell you. But if I had to guess I’d say yes, as my whole abdomen was flatter; trimmer. I was surprised to notice how much more pronounced my waistline was. And it wasn’t only the bottom of my stomach that flattened out, but the top as well, around my ribcage! After two kids, any degree of abdominal flattening is, of course, warmly welcome.
I’ve done 3 colonics so far. Will I do it again? Absolutely. It wasn’t the horrifying, mortifying, I could never face that person again type experience I thought it would be. This is in large part a function of Gina’s consummate professionalism and gentle manner. She made the entire experience as unawkward and educational as such a thing could possibly be. I cannot recommend her highly enough!
A lot of what I feel is hard to articulate – it is an overall feeling of wellness. I wake easier in the morning. Food feels more satisfying; when I eat, I feel more in tune with what and how much I actually need to eat. My insides are just…happier. As nearly three quarters of the immune system resides in the digestive tract, I am curious to see how my cleaner colon helps me through cold and flu season.
Intrigued? Colonics Q & A for Beginners
I asked Gina some “colonics for beginners” questions, below. To find out more or book an appointment with Gina, visit her site here.
Q: What are some examples of good times to start a series of colonics? I know anytime is good, but in particular?
A: People start a series for countless reasons, some of the most common being for constipation, IBS, during a seasonal cleanse, to compliment lifestyle changes (healthier diet and exercise), for maintenance, illness, inflammation, psoriasis, eczema and candida. Personally, I have done multiple colonics when healing my bladder infections – antibiotic-free – in conjunction with diet, herbs and lifestyle choices. When starting a series, I emphasize that it takes a lifetime to get to where we are with our health, so there is no quick fix. We don’t go to the gym and expect to lose 50 pounds on one visit, or run a marathon on our first day, so it is important to have reasonable expectations when beginning the journey.
Q: What are some surprise benefits of colonics – conditions you’ve seen improve from colon hydrotherapy?
A: In combination with dietary and lifestyle changes, I have seen the skin heal significantly – whether it be from psoriasis, acne or eczema. The clients glow!
Q: Anything else you want to share about colonics, and/or your practice?
A: I learn a lot from my clients, and everyone has a unique journey. What I’ve gathered is that, although there are fundamental “no-brainers” that are important to everyone’s health (i.e. whole food diet, exercise, adequate rest), we all have different histories and different needs. I enjoy supporting clients to solve their own health puzzle, drawing from all the resources available (allopathic medicine, ayurveda, chinese medicine, living foods lifestyle, etc.) to create their personalized regimen.