Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

My Adventures with Enemas and Colonics

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne

Let’s just be honest and to the point. This post involves talk of colons, poop, speculums going up the bum, and more. Therefore, you might want to pass. But, I know there are some very interested folks out there in hearing more about enemas and colonics. Today, I’m sharing my recent adventures in them.

Let’s see… I’ve been living a raw (or at least high-raw) life for a long while now … going on 7-8 years. Two things I’ve never been interested in though, which many raw foodies are, are enemas and colonics. I’m asked frequently and my answer is always the same. I go to the bathroom enough. I shouldn’t need those. In the back of my mind, I also knew they’re controversial – although I’d never done any in-depth research. Some people believe they’re essential no matter what, some say they’re important if you’re ill, and some say they’re harmful (typically allopathic docs, which I should know better than to just follow their advice blindly). But, since I didn’t think I had a need for them, I figured I was playing it safe by avoiding them. After all… I poop a lot.

Well, as you all know, I’m evolving. My life is transforming. I’m living life on a more vibrant plane. As a result I’m becoming open to more things: yoga, enemas, and colonics being three of them. So when I started re-reading Normal Walker’s books (oldies but goodies like this one and this one), listening to cool peeps like the Monarchs yapping about them on YouTube, this time around I kept my mind open. I considered what I was reading and learning… things like… just because you go to the bathroom multiple times a day does not mean that you don’t need your colon cleansed… just because you eat an uber healthy diet, does not mean you wouldn’t benefit still tremendously from spiffing up your colon… just because you think you know better, maybe you don’t and you should look more into it.

OK, I’ll bite – chomp chomp. I started reading about them more, both on the internet and in books like Inside Poop. Honestly, I won’t go into the details of what I’ve learned because it’s late at night and I’m trying to get this post done. I’ve been trying to write it for over a week. Suffice it to say, I decided that I actually WANTED to try enemas and colonics. I realized that they could be beneficial to someone even like me. I am of the mind now that my colon needs to be cleaned even when I go to the bathroom a lot, even when I eat a clean diet, even when I’m not ill… and especially if you don’t go to the bathroom a lot, especially if you don’t eat a super clean diet, and especially if you’re ill (be it headache, acne, stress, cancer, etc). Of course, I’m not a doc, you all know that. I’m not giving medical advice. I’m just sayin’ that enemas and colonics have a place in my life and they might in yours. Do the research and see. 

One thing I found fascinating though… enemas have been around for YEARS! Like, many many many years. History, baby! When you do some checking, you’ll see that this is nothing new and people have been using them to get healthy for a very. long. time.

Breastfeeding or pregnant?When I decided I was ready to take the plunge, I wanted to know if it was ok for me to do an enema and/or colonic while breastfeeding. Here’s what I found. Enemas are fine and should be for most people. However, they can cause detox so consider that. I, personally, am not afraid of that because of my clean diet. But, if you’re breastfeeding and have a crappy diet (I don’t even want to go there!) and you suddenly start doing enemas then it might not be a good idea? I don’t know. Ask your naturopath and do your research. Same goes for pregnancy. However, I know people do enemas while pregnant. Again, do your own research.

As far as colonics go, I did come across a local site that won’t do colonics for breastfeeding women, while many other sites were fine with breastfeeding moms. Pregnancy is a bit different though when it comes to colonics. Apparently, they’re to be avoided during the first and third trimesters.

Oh, let me back up… what’s the difference between enemas and colonics? Well, I’m a newbie writing here, but enemas are done at home and you typically use either a small (1.5 quart bag generally) or a large (4 quart bag) for the water. You, or a loved one I suppose, will administer it. For colonics, you venture out to a medical clinic (or even some spas have them nowadays… bizarre? maybe not… maybe just a sign of the times) and there is a colon hydrotherapist who administers it. The reason to go for a colonic is because much more water is used, going farther into the darkness of your colon, and getting more clean.

OK! So! I’ll bet you want more personal details! Bear in mind, I’m not a professional enema-er… I’ve only just started these so who knows if I’m doing them exactly right. So far so good though! I’ve no complaints. :)

When I decided I wanted to do them, I had no idea where to begin. So, I found a couple of websites that gave some details, I bought a 1.5 quart bag, and I went to town! After I cleaned the bag when it arrived, I grabbed my iPhone (might as well have tunes or texting, right?), walked into the bathroom, put some towels on the floor, rolled up a towel for under my head, undressed, filled the bag with warm filtered water, hung the bag on the towel rack, let out some water to make sure there’s no air in the tube, clamped the hose shut, sat on the floor, put some Andrea’s oil on my bum and on the speculum part that goes into my bum, laid on my back, knees raised (sometimes I even put my feet on the wall), inserted the speculum thing (no big deal at all, like the size of an eraser on top of a pencil if that), unlatched the hose lock, and the water flowed.

