If you are part of my inner circle you will know that I have been ranting and raving about the amazing co-op placement I was blessed with at Refresh Natural Health in Vancouver, BC this summer. The ladies here are one of a kind and have welcomed me in with open arms.

When people ask me about the clinic I happily tell them about the services they provide as the leading professionals in cleansing and detoxification in the lower mainland. They (or should I say “we”) provide nutritional consultations, inspirational and life changing advice about gut healing, and the sometimes forgotten age old service of COLON HYDROTHERAPY.

It is this somewhat taboo topic that I am about to bare all about as I popped my cherry less than 3 days ago and cannot stop talking about it (all good things I promise)! So put down your lunch, and get ready to listen to me talk about Les Poop!

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I started to become curious about intestinal health back in 2014 when I went on a solo soul searching journey to Thailand. At the time I was trying to heal from a plethora of things including an empty heart after 3 back-to-back relationships, and a bad Leaky Gut. I decided to book myself into a Yoga Retreat on the Island of Koh Phangan that offered a 5 day Detox.

The point of the process was to not chew for 3 days and clean out the bowels.

So, I had watermelon smoothies with fiber, did 2 hours of yoga a day and drank bone broth in conjunction with daily gravity fed garlic and coffee enemas. It was a fabulous process, if not challenging at times (I definitely craved whole, colorful, crunchy food after 3 days).

The process put me in the driver seat and made me feel in control of my body more than ever before. It gave me an opportunity to make unforgettable bonds with some amazing women from around the world that were also healing in their own unique way. These women supported me through my daily cleanse routine and encouraged me in my healing process.

After the five days I felt like a whole new woman. The dark circles under my eyes were gone, and I wasn’t bloated anymore. I felt fabulous! But, we can’t all runaway to a tropical retreat every time we want to overhaul our digestive system so let’s about some details. My experience from 2 years ago encouraged me to seek out Refresh as the next step in my training as a natural health educator.

But what exactly is an enema and why would we ever think of doing one?!

An enema is an age old procedure that, according to Urban Dictionary (the best resource ever! LOL), can be a therapeutic process (to relieve constipation) that involves injecting fluid via a small lubricated tube into the rectum for the purpose of cleaning out any remaining debris from ones last bowel movement (they also said something about this being an erotic process but let’s keep this conversation G rated okay).

Enemas are self-induced and can be performed in the comfort of your own home. They are gentle, quick and a great way to clean out the bowels if you are dealing with any form of constipation or are just wanting to do a good deep cleansing of the body.

Many people say to me, “I go to the bathroom 2-3 times a day, no problem, why would I ever want to do this?!” My response goes something like this…

Think about a toilet bowl that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Sure, when we do our daily business we flush the toilet (after looking in the bowl quickly to see what our Poo is telling us about our digestion I hope – even if you won’t admit it I know you’ve done it at least once so I commend you for that) … but over time the bowl still gets a little dirty and grime sticks to the sides. We see this and signals us to give it a good scrubbing to make it shiny and clean again.

Well, our bowels could use a good “scrubbing” sometimes too! Enemas and colon hydrotherapy do just that.

Taking laxatives for slow digestion and constipation is a slippery slope as they temporarily paralyze your intestinal muscles and can lead a flaccid colon and dependency. Regular laxative use or abuse can even lead to bowel cancer over time so it is important to dig deeper and find the root cause of your constipation if this is something that you are suffering from.

Colon hydrotherapy is an effective way to re-tone these muscles if you think you have lost bowel tone.

Think about a hunky Arnold Schwarzenegger doing bicep curls for a minute…

Why does he do this with such dedication? Because it TONES his bicep muscles and makes him look uber sexy and strong when he points toward the nearest beach (don’t forget the tanning oil).

The same goes for our bowels.

We need to give them a regular workout and strengthening in order to perform their job of digesting and moving food through the process of peristalsis from the receiving end (our mouths) to the shipping end (our butts) to what we will call “Schitts Creek” (for humors sake – sometimes I think I’m so funny).

