One of the best things about being a beauty writer is the opportunity to try some pretty crazy stuff, all in the name of research. I'm basically open to almost anything, from lip injections to Botox to...well...colonics. Yep, I got a colonic, and now I'm going to tell you allllll about it.
Sort of. I mean, I have some boundaries.
As any story about colonic irrigation starts, I met Natalie at an all-you-can-drink-mimosas brunch before Christmas, and when she told me what she did for a living, I definitely did a double take. Natalie is the owner of Move Colonics in St. Paul, Minnesota, and, yes, she has a great sense of humor about her job. She's also really passionate about the benefits of colonics; she credits them with helping cure her chronic illness a few years ago.
Natalie worked a high-stress, travel-heavy job and kept getting sick; she had chronic yeast infections. Doctors weren't helping. They would prescribe an antibiotic, and when she came back saying it hadn't helped, they'd just prescribe another. Burnt out, tired, and feeling awful, Natalie started researching online and decided to try colonics. Along with tweaks to her diet, colonics helped her regain her health and inspired her to make a big change: She quit her job, studied to become a colon hydrotherapist, and opened Move. And now she gives colonics all day!
People are pretty divided on the concept of colonics, and I'm not here to be like, "YES! This is 100 percent the be-all and end-all for your health!" Nor am I going to be like, "Well, doctors don't recommend it, so don't do it."
I don't have any dietary or digestion issues. I suppose you could say I am just a "regular" gal. However, I was intrigued by the concept of colonics; I've read that celebs get them before awards shows to drop a few pounds, and even the Real Housewives have tried them (on camera!). They might also help with skin issues, which is always a perk for me. (Natalie's skin is radiant, so...)
A friend of mine tried colonics and said that while she didn't have the most pleasant experience on the table, she felt great after. So I booked an appointment. I hadn't been sticking to my regular diet of lots of green smoothies and whole grains because it's summer, and summer means grilling hot dogs, Dean's French Onion Dip, and lots of beer. While I felt OK, I thought I could use a reset of sorts.
There wasn't a lot of prep before my colonic; I didn't have to fast because my appointment was first thing in the morning, and I made the wise decision to skip my daily coffee. Natalie recommends you don't eat before your session.
Your colon is obviously where elimination takes place, but occasionally things don't always flush themselves out the way they should. According to Natalie, the average person may have up to 10 pounds of fecal matter just chillin' in their colon. Um, cool.
So here's what happened: I peed, because your bladder tends to fill during the session, then I stripped down below the waist. Natalie inserted the (lubricated) tube you-know-where, and then the system sent warm filtered water into my colon. It doesn't hurt, exactly; it just feels like there's something in there, which, I mean — there is.
From there, Natalie did a series of "fills and releases," which helped loosen up all the crap in my colon — literally. The person administering your colonic might also gently massage your abdomen to help if you're cool with that, which I obviously was.
You can even watch what comes out on the lighted bit of the machine, which was way cooler than it sounds, I promise. It's almost like a triumphant feeling when you see what's coming out of you. I'm pretty sure I saw a green Skittle.
In one 45-minute session, about two to six liters of distilled water are pumped in and out of you. Natalie recommends three sessions spaced out by a handful of days to start.
So, how did I feel after my colonic sesh? Pretty awesome, actually. Natalie even praised my session, saying it was great. I wanted to see more junk come out of me; I almost felt like a failure because I didn't have some crazy release of stuff bustin' out.
Will I go back? Honestly, I think I will.