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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

147

Adventures in Booty Holes: The Story of the Botched Colonic

“Your colon probably contains macaroni and cheese from 1973” the pamphlet read. I was standing in front of Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, right after brunch, and justifiably I was thinking about my colon anyway. I knew that the chicken and waffles were in there, but 17-year-old macaroni and cheese?

The pamphlet was an advertisement for a place that claimed to specialize in colonic irrigation. It had never occurred to me to have a colonic, but I began casually asking friends about the procedure, and was astounded to find out just how many of my friends had tried it, and even more astonished to learn how much they had enjoyed it.

“It’s great!” My friend Mary was a huge fan. “You feel so clean afterwards that you’ll only want to eat broccoli for two weeks!”

An entirely broccoli-based diet was sure to have me wonderfully gaunt and skulking like a supermodel in no time. My friend Elizabeth agreed.

“I felt so light — I actually lost five pounds.”

“You lost five pounds after?”

“No, during.”

It grossed me out that her colon had contained five pounds of gunk, but her testimony was encouraging. Still, I hemmed and hawed over the matter for a number of months. Sometimes I would forget about my colon entirely, but then there it would be, looming in my brain like an overstuffed sausage. Usually this would happen after consuming foods containing white flour, which the brochure had told me formed a pink paste that adhered to the walls of your colon building upon itself until you died. The only thing worse than white flour was red meat, which, per the pamphlet, apparently never left your colon — not even after death. Then someone told me about a man who upon having his colon irrigated (Ed. — Stop reading), dislodged a fist-sized ball of worms. “Fist-sized.” He repeated, balling up his own fist for a visual aide and extra oomph. Who knew what could be up there? I made up my mind.

The spas where Mary and Elizabeth had gotten their colonics were very pricey, way out of my budget, so I called around until I found a place I could afford. The voice on the recording was new-agey, and mildly annoying. They offered an array of services apart from colonic irrigation, like ear candling, aromatherapy, acupressure, acupuncture, and something called full body crystal-induced mood therapy. I knew several people who could benefit from the crystal mood therapy, but I was thinking about that ball of worms. I left my name and number, saying I was interested in a colonic, and vowed to get a mood therapy gift certificate for my mother.

A man named Steve called me back right away. I hadn’t expected it to be a man. I was not about to put my colon and its contents on display for some dude named “Steve,” but he assured me that a qualified professional, Susannah, would administer my colonic. Steve explained that I had to adhere to a restricted diet for 24 hours prior to my cleansing, consisting of mostly green vegetables, and some corn two hours before my appointment.

“Corn?” I asked. “Why corn?”

“You can see it as it passes out. That lets us know you’re being cleansed.”

At this point I was seriously considering canning the whole idea — this was way too personal. Corn? But surely Steve and Susannah knew what they were doing. They did this all the time. It wasn’t disgusting to them — it was healthy, natural – beautiful, even. I bet they chatted over cups of coffee in the break room about stuff they had flushed out of people’s poop chutes. My appointment was for the next day at six o’clock.

There is no elevator at the colonic center, which is on the sixth floor of a dark and rickety building in the West 20s in New York. I climbed the stairs and found a basic computer-designed printout, the kind that has the perforated holes on each side, reading “[The Center's Name]– Please Wait” in pink writing with a rainbow underneath. Now I was seriously nervous. They hadn’t even bothered to go to Kinko’s to make their door sign. What kind of place was this? The yoga studio next door and natural healing books in the waiting room did little to curb my growing suspicion. The door opened, and a woman with a head full of tight, brassy curls appeared.

“Yes?”

“I’m Heather, I have an appointment at six.” I didn’t want to use my real name, but couldn’t think of a fake one, and I tried to be very quiet for fear that I may know someone in the yoga studio who would recognize my voice.

“Colonic?”

Could she tell just by looking at me? Was there something about me that was screaming COLONIC IRRIGATION? Perhaps I was distended from all the macaroni and cheese and hamburger casserole my mother fed me as a child.  She led me into a room and gave me a paper gown to put on. I was afraid to look around, afraid there would be awful stains on the floor. I put the gown on and waited only a moment before there was a knock at the door.

Susannah was a tall, earth-mother type in her forties. He hair was piled in a high turban thing, and she wore a kind of caftan and earrings that looked like she had bought them at a craft fair in New Hampshire. She seemed a bit officious.

“Have you been here before?”

“No.”

“Oh. Is this your first colonic?” I admitted that it was.

“Oh! Don’t worry about anything. Are you scared?” My fear was a palpable force in the room, the paper gown trembling, so there was no use denying it. “Don’t worry, I’ll explain everything.”

