I’ve heard of friends that went for it and raved about it. While others have shared it’s a no no. Rather than judge something that I knew little about, I said heck it..there is a first for everything (thanks for the inspiration Koren). My first ever colonic (or colon hydrotherapy treatment).
What better time to do it then during my stay at the best sports and health resort: Thanyapura in Phuket Thailand.
Colon hydrotherapy involves the infusion of water through the rectum to clean the colon. The water is channeled through a speculum which is inserted into the rectum. This process helps relieve gastrointestinal stress and improves colon function.
I figured this procedure could aid with removing any remaining toxins, bacteria and waste from years of heavy meat eating.
I walked into the clinic and there lay the machine, the hose and channeling tubes..and my jaw dropped. What the? Is that really going in? The speculum probably measured 4-5 inches length and 1 inch in width (somewhat like a fat glowstick). No no no...no way.
I got changed into my hospital gown and laid on my side fearing for my life.. my dignity. Nurse Dada and her assistant came in. I was sure to tell her it was my very first time “Go easy” I said. She reassured me and then went on to say “The number one rule of a colonic is...Don’t push!”. I gulped.
First she used her finger to check for haemorrhoids “Great.” I thought. Next she got the feared plastic rocket ship lubed it with coconut oil...and up it went.
Nurse Dada started the pressure sequence and cool water gushed in and slowly filled up my colon. At the back of my mind always remembering “Don’t push.”
The assistant nurse was massaging my lower abdomen to stimulate the release of any hardened stools that may have been there for a while. During our conversation, Dada shared that it was a good thing that I am regular (about 2-3 times a day). She’s met individuals who go to the toilet once a week.
Meanwhile through the clear pipes, I could see particles of undigested foods, old stools and even the colour of the beetroot juice I drank the day before, there was no lying about anything here.
The water flow was consistent and half the time I felt like I had to go but NO PUSHING. Dada then went on to share a story about an old client of hers that did. The speculum flew out like a dart and everything was everywhere. "No I do not want that to be me.." I murmured under my breath.
She said that ideally, we should be going after each meal. That means that the body’s digestive system is working efficiently.
The whole time, the stomach massage and conversations with Dada got my mind off the uncomfortable feeling/cramping feeling in my lower abdomen. I too focussed on rhythmic breathing to relax into a zen state.
After a few laughs about the undigested melon seeds and goji berries that I had, 60 mins passed and I heard the best words of the morning “Ok we are done!”. Dada finished up the cycle and pulled out the speculum as I breathed a huge sigh of relief/disbelief that I did it.
I went straight to the toilet after to flush any remaining water out. When I got dressed, I was given a probiotic (to replace the good flora in the gut) and turmeric capsules (to help with gas).All in all it was not the most pleasant experience but the highlight was seeing old waste and undigested particles float out of my body through the pipes. I felt a little lighter...liberated.
Realisations and lessons..
1. A diet high in fibre helps with detoxification.
Imagine the garbage man coming once a month to take out the trash? Rodents and pests will be feeding on the decomposed garbage and this will be a cesspit for disease. The more regular you are, the better. For me it’s 2-3 times a day and it seems like it’s a commonality for those consuming a whole foods plant based diet.
Takeaway: Fill up with fruits, vegetables, starches, grains, nuts and seeds. Breakfast: Instead of having bacon and eggs, have a bowl of oats/whole grain cereal, fruits topped with some nuts & seeds and drizzled with a plant-based milk. Lunch: Instead of having the roast chicken sandwich, have the quinoa bowl or the black bean burrito. Dinner: Instead of having the steak, try a chickpea burger or a vegetable risotto.
2. We are designed to consume a predominantly plant-based diet.
Our intestines are 3-4 times longer than that of a carnivorous animal. From the way we chew, to the digestive enzymes present, our stomach acidity all the way down to the length of our colon, our biological make up is more similar to a herbivorous animal than it is to an omnivorous or carnivorous one. I remember I used to suffer from poor digestion, piles and even blood in my stools. This colon hydrotherapy session would be a very different story if I stayed the way I did.
Takeaway: Focus on foods that are naturally high in fibre. Fruits and vegetables are high in soluble/insoluble fibres which promote good gut health and increased detoxification. Legumes too are also a great source of fibre, protein and calcium.
3. Reduce or eliminate animal products for long term health.
The majority of animal based foods/products are industrially farmed. Industrially farmed meat/animal products contain a whole host of toxic substances like antibiotics, growth hormones, heavy metals, bacteria (e.coli, salmonella, listeria, etc), fecal matter and parasites. These are things you do not want in your system fermenting and putrefying. I am glad that I no longer consume any animal products.
Takeaway: Rather than think about eliminating or subtracting animal based foods, consider adding more plant-based foods into your diet. Try a new vegetarian or vegan restaurant in your area using the happy cow app. Alternatively, explore ethnic food like Thai, Indian, Chinese, Ethiopian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese..most of these cuisines's offer delicious plant-based options.
4. Always keep hydrated.
Chronic dehydration can lead to a whole host of health issues and hardened stools in the colon. In my case, waste was soft and easily broke away because I am generally well hydrated. Being an active individual, I drink a lot throughout the day and I consume water rich plant-based foods. I always start my morning with a big glass water with a spoonful of supergreens or a slice of lemon.
Takeaway: Before reaching for your morning coffee, start your day with a big glass of water. Get a fancy water bottle this weekend and fill it up with water, drop a slice of lemon or orange, put it on your desk and sip throughout the day. And of course, keep active!
5. Chew your food more.
Chewing food to a fine pulp maximizes digestion and increases nutrient absorption. My problem is that I scoff down food pretty quickly, seeing the melon seeds and goji berries got me thinking. From now onwards, I will take my time chewing and savouring each bite for sure.
Takeaway: Be fully present when you are eating. Away from the computer or TV...take your time, have small mouthfuls and savour each bite.
So the question remains..will I do the colon hydrotherapy session again?
Funnily enough, I think I will!
Thank you for your hospitality Nikki and the team! I am proud to be an ambassador for this amazing facility. If you are looking for an amazing health, fitness and wellness retreat, this place is it.
Spread peace, live strong and eat plants!
Want to digest better, feel lighter and leaner?