For the fourth in our series of posts on detox, I'll be looking at why healthy organs (and especially the gut) are the key to wellbeing. When you clean up your colon and your other elimination organs, your health issues often clear up too. Sign up for a series of colonics and you will be firmly on the path to getting your health back on track.
Let's start with the basics
Do you even know where your organs are in your body?
If I asked you to place a hand on your liver, could you do it?
Do you know how your liver works, and what it does for you on a daily basis?
Could you put a hand on each of your kidneys?
Do you know where your spleen is and how it works?
If the answer was no to any of the above, you're in good company. Most of the people I randomly ask haven't a clue, yet our health depends on the health of our organs.
So, how do you clean out your organs? Which are the organs involved in getting rid of the chemicals and harmful by-products that accumulate in your body? And which complementary therapies can you use to boost them?
Which organs remove toxins from the body?
The principle toxic waste disposal sites in your body are your skin, your lungs, your liver, your kidneys, your colon and your lymphatic system. Each plays their part in disposing of harmful ‘stuff’ via your bowels, urine, sweat and your breath. For women, your monthly period, too. Toxins accumulate in every part of your body. Although your organs are constantly hard at work excreting them, giving them a helping hand every now and then really helps. Whether it's a comprehensive dietary detox, or a course of colonics, you will be amazed at your renewed sense of energy afterwards.
Approach your full body clean-up in the same way that you plan your annual house spring clean. You'd probably go room by room. You would dust and Hoover, binning any rubbish and tidying the cupboards that hide a multitude of sins. It should be the same for your organs. You don’t need to clean them all at once, but mentally schedule a rota. Do a reboot of each organ, one at a time, over the progress of the year.
Begin with your gut.
How to deep clean your gut
Your large intestine, or colon is a great place to start. Its main job is to extract nutrients and water from your food, turning what remains into faeces. It is called ‘large’ because of its width, not its length. It is actually only about 5ft long and looks like a U-shaped ropey tube. It runs from the bottom right side of your torso, up to your ribs, across to the left side of your body and down again to the bottom left side, across to the middle. It finishes by connecting to your rectum where the food that probably hit your mouth 24 hrs earlier, finally leaves your body.
Colon lecturers (yes, there are such people..) will show you fascinating pictures of a normal, happy colon. A perfect example is a long, smooth, regular tube that processes your food simply and easily. Then they contrast that with the terrifying result of years of unhealthy eating and poor choices. I always remember being shown what John Wayne’s colon looked like when he died. It resembled a bunch of grapes - extremely stretched and distorted out of shape, with hundreds of tiny pockets full of goodness knows what. It was, apparently, the result of years of eating vast quantities of meat. Horrifyingly, it weighed 82lbs (I always wondered who exactly decided to weigh it – and why, poor man!). An astonishing 77lbs of that weight was solid dried faecal matter that shouldn’t have been there. The example was a sobering one, and I have been a fan of colonics ever since.
So how do you go about cleaning your colon? You have a choice. You can buy colon detoxing kits in the health food store or off the web. These will work slowly over a period of months, de-crusting the insides of your gut. They will break down the mucus that forms from eating the wrong sorts of food, and ends up coating the inner walls of the colon, preventing many of the nutrients from your food penetrating into the rest of your system.
Why colonics are good for you
My favourite way, however, for a quick reboot and instant clear out, is a session of colonics with a colon therapist. You may have heard of colonics, pulled a face and decided it’s absolutely not for you. (Many of us, and men in particular, shy away from the idea of having a tube put up our behinds and flooded with water.) I would encourage you, however, to reconsider. Just give it a try. You will probably be amazed at how energised you feel afterwards. If you have bloating problems or gas, the symptoms disappear, leaving you with a flat stomach, feeling much lighter and cleaner. It's hard to explain unless you have tried it.
Experienced colon therapists love their job. Weird I know, but they truly do. If you want to hear passion in the voice of any practitioner of complementary therapies, then find yourself a colonic expert. It’s truly inspiring.
What happens during colonic irrigation?
You remove your clothes from the lower half of your body, hiding your modesty with a large towel, and lie down on a couch. You then turn onto your left side, presenting your bottom to the therapist, who gently inserts a few inches of a well lubricated plastic tube. (You honestly hardly know it’s happening!) Next, they straighten you onto your back, and then begin to very, very slowly fill your colon with blood temperature, purified water, through the tube, which is attached to a machine that controls the water flow. The feeling is initially interesting. It’s a bit like a balloon being filled gently with water. When the pressure builds up to become mildly uncomfortable, the therapist releases it. All the water that has penetrated your colon comes flooding out via the clear plastic tube, taking with it the contents of your colon. You can clearly see your most recent meals along with fascinating other substances. You may spot bile, mucus, candida and old hard compacted ‘stuff’ that has been lining walls of your colon.
The miracle of the toy soldier
Sometimes people release parasites – picked up from their travels, or from unwashed food or improperly cooked meats. Long tape worms can emerge. The first time I had a colonic was about 30 years ago when I was backpacking through Thailand. I will never forget one of my fellow travellers dancing with glee after his session. As a small child, he had been playing with his brother’s plastic soldiers and had, as small children do, swallowed one. Rushed to the doctor, he was told there was nothing that could be done. The doctor assured him that it would come out naturally one day. It never had, until the colon therapist massaged his abdomen and released the water. Out it finally popped, 20 years later. I saw the small, red soldier with my very own eyes. He was holding a long rifle, which looked sharp and possibly painful. I wondered why it hadn’t hurt quite a bit on its journey through the gut. It was, indisputably, a small colonic miracle.
An investment in your health
Sign up for a series of sessions if you can afford to. After a few, you may well notice that your health issues diminish. They may even disappear. Headaches and bad skin clear and constipation vanishes as the colon’s peristalsis (the moving along of the faeces) gets going again.
Most chronic disease is positively affected by a colonic and to my mind, this is one of the most invaluable complementary therapies out there. Do yourself a favour and reboot your gut. Best of all, if you weigh yourself before and after, you will find you may have lost a pound or two in the process!
If you're feeling brave and want to try a DIY version you can watch my video on enemas below. Consult your GP before trying this though if you suffer from bowel problems or are unwell.