I never expected to make an appointment with a stranger that involved taking off my pants and willingly placing a plastic hose in my butt. I definitely did not envision filling up my intestines with gallons of water, repeatedly, while they massaged my engorged belly and then, with the person I’d met only moments earlier, watch the undigested, weeks old sludge come rushing out of me. Since that initial visit, I’ve taken off my pants–with gusto and gratitude!–for countless therapists. With overwhelming appreciation I now reflect on the field of colon hydrotherapy and it’s life-saving abilities.
Like most people, I found the idea of colon hydrotherapy mildly horrific and borderline embarrassing.
I assumed that such procedures were reserved for elderly folk in nursing homes that wore diapers and drank prune juice or for wealthy, spray-tanned women trying to de-bloat for bikini season.
Yet, after a wildly life-altering visit to Cambodia in my college years, my intestines entered previously untouched territory, requiring attention and assistance and, yes, lots of colonics. While constipation and bloating had been issues as far back as 2nd grade, I generally didn’t think much about it and just assumed everyone felt uncomfortable after eating.
The real chaos started after sipping some unbottled water at a little Indian restaurant. A few hours later, the belly gurgling gave way to several weeks of sweaty fevers and explosive diarrhea in response to any and all food, opening up the portal to many years battling belly discomfort due to tapeworms, E. coli, giardia, salmonella, and a host of other stealthy creatures. (Spending the majority of a solo, 13-hour flight back to the US in the bathroom marks one of my most character-building and humbling days to date!)
Now, I think of this simple procedure as the most powerful tool for why I am still alive and functioning, despite massive GI upheaval.
When the state of my health took a sudden nose dive in 2018 and my bowels stopped squeezing waste out on their own, colonics became necessary just to allow me the energy to focus on the bare minimum, daily acts of living.
If you’ve ever gone even a few days without pooping and also had the flu, you might be able to imagine what this starts to feel like after many months of no improvement: hopeless, overwhelming, and exhausting. I started to feel so sick of being so darn sick, quarantined from living a “normal” life. The toxicity of my thoughts alone compounded my suffering.
As endotoxins buildup in the bowels and start reabsorbing into the bloodstream, most people start feeling dizzy, tired, flu-like, foggy, heavy, lose their appetite and mental clarity, and begin to lack the desire to do much of anything except stay in bed. Long term, one’s cellular function and the related mental states start to match the accumulation of toxic shit within.
Looking back now, I really do owe my present existence and fortitude to my caregivers, the friendships that carried me through, my fiancee, and the life saving, sometimes bi-weekly, hour-long appointments with colon-hydrotherapists.
What is colon hydrotherapy?
At a high level, colon hydrotherapy is the art of delicately washing the colon with warm water to expel encrusted fecal residue, gas, mucous, and unwanted invaders. It involves repeatedly infusing the colon with filtered water by means of the rectum to soften the impacted stool and then releasing the water to carry the waste out with it. All the equipment is sterile and single use, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally introducing someone else’s unique flora into your intestines!
How do you feel during a colonic?
While at first it might feel a little awkward to spread your butt cheeks for a stranger, that’s the extent of the discomfort. You’ll likely get over any feelings of embarrassment or self-consciousness once you’ve experienced the profound improvements from just a single session.
Some people experience a feeling of fullness as the water fills the colon, especially as it comes up against blockages or impacted feces. Others feel a slight increase of pressure, as the water starts breaking down solidified and sometimes, many week-old impactions. However, a skilled practitioner allows for your complete relaxation and discretion, frequently checking in to see how you’re feeling and adjusting the water pressure and temperature accordingly.
A truly gifted practitioner works with the unique rhythms of your colon, known as peristalsis, to ensure that each fill and release work in tandem with the natural contraction of your colon. Many of the best practitioners massage the belly to encourage a full release. This massage, while functional, often feels deeply rejuvenating, similar to the quality expressed by a sleepy cat accepting a belly rub. There are few things as relaxing as releasing pounds of fermenting sludge from your colon, especially when it’s been chronically backed up. As the waste flushes out, it’s not uncommon to feel a burst of mental clarity, a large improvement in mood and energy, and an overall sense of vitality return to the system. What could be better?
How do you feel afterwards?
This is what I look forward to most. I’ve walked out of sessions smiling like a lunatic, in complete awe of the before and after contrast. The pregnant belly I carry around most days finally settles back to a comfortable size, the pressure built up inside finally softens, the nausea lifts, and energy seems to spill out of my cells with ease. I can think again.
There is something so heavenly and so divine about walking out of an appointment and feeling calm, yet filled with energy and inspiration to get on with the important tasks of the day–especially those requiring focus, clarity and strength. When a body is not being poisoned from the inside out from fermenting waste, bacteria, mucous, and endotoxins, the brain can freely focus on meaningful tasks with newfound ease.
Who could benefit from a colonic?
If you’ve been blessed with rapid, regular digestion and daily bowel movements, I applaud your genetic resiliency. You likely won’t require a colonic until very old age, if at all, and can rely on your colon to shuttle out the waste for you. I encourage you to celebrate this often overlooked ability, as much as you can. What a true gift, to be able to shit and get on with life, knowing that the flourishing of your entire being depends on this critical function.
If constipation, IBS, brain fog, bloating, mood swings, or any GI discomfort has plagued you for many years, you’ve likely adapted to feeling low energy, sluggish, have food sensitivities, gas, and may even identify with feeling depressed or tired for no obvious reason. Brain fog, lethargy, and even low-thyroid function and hormonal imbalances all trace back to a sluggish gut, which of course, compounds the matter, as toxins reabsorb and then overburden the detoxification pathways even further.
Do your whole self a favor: support your local colon hydrotherapist and schedule a session! Your gut, brain, and SOUL will thank you. Just a single session could dislodge some very ancient crud, allowing your body’s self-healing abilities to kick in and kick start wonderful changes in your overall sense of wellness.