Life Begins in the Colon
We all like to think that we are all so different so sometimes I find it helpful to think and talk about the things that do make us similar, like bowel movements and passing gas :)
The first time we met, we met to talk about a deeper connection to ourselves through our vaginas; the self-knowledge and self-love we can gain through education and conversations about our vaginas. At some point throughout that conversation, Dr. G said: "I am obsessed with poop!" I had never heard that before so I quickly became curious and we started talking about constipation, trauma, the large intestines, and why sex hurts.
It was during this conversation that I had an "ah-ha moment" (as Oprah would call it) and I had to reach back our to Dr. G about working with Loyal Nana again but this time on a piece about colon health. Read on because as it turns out, life begins and ends in the colon.
Life Begins in the Colon
by Griselda Rodriguez-Solomon, P.h.D
Fatigue, dandruff, low sex drive, yeast infections and bad breath are all linked to an impacted colon. An impacted colon is when waste does not properly pass through the large intestine and instead stays stuck in some area of the colon. When there is fecal impaction, the heaviness of the large intestines weighs down on the bladder and the reproductive organs causing a lot of dis-ease. The colon is especially taxed when we experience trauma such as sexual abuse, loss of a loved one, or extreme forms of racism.
Colon Hydrotherapy (AKA Colonic)
Colon Hydrotherapy is a traditional Naturopathic technique that cleans out the colon of built-up fecal matter, gas, and mucus. Yes, even mucus (alcohol stimulates mucus production within our system!)
About the process of colonics...
The Global Professional Association for Colon Therapy quotes: “It is a simple process, a flow of temperature controlled, filtered water is gently circulated through the colon. This allows the body to divest itself of toxins and other build-up that has accumulated through a lifetime of junk food, fractionated food, and no fiber”.
Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy
1) It aids in the release of toxins and fecal matter from the colon, or gastrointestinal tract.
2) Cleanses the blood.
3) Jump starts and empowers the immune system.
4) Helps to restore the proper ph balance in the colon and the body.
Every system and organ of the body connects to the colon by way of reflex points. During a colonic, the warm water’s pressure stimulates these points. The stimulation increases blood flow to the organs. This is one of the many reasons that people often feel energized after a colonic. I get consistent colonics and have noticed a decrease in dandruff, I experience comfortable menstrual cycles, and have an increase in energy. My hair, skin, and nails are also glowing!
What is it like to get a colonic?
Though the particular techniques may vary, the experience is quite similar across the board. The colonic is done in a private, sterile office. It is much like going to see a GYN or Dermatologist in their private practice. An extensive questionnaire of your health history is vital to the process. You must inform trained therapists of any health-related matters that may interfere with the therapy. These include but are not limited to: heart disease, GI-related imbalances (hemorrhoids, Crohn’s disease, colitis), and/or pregnancy. Once cleared, you are ready to go. You undress from the waist down. You then lay on your left side as this helps the water to flow downhill, deeper into your colon.
The therapist uses gloves to insert a lubricated and sterilized hose into your rectum. This, I will admit, is the most uncomfortable part for me... Once in, it’s usually a smooth ride. Your experience may vary depending on several factors including whether it’s your first time, the length of your previous colonics, and the way you’ve been eating leading up to the session.
I remember getting a colonic during the start of a fall that followed a wild summer. Nights of beer and Prosecco turned into a rather uncomfortable colonic session. The effervescence of these drinks is not good for maintaining colon health. Besides increasing gas (thus the proverbial beer belly), alcohol also stimulates mucus production within our system. The two combined led to feelings of intense diarrhea pains while lying on the table. I embraced these as symptoms of the toxins purging from my body.
The trained hydrotherapist is with you at all times. They often provide soothing techniques during these tougher moments. Some therapists rub essential oils on the soles of your feet. Others use warmed castor oil to rub your belly.
The session can last between 40-60 minutes. A total of 15 gallons of warm purified water are drained into your colon. The process is rhythmic. The therapist usually fills the colon up with water for a couple of minutes. The hose is turned off as the water sits in the actual intestine; this helps to soften the impacted waste. The hose is opened again. This time, as fresh water goes into the colon, waste comes out of the hose. The hose usually has a built-in see-through component where you can see the matter pass by. During the process, the therapist often “reads” your poop. The nature of the waste material tells whether you smoke, drink excess alcohol, or drink coffee. The waste flows into a receptacle leading to the sewer, much like a toilet.
Once complete, the water is shut and the hose is slowly removed from the rectum. The therapist directs you to the bathroom. Once there, the therapist instructs you to sit on the toilet with a “potty squatty” underneath your feet. This ensures that your knees are above your waist, which opens up the descending colon. Physiologically, our bodies know to use gravity to help in processes of elimination and birth. This is why, when left to follow their body's instincts, women often give birth in a squatting position. I recommend everyone get a potty squatty, or any small stool to ease the elimination experience at home.
This process can be rather cathartic. Before starting a colonics session, some therapists ask about your emotional wellbeing. This is because, as holistic health practitioners, they recognize that a lot is stored in the body, and in the colon. As mentioned before, the colon is especially taxed when we experience trauma such as sexual abuse, loss of a loved one, or extreme forms of racism. Releasing pounds of impacted waste within the colon can symbolically help us release years of baggage.
How did I get into all of this you ask?
I developed hemorrhoids as a graduate student. I was stressed, always working, and far from my family. I was not eating properly and was constantly constipated. When days would pass without a proper bowel movement, I would force myself to poop. The constant strain and the hard fecal matter eventually led to me bleeding while I pooped. Suffice to say, I had to seek medical attention. At the time I was 25, yet I was experiencing something that was traditionally common in older people. But being raised on the Standard American Diet (SAD), while embodying the stressors of being a Brown girl from the ‘hoods of BK in the 90's was a cocktail for a storm in my gut. I now know that the hemorrhoids were a manifestation of years of improper nutrition and internalized trauma.
I got my first colonic over 6 years ago. Since then, I’ve had over ten colonics with 3 amazing hydrotherapists across New York City. All women of color! I’ve opened up about my experiences with gut-related imbalances and I have been surprised to find out that so many people suffer in silence than expected. Sadly, many people continue to suffer because they lack the knowledge to heal themselves... I share this information with faith that it will help save someone’s life. Dead ass.