And she did. The gist of it, anyway. She was going to take a hose and put it up my butt. She didn’t put it that way, but that’s the general idea. Then she would shoot a stream of water into it. When I could feel the water entering my stomach — which I would be able to actually see as my stomach rose, I would tell her to stop, and she would turn this little switch to start the draining. The water, and all that debris inside my colon, would flow out of me, through the hose and into this clear tube that would measure it for something or other. This, according to Susannah, was the best part — the viewing of the former contents of my colon. My friends who had undergone this procedure told me they were amazed by it. They described large chunks of concrete floating through that tube. I wondered if it hurt as it was pried off. How forceful was this stream of water? Not very, she told me.

She got out the machine, which was basically a giant Water Pik. She told me to lie on my back with my legs bent and knees in the air. I had to concentrate on not clenching as her gloved fingers spread apart my butt cheeks. The hose was cold as she inserted it. Lying on my back gave me a good view of the room — which, while not filthy, was not entirely clean either. A few posters showing cross sections of the human body, with a focus on the digestive system, were hanging askew on the walls. There was one dirty window near the ceiling. Susannah turned on the hose.

The sensation was peculiar, to say the least, sort of the opposite of throwing up — of something coming in when it should be going out. I took a deep breath and tried to relax. Susannah coughed and looked bored. After a minute or so, I thought I could feel water entering my stomach and told her to turn the hose off. “Already?” she asked, suggesting I had jumped the gun, but she started draining anyway. She hadn’t told me that while I was draining she would be massaging my abdomen, so that part was an unpleasant surprise. I don’t know if having my stomach squeezed and kneaded would feel good if my stomach wasn’t filled with water overflowing from my colon, but I know that it doesn’t feel good when it is. I didn’t want to hurt Susannah’s feelings, though, so I didn’t tell her to stop. I was just wishing the whole experience would be over.

“How long does this take?” I asked.

“About 15 minutes — sometimes longer, depending on how clogged you are.”

I was staring at the tube, trying to ascertain just how clogged I might be, and judging from the fact that there was nothing in that tube but water, I was either squeaky clean, or so clogged that a fire hose would have to be brought in. She turned the hose on again.

I tried to let the water run a little bit longer this time, thinking of those worms, imagining them clinging to the walls of my colon for dear life, unable to fight the force of the hose. I could visibly see my stomach begin to rise. When Susannah turned the hose off, she started in with the wrenching of my intestines. She coughed, longer this time, covering her mouth with her hand, then put that same hand on my bare stomach. I wanted desperately to tell her to stop, that the massaging was uncomfortable, but what if the massage was an essential part of the therapy? I didn’t want this nightmare to be in vain. I tried to think of something happy, to go to my happy place. Again, the water ran disappointingly clear.

I remembered that Elizabeth had told me her colonic was administered in a very pristine, medicinal looking room, by a nurse in a white coat — not by a woman in a caftan with a thick, wet cough.

The tears came to my eyes as Susannah turned the hose on once more. “What’s keeping the water that comes out from going back in?” I asked. Susannah didn’t understand the physics of my question and offered nothing in the way of assurances of the device’s sterility. When she turned the hose off and reached for my stomach I nearly screamed.

“No! Please! That’s going to make me throw up.”

She looked at me like I was a maniac.  She also looked hurt. But she stopped the massage. It was about this time that my attention was diverted by something in the other room. I don’t know how long it had been going on, I was so preoccupied with my discomfort. But now I heard it. Someone was having a fight.

“Don’t lie to me Steven!”

“I’m not lying — and what if I did? I don’t get paid anything anyway!”

“You listen to me–”

“No, you're a bitch, you hear me? A fucking bitch!”

Someone slammed a door. I looked in horror to Susannah, who rolled her eyes, embarrassed.

“I’m so sorry you had to hear that,” she said.

“What's going on?” I whispered so as not to arouse Steve’s attention.

“Ugh,” she started. “You know that woman who was in there – Christine?”

“The one with the blonde hair?”

“Yeah. Well she runs this place. We just work for her. She makes all the money. You pay eighty dollars for this colonic. But I only get $11.50. Eleven dollars and fifty cents — to stick tubes up people’s booty holes!” Right there was the tipping point. Keenly aware that I had a tube up my own booty hole, disturbed by the fact she had called it a booty hole, devastatingly, overwhelmingly vulnerable, in a paper gown no less, I told her I wanted out. Now.

“You gotta drain.”

The draining took forever, and still nothing came out. I dressed quickly and tried to sneak out unnoticed, but the office door was open. Steve and Christine were talking more quietly now that I was standing in front of them.

