Time to chat all things COLONICS. Yep, that’s right. Many of you probably didn’t know but I’m also a Certified Colon Hydrotherapist! No, I did not grow up a little girl dreaming of this job, but it’s just the way the Universe led me to do the work that I am passionate about to not only help people heal their guts, but to help them live THEIR best life feeling healthier, happier, and a little lighter. Fortunately, it is not the most sought after career option, so I don’t have a ton of competition.
Just a little background about me if you didn’t know, but I am Registered Psychiatric Nurse (going on 8 years!) and also a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. I absolutely love learning about health and wellness. From our brain function, to inflammation, to gut health, I want to learn it ALL. As passionate as I am about mental health, I am ready to step out of the medical realm of psychiatry, and into one that focuses on seeking the root cause of illness (be it mental health or physical health) in a more natural and holistic setting, such as a Naturopathic Office. I have worked in acute psychiatry inpatient units for almost 8 years, and quite frankly, I am ready for change in my nursing role, one that can support truly healing the body versus managing symptoms.
A few days a week you can find me in the Tutt Street Professional Building with Dr Chelsea Gronick and Dr Emily Pratt, administering Vitamin IV’s and giving handy dandy B Vitamin shots. And the other days of the week, I am all about the gut, nesting in the cozy little Kelowna Colonics room and helping YOU restore your gut and manage your microbiome.
So what is colonics, or colon hydrotherapy, or colonic irrigation, or poop shoots, which I’ve heard it referred to… In simple terms, it’s flushing waste out of the colon. Okay I know, that’s a pretty vague description, so I’ll get into the dirty stuff, no pun intended. But first, why are people getting colonics done?
There are many, many benefits to colon hydrotherapy. I don't even know where to start! Let's start with the most common reason people seek out colon hydro: Constipation. Even just typing that word makes me feel gross! There is literally no worse feeling that feeling constipated and full, and yes folks, colon hydro helps with this. Typically, you should be going 3 times a day (after meals), so if that isn't your bowel routine, you might be bunged up more than you think. You can also check out the famous Bristol Stool Chart to help examine your BM's to see where you are on the scale.
Typically you want to be a 3 or 4, but if you are a 1 or 2, you are likely constipated. Colon hydro relieves constipation as it helps loosen waste build-up and release toxins. Over time our colon gets sluggish (especially with poor diets, lack of exercise, and stress) if things aren't properly maintained. As the colon becomes layered with excess waste build-up, it loses it's ability to function properly and bowel movements begin to slow. This results in harder stool difficult to pass! When you colon is cleansed, waste moves through smoother and easier (and a bonus you can actually absorb nutrients!)
Another very important benefit is it's healing properties on the gut. This was a complete game changer in my own journey as I was dealing with some pretty strong Candida that didn't seem to disappear by just adding probiotics and changing my diet. I needed to wash away the bacteria, which is what we are literally doing during a colon hydro treatment. Candida albicans is a form of yeast that is naturally occurring in the body. At normal levels, it does not cause problems, but if there is an overgrowth (usual cause from oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, alcohol, and a diet high in sugar and processed foods) it can cause an infection called Candidiasis. There is a delicate balance of the microorganisms in your gut flora, and a change in the environment by the above mentioned causes will allow the candida in your gut to multiply and overwhelm the "good bacteria" that also reside in the colony.
This overgrowth causes symptoms of chronic fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues such as bloating and constipation, joint pain, weakened immunity, mild depression and anxiety, food sensitivities, recurring yeast infections, excessive sugar cravings, and more! Candida overgrowth also produces toxic by-products that overwhelm the liver and easily contributes to these negative symptoms.
Unless the gut balanced is addressed (enter colon hydrotherapy!) symptoms can be difficult to treat. So how does colon hydrotherapy help address candida overgrowth? Toxic wastes are naturally expelled, but overtime these wastes can stick to the walls of the colon, eventually producing toxins and becoming the breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria including candida overgrowth. Colon hydrotherapy assists in getting the colon back to its healthy state by effectively cleansing the colon. Fasting programs monitored by a health professional, the correct diet, and probiotic supplements are other important things to consider when trying to decrease the spread of candida and restore your gut flora!
