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I tried a colon cleanse and the results were not what I expected

Life coach Hattie MacAndrews tried divisive colon hydrotherapy


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For those looking to 'cleanse' their body, there are many-a wellness treatments to try. One of the more divisive options is a colon cleanse, also known as a colonic or colon hydrotherapy.

Fans of the treatment say that removing toxins results in boosted energy and an enhanced immune system alongside clearer skin and better sleep.

So, in my quest for optimal wellness, I decided to give it a try – and the results weren't exactly what I was expecting.

young woman sitting on the sofa with a coffee
Hattie MacAndres tried a colon cleanse to see if it helped her feel more energetic

What is colon hydrotherapy?

Colon hydrotherapy is the infusion of water into the colon, via the rectum.

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The process begins with you lying on your side while a small tube is gently inserted, followed by warm filtered water being passed into your colon.

The practitioner gently fills and releases the flow of water, based on how comfortable you are and how much you can hold at a time.

Brunette woman smiling for the camera
Hattie MacAndrews tried a colon cleanse

The sensation of being 'filled' was unusual – it wasn't painful but it definitely wasn't comfortable. It brought on mild cramping in my abdomen, which is slightly eased by a stomach massage from the practitioner and vibrating stimulation to ease the pain.

You are completely in control of how long you 'hold' the water inside and you're encouraged to let the therapist know when you are ready for the release.

MORE FROM HATTIE: How hypnotherapy healed my heartbreak 

The temperature of the water can also be adjusted to increase effectiveness and efficiency. The more comfortable you become with the sensation, the longer you can hold for. This process lasts for approximately 45 minutes.

Despite having been interested in experiencing a colonic for a long time, I always put it off for fear it would be awkward or uncomfortable. The reality was far from this – and nothing about the process felt embarrassing. It was just like any other treatment with a practitioner, and the most important thing is that you feel safe and comfortable from the start.

Young woman sitting on a sofa looking stylish
Hattie MacAndrews has tried many wellness modalities in the name of feeling great

How did I feel after my colon cleanse?

For the next day or so my stomach felt slightly swollen, but not painful. I had noticeably more energy, brighter skin and a general feeling of better health

For me, the biggest benefit was that after such a big cleanse, I felt very conscious about what I put into my body.

 HATTIE'S COLUMN: I tried ozone therapy, Gwyneth Paltrow's 'weird' wellness habit 

I envisaged my digestive system being clear and cleansed and really wanted to nourish my system with good healthy foods and a balanced diet.

My desire to drink alcohol and eat processed foods was noticeably lower and for the next couple of weeks, I avoided anything that didn't feel nourishing for my system.

In this sense, it was a brilliant practice to support a healthy body and mind.

For me, a colonic is a great way to support a healthy cleanse, but it should not be a replacement for eating well and taking care of your health every day.

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Having an efficient digestive system and a balanced gut comes from many factors, mostly diet, and I would never recommend trying to replace this with colon hydrotherapy.

I would love to have the treatment once or twice a year, but the general consensus is that it's not strictly necessary to be healthy and happy.

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