I'm going to tell you of my recent encounter with Colonic Hydrotherapy or Colonic Irrigation as you may have heard of it. I've not even told anyone apart from 'P' and the kids that I've had this done but after much searching on the web I thought that others may benefit from my experience so here goes.
I remember watching a program on TV a couple of years ago called 'The Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses' where people who suffered with different illnesses such as IBS, Psoriasis, Hyperhydrosis (sweating) were chosen to attend a retreat in Spain. Each day they were given different activities such as yoga, meditation and given healthy detox foods and smoothies. One of the 'activities' the participants were asked to carry out was a Colon Cleanse. Even though at the time, this looked the most embarrassing and unbelievably uncomfortable experience, I couldn't help thinking that maybe this is something that could help me. You see, call me a hypochondriac if you like (as 'P' often does :) ), but as I've got older I have the longest list of physical problems you could imagine the worst of which being IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Migraine. I've been given various meds for the IBS, tried herbal teas and cutting out the greasy foods but nothing seems to help. A huge factor in IBS is stress and although I don't feel that I lead a particularly stressful lifestyle I'm a real worrier - I worry about everything and I mean everything! After being completely stress and IBS free during our holiday to Lake Como I returned and within a day of arriving home the IBS pain and symptoms were back, in fact pain far worse than any I'd suffered before. I was miserable, lethargic and didn't know what to do, that's when 'P' suggested Colonic Hydrotherapy.
He'd found a website for an extremely qualified Colonic Hydrotherapist just a couple of miles away who happens to be Chairperson of The Association of Registered Colon Hydrotherapists (ARCH). As nervous as I was, I gave them a call and had a lovely chat with the lady's husband who told me all the 'ins and outs' (no pun intended :) ) of the whole colonic experience. I decided enough was enough and booked in for the very next day for a consultation and colonic hydrotherapy treatment.
Now, I cannot begin to tell you how scared I was at the prospect of having a foreign object shoved in an unspeakable place to basically wash out my insides but I have to say the whole encounter was far easier than I'd first imagined and not at all embarrassing. Gillian, the hydrotherapist, was very quick to put me at ease and the information she gave me about my colon and the effect the IBS has on it was invaluable. I'm not going to put you off your lunch and post here about every graphic detail but suffice to say at the end of the 45 minute treatment I felt a lot better even though you generally need 2 or 3 treatments before your colon has been completely cleansed.
The hardest part of the consultation was admitting that my diet is, well, crap! It really is! I think I've tried to fool myself that things really weren't as bad as they were on the whole diet front but having to list to someone your daily food intake kind of makes you sit up and take notice. Never mind 5 a day I was lucky if I was eating any fruit or vegetables at all sometimes not even 5 a week! Terrible I know and I hang my head in shame, no wonder she has IBS I hear you cry! Anyway, I'm now in phase 2 of my treatment and I think the colonic cleanse was actually the easier part. Gillian has requested that I completely remove wheat from my diet for a whole week to see how this affect me. Now this might not seem difficult to most of you but I am a breadaholic. On Gillian's say so I am not allowed to eat any bread or pasta and am to increase the amount of protein, vegetables and water that I consume on a daily basis.
I never realised quite what an impact this would have on me.
Today is day 4 of my wheat free week and the withdrawal symptoms I've experienced have been immense. I have had headaches every single day since the initial treatment, I am so tired I could sleep standing up and emotionally I'm a wreck, even to the point of tears yesterday when 'P' wondered what the hell was wrong to which I could only reply "I don't know!". I've done quite a lot of reading this morning and discovered that 'wheat withdrawal' is very real and that many people suffer with the same symptoms as me after removing wheat from their diet. Apparently the symptoms normally last for around a week so I will be interested to see how things pan out. The IBS seems to have improved slightly but I'm hoping that once my diet is on track and my body gets used to the new way of eating, things will be a lot better. Since the weekend I've had no bread whatsoever (god, that's been hard) or processed foods and have had fruit yoghurt, soups, fresh vegetables, salad, plenty of fresh meat and lots and lots of water. I have started to notice a difference in my skin and eyes already and I truly believe that a change such as this will eventually help if not cure many of my other physical problems. Gillian advised me that I may feel worse before I get better so I will just keep trudging on for now.
I will most probably return to Stourbridge Colonic Hydrotherapy for at least another treatment as I really think this will help. Colonic Hydrotherapy is reported to have a massive influence on your health and I'm hoping that easing my IBS will be only one of the many benefits. Will keep you posted!
p.s. anyone who's thinking of having this done and wants to know the nitty-gritty so to speak, send me a message - I'd be glad to give you more info :)