Other benefits include improves digestive function and nutrient absorption, increases energy and vitality, eliminates parasites and other harmful bacteria, helps relieve emotional stress and anxiety by improving the gut/brain connection, reduces sugar cravings, increases metabolism, detoxes the liver and blood, improves skin clarity, and kick starts your weight loss journey! There are so many benefits! So if you are looking to feel better in any of those areas, then keep reading. The process really isn't that scary, painful, or uncomfortable!
If you are reading this, I’m sure you’ve either heard about Colon Hydro and wanted more info, tried a treatment yourself and looking for another one, or our slick Facebook Ads caught your eye and you gave it a little click. And now here you are.
Upon booking your initial visit with us via online or telephone, we will email you the intake forms because A) you can sit in the comfort of your own home and fill out questions about poop, and B) ummm we are now living in a pandemic world, there will be no sitting in the waiting room filling out forms. The forms will ask important questions about your health history, and to make sure there are no issues that would restrict you from having the treatment done such as colon cancer or an intestinal hernia. Colon Hydrotherapy is not for everyone, so we need to ensure a proper screening is done so we don’t do you, or your precious colon any harm.
Once I have assessed you and you have the green light, I will explain to you the procedure and how the machine works. Then I give you a super duper cool pair of oversized shorts with a hole in the back (don’t think I need to explain what that’s for) and have you lie down on the table, face up. We provide blankets, the room is dimmed, essential oils are huffing away, and I even put on some relaxing spa music.
We want you to be in as a relaxed state as possible, to ensure you get the best results during your session. Digestion moves a lot easier when the body is in a restful state. Fear and stress can cause the body to hold on to excess waste (hence stress/constipation correlation) and make it harder to release toxic build-up during the treatment. Meditating the day of, or doing a quick mindfulness practice before your treatment can help the body better go into relaxation mode before we start.
Once I enter the room, I will open up my equipment. FYI everything we use is one-time use and disposable, and our machine is extremely sanitized (x 3!) both inside and outside between each treatment, and our room is thoroughly cleaned between treatments as well. So rest assured, the only bacteria there is, is the stuff going down the drain. I should also mention the star of the show (not me guys) is the Aquanet 2000, which has been around for nearly 25 years, has no reported adverse effects, and does a magnificent job ensuring our temperature is regulated, the water is filtered, and the pressure is on point. We use both a pressure and a gravity machine, which is controlled by me, but due to the machine’s engineering, the pressure does not go above a certain gauge that would cause discomfort.
Next, I have you lie on your left side, the preferred position because of how the colon lies in your body. I insert a small speculum into your backside, and your muscles will actually relax and draw the speculum in, so it is not as awful or uncomfortable as it may seem. However, it’s not necessarily a walk in the park, maybe somewhere in between. I then slowly release temperature regulated warm water to 38 degrees through the inflow tube. This is clean, filtered water. The waste, or the “dirty water” flows out separately through the outflow tube that goes right down the drain, where we have the standard backflow pump in place to ensure nothing flows backwards. After 2-3 minutes, I will move you on your back, ensure you are comfortable, and start the treatment.
Abdominal massage is essential during the treatment, as this helps loosen up waste that is stuck to the intestinal wall. Often times, people will have “sluggish” colon’s, the the massage helps things (poop) move along. The warm water filters in the whole time (while simultaneously flows out) which helps to break up the waste and begin the cleansing process. Oftentimes waste won’t release for at least 10-15 minutes (and sometimes not at all if you are that constipated) so the first part of the treatment might be a little boring. It is kind of like a soaked pot. The longer the water soaks in the pot, the easier it is to become clean. Patience is a virtue.
During the initial process, I alternate between fill and empty cycles. During the fill cycle, I slowly release water into the colon while nothing is flowing outwards. When you begin to feel “full” I release the water, and oftentimes due to the pressure produced, this is when the releases happen. I do my best to cleanse as much as I can during the 45 minute treatment, but if you are experiencing constipation, I will ask that you come back for another treatment right away.