“How was it?” Steve asked eagerly. Why he thought I would want to discuss my colonic with him is a mystery. I said nothing and left Susannah huffing in the doorway having stiffed her out of a tip. Contrary to Mary’s broccoli theory, I ran to the nearest deli and purchased a king-sized Snickers bar. I don’t even like Snickers bars, but maybe it was something about the size and shape of it, and wanting to put back in what had been taken out. A recent study from Georgetown University has proven that colonics do not offer any medical or health benefits at all, and can, in fact, lead to rectal perforations, dysentery, and “air embolism,” which sounds awful. The study, however, neglected to document the other side effects of a colonic: embarrassment, feelings of violation, trauma, and extreme creeps.

Steve called the next day to see why I had run out of the “center” so quickly. Wasn’t I happy with my colonic? I didn’t want to get into it, and hearing his voice made me want a shower. The kind of shower they gave Meryl Streep in Silkwood. Steve felt awful and offered me a free ear candling. I told him I would think about it, hung up, and turned on the water.

Heather Whaley is the author of Eat Your Feelings: Recipes for Self-Loathing and the blog EatYourFeelings.com. She is currently working on her second book and lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Photo via The Magic Schoolbus



147 Comments / Post A Comment

LeafySeaDragon

i watched a penn&teller thing on colonics. i don't remember all of it, but i remember that they concluded that everything you're being cleansed of you would poop out naturally. it's a system.

i had an enema at the hosp after i had my first son (i flat out refused and had to sign a paper when i was back with my second, lesson learned!) they wouldn't let me leave without it. HUMILIATING. one of my top 10 worst feelings ever.

nonvolleyball

@LeafySeaDragon I had a ruptured appendix, & the night before my second surgery I had to have three enemas. THREE. ENEMAS. IN A ROW. one of which was administered by a guy (but fortunately, as he pointed out, he'd already seen me naked & covered in vomit earlier in my stay--so we'd already crossed a lot of boundaries together).

still later, I had to have a "CT scan with rectal contrast" which is medical code for "we put CT fluid up your butt." I asked everyone "um...isn't this going to do...you know...what an enema does?" & NO ONE could tell me! turns out they "retrieve" most of the fluid after the scan is over but, well, you can probably imagine--that stuff is heavier than water after all.

tibia

@LeafySeaDragon I had to give MYSELF two enemas in a row before getting a flex sigmoidoscopy (kind of like a colonoscopy-lite). Nothing like kneeling naked on your bathroom floor at 6:30 AM, starving because dinner last night was chicken broth (clear liquids only!!), trying to figure out exactly how to squeeze a tube of water up your butt. And then the next part.

Porn Peddler

Aw another negative colonic story? (not that I have any expectations of it being inherently awesome) So many commenters had good things to say. CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME LOVE FOR THE BOOTY MEGADOUCHE?
(by the way I have absolutely no investment in colonics, I am just morbidly curious. Also have a nice day. The waterfalls really sell it.)

hairspin

(Ed. — Stop reading)
Funny

Moon of My Life

@hairspin I WISH I HAD LISTENED!

atipofthehat

ALBERT:
I've performed the autopsy on Jacques Renault. Stomach contents revealed, let's see, beer cans, a Maryland license plate, half a bicycle tire, a goat, and a small wooden puppet. Goes by the name of Pinocchio.

AGENT COOPER:
You're making a joke!

CleverPseudonym

@atipofthehat Excellent.

melis

@atipofthehat Semi-related: I started watching Twin Peaks for the first time in my life two nights ago, and it is very exciting for me.

atipofthehat

@melis

That's great! Let's do a road trip to One-Eyed Jack's!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pete:
You like musicals?

Tojamura:
No.

Pete:
Not even Fiddler on the Roof? It made me weep like a little baby.

Tojamura:
I find adherence to fantasy troubling and unreasonable.

Pete:
You’re not from around here are you?

redonion

@atipofthehat I am so glad this discussion turned to Twin Peaks - it almost made me forget the worms and the concrete chunks and the hose and the everything else!

Gnatalby

@redonion And you know it's bad when Twin Peaks is a diversion from disturbing things.

thatsrealbutter

@atipofthehat Well how a bout a nice cold milk?

emilylou

@melis Yessss. Now we can add Twin Peaks to the quotes canon, it's not just AD and WHAS anymore!

punkahontas

@melis I watched all of Twin Peaks last spring. I can't believe it took me so long to get caught up on whatever everyone else has known forever!(The owls are not what they seem.)

atipofthehat

@punkahontas

Without chemicals, he points.

applestoapples

"Susannah was a tall, earth-mother type in her forties. He hair was piled in a high turban thing, and she wore a kind of caftan and earrings that looked like she had bought them at a craft fair in New Hampshire."
So you DID, in fact, get a colonic from Ms. Frizzle, as the photo suggests? Did she have matching appliques of corn bits on her magic dress?

Funny article. I wonder what became of Steve.

