It’s time to break the poo taboo. Going to the loo is a daily reality to everyone and if like me it is something you hate and avoid talking about at all costs, it’s time to embrace the movement as it could be impacting your health.
The importance of gut health is ever growing and the subject of many conversations in the world of health and beauty. Cleansing your gut and body is considered to be one of the most important health steps you can take and if your system is sluggish, there is no better way than to opt for a colonic. Colonic irrigation or colonic hydrotherapy has long been regarded as dangerous, uncomfortable, scary and something for only those who have ‘serious’ digestive problems. Well that’s not quite the case.
I recently went to meet with Kara-Mia Vernon who is a qualified naturopath and nutritionist and has an elite residence at Grace Belgravia Wellbeing, Health and Medical club where she has carried out thousands of colonic irrigation treatments. I have struggled with a slow digestive system for about ten years and just got used to the fact that I was let’s say, less regular than others. Did you know in an ideal world everyone should go twice a day?
As the importance of gut health and its link to good skin is on the rise, I decided I wanted to address the issue and try something new. Whilst it’s not for everyone, after five treatments I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. I have so much more energy, I feel less bloated, have fewer headaches and my stomach is much flatter ( one of the great perks! ). I only wish I had realised sooner, that this was the ultimate detoxifying treatment for me. Here is everything you need to know about colonic hydrotherapy and why it could work for you.
What is colonic irrigation?
Colonic hydrotherapy is a complementary cleansing process where warm water passes into the colon and carries out loose faecal debris and waste to effectively flush the colon.
Before having colonic irrigation, the therapist will ask you about your medical history to check if you have any health problems that might make the treatment inadvisable. During the procedure, you lie on your side while warm water is passed into your bowel through a tube inserted into your rectum. The water circulates through your colon, and waste products are passed out of your body through the tube. It usually takes around 30-45 minutes.
How does it work?
“As a Naturopath, I have long been aware that health and also disease start in your gut,” says Vernon. “However there is still so much education to be done to inform everyone of how essential a healthy gut and a working-system is to your overall health. If you have a compromised evacuation system then you have an issue. This is where colonics can help address this,” advises Vernon. “We were never designed to eat three meals a day, with snacks and the amount of sugar and processed foods that are now ubiquitous in our diets. Our digestive systems are overloaded and many modern illnesses are lifestyle related. Prevention is key and people should spend more time and money on health habits and enhancers,” she tells me.
‘Inside out beauty’ is a term coined by the beauty industry with skincare brands avidly innovating skincare that works from the inside out but there is no better, physical approach than a colonic. “Your entire body is linked to the gut. Every system has a link back to your intestine and what happens on the inside is reflected on the outside,” says Vernon.
Our understanding of the gut microbiome (gut flora) and its link to other body functions such as immunity, human metabolism and nutrition has increased over the last 10 years allowing us to further understand how important it is to cleanse the gut. “Since our digestive system is closely linked with the rest of the body’s functions, colon therapy can also support symptoms such as headaches, allergies, acne and improve mental and physical sluggishness,” says Vernon.
Does it wash out all the good bacteria?
One of the greatest negative connotations associated with colon hydrotherapy is the hearsay idea that it strips all the natural and good bacteria from your gut. “It’s false. If it did strip all the healthy good stuff, then I wouldn’t do this job,” says Vernon. “It’s simply not possible to wash out two kilos of bacteria that are largely located in the mucus membrane of the colon. It is, however, more damaging to keep old fecal waste inside,” she says.
How often should you have a colonic?
“Ideally, three over the course of a few weeks is best as it enables a more thorough cleanse. After that, every client is unique,” advises Vernon. Obviously, the 25-year-old who’s bowels open twice a day is very different to the 45-year-old who goes three times a week.
Things to be aware of before your treatment
1. It’s not glamorous. It’s a tube in an awkward place removing your own waste
2. There is a loud loo flushing sound that sounds like the chain is stuck. It’s perfectly normal. This is where your waste goes out and allows water to come in
3. You have to relax, the more you relax the greater the results
4. Laxative effect coffee may be used, in conjunction with water, to encourage stool movement
5. Your therapist will massage your stomach to help motivate a better flush. This can be uncomfortable but very effective