On Friday I took myself off to Absolute Health, a clinic specialising in massage and colonic irrigation, located in Rathfarnham. I'm guinea pig #3 in beaut.ie's current series of colonic investigations!
You've already heard Remington and Gio's take on the experience, and now here's mine. Himself was drafted in to drive me to Absolute Health, and tasked with getting the car washed while I was getting my innards spick and span - cleanliness being next to Godliness and all that. We arrived at Absolute Health's premises in Woodside with no bother and in I went. They're located in a suburban development in off the Dodder Park Road, so it's really easy to get to off the M50 from either the Spawell or Dundrum/Balinteer exits.
I was immediately put at ease - the location is discreet and the house is spotless and nicely decorated. You have no sense of intruding on someones private space (the owners live and work here) yet it's not clinical either, so you feel very comfortable.
Charlotte (left), one of the owners, and the person who did my treatment, met me and took me into the treatment room - a calm space, filled with candles. Before the colonic started she took me through my medical history and asked me lots of questions about my health, my digestive function and my energy levels. She also took my blood pressure, and did some Iridology on my eyes, which I found fascinating. I was told that the eyes hold signs of illnesses and trauma that the body has gone through, and can be used as a handy diagnostic tool for practictioners. She could tell from my eyes that some parts of my bowel were quite compacted and sluggish.
Once she'd finished that, she asked me some questions about my diet, what I eat and when I eat it, and said she'd go over that with me more fully once the treatment was completed. Her manner is friendly and relaxed and she made me in turn feel very much at ease, plus the holistic approach she uses really gives you the sense that your whole health and wellness is being considered, not just your digestive function.
I wasn't nervous about the treatment at all as it happened, but if you were a little anxious, this is one lady who will put your mind at rest. I felt comfortable with Charlotte and she explained everything she'd be doing clearly and answered all my questions precisely and with loads of knowledge - I learned a huge amount from her in the hour and a half I was at Absolute Health.
I was asked to go into the adjoining bathroom to take off the bottom half of my clothes and wrap a towel round myself - thankfully I'd remembered to shave my legs for once! When I came out I lay on the table and Charlotte explained what she'd be doing. I was facing the colonic machine, so I could see what was going on during the treatment - gross, but also fascinating!
Once the tube insertion was completed (no big deal at all, worry not!), she started to allow body temperature water to circulate inside my colon. This process is repeated several times and feels a little different each time - to start off with, you feel the warm water lower down, and as material is removed, you feel it higher up in your body as it begins to gain access. You can feel the water building up and at a certain point gives you the sensation that you need to 'go', and at that point I'd indicate this to Charlotte, and she'd stop the water. That's when you start to see what's inside - no lego, I'm afraid. But I can tell you that apparently I don't chew my food properly! The input/output process was repeated a few more times and she also used cool water too - I responded well to that apparently, as it makes the colon contract and so release more gudge and goo lodged inside. She also massaged my stomach so that anything compacted would have a better chance of being removed.
I found the process to be fascinating and I can't stress enough that it isn't embarrassing in any way. Charlotte is so practiced and professional that she makes it all extremely interesting. We chatted throughout, and she explained at every step what she was doing.
We've all heard the old adage that our emotions live in our stomachs, and it's true. If you're upset and stressed, your digestion is affected - it shuts down and you don't absorb the nutrients you need. Likewise, the colon is responsible for the absorption of nutrients, and if its workings are affected by stress and poor diet, toxins build up, and your general health can definitely suffer as a result.
It's all just common sense - if you're sluggish, lacking in energy and finding it really hard to loose weight then I would definitley say - have a colonic. It's a spring clean for your system and will give a chance to have a fresh start at eating properly and taking good care of yourself. That's definitely how I'm looking at it for myself.
Once the treatment was finished I got dressed and we had a chat about my general diet. I have been trying to make myself eat breakfast but up to recently I was a firm 2 meals a day person. I'm not eating enough during the day to keep me going, and then eating lots in the evening, so my poor old metabolism never gets going all day, and then gets bombarded at night - no wonder I'm finding it hard to loose weight! When it's all spelled out for you, it makes so much sense. I can count calories till I'm blue in the face, and I know all about low-fat healthy cooking, but I was just doing it all the wrong way round.
So henceforth, I am going to aim to eat fruit and muesli in the morning and a decent lunch. I hopefully won't be so ravenous when I get in from work, and do the whole eating all around me thing - I'm a big bad culprit for that, I confess. I also have to work harder on chewing my food, as I'm a total gobbler. I can honestly say that even after 2 days, I've already noticed a difference by making myself eat more slowly - I'm thinking about what I'm eating while I'm eating it, and it's satisfying me more - previously I wasn't chewing properly so my stomach was having to work much harder at digesting what I was eating, and probably not extracting half the goodness out of it I need.
All in all, I found the experience to be really a worthwhile one, and I'd definitely do it again. Huge thanks go to the extremely competent and professional staff of Absolute Health! if you're keen to give a colonic a go, I couldn't urge you enough - I think it's a great experience everyone should try.
Colonic Hydrotherapy at Absolute Health costs â‚¬115 for one session. You're recommended to do a course of either 3 or 4 though. 3 sessions costs â‚¬300, and 4 will set you back â‚¬350. Keep an eye out though, as we'll be running a competition really soon where you'll get a chance to win one of 3 colonic treatments, or one of 3 massages. Yay!