MuchasGracias

THIS TITLE, THOUGH.

also, i'm probably just really immature, but i had some gooood laughs whilst eating my chicken noodle soup here (bad time to read an article like this, i know...) major props, honeys!

raised amongst catalogs

@MuchasGracias I noticed that I kept giggling and smiling throughout. This could be because I've got a kindergartener's sense of humor or because I was very uncomfortable.

lil_bobbytables

Well, I strongly suspect that this is the most terrifying read for the Halloween season. Back to the storage shed with you, other stories! Botched Colonic is hard to top.

Gnatalby

The corn thing always made this seem sooooo unscientific to me. I mean, obviously, science is not particularly involved but "We'll know we're done when we see chunks of corn!" is such twelve year old boy logic.

riotnrrd

"such twelve year old boy logic."

I didn't think it could be done, but you've underestimated the mental powers of young boys. When I was eight, I became curious about how long it took food to become poop. Having noticed that corn makes the trip unscathed, I used a corn-on-the-cob binge at a barbeque to time my poop latency. (A day and a half, if you're keeping score at home.) Science!

Gnatalby

@riotnrrd You are 100% amazing.

Megasus

Medi-spas are the scariest places on earth. Scarier than haunted houses.

cherrispryte

1) Is Miss Frizzle actually River Song? Discuss.

2) WHAT DID I SAY YESTERDAY ABOUT THE WORD BOOTY?!

kayjay

@cherrispryte 1)Yes. Yes!! Uncanny!

melis

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO NOT FUND AND SUPPORT SCIENCE PROGRAMS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS YOU GUYS.

melis

Related: DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOXINS OR CLEANSING OR WATER WEIGHT. DO YOU KNOW WHAT GETS RID OF TOXINS? YOUR BODY'S NATURAL TOXIN-CLEANSING SYSTEM. IT IS CALLED YOUR LIVER AND ALSO YOUR KIDNEYS. JESUS. CHRIST.

cherrispryte

@melis Related: This is why I find eating the kidneys and livers of other animals to be a highly suspect (albeit delicious) practice.

melis

@cherrispryte But how else do you absorb the strength and sure-footedness of a deer into your own body?

Ophelia

@melis I think you're supposed to eat the heart.

cherrispryte

@melis No no no - you want it's sure-footedness, you eat it's feet. You want it's strength, you eat it's muscles. You want it's boozy nights out and penchant for HFCS, then you eat that deer's liver.

SuperGogo

@melis The Girl Scouts need to offer an Understanding That Enemas and Douches Are Superfluous and Possibly Harmful badge.

The Lady of Shalott

@SuperGogo God, I hope that "fancy douching" does not become a popular spa treatment. "Although your vadge will self-clean, why not give yourself a hand? Be squeaky clean with Fancy Pants Medispa's 'Sparkly Lady' Lady-Washing Treatment! We will take you into a dim room with flowery scents in the air and candles burning, and hoist you into a position much like at the gynecologist's office, but much more comfortable. Then we will take a tube with no particular promise of cleanliness and shove it up into your lady region, then send lots of flower-scented water into it. Then it will all rinse out and we will repeat it, maybe by sending the same water in there, maybe not! Then you will leave, feeling sort of weird about the whole situation, but satisfied in the knowledge that you will no longer be relying on your body's natural processes to keep clean."

D.@twitter

@melis You don't eat the brain? I mean, sure, you might get Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease...but it'll all be worth it, right??

heyladies

There may be nothing so quietly panic-inducing as a dirty medical office. Once when I was a teen, my mother took me to a place that seemed to be in the basement of the building where I was administered shots for a poison oak-type breakout, told not to even raise my head b/c of the heart-racing it would cause and somehow complemented on my breasts in the same visit (the doctor was a female). I was mortified, and will never forget how used/unclean the place looked.

Alixana

@heyladies AGREED. I went to the sketchy but closest-to-my-house ER when I broke my tailbone this spring, and will never ever forget the dried bloodstains on the floor, the bloody cotton wad in the corner, or the gas-station-quality bathroom. Chills.

punkahontas

@Alixana When I was hospitalized for appendicitis, I had a private room but a shared bathroom. The man I shared a bathroom with had some sort of problem that made him shit and bleed all over "our bathroom."

So I'm standing there, recently out of surgery, kind of out of it and swaying as I'm holding onto my IV stand, staring in awe at the disgustingness of this bathroom, and the nurse is next to me saying "YOU HAVE TO PEE BEFORE WE CAN GIVE YOU MORE PAINKILLERS" and all I can get out is "NO! It's dirty." She didn't even notice. BLOOD AND SHIT. Everywhere.

