On a night out with work colleagues recently, a friend decided it would be fun to delve through the contents of my purse. Slightly intoxicated, my responses failed me and before I knew it, out had spilled my Colonic irrigation appointment card. Thank the Lord for dim lit bars – before he knew it I had whipped the card back while he was still in mid-squint.
Afterwards I reflected upon this little episode. I am in no way ashamed of the fact that I see a Colonic hydrotherapist every few months; on the contrary, it is the best decision I have ever made. I’ll expand a little. Since mid-teens my digestion had become increasingly sluggish, to the point I felt constantly congested. A food intolerance test pointed to wheat and dairy as perpetrators, so I swiftly cut these out of my diet. However, a regime of stir-fry vegetables and crisp-breads seven days a week brought my periods to a halt and my energy levels to an all-time low.
An evening of educating myself over the internet led to my finding a guild-registered Colonic hydrotherapist in my area and embarking upon a month-long course of Colonic weekly sessions, which then lessened to once a month and then once every three months.
Nine months on, I feel like a different person. I no longer have to deprive myself or feel scared about eating and how I will feel afterwards. Colonic irrigation, or hydrotherapy as it is also known, has put a stop to years of discomfort and worry and I have never felt better. At the same time, it is something I have consciously kept, at various stages from work, friends and even family. If my colleague had clocked what that appointment card was, then I would have certainly considered never returning to the area, let alone to work.
Why all the secrecy and embarrassment over something that has improved my way of life so much?
Bowel-health is not an issue that we as a nation, discuss freely. One might see the occasional advert for a new herbal laxative, but the various discomforts that as many as one in three Britons suffer (according to the Colonic Association website) are simply not addressed in the media or within society circles to the same degree as other conditions, such as cancer or heart disease. In this country, there is a sure-fire way to become a social nomad. Discuss the state of your bowels over dinner and you are pretty much guaranteed to receive fewer invitations than your pet moggy. It is not surprising therefore, that Colonic hydrotherapy has become a somewhat taboo subject, of which fewer and fewer people have knowledge and understanding. Strange, when you consider Britain is officially the most constipated nation in the world. Colonic irrigation does not deserve to be cast into the darkness any more, so I hope to shed some light on the facts and bring its attention to those of you who may have fantasised, like I once did, that there was such a thing as Colon-transplants. Because there is another, not impossible solution.
Each time I do decide to divulge the nitty gritty to a close friend, the response is invariably the same: a silent pause and for a brief second a blank look that quickly turns wide-eyed. Then, with the repose of someone plotting revenge on an ex-boyfriend, said friend hunches down and whispers one of the following: ‘Isn’t it dangerous?’/ ‘Does it hurt? ‘ / ‘Are you fully exposed? ‘
Contrary to popular concern, Colonic hydrotherapy is the gentle bathing of the Colon using warm, purified water. The water is gently introduced to the Colon this gentle flow of warm water that helps remove all sorts of nasty stuff that may have been clogging up your Colon for years, as well as gas, mucus and toxic substances. Yes, the idea of plumbing yourself into a tube may seem scary and I admit I was pretty terrified at first, but once you see what it can do for you you’ll soon become the best of friends. A huge factor of course in protecting yourself is finding a guild registered Colon hydrotherapist. There are between 180-210 across the UK, all of whom have received proper training at one of the approved and inspected Colonic Hydrotherapy training colleges. To find one near you, look at www.Colonic-association.com for a list of members.
So, to the question of pain. It is definitely a strange sensation, having water fill you up like a balloon, but it is not a downright painful one. A good therapist will be very in tune with her patients and tailor the process to suit each one. Having a Colonic is like running or any form of exercise; the more sessions you have the more familiar you become of the feeling of fullness.
Now for the issue of nakedness. Exposure was a major factor putting me off having the treatment at first, as I have always been the type of person to get changed underneath a dressing gown – in their own room! However, my therapist gave me a skirt of the white towelling ( or sometimes a blue) gown kind to put on that only opens up at the back, which was so soft and fluffy, it instantly brought the atmosphere back to a luxuriant health-spa type one. As I reluctantly rolled over for the first time, she reassured me not to be embarrassed. She does of course, see backsides of ages varying between 19 to 90, in addition to everything that exits from them, on average 4 or 5 times a day. It’s hard to believe it, but you can end up becoming good friends with someone who is not your partner but asks you to take off your underwear and roll over to allow them access to your back passage. If anything, you may find that the sheer honesty of the situation allows you to open up quickly to your therapist about things you would not mention to your friends. I now view my hour-long sessions as real value for money as I am relieved physically as well as mentally.
I understand this brief insight into the world of Colonics may seem fairly explicit and apologise for any offence caused, but as I have stated from the outset there is an unnecessary amount of taboo surrounding a treatment that does help a lot of people with digestive discomfort, but could help a lot more. G.P’s in the UK are approached about bowel problems by one in three patients; a high enough percentage, but just imagine how many are too embarrassed to even go to their doctor.
This is why I have tried to openly discuss the issue of our bowels and how Colonic hydrotherapy can assist. Now to conquer the dinner party…
Elouise Kemp (pseudonym)