GUIDE TO COLONICS, ENEMAS, AND DETOX TRAVEL (December 7, 2009)
Q: Angela writes, referring to Natalia’s blog of 10/5/09, “I just read your travel blog: ‘Rule #1: Have your key ingredients with you; don’t leave them to chance. My ‘traveling kitchen’ filled with frozen fresh-pressed juices, organic carrots, raw goat cheese, lemons, organic baby greens, stevia, and of course dark chocolate were all in tow. These went into a suitcase in the, uh, ‘bowel’ (aka cargo hold) of the plane.’
“My questions is, “How do you pack the frozen items and cold items to keep them fresh on a long flight? Also, when traveling overseas do you have issues with customs bringing in food checked in your suitcase?”
The wonderful thing about the altitude of the plane is that it keeps the cargo at pretty freezing temperatures! So frozen juices stay frozen in the belly of the plane. The best way to pack the frozen goods is to insulate the frozen juices with frozen blocks of raw goat cheese and bars of dark chocolate, as well as regular freezer packs. (Freeze the juices in flexible bottles – sorry but plastic works best here – leaving a little room at the top of the container for the expansion that occurs when freezing liquids.) Alta Dena raw cheddar-style goat cheese freezes very well, and also lasts in refrigeration for several weeks. It is a 60 day aged cheese, so it won’t mold or go bad for a long time (it will be fine to freeze and defrost and then eat even two weeks into your vacation provided it is kept cold). Place all items in a cooler bag with as many frozen juices as you desire for your your trip, and surround them with frozen cheese, chocolate, and freezer packs. Then place that into your suitcase, either as a stand alone “traveling kitchen/refrigerator), or right in there with your clothes if it all fits. I do both depending on the length of the trip and how much I need to take with me.
Many international airlines caution that fruit and vegetables cannot make the flight. Check the laws with a quick phone call before you pack your carrots, lemons, and greens when traveling internationally, but we’ve never had any trouble with juice or cheese leaving the US, only bringing it back into the states from 3rd world countries and islands. And, depending on the country, you can usually come up with some fresh greens and other veggies upon arrival. I also always do a mini- recon mission before I go. Ask your host or traveling companion about grocery availability, or use the concierge at your hotel as a resource. I love to look up local menus and plan fun evenings out with menus that I’ve already navigated beforehand. Almost any restaurant can come up with an extra large side salad, followed by steamed veggies and marinara sauce, steamed fish, or an omelet. Most importantly, it’s okay to eat outside the box a bit when you’re having a cultural experience. Don’t ever let social pressure sway your decisions, but if you’re dying to try the local seafood dish and can’t be sure of all the ingredients, just start with a large water-rich alkaline salad and enjoy! When you get home you’ll go right back to your clean eating, and no harm done.
Katie writes, “I have just made my first appointment for a colonic, and I’m feeling nervous. What should I expect? And how does a colonic compare with using an at-home enema bag?”
I’m so glad you asked this question! I suspect most people feel nervous prior to their first colonic. I will describe my experience at my favorite gravity Woods method colon hydrotherapy center.
The reason most people are nervous is because they don’t really know what to expect – what’s actually going to happen. They suspect some clothing will be removed but don’t know how much and how they’ll be covered up…they don’t know what position they’ll be in or how long it’s going to take or if the therapist will remain with them or how their body will respond and so on and so on. They have their own idea of what it will be like but that may be far off the mark of what actually takes place based on how much they know. I cannot tell you how many people haven’t the faintest clue about the procedure but know they want to do it. The key is to know exactly what to expect which we will cover (or uncover) below:
Your due diligence: Finding the right Colon therapist for you:
I always tell nervous clients to get a feel for their hydro-therapist over the phone before they make the appointment. If someone is rushing you over the phone, or being brusque, imagine how they are going to make you feel when you’re, shall we say, a bit more vulnerable. Look out for an inviting “bedside manner.”
Most places will give you the following protocol; No eating 3 hours before, no drinking 1 hour before. I would add that in most cases I would get at least a week of morning juicing, raw salads before cooked meals, and proper food combining under your belt to get the most out of a colonic. If someone has a specific issue (such as extreme migraines) I would take a different approach.
Preparing for your colonic:
Upon arrival most establishments should ask you some basic questions, and will usually have you sign a waiver. You are then ushered in to the colonic room and left to undress from the waist down. Also, make sure to empty the bowels and the bladder in the bathroom before you lie down. Ideally, a natural bowel movement should always happen before a colonic. And a full bladder makes for an uncomfortable process.
I always start by lying down on the table curled on my left side, bare from the waste down. My hydrotherapist has provided a lap blanket for coverage. Above me is a large water tank, and below the table I can see the “release” tube where the waste empties.
My therapist keeps me on my left side and gently inserts a lubricated speculum into my rectum. No pain or stretching here. She then attaches a small tube from the water tank, as well as the larger waste tube to the speculum. She unclips the closure on the water tube and the water begins to flow.
The water enters the body as my hydrotherapist pinches closed its exit through the larger tube. If the water cannot keep flowing out, it will gently lap up into the speculum instead. She does gentle pulses, and some longer holds throughout the process. When she releases her hold, large amounts of hydrated waste begin to exit the body. Gas bubbles and hard clay-like chunks are normal and common.
We start on my left side to release the older and more dehydrated waste from my sigmoid and descending colon (which runs down the left side of the abdomen). After about 15 minutes she gently turns me onto my back to start releasing waste in my transverse colon (running across the upper abdomen below the diaphragm). During this process I sometimes feel the minor cramping of passing a large amount of waste, just like when having a giant movement of my own. There is never more discomfort than this.
We chat about relationships, friends, work, etc. Sometimes an intense movement keeps me from answering her questions, but she understands. She gently massages my belly to keep waste moving and encourage natural intestinal peristalsis.
After about 40 minutes (although colonics are never strictly linear) my ascending colon and cecum release. This is characterized by a more emotional release than before (like a very large bowel movement), the heat of the waste leaving (I feel it heat up the speculum as it comes from such a deep place in the body), and a feeling of euphoria (this is why I show up, folks).
She then massages remaining water out of my colon, turns me back onto my left side, and removes the speculum. I sit on the toilet with my feet elevated to get rid of any remaining water and hydrated waste (without pushing!) while she cleans the speculum and leaves me to dress.
It’s a good idea to have a green juice or your favorite vegetable juice after a colonic. Water and juice should be the first things you consume post-colonic. Give those cleansed bowels a nice hydrating rinse, and then alkalinize newly exposed waste. Wait several hours before a solid meal, and then enjoy your favorite well combined meal – starting with raw foods prior to the cooked foods (particularly in this instance).
During my initial colonic treatments, newly awakened and mobilized waste would sometimes also awaken strange cravings. I am never surprised to hear from clients who are craving the junkiest of junk foods post-colonic. This is normal and will pass.
Also, during my transitional time I was not having normal bowel movements for days after a colonic. My hydrotherapist explained that this was because my body thought it was done for the week; it had passed about twelve days worth of matter and thought it was on vacation! As the bowel grows stronger, and the colon becomes more “snobby” about seated waste, daily movements will return.