I have never felt dirtier than during my hospital stay at St. Vincent's.

nonvolleyball

@punkahontas aaah! did yours rupture or did they get it out in time? (mine ruptured & I basically moved into the hospital for a month & a half. good times.)

punkahontas

@nonvolleyball They got it out in time, and to be honest, the surgeon did a kickass job. I barely have a scar! But, they wouldn't let me leave until I could keep my food down. Which is probably a good rule, but because painkillers make me barf (Awesome with abdominal stitches!!!) I was in the hospital for several days, barfing up everything they fed me, until I finally managed to keep down three macaronies.

nonvolleyball

@punkahontas whew! good for you. I, as well, have nothing but love for my surgeon & the entire medical team that basically kept me from dying.

but mainly I'm replying to say I literally LOL'd at the "three macaronies" part. when I was finally allowed to eat food again post-surgery--it had been like a week & a half--the choices offered to me were "patty melt, macaroni & cheese, or cottage cheese plate with fruit" which blew my mind: WHY would you give someone with a delicate, imperfectly functioning digestive system greasy &/or cheesy foods?! so I am amused to learn that apparently this is standard practice post-appendectomy. :)

Sister Administrator

@heyladies Oh goodness yes. I will never forget my "Immigration Medical" in a shady unheated, grimy, dimly lit, damp office. I quietly raged and sobbed to my then-husband as the gloveless "doctor" took my blood and did whatever else. I'll seriously never forget that panicked feeling.

On the bright side, I found out I don't have syphilis.

Chesty LaRue

@punkahontas Those three macaronis are probably still in there.

FoxyRoxy

Well, now I have a new nightmare so, that's great.

madge

oh god, your poor butt. kisses

fondue with cheddar

@madge Did you just kiss Heather's butt?

madge

@jen325 yes and i'd do it again!

Tulletilsynet

Heather didn't ask an MD for advice on colonics because she didn't want us to miss this nice and funny and also creepy article, and I appreciate that kind of commitment.

parallel-lines

...you didn't tip the woman? I mean, nothing?! Really?!

kayjay

Aaaaaand so another comes off the bucket list. THANK YOU. I wasn't as excited about this one as, say, swimming with dolphins or holding premies, so thanks.

parallel-lines

@kayjay Don't swim with dolphins--they will try to have sex with you and that is worse than a hundred semi-sanitary colonics. Google it... I can't say any more, still too traumatized from stories.

Ophelia

@parallel-lines ...please say more? "The Best Time I Was Sexually Assaulted By A Dolphin"

Ellie

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/23/malcolm-brenner-dolphin_n_974764.html

Bittersweet

@parallel-lines: LALALALALALALA NOT LISTENING as I'm headed to Key Largo to swim with dolphins next February, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

wharrgarbl

@Bittersweet Dolphins generally do not try to have sex with people, you'll be fine.

kayjay

@Ellie Whoa. I just spent my lunch break sitting in my car, reading a chapter of his book. I don't really know how to return to work after that.

parallel-lines

@Ophelia youtube it and cry!

43
43

@kayjay Holding premies? Like premature babies?

kayjay

@k_l_c Yeah, but it was kind of a joke. My actual bucket list doesn't include swimming with dolphins or holding babies. But getting a colonic was on there, along with trying my hand at stand-up and getting a gig hosting karaoke (which I did! I can cross that one off!).

punkahontas

@kayjay I heard swimming with sea otters is way better than swimming with dolphins. I swam with a sea turtle one time but not on purpose (but THAT is why it was awesome!)

43
43

@kayjay Aw, I was going to force you to come to work with me and hold all the screaming preemies at 4AM! Because you want to, of course. Not because it would help prevent me from throwing myself out the window. And hosting karaoke sounds SO MUCH more fun than being a normal participant.

Craftastrophies

@punkahontas One time, I was at the beach and I saw a fin out the corner of my eye. This was right after a bunch of shark sightings near said beach. It wasn't there when I turned around, so I thought maybe I was being paranoid. I'm squinting in the direction I saw it in when suddenly SPLOOSH! DOLPHIN! IN MY FACE!

We were both equally freaked out and both squealed at roughly the same pitch. The dolphin swam away faster, though.

Vera Knoop

@Ellie I love that the related item was "moose in a pool."

Meetzorp@twitter

@Vera Knoop In a weird moment of synchronicity, I was thinking about that moose-in-a-pool story this evening on my way home from work.

FloraPosteHaste

Oh, wow-wow-wow, pretty much everything they did and told you was wrong, what a nightmare! I echo madge in saying "oh god, your poor butt." And intestines. And psyche. *hug*

Edith Zimmerman

I really hope everyone knows where that still came from.

archetype

@Edith Zimmerman I showed that video to my students a few years ago and about halfway through, got really nervous when I saw where the plot was heading and saw no other way for the bus to exit the digestive system than being absorbed into something in the lower intestine. Turns out, they turn around and go back out through the mouth. I don't think my kids were paying enough attention to have noticed a genitalia/toilet scene, anyway.

