Whether or not you areprivy to the luxuries of first class, it’s unlikely that there’s any escapefrom travel’s less desirable effects: dehydrated skin, water retention andbloating. I may turn left upon boarding, but so far as my digestive system isconcerned I might as well be in the hold, with a stomach the size of a LouisVuitton trunk. So, to whom should the jet-setter turn when movements cometo an abrupt, sometimes four-day, standstill? The colonichydrotherapist.
After three weeks ofconstant flying and with belly distended, I look no further than avisit to KX gym and colon-cleaner extraordinaire David Taylor.
Onceinside the safety of KX in Chelsea, I divulgemy colon woes. I explain that my lifestyle and alkaline-based,juice-heavy diet, which is also high in whey protein, has left me gassy andunable to… go. As I stumble on the ending of this sentence, Davidconfirms my suspicions that whey protein is notorious for causing gas (headvises rice protein instead), and frequent flying is also a major aggravator offlatulence and constipation, because our organs are affected by fluctuations inatmospheric pressure.
David suggeststhat when I travel I should reduce my supplement intake (a plethora ofvitamins, enzymes and antioxidants) as sometimes cabin air pressure andsupplements can create more gas. I should turn instead to herbalremedies such as fennel and peppermint tea.
He then explains thetheories behind having a colonic. In short, he claims that the longer food stays in the stomach,the more toxic it becomes. Have I ever smelt the remnants of my foodblender even a day afterwards? Imagine that, heated up in an oven to 37°C, he says. The more incomplete “evacuations” one has, thelarger the pile of debris that builds up. Not only will the treatment make you feel lighter, butit will also give you better mental clarity.
I’ve hadcolon hydrotherapy before, so I (somewhat) confidently assume myposition, naked from the waist down but for a towel, lying on my left side inthe foetal pose. David inserts a small, lubricated tube inside my bottom, whichconnects to a larger tube. Once the tube is secure, I am asked to turnover onto my back, with my knees bent (as if I am giving birth). It doesn’thurt, but boy is it invasive – literally – and takes some getting used to.
Toassist elimination of waste and gas pockets, David starts performing agentle abdominal massage, which he continues throughout the treatment.I lie there as 10 litres of water are pumped into me, in three shortbursts. I feel myself filling up. As he pumps the water, Davidasks every few minutes whether I feel full and/or uncomfortable. When I sayyes, he allows the water to flush out, taking with it (hopefully) any lingeringdetritus.
Then I startto hear the bubbles. From where I am lying, I have apanoramic view of the tubes through which the contents of my colon is passing. Surprisingly, after 10 minutes, they are still empty save for asmall amount of debris. The wave-like motion of the water flow mimics thecolon’s peristalsis motion (the muscular contractions of the alimentarycanal, which forces its contents towards the external opening), encouraging itto work more efficiently. David also changes the temperature of the waterduring the treatment to further help my digestive tract spring backinto more energetic form.
On occasion, herbalinfusions can be introduced into the process, and in my case this means acoffee enema. Unlike saline enemas, caffeine travels through the smoothmuscle of the small intestine and into the liver, furtheraccelerating the gastro-intestinal tract cleanse in its removal of toxins andbile.
I lie there withthe water bubbling through me for a total of 45 minutes. Because the water actsas a stimulant to tell the bowel it is full, and the bowel muscle responds bycontracting and eliminating both waste matter and the water, I basically feellike I need to go to the toilet the whole time.
I've had more than oneembarrassing situation when it comes to taking out the tube, but today, thankfully, David removes the tube and I make it to the loo safely. I spend thenext five minutes releasing.
Following thetreatment, I am told to take active charcoal supplements every time I drink oreat more than my body is used to (a few days before and after big events, forexample), plus when I am travelling. Charcoal can be found in most organicpharmacies, and it is known for its absorbing qualities, which help it bondwith unwanted particles and toxins in the gut, thus making them easier to flushout. During periods when I am flying particularly often, he recommends I takechlorophyll, wild yam, motherwort and raspberry leaf for four to five weeks. They are known for their antispasmodic effects – in other words, theyrelax the large intestine, speed up the transit time of waste matterand help guard against intestinal colic.
For a final tip, Davidrecommends I regularly take Lactobacillus acidophilus, a commonprobiotic, or “friendly bacterium” that lives in the smallintestine, which helps to maintain the balance and health of the digestivesystem, plus ReHydrate – a special homeopathic remedy to be used on long haulsthat will keep me rehydrated, help prevent constipation and reduce waterretention.
He leaves me with an old phrase, used by James Joyce, as food for thought: “Wherever you be, let yourwind go free, for I did not and it was the death of me.”
When I leave, at firstI feel a little queasy, crampy and weak (similar to having had the runs) – butthis passes in moments and within 10 minutes I have a spring in my step, andam peering down at a gloriously flat stomach.
The Bottom Line (literally!)
The benefits of colonichydrotherapy polarise opinion. But for me, it has proved an effective way toreset my colon’s cellular memory after periodsof sluggish inactivity.
The frequent flying isnot going to stop any time soon, but thanks to regular colonics and enzymetherapy, the embarrassing gas and bloated tummy have eased. Forfrequent fliers such as myself, I recommend a session once a month – or three setsof three-weekly sessions every year.
David Taylor was thefirst man I have ever had perform a colonic. He was veryprofessional and knowledgable, he kept me informed throughout the treatment,explaining what he was doing and why, and he checked to make sure I was OK theentire time. I would definitely go back to see him.
Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, therapies and accommodation.