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.