Coal Tar Epoxy

Oh god, now all I can think of is worms and centipedes.

steve

@The Angels Have the Phonebox
It's more likely than you think.

saul "the bear" berenson

@The Angels Have the Phonebox - - Human Centipedes? Colonics: ur doin it wrong.

wharrgarbl

@The Angels Have the Phonebox Now all I can think of is how this would make for the worst prank ever. Or, alternately, the colonic clinic with the most repeat customers ever. "Colonics are great! My spa took care of an awful case of centipedes I didn't even know I had!" But the line item on the monthly budget for fake centipedes would be enormous.

Craftastrophies

@wharrgarbl Moral of the story: Butts are like jacuzzi jets?

Vera Knoop

@steve Steve? Is that you? Don't lie to me, Steven!

mynamebackwards

there is a cashier at the grocery store who always flirts with my adorably clueless dad and one day he came home and told my mom that she had offered him a discount on a colonic (butt-irrigation being her other job, I guess?) and given him her card. needless to say, he was HORRIFIED when my mom actually explained what a colonic was.

fondue with cheddar

SanDeE*: So, what do you think?
Harris: I think it was a total washout.
SanDeE*: God, it really clears out your head.
Harris: Head? Head? You should go back in there and tell them they're doing it wrong. Well, it was a great lunch and enema, thanks.

SuperGogo

@jen325 Props for all of this, but especially for spelling SanDeE*'s name correctly.

insouciantlover

@jen325 Excellent! LA Story was how I first learned of colonics. Possibly boob jobs, as well.

Also, my parents named their cat RainEe. Nobody gets it.

fondue with cheddar

@SuperGogo Big S, small a, small n, big D, small e, big E, and there's a star at the end.

I actually copied/pasted it, but I actually do know how to spell her name because I've seen that movie more times than I can count. It's one of my favorites. :)

fondue with cheddar

@insouciantlover That's how I first heard of colonics, too! I appreciate and wholeheartedly approve of your parents' cat's name.

lovelettersinhell

I cringed for the entire duration of this article.

MoonBat

@lovelettersinhell Reading this article was the perfect way to induce involuntary isometric gluteal clenching exercises. I may never again be un-clenched, actually.

VodouDoll

@lovelettersinhell OMG me too.

krista

I've heard of colonics but never the detail of water making your stomach visibly rise and I may pass out.

thenewbrunette

@krista I know! Everything I know about hygiene bascially boils down to "no poop water in stomach, thank you!"

laurel

Wait, why would you let a hippie flood feces and intestinal flora back into your stomach?

melis

@laurel Because when nobody will teach our children sciiiience they will listen to annnyyybody and it is terrible, just terrible.

laurel

@melis: I interviewed a recent HS graduate the other day and when she told me she liked subjects that made her practice critical thinking skills I got goose bumps and almost cried.

Cawendaw

@laurel Oh God! Can you clone her and send copies to every school I or my friends have, are, or will teach at? Maybe 20-30 per school?

fabel

@laurel Oh goddd I wasn't queasy reading this at all until I got to your "intestinal flora" comment. Ohgodohgod.

laurel

@Cawendaw: The other kid I interviewed that day was failing everything in school until they got to algebra and then his brain turned on and by the time he was a senior he was testing way up into college level math. He's now a tutor at his old high and middle school and got a full ride to college. He wants to go back and teach math at his ultra-shitty high school.

In my town only about 53% of seniors graduate, so these kids, most of whose parents didn't graduate, are amazing. They're part of AVID, a college prep program in middle and high school. In the last three years, 100% of the AVID kids have graduated and all but two are enrolled in college. It's a thing that works, how refreshing.

Bittersweet

@laurel: My teacher husband wonders if you can kidnap that girl and clone her 1,600 times so he can repopulate his high school. Thx.

throwaway style

Roscoe's sounds delicious. (Yes, that is my takeaway.)

emilylou

@throwaway style I was about to say the same thing. The main thought I came away with after reading was "damn, I wish I were in LA right now so I could have some Roscoes chickcn & waffles for breakfast."

I mean, the rest was great too! But I'm definitely more inspired to treat myself to some fried chicken than a colonic.

Kivrin

I just had a colonoscopy two weeks ago. I'm still pretty horrified by the fact that I've had a camera up my ass. The propofol was nice, though.

oh, disaster

And now I will think about all the different dresses Ms. Frizzle wore over the years as a distraction from that editor's note.

Christiana

I've been getting colonics regularly for a year and a half now so I feel compelled to offer my experience and knowledge on this topic to perhaps shine a light on the positive benefits of colonics.

