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Interview with Donna Perrone of Gravity East Village: Part 2

Welcome back for Part II of Travel Beauty’s interview with health and wellness expert, Donna Perrone, owner of Gravity East Village.


TB: What other “beauty from the inside out” health/wellness tips can you share?

DP: My regular practices for feeling great, looking youthful and having lots of energy are:

  • Juicing and blending my food. I make a low glycemic green smoothie each morning for breakfast and continue through the day with a homemade nut milk smoothie, vegetable juice and savory blended drinks made out of vegetables, greens, flax/hemp oil, and seasonings. I am very busy working as a colonic therapist and running my wellness center. My food for the day is made in the morning and I can sip my way through the day feeling light and satisfied.
  • Sauna. I use our infrared sauna at least once a week. The color to my cheeks and the deep relaxation creates a more attractive me.
  • Exercise. I can do everything right on, but if I don’t exercise a few times a week, I will not feel as energetic and will tend to feel stiff. I love to workout with weights and practice yoga, and have been doing so since my health journey began. The added benefit is that if I feel strong, then my body posture will show that and I am more fabulous!
  • Dance Break. Take a dance break during the day! When I am not in the colonic room I spend a lot of time in front of the computer. Taking a few minutes in my day to feel hot and to celebrate the day is a great pick me up. Dancing has been proven to increase the amounts of good hormones in the body, which enhances a youthful appearance. Take time for fun!
  • Colonic. I usually receive a colon hydrotherapy session 2 times per month. There is a major shift in how I feel when I get colonics regularly, and am surprised even to this day to see that they are needed. My skin has remained clear since 1997 due to colon hydrotherapy and I am interested in raising the level of cleanliness in my body with the use of colonics.
  • Raw Food. I eat primarily 80% to 100% raw foods in my diet each day. I make my own fermented foods such as kombucha, coco kefir, seed cheese etc. The addition of living foods such as sprouts is essential. I include sprouts in most of my food throughout the day. There is nothing that is more attractive than when you make a connection with the food you put into your body, especially if the food is in its raw, organic, whole state. The cooked foods I consume tend to be steamed vegetables, potato, squash, quinoa, and vegetable soup.
  • Periodic Cleansing. I practice all forms of cleansing my body on a regular basis. I not only use our sauna and get colonics, but I have coffee enemas and castor oil packs often over my liver and gallbladder. I teach a class on the Gallbladder Flush and have done 6 flushes. It is absolutely necessary for everyone to treat his or her liver right. Gravity East Village offers a Castor oil Pack/Coffee Enema session to clients to assist in making this process possible. In Chinese medicine, there is a connect between the liver and skin and when the liver is under-functioning in any way it will mostly show up as a skin condition.

TB: You host and lead numerous health and wellness events. Any coming up that you are particularly excited about? How can people find out more about upcoming events?

DP: In 1996 I began facilitating a health group that offered meetings each week. I was so excited by my own experience of feeling good that I wanted to share it with others. Accent on Wellness still continues today and I teach many classes on various health topics and cleansing practices. I am a volunteer that hosts guest speakers, workshops, and social events. We offer many of the classes at Gravity East Village such as an Essential Oils class, a Goddess Group, and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) group each month. Many of the classes are free of charge. People can attend a webinar if they can’t make it in person. It has been my passion to continue leading Accent on Wellness all these years and have made many lasting friendships and have watched people make great strides in their health.

To learn more about classes and treatments, sign up for our newsletter. Visit me at Gravity East Village! Get a colonic, use our infrared sauna, schedule a massage, Emotional Freedom Techniques, or nutritional consultation. Watch some insightful videos on our website. To schedule an appointment, please call 212.388.9788. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Listen to my Internet radio programs! My radio show is called the Good Health Workshop and you can listen to shows posted on my websites under RADIO SHOW. There are archived programs from a show I did 2009 called Vitality.

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Interview with Donna Perrone – Gravity East Village

Claire McCormack of Travel Beauty got up-close and personal with Donna Perrone, owner of Gravity East Village, to uncover what led Perrone down the path of holistic health and well being expert…and to find out what beauty and wellness secrets she has to share!


CM: Holistic health and wellness has been a personal journey for you. What made you enter the field?

DP: I was raised on a standard American diet and never felt like I had a strong constitution. In my early twenties, I developed acne, chronic yeast infections, constipation and PMS. I went to five doctors in three years to treat my yeast infection problem. For the first time, I found that the doctor was not able to help me. I researched healthy eating and started to change my lifestyle. It took a year to become vegan and that eliminated my constipation issue. Then, in 1989, I made a commitment to eating a primarily raw food vegan diet that included juicing, and within three months my yeast infections finally went away for good.

I became so empowered by my experience of healing myself that I knew that this change would become my lifestyle. I became interested in cleansing my body through fasts and liver cleanses.

