I really want to try colonic irrigation… but I’m too shit scared

See the clear strip, THE CLEAR STRIP!
See the clear strip, THE CLEAR STRIP!

Ah colonic irrigation. Surely, everyone knows what it is? If not, let me reflush, I mean, refresh you.

Sometimes called colonic hydrotherapy or ‘colon cleansing’ is supposed to be a way of ‘cleaning out’ your insides, is supposed to ‘revitalise’ the colon and flush out ‘old food and toxins’ that get, um, caught in your bowel. According to some, it’s such an old practice that the ancient Egyptians even did it, because way back then, they associated poo (sorry, faeces) with decay, and decay meant death.

Basically, you go to a colonic hydrotherapist (accredited and legit only), and they insert a tube (the other end of which is attached to a machine) UP YOUR BUM, and flush water slowly through the tube, while massaging your abdomen, to release, well, old poo, which is then flushed out through a separate tube (into the machine, with a nice clear little strip so you can see all your poo being flushed out).

See the clear strip, THE CLEAR STRIP!

It’s all the rage among the celebrities, and, ahem, my favourite beauty writer, Zoe Foster (see her post on her love of colonics on primped.com.au here and here). Apparently it’s supposed to clear out old waste (you’re supposed to think about how much you eat each day vs how much you, err, release in waste each day to picture what is actually stuck in your bowel), make you feel less bloated, aid weight loss, make your skin clear and eliminates ‘toxins’ sitting in your bowel.

According to some colonic hydrotherapists, it can also aid in treating illnesses such as IBS and get this….depression (FYI, I strongly disagree with any suggestion that having your poo flushed out of your bowel assists with depression, it sounds completely nonsensical to me).

Sometimes, it is even suggested by colon irrigation enthusiasts that generally, you should SQUAT on the toilet when you go (no 2 only I think), as the bowel isn’t “kinked” by you sitting on the loo, which means you release more waste. In other words, more poo comes out.  I can just imagine squatting on my toilet, the lid giving way and me falling to the ground, being discovered by Mr W and having to explain to the real estate agent how I broke the toilet lid. FUN TIMES.

Of course, most doctors will tell you that there is no scientific evidence to support the suggestion that colonic irrigation is of any benefit to anyone, as the body expels waste naturally. That’s what our bodies are designed for. Also, there is a chance it can go wrong.

Most people who know me, know that I eat lots of chocolate. Obviously, chocolate has almost no nutritional value, and according to colonic lover logic, it must be stuck IN MY BOWEL somewhere, releasing toxins into my body by clinging to my bowel wall. Mmmmm.

The bottom part of my tummy always pokes out, even when I was super skinny, it was a little pokey out tummy. Whenever I read any stories about colonic irrigation, I immediately think “the pokey out tummy could just be old POO sitting in my bowels, OMG, I need to get colonic irrigation, it will make me feel so clean and free from waste!”

Because I'm convinced my stomach is going to look this flat afterwards.

Then my logical side kicks in, and I get shit scared (sorry, I couldn’t resist). What if something goes wrong? What if I have chronic diarrhea for days afterwards (FYI this happened to me when I tried some stupid detox last year, ended up on the loo every 30 minutes), what if they perforate my bowel and I DIE? That wouldn’t be very good now, would it?  I don’t want to be dead. Then I go off the idea.

Usually, after eating too many carbs, the thought of having colonic irrigation seems appealing again. Logically, this is the answer to all my carb-overloading, right?! Just GET IT ALL FLUSHED OUT OF MY BUM!

Or I could just not eat starchy carbs, I suppose and eat more fibre so I go to the toilet more. Maybe going to the toilet a lot will make me feel ‘cleansed’ and I can save $100 on any potential colonic irrigation treatment!

I think I’ve just got to try it, even just once, to see what happens. I heard once that someone had a guitar pick they accidentally swallowed years ago float out. Bet the hydrotherapist comments straight away I eat too much sugar. For sure.

Would you do it? 

  • http://music.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    OK – Site sceptic here…as you say, there’s no scientific evidence that colonic irrigation has any health benefits at all…in fact, recent studies show how important the bacteriological eco-system in your lower-guts are to everyone’s well-being. As such, I’d be really nervous about flushing out all the good bacteria in your lower-intestines…so I won’t be getting one.

  • Detachable Princess

    I recently had bowel surgery. The prep work beforehand involved the doctor using his finger to check, and then a camera on a tube to have a quick peek up my bum. It hurt. When I had the actual surgery, I WOKE UP CRYING. It was so traumatic that, even unconscious, I was emotional, sore and sad.

    Don’t stick things up your bum.

    • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

      Message received LOUD AND CLEAR

  • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

    I’m sorry, I just can’t stop laughing.

    • Rose Russo

      Me either hahaha

  • Mandi Aylmore

    The tags on this article are making me laugh . . . Especially the order of this . . .

    Health, Lifestyle, poo, Zoe Forster


    And my bum is an exit only thanks . . .

    • http://music.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

      “And my bum is an exit only thanks . . .”

      Now, there’s a tattoo waiting to happen…

    • Whippersnapper

      LOL! I re-read the article and tags and had a giggle too. You are so right about the bum being exit only!

  • MrsGinger

    Hilarious! I love how people cite the Ancient Egyptians when lauding some new ‘remedy’. Yeah they knew their shit 😉 but as sophisticated as they were in so many ways their average life expectancy is probably not something to be coveted – around 30-35 years. Perhaps holding off on the colonics is wise!

  • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

    Wasn’t it a colonic that killed Marilyn Monroe? (a drugged one, admittedly)

  • fender4eva

    Don’t, just don’t……..

  • Melissa Savage

    I have to admit that, like detoxes, the hype does start to suck me in on this, but I’ve never actually gone through with it. Kevin Smith and his wife Jen Schwalbach talked in great detail on their podcast about the time they went to a spa for a detox and colonic and just like when I read Zoe’s article I was fascinated and disgusted simultaneously at the though of what might come out (I can remember hearing a story about a vegetarian of some 10 years standing who had bits of meat come out during a colonic). Based on Mr Smith’s colourful storytelling, I would also avoid booking one on a workday morning, because it seems you have some explosive diarrhoea for several hours afterwards…

    Ultimately though, I try to avoid wasting money on this kind of stuff (I don’t even take vitamins anymore, because there is no good evidence for most of them) and if you are really concerned about bloating and bowel health, drink lots of water, up your fruit and veg intake and reduce your red meat and processed food intake and your body will ‘detox’ itself just fine.

  • http://girl--world.blogspot.com/ Katherine

    Please don’t have one of those. All that ‘toxins’ stuff is just quackery. Your intestines work fine just the way they are.

  • Trudy

    I’ve had colon hydrotherapy twice. The first time I came out feeling like I had been born again… No shit! 😉 I tend to get blocked up and won’t go for days and read about how it may help this problem. I have to say I really think it did. Apparently I had a dried plug (gross) in there and the water flushed it all out. And afterwards I really did feel amazing and noticed a difference in my skin and felt a general lightness. The second time it didn’t have the same effect and I never really felt the need to go again. I think if you have a problem like I did it’s a great thing to try but generally probably not needed for anyone with regular bowel movements. And just FYI it’s conducted very privately and no one sticks the tube up your bum you get to do that yourself! Which was probably the part That I was most weary about before I went so that was a made the experience a lot more bearable so to speak.