On Trial: Colonic Irrigation

Georgia Clark braves the final frontier.

Lying pantsless, covered by a towel and awaiting my first colonic irrigation, I would describe my mood as a notch below completely petrified. My backdoor had been a one-way street, no exceptions. I was about to lose that virginity.

My colonic irragationist Anna began by asking me about my diet as she prepared the thing that’d eventually go (deep breathe everyone) up my butt. This was a white nozzled applicator a few inches long, connected to two tubes, one for water entering my body, and one for it leaving. Both were connected to a Colon Hydrotherapy System machine (pictured).

First stop: breakfast. “Muesli,” I began. “With skim milk –” Anna shook her head vigorously. “The body stops being able to break down those enzymes at age eight. Rice and almond milk are much better. Now, roll over onto your side, facing the wall. And a deep breathe in…”

The applicator was inserted with three gentle pushes. I was sweating, my entire body tense. It wasn’t yell-out-loud painful, but certainly not comfortable: something there that’s not supposed to be. I was instructed to roll onto my back so I did, very, very gingerly, more tense than a game of Jenga with an ex. Mood: still petrified. “What about lunch?” Anna enquired. I had to stop myself from laughing at the incongruity of such a question.

Over the next 45 minutes my diet was chastised (soy sausages: “crap”, coffee: “poison”, the occasional iced chocolate: a look of undisguised horror) and my colon was cleansed.

Here’s the skinny: Food that isn’t processed by the small intestine heads over to your large intestine (aka colon, aka bowel). Water flushes all this shiz out, but if you don’t drink enough water (like me), it just sticks to the intestine’s walls. A colonic is hardcore rehydration – 25 litres of water is slowly trickled into your large intestine, moving around the entire six feet. Incredibly, a dehydrated person will absorb about a third of this. When the water starts to meet with resistance from a blockage in your colon, the waste control switch is flicked to release, and your body expels all the water, plus all the gunk it’s absorbed along with it. You witness this revolting river through the thin vertical window in the machine. Goodbye partially digested carrots. Goodbye sticky yellow mucus. Goodbye poo. Not for the squeamish, but if you’re up for a colonic, my feeling is you’ll find this process disgustingly fascinating.

This process of water coming in and going out happened about half a dozen times, maybe less. I felt the most panicky during the first third of the experience, when I was still unsure what was happening and what I’d be feeling. You feel like going to the toilet about a third of the time too, which is a bit unnerving, because you can’t. It’s a big relief when the water leaves your body after the release, as your insides feel uncomfortably full right beforehand. Other than that, a colonic certainly feels strange, but if I didn’t know what was happening, I probably wouldn’t guess water was being circulated through my bowel.

I had a further two colonics as part of a three week program, and while these certainly weren’t as terror-inducing, they are not pleasant or very comfortable experiences, but they hardly claim to be. The majority of colonic clients are on detox or have bowel problems. One of my therapist’s clients lost seven kilos in one colonic – a body builder who’d hit the protein shakes a little too hard! I lost about a kilo (not my intention, but who’s complaining!)

As a colonic is basically drinking water for lazy people, I’ve now been hitting the H2O super regularly, but the recommended elimination of most of my fave foods (pizza, pasta, cheese, all sugars, coffee, soy milk – the list really does go on) ain’t gonna happen: you take away my soy latte, you take away my soul. I don’t feel radically different, but knowing all that gunk inside me is now residing elsewhere makes me feel a whole lot happier. So ladies – are you game?

What is it? Colonic irrigation at the Colon Care Centre (Surry Hills, Randwick and Bondi: 02 9211 1174)

What does it claim? Detoxification and rehydration through hydrotherapy.

The cost? $95 for a one-hour session.

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About Georgia

I'm a young adult novelist with a weakness for hot nerds and cheese platters, not necessarily in that order. I am currently working on my third novel. I'm pretty excited about having just turned 30 because it means I can justify spending a lot of time thinking about homewares.
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