Then, about five years later, I found that I was not feeling as fantastic as when I began my health journey. My acne had never cleared up and became worse. I started to experience panic attacks and was bloated all the time. A friend suggested I try colonics, but I resisted at first.

My First Colonic

In 1997 I finally decided to have my first colonic and saw what I had been missing. A true detoxification cannot occur without adequate elimination. Even with daily bowel movements, there is so much that doesn’t exit the body. The therapist suggested I return to do more sessions. I did do a series of colonics and the result was clear skin that became radiant and luminescent! All the negative symptoms I had went away. My life forever changed again.

CM: I’ve only been to two colon hydrotherapists, but both had the ability to make me feel at ease in a potentially awkward situation. I think knowing this would help people who are interested in colonics, but nervous about the process, be more willing to “go for it”. Is this a personality trait? Training? Both?

DP: When a new therapist is interested in working at my wellness center, Gravity East Village,  I seek someone who is a healer and has a compassionate, patient and nurturing personality. Usually, anyone attracted to doing this work wants to help people feel better and has a giving heart.

CM: What are the health – and of course beauty – benefits of colonics? How many treatments should someone start with to really see the benefits?

DP: The colon can be compared to a garbage pail. Often, food residue can accumulate in the intestine based on the quality of food eaten, emotional health, eating habits, hydration, travel and the gentle balance of the intestine based on how healthy the gut flora is and if there are any parasitic infections. When fruits and vegetables are eaten, they move through the body cleanly and exit without leaving anything behind. Most people put some amount of stress on their digestive health. Overtime, if the ‘garbage pail’ is not emptied and the elimination is not keeping up, this will put stress on every organ system and overall health can diminish.

Colon hydrotherapy can help to replenish the body by increasing circulation and oxygen in the blood. It can give the immune system a boost, thus supporting it in its ability to heal from disease. When proper elimination is not successful, it can create an irritation in the nervous system that can cause anxious feelings and negative emotions. The entire body can benefit when there is a level of improved cleanliness to the system due to the removal of waste, toxins, gases, impurities, excessive mucus and unwanted microbes.

Beauty Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy

The beauty benefits are a welcomed reward. Many people experience clear glowing skin and an aura that lights up a room! Often, people are held hostage by food cravings and unhealthy food choices. Colonics can help wipe the slate clean and allow for a new start to better eating. Many people also report weight loss. Something magical can happen, where your need for food can be reduced to smaller portion sizes. If someone embarks on a program of healthy food choices and is able to process their emotions in a healthy way, these benefits can manifest.

How Many Treatments Before I See Results?

Each individual is unique in how many treatments are needed. Your colon hydrotherapist can advise you based on your first session. At Gravity East Village, we provide information to help you prepare for your appointment which can enhance a deeper, more cleansing session.

CM: You also have an infrared sauna at Gravity. I’ve never tried one, but the sauna is my absolute favorite thing to do in the spa. Tell me about the benefits of an infrared sauna.

DP: Gravity East Village has a brand new Clearlight Far Infrared Sauna! Of course, saunas are a relaxing and pleasurable activity. There are benefits to using an infrared sauna over a regular sauna. In both, you sweat, which helps to flush toxins from the body and reduce toxic overload. With an infrared sauna, the sweating is deeper and more profuse, enabling your body to excrete a higher percentage of toxins than with a conventional sauna. Infrared saunas run 20 – 60 degrees lower, making it easier to tolerate the heat and more comfortable.

30 Minutes to a New You!

All you need is a 15 – 20 minute session a few times a week. We book 30 minute sessions, which provides an ample experience. Your sauna session will stimulate better blood flow and circulation throughout the body. We are exposed to pollution, chemical toxins, pesticides and heavy metals. Saunas can help the body cleanse chemical and heavy metal toxicity that can be stored in organs and tissues. Infrared is radiant heat that is readily absorbed and can go all the way to the bone to help rid the body of impurities. You’ll flush impurities from your skin such as lotions, makeup, cellular debris and obtain a radiant appearance. Infrared sauna also increases collagen production, so signs of aging are reduced.

The increased circulation can also lower blood pressure and help relax tight muscles and ease minor aches and pains, as well as help reduce stiffness and inflammation. If you have arthritis or troublesome muscle or joint pain, you’ll enjoy drug-free pain relief.

Boosts the Immune System

Infrared’s radiant heat also boosts immunity! Feeling a little under the weather? A sauna session can rev up the production of white blood cells and rally your immune system to respond for a speedy recovery.

What About Weight Loss?

Yes, you will sweat out some ‘water weight’ during a sauna session that you will restore when you rehydrate. However, there is evidence that infrared saunas, because of their ability to penetrate the skin more deeply, increases the metabolic rate and can help the body burn off anywhere from 200 – 600 calories per half hour session. A regular sauna session will not melt away tummy fat, but with a healthy diet and exercise can give your metabolism an extra boost while you lounge and relax.


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What Is A Colonic…And Do You Really Need One?

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:

A) mortifying

B) degrading

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.

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