Today...Living Social had a deal for colonics and it got me thinking about my experience with one.
So....In January 2007, I lost about 10 or so pounds (I had been in the mid to high 140s). It started after a very tough broke up with an ex (who at the time I believed to be the love of my life). I tend to lose my appetite when under extreme stress or heatbreak. Unattentionally, I lost 5 or 10 pounds. Then, I got a terrible bug from my nephew and a few more pounds. Before I knew it, I had slimmed down - 137 lbs.
For months, I maintained that by doing something I had never really done before "dieting". I didn't quite know how to diet - I didn't read any magazines or books for a plan. I just kept my meals healthy and light as possible and small. Yogurts and/or granola bars for breakfast, baked potatoes and salad for lunch, salad for dinner. No snacking. By the end of the spring, I was sick of that....So, I started to go back to my normal eating. I gained a few pounds (about 140 or so) but that was it...
I met with my doctor for my annual check up. She encouraged me to get back to 137 or lower - because that was in the healthy range for my height. (I of course don't mention that the reason I got down to that is because I was on a diet of tears and heartbreak). I tell her I really don't know what to do to get there...Essentially, I had gone back to my old ways eating and hadn't had too significant of weight gain. I was doing Zumba a few times a week. I can't specifically recall but I may have been hitting the weights once or two a week too...One thing I knew I needed to kick was coke a cola habit. She gave me a plan for that as well as 8 things to do to stay healthy...Except for vitamins, prayer/meditation, and exercise, I really didn't tackle the rest. She also counsels me to be aware of the risk factors that may impact due to my father's health history (my father died after a battle with a cancerous growth on his colon when I was 17).
Fast forward to the summer...my girlfriend I decide to go to Miami for the first time. But, by then I am back up to the mid 140s. I work hard...really monitor my meals...salads and lean meats. I'm losing weight but I not close to 137. I bump up my exercise. Still not there.
My doctor practiced more holistic care. She encouraged you to work to stay healthy as opposed to not taking care of yourself and then needing to medicate. She also encouraged some "alternative" health options like massage or herbal supplements. She had partnered with an alternative health care clinic to offer non-traditional hormone treatments for menopausal women. I started subscribing to that clinics newsletters.They were interesting articles encouraging you to eat more organically (before it become so popular to do so), seek stress free scenarios, and alternatives to Western medicine.
One of the articles talked about colon irrigation. It talked about how irregularly most people were now, the importance of bowel and colon in good working condition, and how healthy and energized one could feel. I had heard my doctor recommend them before. I wanted to keep my colon as healthy as possible especially since I had a family history otherwise. So, I started researching...Although there were articles that said it was unnecessary and some warnings about safety (I wasn't overly concerned about the clinic I had selected as my doctor frequented there), I was convinced I should do it. AND BONUS: as I researched, people were able to lose weight too! It seemed like a win - win - win for me. A healthly colon, more energy, and weight loss!
So, I signed up for an appointment. It was relatively expensive - $75 (insurance didn't apply) for one visit. The procedure was uncomfortable - not painful or terribly unpleasant - but awkward. The staff was very friendly and tried to be helpful. When it was over, I was a bit light headed and slept the rest of the day. I don't particularly remember my bowel movements vastly improving or energy increase and I didn't lose any weight!
Granted, the specialist recommended that I come back for additional treatments...at least 3 or 4 more - once a week. And, then come back every 2 to 3 months for a treatment. She also recommended that I stop eating meat, gluten, diary, and stop eating so many "sugary" fruits.
WHAT I REALLY WISH IS THAT I HAD BEEN TOLD, take that $75 and go work with a dietitian. They can help you figure out how to best eat a true balanced eating plan that naturally includes fiber - from fruits, veggies, and whole grains and plenty of water. You'll be regular, feel healthy and energized, and lose weight. You won't worry about how your colon is doing and if it's strong and active. You won't need any foreign assistance.
AND SO, time to time, I read an article or blog about the resurgerence of colonics. I read one a few days ago that this is becoming a more mainstream spa option (but I can't remember where - or I would link it). I never really see these articles address the concerns on why people seek them in the first place. There's not a month or two that goes by when I don't see a blog post about cleansing (juice cleansing or some type of detox). Everyone great once in a while a friend may mention it....I tell them from my own personal experience and articles I've read over the years. Regular consumption of water, regular consumption of foods with fiber, regular exercise ---- will keep you regular! And will provide you with a myriad of other benefits...like energy, clearer skin, better fitting jeans, and more.