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"Why I've been getting colonics for 13 years"

I would like to talk to you about the C word… colonics.

As a person who has been paying a trained professional to stick something up their bottom for thirteen years (not constantly), I thought I’d share a little of what a long term relationship with the poo pipe has brought me, in case you were toying with the idea of going on a first date.

Now, before I start blowing smoke up the bottom of the colon hydrotherapy industry (nice to see something moving the other way for a change) I must say that if you like your advice to come from a doctor this probably isn’t for you. There aren’t many MDs rushing to write ‘colonic’ on a prescription pad in their illegible handwriting and most say the bowel should regulate itself with a diet high in fibre, plenty of fluids and exercise.

While I would never poo poo (pun intended) their findings because they’re based in science and research, after a childhood spent opening my lunchbox to find ‘Laxettes’ and an adolescence spent wearing muumuu’s because I consistently looked 15 weeks pregnant, I can’t let go of the fact that no prescription or piece of advice from a doctor has ever helped me as much as the good old colonic did.

Here, in FAQ form, is what colonics have done for me.

How long did it take to see results?

The water that slowly enters your system during a colonic helps break down pockets of gas and when I sheepishly turned up to my first session, I was full of the stuff. Seriously. I’m surprised the therapist didn’t ask me when I was due. As water hits these gas pockets, pressure builds up and it can get pretty damn uncomfortable.

As a result I remember my inaugural visit wasn’t up there on my list of ‘most fun things I’ve ever done’ but afterwards I immediately felt lighter, less bloated and less uncomfortable.

By session three (therapists often recommend one a week for three weeks the first time you go) my bloating had almost disappeared which at that point was enough to convert me for life.

The other unexpected benefit from that first session was the conversation I had with the therapist. They often have a background in nutrition and can impart some serious wisdom about what isn’t working for your system (it’s amazing what they can tell from the machines ‘poo window’ – where was that on Play School?).

From all the symptoms I was describing and by detailing my diet, they suggested perhaps gluten wasn’t my gut’s best friend. Back then ‘gluten intolerance’ wasn’t the ailment du jour it is today and as a consequence, finding replacements for my favourite things (sticky date pudding, I still miss you) wasn’t easy, but the therapist gave me more information than I was able to ingest. Thirteen years later, I still haven’t touched the stuff and my life has completely changed because of it.

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How does it help in the long term?

When I originally started going my system would feel sluggish again around the three-month mark, some of the bloating would return and I would feel the need to go back. In those early stages each session was also pretty uncomfortable. If you are really bloated, eat badly and aren’t hydrated you will probably experience nausea and cramps that are enough to motivate you to take care of yourself in the time you are off the table.

Now I go back every few months for maintenance but because I pay serious attention to what I put in my body, the colonics I have are a breeze.

If I have a colonic can get away with eating crap?

I’ve heard so many idiots talk about colonics like they’re a way to erase bad lifestyle choices and ‘shed a few extra kilos’ before Saturday night. A colonic will remove toxins, gas and hydrate your system so it’ll be more capable of working the way it’s supposed to but it isn’t a way to lose weight.

If you leave the clinic and head straight for the hamburger shop, you’re never going to see lasting change. A colonic is not poo church where you go and ask forgiveness on Sunday to justify being a dick for the other 6 days of the week, so if you’re serious about feeling better you’re going to have to make some real lifestyle changes, I’m afraid.

How much will it cost?

This is no cheap solution to your intestinal problems. At around $90-110 a pop, you’re looking at some decent coin to get rid of stuff rather than acquire it. I’ve had therapists tell me that one colonic every three months is optimal, while others have said I should get them once a month, but even I’m a little uncomfortable with blowing $1200 a year on poo flushes.

Generally I get them every 2.5 to 3 months, but more often than not my body will tell me if I need one sooner.

So, my intestinally challenged friends; go forth and poo flush. If you and your guts have struggled to see eye-to-eye, it may be the first step in the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The writer recommends the Colon Hydrotherapy Clinic in Sydney.

Have you ever tried colonic irrigation? What was your experience? 

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