So What Happens During A Colon Hydrotherapy Session?

The gentle flow of water being sent INTO the colon during hydrotherapy is done with a very small tube. During this process the practitioner is massaging your tummy and talking you through the process so you feel very comfortable. She is stopping and starting the flow of water as she feels your large intestine flexing and relaxing to allow water to hold and move through the pipes. This process of flexing and relaxing is what gives your colon the workout of the year and helps to re-tone and regulate your digestive tract.

Alright, so your likely curious about my first-hand experience with this process right?!?

Well, to say that laying in a room for over an hour in a pair of boxer shorts with the ass cut out and a speculum the size of a small Italian woman’s thumb shoved up my butt was a cool experience would be an understatement.

IT WAS INCREDIBLE!

This is a process that needs to be brought back into a regular health care regime. Thumbs down to those health care professionals that write you a prescription for laxatives, they are just compounding the problem!

This process allowed me to get a firsthand look at how the foods I have been eating are effecting my body. As I stared at this tube running between my legs I saw myself passing undigested food like vegetables and nuts/seeds. I saw lots of fiber (which is part of a healthy diet and helps to keep us regular) but I also saw a ton of mucus, a result of eating dairy even though I am well aware of my dairy allergy.

This told me that I have a lot of inflammation going on internally that I can no longer ignore.

I also saw these little poop nuggets exiting my beautiful body that looked like little malt balls (I apologize if you never eat malt balls again – actually I don’t. They are garbage and shouldn’t be in your diet anyway).

It is in our large intestine that we resorb water. The longer we go without a bowel movement the more water is resorbed, leading to compacted feces (aka poop nuggets) and a harder time voiding (meaning more pushing or straining to poop). This was quite the eye opener and told me I had to start practicing what I preach to my friends/family/future clients. It’s all about the diet…

About 2 months ago I was diagnosed with a hypothyroid disorder. One main symptom of Hypothyroid is constipation, and although I have been on medication and feeling fan-freaking-tastic, I sometimes still get backed up (if you get my drift).

I have to be really present when it comes to eating. Getting enough fiber, drinking enough water, and avoiding foods that I know cause inflammation in my body is number 1 because the longer food stays stuck in our intestines the more harm it can do.

Picture your compost or garbage if you don’t empty it for 3 days. It gets stinky and slimy and unpleasant. Well the same thing happens in our bodies, except all the toxins that are produced from breaking down our food get stuck as well and have no where to go.

This “retox” process can lead to fatigue, weight gain, gas, bloating, dark circles under the eyes, bad breath, and the list goes on. I likely had 3-4 days worth of rotting meals just hanging out, having a party in my belly.

We don’t have to live in silence with constipation. Talking about our sh*t has become such taboo, but this is a process that we all do on the daily.

It is natural and necessary. It should not be frowned upon. It took me a year of Holistic Nutrition school to get comfortable with it enough to write a blog about it. But wherever you are at with this conversation know that you always have a friend in me.

I encourage you to ask about any questions, concerns, or inquiries you have about this topic. I would love to help you or just listen to you.

Sickness comes in all forms, and if sluggish digestion is holding you back from being the fabulous, energetic, adventurous best version of yourself then maybe Colon Hydrotherapy is something worth looking into…

Okay, you can go back to eating your lunch now ☺

Katie Israelson

Certified Nutritional Practitioner at Refresh Natural Health
I like to bring an organic and honest yet humorous approach to my counselling and writing. I believe in the importance of nourishing the soul and body, and hope to provide support for those open to my quirky yet insightful anecdotes. By embracing my own challenges with food sensitivities, hormone balancing, and weight management (believe me, this is an ongoing battle) I hope to connect with my readers on a personal level.

As a newbie blogger, I am here to let you know we are not alone in our struggles, challenges or successes. Everyone has a story. Regardless of setbacks we are powerful human beings, capable of achieving greatness. So may we rise up, and walk this road together.
Katie Israelson