Colonics: Are They a Waste Of Time?

One editor’s (very) detailed account of her colonic experience-trust us, she’s left nothing to imagination.

If you're the type who's squeamish when it comes to bodily functions, you may want to stop reading now.

If not, please enjoy my (very) detailed account of my colonic experience-trust me, I've left nothing to the imagination.

What is a colonic?
Let's start with the basics. A colonic is a cleansing of the colon. A plastic tube is inserted into your rectum and warm water is pushed into the colon and then flushed out-taking with it the bowel's contents, which according to proponents, include built-up toxins and excretory material that adheres to the walls of the colon.

The theory is that removing this built-up 'plaque' allows for better absorption of nutrients into the blood and speedier digestion. While there is debate over the benefits of colonics, those who administer/receive them rave about the payoffs: easier digestion, weight loss, better skin, to name a few.

Why I wanted to try it
Without getting overly personal, let's just say I'm prone to digestive 'issues.' I should, by every gastroenterologist's account, be the perfect pooper-I eat more than enough fiber, workout regularly, and drink tons of water-but my digestion is never quite right.

Though I've never been diagnosed with any real condition, I've always been somewhat fascinated by the idea of a colonic. I could just be 'flushed' out?

Granted, some parts of the process seemed a bit off-putting. I wasn't thrilled by the idea of a tube up my bum. But having heard rave reviews from others, I decided it was time to see for myself if post-colonic euphoria was real, or, well, a load of crap.

The colonic experience
Enter Brigit Krome of the Paul Labrecque Spa, who is one of New York City's top colon hydrotherapists. With over 30 years of experience, Brigit is to colonics what Michael Jordan is to basketball. She immediately put me at ease with her uberenergetic and cheerful attitude.

As I explained my digestive dilemmas to her, Brigit assured me I wasn't alone. According to her, 95% of women have digestive problems, for a variety of physiologic and psychological reasons. Ideally, she says, you should be going to the bathroom after every meal. Every meal?! By that criteria, I was a pooping failure! (Other experts say there's no frequency 'rule,' and it's normal to have bowel movements anywhere from three times a day to three times a week.)

After explaining each step in the process, Brigit had me lay on my side while she inserted the tube. Those first few seconds were less than enjoyable. But she then made me take a few deep breaths and lay on my back, and I soon forgot that there was a foreign object in one of my orifices.

Next came the water. A machine channels a gentle flow of warm water through the tube and into your colon. This goes on for 20 to 30 seconds and does not, I repeat, does not hurt.

You can feel the water go in, and pressure starts to build-basically you feel like you may s*** in your pants-but this goes away once the water is released and everything flows out.

During this process Brigit alternated between applying castor oil packs, an old-school constipation remedy, and massaging my stomach. Yes, the feeling of the water going in and out takes some getting used to, but the tummy rubbing was downright pleasurable.

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Melanie Rud
Last Updated: August 03, 2010

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