Colonic irrigation is said to be good for everything from irritable bowel syndrome, depression and acne to flatulence, fatigue and headaches.
The first people known to practise it were the ancient Egyptians, while today it’s reportedly a procedure favoured by the rich and famous -“ the late Princess Diana was rumoured to be a big fan.
It’s essentially used to cleanse and hydrate the colon, an organ which operates as the rubbish bin of the body, as Enmore colon therapist Angela Stapleton described it. It’s where waste in your body accumulates before being flushed out of your system.
This waste matter is believed to contain toxins the body is trying to expel and if they sit in your colon they are thought to cause a whole range of health problems.
By the time you get to 40, Stapleton said, most people have an average of somewhere between five and 12 kilos of impacted faeces on the walls of their colon.
Stapleton runs InsidesOut, where I decided to have my first colonic. She explained she takes a holistic approach to colon therapy and that the organ is thought to be the emotional centre of the body.
She finds that as well as cleansing, hydrating and detoxifying the colon, colonic irrigation can also flush out negative emotions and thought patterns.
A single colonic procedure costs around $95, while a series of three colonics will set you back about $270.
Lying on a table, naked from the waist down except for a towel over my lap, I rolled onto my side while Stapleton inserted a funnel-shaped catheter into my bottom.
She suggested it might be better not to see how big it was, and I happily agreed. But she explained it was about as wide across as a 10 cent piece. I’m happy to report it didn’t hurt a bit and after a few minutes I could barely notice its presence.
Two tubes were inserted into the catheter -“ one to pump water in and the other to drain the waste away. They were both connected to a large grey machine which would control the flow and pressure of the water and suck the waste away.
Lying on my back, I could feel the water, heated to body temperature, start to trickle into my system, which was an odd sensation to say the least.
Once I felt the water pressure start to build inside me, a switch was flicked on the machine and it was all drained out, along with any faecal matter dislodged in the process. This was also a pretty weird sensation. Stapleton massaged my abdomen while the water was drained to help it all along.
This procedure of filling and emptying the colon was repeated about six times over an hour, during which time around 10 litres of water entered my system.
At no time was it painful but there were moments when being filled up with water did become slightly uncomfortable. When it did, Stapleton would drain the water immediately.
Stapleton was pleased with how it went, telling me I moved quite a lot of waste. I certainly felt lighter and cleaner.
I’m not sure I’ll be rushing back for another colonic just for fun, although a lot of people do, but it’s definitely something I’d do again should any health issues arise in my future.