I learned from reading that if it feels like pressure, try to massage your belly a bit or roll to the left or right. See if it passes and you can keep going. You can massage counter clockwise while filling your body. If you feel you can’t keep going (common in the beginning of a session if you need to release some poops), then clamp the hose, stand up, walk to toilet with hose still in you (good idea to do all this by the toilet so the enema bag can stay hanging and you can move to toilet with hose still up your bum otherwise you risk pooh-ing on the floor). Pull it out and release the water (and poop) into the toilet. Don’t stay on the toilet if you’re straining. If you haven’t completed the session, then start over and put more water back in. Make sense?

If you have emptied the bag (therefore you’re done with the filling phase), then some people let the water stay in them a bit. I haven’t done that. I fill up and release. The release can take awhile. So, it might mean sitting on the toilet for a bit, massaging your belly clockwise this time to help push the water to release. Then, I get up, lay on the floor, roll around, stretch, etc. This moves more water around and prompts me to get up and release more.

That’s how I do enemas.

I knew immediately that I needed a bigger bag so I upgraded to the 4 quart. When it arrived I was shocked to find the speculum thing was bigger! Yikes. Fortunately, I just took the hose off the small bag with the smaller speculum and attached it to the bigger bag. Whew! It’s working like a charm. In hindsight, I’m glad I have both bags for the aforementioned speculum issue but also, I think the smaller bag is ideal for travel. Yes, along with packing my high speed blender when I travel, I’ll now be packing my enema bag.

What are the results? Well, with my new clean, effortless diet I’m on til April, enemas on a weekly (or twice weekly) basis has been AWESOME! The immediate improvements I’ve noticed… clearer skin, dry lips gone, I feel amazing, and more. One day I had a headache and doing an enema helped. Some days I feel less hungry. And, I had heard that they help with cravings. I’d have to agree in a way. I find that when I do them, I feel more in control of my life and food choices, and this naturally helps me make better choices.

I’m also proud of myself. This was something I never thought I’d do. I became open to it. I researched it. I did it. And, as a result, I feel like I stretched my self. It was a challenge and I tackled it.

How is it after doing it a few weeks? Well, I have my enema groove on. I created a playlist on my iPhone (I routinely shuffle through a few tunes from The Celtic Lounge album). I have a special towel and yoga mat that I use to lie on. I have a special pillow for my head. Sometimes (often!) I light candles. It’s a ritual, a time for meditating, and I truly look forward to it. I’d say the whole thing is maybe 20-30 minutes? I feel spectacular afterwards.

One last note about enemas… Staying hydrated is important. I noticed a couple times feeling thirstier (even on my raw diet!), so I drink more water. Oh! And take more probiotics.

So, what about colonics? Well, after doing enemas a few times, I decided it was time for the big dog. Bring on the colonic. I researched various medical centers (I didn’t feel right going to a spa for it. I preferred going to a doctor’s office where they had naturopathic docs on staff). I read their websites, called them to ask questions and finally decided on a local place called Aletris. (Highly recommend them!)

Turns out the gal doing the colon hydrotherapy is vegan and even knowledgeable about raw foods. She answered all of my anxious questions before beginning. I’ll say this right now. It was awkward for me. Having someone put something up my bum and hold it there for about 45 minutes just isn’t a walk in the park.

I think the biggest surprise, however, was the size of the disposable speculum! Holy moly! Bigger than even the one that came with my 4 quart enema bag. When she pulled it out of the package, I was like… whoa what’s that? Rest assured, it actually didn’t hurt, but it was weird. Let’s be honest, it makes you feel like you want to push it out.

Anyway, despite that, it ended up being fairly relaxing because of her. She had soothing opera music on. I had to keep reming myself to just let gooooo. After awhile it was easier to chill, and I’m confident that for the next colonic it’ll be that much better because it won’t be my first rodeo. The colon hydrotherapist said I was impressive, that my “waste” was as it should be (after all, you get to watch the waste leaving you as it goes through the machine – at one point I think I saw a goji berry – ewww gross – just a friendly reminder that I need to chew better – tee hee). After it was over, I was starving but I hadn’t eaten much earlier in the day so I’ll remember to eat more breakfast next time. They recommend that.

I will do more colonics in the future but probably not for awhile. The colon hydrotherapist actually said that I had a nice colon and she didn’t need to see me but maybe 1-2 times a year, if that (yay raw vegan food!). She said if I feel I need it, then ok, but she saw no immediate need for more sessions. Groovy. I’ll stick with my enemas for now.

So, what about you? Do you have other questions? Do you like enemas or colonics? Care to share your stories, tips, and tricks?


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