If you opt to go to a facility that looks and operates less than stellar, chances are that your treatment will go similarly. There were SO many errors that Susannah made. A 15 minute colonic? That's just the beginning portion of how long a proper colonic should take (45 minutes). It sounds like Susannah wasn't properly trained and if you were to go to a better clinic for $20-$30(?) more, you probably would have had a much different (and beneficial) experience. You probably had more crap to release but wasn't given enough time. Albeit, colonics aren't a completely enjoyable experience, in my opinion (it's more of a chore to me), but the massage should not hurt. I can't deny how amazing I feel after each one I've received. Since getting regular colonics, my menstrual cycle has regulated on its own, my skin has improved tenfold, and my IBS has been greatly reduced. Not to mention that I feel undeniably energized after each colonic (perhaps from the release of toxins).

Also, the colon hydrotherapist should always put a good amount of probiotics into your last fill of water and allow that fill to "marinate" so your digestive system (and immune system) is supplied with the good bacteria that we all need.

It's also important to know that colonics have been around for centuries. Colonics and the machines used to perform them have changed and improved so much throughout time that if someone were to get a colonic today at a trusted clinic, it should be more efficient than ever. Sure the actual process may not be pleasant (it's different for everyone), the benefits far outweigh anything else.

As for the theory that whatever we eat will just be eliminated out through our digestive system without help it just plain bull. The conventional food that is widely consumed today is not meant for our body to process, hence the widespread IBS and other digestive issues. Our bodies need help today more than ever.

EVERYONE'S BUTTHOLE DESERVES TO BE HAPPY!

fondue with cheddar

@melis I know of better ways to make one's butthole happy.

KeLynn

@Christiana I wonder if your IBS improved because of the probiotics, not the actual colonic. Have you ever tried just taking probiotics orally, like Align or something?

queenofbithynia

@KeLynn pfft, next thing you know you'll be suggesting we ought to drink coffee and vodka by mouth too.

melis

@jen325 I'm just going to leave this here.

thebestjasmine

@Christiana Hahaha, I love that you say "As for the theory that whatever we eat will just be eliminated out through our digestive system without help it just plain bull." It's a theory! That our digestive system works because it's a digestive system and that's exactly what it does and what every actual scientist says that it does. What is with this anti-science thing? How anti-science do you have to be to pay people a lot of money REGULARLY for YEARS to flush water into your ass when it is totally unnecessary? With imaginary benefits!

You should probably just drink water instead, it also can give you great skin, regulate your menstrual cycle, and improve IBS, among lots of different things.

wallsdonotfall

@thebestjasmine Unless you swallow lots of marbles and hair and it forms a bezoar which won't come out, in which case you still don't need a colonic. You need a witch.

thebestjasmine

@wallsdonotfall But then you have a bezoar, so you'll be protected against any poison!

melis

"I'm afraid we simply can't know what the digestive system does, Mr. Homunculus. Science just isn't there yet. It may be God's little attempt at internal decorating. It may be a tiny, convoluted highway for the evil sprites that reside within your thoracic cavity. Then again, it could simply be imaginary. There's no way of finding out just what it does, unfortunately. In the meantime, why don't you try shooting water up it? It's as good a suggestion as any, really."

KeLynn

@queenofbithynia oh no, vodka should only be taken vaginally by way of vodka-soaked tampons.

fondue with cheddar

@melis Food goes in, poop goes out. You can't explain that.

fondue with cheddar

@melis <3 Louis CK so much. Thank you for that.

jbird

@Christiana you called the poo hose lady a colon hydrotherapist...i spit out a little undigestible food dribble on my shirt after reading that.

sparrow303

@wallsdonotfall This caught me off-guard, and I laughed til I cried.

PerinealFavorite

@wallsdonotfall A Beazoar?! Them things is lucky! Ward off diseases and evil spirits and all that. The colonic lady would probably want to hang onto hers.

Vera Knoop

@Christiana Lots of things have been around for centuries. Doesn't mean that any of them is necessarily a good idea. The ancient Greeks used to purge patients with hellebore. And to be fair, some people even didn't die of it. Now and then. P.S. Also leeches.

DrFeelGood

@melis Did you know, I once had a colonic and they discovered a Ford Pinto, Elvis Priestly, the Lindbergh baby, all in my colon! Man, how did that shit get up there?

Hypnosifl

@melis Hahaha melis and wallsdonotfall win this thread. I am suddenly reminded of The Limits of Science

karion

At this point I was seriously considering canning the whole idea.

