From a wild guess, I am sure a number of you are confused with the title and where I am going with this. Before we move any further, just want to put it out there that this will be one of my most personal posts but also graphic posts so do pardon me. Growing up in Ghana, one of the things that my siblings and I dreaded was when it was time for my mum to administer monthly ‘cleansing’ with the dreaded “bentua”, the enema syringe. It was such an uncomfortable process but after all was said and done, we were happy bunnies excited that we didn’t have to cry ourselves to sleep because we were bloated or constipated. Well, that was years ago and since then, between the occasional laxatives that I will take to purge myself, or getting myself in a pretentious healthy diet, lets just say my sh.. literally caught up to me. Thankfully, one evening a couple months ago, while Instagram lurking, I stumble upon Dr Ewoma, of SKNDOCTOR sharing her colonic experience on Instagram live. Coincidentally, a few days earlier, I had been thinking about ways to manage this constant bloated feeling that seemed to never go away even with the strongest concoctions of herbal teas etc. and if you know me, you definitely know those concoctions must have been strong!
A colonic? What was that? This was my first time hearing it, but also watching someone get one. Well I just added it to my list of ‘googleable’ things to investigate. Fast forward, a couple of weeks ago, still feeling very bloated, struggling with constipation, and feeling awfully tired and out of my depth, I finally decided to really understand what this colonic process was, how it is administered and its benefits. Maybe I could get one if it was okayed by my doctor.
So what is a Colonic?
In simple terms, a colonic, sometimes known as a colonic irrigation or colon hydrotherapy is the cleansing of the colon( large intestines) using filtered water to expel toxins and improve the function of your colon. The use of water is considered a natural process as a significant amount of the human body is made up of water. This process is similar to an enema but uses more liquid. In some parts of the world, colon hydrotherapy may include the use of special herbs, enzymes or probiotics to improve the medicinal properties.
How is it administered?
From my experience, warm filtered water is carefully pumped into the colon from a tube which is inserted through the rectum. The water then breaks down the toxins and accumulated faecal matter, eliminating these in another connected tube. Mucus and any other unwanted bacteria are also removed in the process. The level of water introduced is carefully monitored as it needs to reflect the ‘normal’ bowel movements. This process can take between 45 minutes to an hour. In some cases, the therapist massages your tummy to aid in the breakdown.
My session was for 45 minutes in total and we went through about 90 litters of water which is roughly 2 litters per minute. This sounds like a lot of water but you have to remember that the water going in, is also coming out. Moreover, our colons as are about 1.8m long so it is quite a substantial organ and can handle such amounts in a control environment. A day prior to my session, I put myself on a vegetable and fruit juice diet which from indications on the day , was helpful as it allowed the process to go a lot smoothly for me.
How do you feel in the process?
To be honest, I was scared at the beginning when the tube was being inserted and for the first 5 minutes as well. It was strange feeling all that water go inside me. Half way through, I felt some cramping which from my research was normal. I also constantly felt like passing stool which my therapist had to constantly remind me that was the point of the process – to literally pass stool. I know right, not sure about doing that in front of someone else lool. Apart from cramping, other side effects were nausea, vomiting, dizziness and dehydration which I luckily did not experience. After my session, I felt really light with a significantly flatter tummy. I did not weigh myself because weight loss was not my reason for having the procedure.
So what are the benefits?
As you can imagine, there are a number of benefits to having a colonic. From relieve from blotting, constipation, to weight lose, increase in energy and as a way to kick start a healthy lifestyle. My reasons for doing this was to help with bloating but also to usher me into a mind-set of healthy eating choices etc. As we are constantly putting in food and other toxins into our bodies, it is advised to have this procedure done at least 4 times in the year in line with the changes in seasons/quarterly. This is also be done in conjunction with eating healthy and getting the body moving through exercise. I still have a couple more sessions to go through and will keep you posted on how this goes.
Let me know in the comments if you are intrigued to have a colonic done. If you have already, how was the process for you?
Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a physician and the above is just to share with you my experience as such if this is something you are interested in doing, I will advice that you do your research as well as speak with your doctor before going ahead. For anyone interested in learning more, my physician Suki Zoe has more information on her website as well as more information in a great FAQ document.