Yes, we’re going there: colonics. If you’ve been paying attention to the media over the past few months, you’re likely to have heard of this detoxifying practice. Among Matt Damon, Usher, Janet Jackson, Paris Hilton and more, Simon Cowell‘s heavily publicized biography “Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell” accidentally created a PR storm for the treatment. In the book, Cowell claimed his primary way of keeping healthy was colonic hydrotherapy; “…it’s so cleansing – and it makes my eyes shine brighter.”
After looking for the right practitioners to learn more (key for avoiding the ‘horror stories’), I found that Karl and Nicole from The Bodyworks Practice were some of the most internet-celebrated practitioners around…
Tell us about yourselves!
The Bodyworks story begins back in 2008 with Karl and Nicole (that’s us). We are two therapists with a sense of adventure, having worked and studied all over the world including the UK, Australia, USA, Belize and Mexico. We both have a great passion for good, honest healthcare. We are located in Sunny Surrey where we currently run The Bodyworks Practice in Banstead. We have a team of 14 therapists including us working at the Practice in Banstead.
And what is colonic hydrotherapy?
Colonic irrigation, also known as colonic hydrotherapy, uses warm purified water to cleanse the bowel (large intestine). It may sound scary and uncomfortable but it isn’t. In fact, it can be quite relaxing and the after effects far out way any thoughts that may be running through your mind at present! Not only is it used to help the bowel release stools and regulate movement, but it is also a very effective way to cleanse the body via the blood stream.
And why did Bodyworks decide to get involved with the treatment?
I (Nicole) have always been interested in healing and helping the body naturally. For many years I suffered with bowel issues, food intolerances, eating disorders and just a feeling of being low. After using natural remedies to heal myself I studied nutrition in Australia where we were taught the importance of bowel health and cleansing, so I tried it myself and never looked back. Along with healthy eating and exercise I found that it helped my skin clear up, I lost weight, I was more tolerant to foods, my energy soared, and my low mood lifted. From that day onwards I knew that colonic irrigation was going to be a huge part of my life.
How does it differ from an enema?
Colonic irrigation is a safe and gentle treatment working on the whole bowel. It is not smelly or uncomfortable. You lay on your back and are fully covered throughout the treatment. Clients tend not feel very much unless I am doing something with the tube which is usually 1) pulsing the tube to help rehabilitate the bowel and 2) gentle ‘fills’ to allow the bowel to release. Usually afterwards the client will not pass much stools on the toilet and will feel the benefits immediately. They will also get a lovely abdominal massage, nutrition advice and an iridology reading to excel the treatment.
Enemas only work on the lower part of the bowel and do not help to rehabilitate the bowel so you may become dependent on them, like laxatives. They are self-administered and may be uncomfortable at times due to having to hold the water inside you. People can sit on the toilet for around 30 mins afterwards having bowel movements which can also be uncomfortable, smelly and noisy.
Can anyone undergo the treatment?
Most people can but there are certain health conditions where people cannot be treated. We always take a full case history before the treatment commences, ensuring that the patient is eligible for treatment. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to have a colonic or not you can always call us beforehand.
Is it painful/uncomfortable?
Colonic irrigation should never be painful. At times you may get a dull ache or the feeling that you have an upset tummy but this will pass. Nearly all of our first time clients will come out of the treatment saying ‘that wasn’t at all painful or embarrassing, like I had expected it to be.’
We use a closed natural gravity system which allows the therapist to be more hands on with the treatment and to ensure that no electricity passes through the water, ensuring a safe and enjoyable treatment for the patient. Our equipment is strictly only disposable which also ensures the highest levels of hygiene at all times.
I think people may be interested but feel quite embarrassed to do the treatment. What is the best way to overcome nervousness before the treatment?
Yes, this is very common. We do try to reassure clients on the phone and we can say it’s fine until we are blue in the face but until you have it you will not realise how fine it is. 99% of clients that walk out afterwards, re-book back in and say it was absolutely fine, even quite relaxing. It is also very educational for clients and a great chance for them to ask questions about poo and other things they can never really talk about. If you can understand your body and what it needs you have a better chance of healthy living without disease.
Physically, what kind of results does one treatment deliver?
Bloating tends to go down immediately and if our clients have followed our advice and maintained hydrated on the build-up to the treatment they should feel far less full in the abdominal area. Usually one treatment is not going to be the ‘cure’. It’s very similar to every other treatment out there; you have one you, feel ok but the problem will come back. If you have three (usually recommended) close together 1-4 weeks apart, we keep reminding the bowel what it should be doing. After that more noticeable results should be felt.
And a course of treatments? How many would someone need for the best results?
We would typically recommend 3-6 treatments, 1-4 weeks apart to start, but everyone is completely unique and we will always advise accordingly. As a clinic, we treat the individual and see each patient as an individual. During the initial consultation we always discuss what the patient is looking to achieve and work with the patient in order for them to achieve their goals.
What kind of things can someone eat/drink/supplement to help the process?
We recommend that people begin to increase their water intake a good week or so before the treatment. Avoid caffeine on the day and don’t eat two hours before the treatment. We always give after-care advice on what to eat and drink which will be specifically tailored to the individual. Good bacteria capsules should always be taken after the treatment; yogurt is not good enough, it must be a recommended branded capsule to ensure quality.
To maintain the results, what kind of lifestyle and diet would the ‘ideal’ person choose to follow?
‘Ideally’ we should all eat foods from the earth. Nothing processed or packaged. Organic is always best. Sugar and Cow dairy products are generally not very gut friendly, but it will depend on the person. Eating plenty of veggies and salads with light protein sources at meal times such as fish or white meat will usually help the digestive system. Drinking around 2 litters of water daily is great for optimal health. Exercise also plays an important role, I usually encourage a mixture of cardiovascular, weights and relaxation therapies to cover mind, body and spirit, to enhance overall wellbeing.
Are there other treatments you offer that people who would who may want to ease in to colonic hydrotherapy may like to try?
Colon Massage is the alternative to colonic irrigation, when it is either contraindicated or clients don’t want the water to be used. It is a highly focused, external massage, using a combination of acupressure massage and myofascial release techniques to the abdomen and lower back. As with colonic irrigation, colon massage encourages peristalsis (the gentle movement of waste through the bowel), easing tensions and areas of discomfort, rehabilitating and encouraging a healthy bowel. The treatment is adjusted according to the patient and what they wish to achieve, but is always soothing, gentle (but firm) and very relaxing. In addition patients are taught simple, abdominal massage techniques to use on themselves to relieve their symptoms.
Also, iridology is the study of the iris of the eye. A photo of the eye is taken using a specially designed, high focused digital camera which is then displayed in a laptop. It allows myself and the client to go through the findings, highlighting areas of concern and educating the client. You may find out possible genetic and hereditary traits that have been passed down as well as strengths and weakness that you may carry in your own body. By finding out your constitutional make up, areas that need be addressed and emotions that you are holding onto you will be able to find out what techniques would be best for to follow for optimal health.
And of course nutritional therapy is a great way of improving health using the power of foods and possible supplement recommendations.
All of our therapists are highly qualified, insured, and belong to the associated governing bodies. I (Nicole) am an ARCH (Association & Register of Colonic Hydrotherapists) registered therapist, which ensures I adhere to the strictest levels of hygiene, discretion, professionalism and cleanliness. ARCH are the longest-standing governing body of Colonic Hydrotherapy in the Europe, and the entire clinic also gets annual inspections from them, as well.