If it is all right with you, I am going to choose that the author included this line just to make me giggle.

laurel

@karion: It came right after the corn reference! Two jokes!

a horde of great crab things

I once read that if you have taken a significant amount of Ecstasy, rather than being excreted the active ingredient sits in your colon with all the worms and the macaroni cheese. If you have a colonic it will whoosh all the MDMA back into your bloodstream and you will be trippin' balls for days afterwards. Even though this is a quite patently nonsensical proposition, I still occasionally think about trying it, in the hopes of revisiting the halcyon days of my youth.

PerinealFavorite

@a horde of great crab things This reminds me of how serious bean queens used to stick their pills up their butts because you absorb more MDMA through your rectal mucus membranes than through your stomach. I never tried it (because I heard it hurt) but boy did I see a lot of people looking super effed who did try it!

a horde of great crab things

@PerinealFavorite Bean Queens! very good. But let us never combine the wrods 'rectal' and 'mucus' ever again.

AmandaBunny

@PerinealFavorite
I just heard about this the other day! Apparently it's called plugging?

nonvolleyball

@PerinealFavorite they do this in the hospital too, with Tylenol, if you're not allowed to take pills by mouth. the first nurse who dosed me in such a fashion said afterwards, "now we're best friends!" (said process was also, later, an instrumental object lesson for my mother re: Why You Always Knock First.)

a horde of great crab things

@AmandaBunny I thought plugging was when you make a man's butthole happy with a facsimile penis?

(Yeah, I could google it... I'm not going to google it).

wharrgarbl

@a horde of great crab things That's 'pegging'.

PerinealFavorite

@AmandaBunny I've recently heard it called a booty bump. I can't remember what we called it when I was a 16 year old raver, but I'm sure it was something clever and sparkly.

TreatYoSelf

I'm just here for Ms. Frizzle and her fabulous themed outfits! Hm, what would her colonic outfit look like?

Craftastrophies

@momentisaflower http://thingsmissfrizzlewouldwear.tumblr.com/

D.@twitter

Oof. If you want to "go" just do a salt cleanse (but NOT with iodized salt!!). That's what I would do whenever I was dieting (read: not eating enough to stimulate regular bowel movements).

melis

Again: DUDE.

gfrancie

@D.@twitter Or you could eat healthy well-rounded diet and drink enough water. Disordered eating isn't good for your digestive system.

melis

@gfrancie Yeah, I'm going to come out solidly against developing an eating disorder so severe you're forced to ingest large quantities of motherfucking rock salt in order to savage your intestines into passing something, because Jeeeeeesus God on what planet is that anything less than a nightmarish stop on a hellish road to WHAT THE FUCK-TOWN.

Heh. "solidly."

melis

Not to dogpile on this one, but I cannot think of a worse fucking thing to do to your own body than purposely irritate your gastrointestinal system to such an extent that you remove all the helpful bacteria that provides the body's first line of defense in the Immune System Games.

gfrancie

@melis More than anything it is just incredibly worrying that someone has done this to their body and obviously has a number of issues.

D.@twitter

@D.@twitter Okay. Yes, I did have some eating issues which are now (mostly!) resolved. That is, h/e, entirely separate from the subject at hand, and the two should not be conflated; the occasional salt cleanse is neither BAD, nor symptomatic of a deeper underlying disorder. Furthermore, it's not about irritating the bowel, it's about ingesting a substance that has the same gravity as blood, and so passes through the system easily and is not absorbed. It's not something to be done every day, certainly, or even every week, but it's less invasive, cheaper, yet just as efficacious as a colonic.
I mentioned my own use of it as anecdotal proof of its effectiveness...which I now realize was a mistake.

melis

Fair enough. I'm glad to hear that you're doing better these days!

carolita

I paid for a series of colon irrigations my Lacanian psychoanalyst/topologist, cheating bastard boyfriend thought he needed in Paris when he heard that it was good for IBS. I pretty much already hated him by then, but it gave me great joy to hear that his doctor had confirmed that he was, in fact, full of shit. I repeated that joke many many times to him until he paid me back for the whole treatment. Then I dumped him. Money well-invested!
:)

melis

Once again, and hopefully for the last time this thread/week: DUDE.

DrFeelGood

@carolita heh. but he wasn't LITERALLY full of shit.

DrFeelGood

OK pro-tip:
It's called fiber. EAT IT. Bam! I just saved you $80 fucking bucks.

AmyB

Everyone would get colonics if they could include some kind of non-harmful glitter in the process.

kimkrypto

It kind of freaks me out that no one here admits to having given themselves (or someone else) an enema before anal sex. I mean, come on! It's pretty common. And it doesn't hurt if you're doing it right.

Also, the water doesn't go into your stomach. It just doesn't. There are like tens of feet of intestine in the way. Sure, your abdomen might rise, but you are not shooting fecal matter into your stomach. Science! It helps make things less scary!

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