When I first heard about colonic cleanses, a million questions ran through my head. Colonic cleanses are a wellness practice that has been around for centuries. Health professionals from all styles of medicine hold various opinions about whether or not colonic cleanses are worthwhile. As colonics are such an intimate and personal procedure, it’s natural to feel a bit uncertain and have several questions about whether or not it’s right for you.
Prior to experiencing my first colonic cleanse, I was filled with skepticism. I was reading a great deal of information from the internet, which, as we all know, has its pros and cons. When I finally found a place to go to receive a colonic cleanse, the good folks there helped me feel comfortable about the process and showed me how I could best prepare my body to fully benefit from the procedure. Here’s what I learned about colonics with some insights I gleaned from my own experience.
What is a Colonic Cleanse?
A colonic cleanse deeply cleanses the large and small colon by flushing a large quantity of water, sometimes coffee or tea, by the means of a colon hydrotherapy instrument that is inserted into the rectum. This will stimulate the bowels and help you go to the bathroom. The water is then released out of your body during your session, which normally lasts about 45 minutes. Your doctor will gently massage your abdomen area to aid in the elimination process. The purpose of massaging during the cleanse is to eliminate the waste that may be sticking to the colon walls.
There are two different systems used in colonic cleanses: an open and a closed system. During a closed system treatment, your doctor is there during the entire procedure, controlling the water pressure and the insertion of the tubes. A closed system requires you to lie on a bed on your side, as your doctor inserts the colon hydrotherapy instrument. After the water is inserted into your colon, you then turn on your back, as your doctor massages your abdomen. It is during this time that your body begins to eliminate the water. An open system treatment is more private and leaves you in control. The open system requires you to position yourself, after being educated on the process, on a form fitted bed, and insert the tube yourself. You are then able to control the water pressure and also watch the waste that is eliminated from your body. This visual experience really lets you know what’s going on inside.
The right choice will depend on what you feel most comfortable with.
How to Prepare for Your Cleanse
It is important to begin preparing for your colonic in the days before your appointment. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink lots of water as this will help the elimination process. Furthermore, colonics can leave you dehydrated if you do not properly hydrate prior to arriving. Finally, staying hydrated also helps move toxins out of your body much more smoothly. Coffee is especially dehydrating and should be avoided the week prior. Instead, drink rooibos tea, a hydrating, naturally caffeine-free tea that’s packed with antioxidants. Avoid any fizzy drinks because they can make you bloat and create gas.
Fill your diet with plenty of fresh greens, especially raw meals as they are cleansing, good for your body and are gentle on your system. Juices are an excellent way to indulge in your vegetables and fruits, but avoid juices that are acid-forming like orange and tomato. Avoid gas-forming foods, such as beans and wheat, because they will just create bloating and discomfort the day of your colonic. Greasy or fast foods should be avoided entirely. Ditto alcohol (even in small quantities). These unhealthy substances will lead to an ineffective colonic. The aim is to make things as smooth as possible.
How You Feel After
After your colonic cleanse, it is important and beneficial to maintain a similar diet to the one required prior to receiving your treatment–eating lots of vegetables and whole, clean meals. Stay hydrated and slowly integrate coffee and caffeinated teas back into your diet (if you choose). The cleanse continues to take place even after you leave your treatment as your body is still eliminating waste. This shows that your colonic did what it was meant to do, and that is your body’s natural way of cleansing. You may notice a change in your waste, and this is because your body is continuing to cleanse out toxins that have been stored deep in your intestines.
You may experience less bloating and just an overall light feeling. As you are cleansing your body of toxins, you may even experience a change in your complexion and notice that your skin is glowing (after all, the skin is an organ that helps expel waste). Some people even report that a colonic cleanse helped them feel like they’d been cleansed of pent-up negative energy–it’s fascinating how a deep cleanse can work on multiple levels and how our gut is in “conversation” with the brain. Experiencing a colonic cleanse for myself was an eye-opening and gratifying experience that allowed me to become more in tune with my body and better understand how I can care for my body by eating well and maintaining that ongoing cleanse.
A colonic cleanse may be right for you if you feel that your body’s natural cleansing process is impeded in some way or not functioning optimally. Talk to your doctor about whether or not a colonic cleanse can help you recalibrate.
Have you ever gotten a colonic cleanse? What was your experience like?
Get more like this—Subscribe to our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!