How to prepare for a colonic...
Is it essential to do any of this? The answer is no, however if you would like to gain the best results from your visit it is certainly advisable. Particularly if you suffer from I.B.S, constipation or bloating issues. Colonic Hydrotherapy is not a cure all. The softer the stools are in your bowels the easier we can break it down and the less gas in there, the more room there is for the water to come in...
The following bits of advice are just good dietary habits that we urge you can continue after your visit. Of course it's good for the soul to treat yourself now and then but we all know the importance of a balanced diet. The 80/20 rule is a great way to look at it, 80% good and 20% bad. Once you're cleansed inside it certainly helps you in not wanting to fill yourself with the bad things again. Great when you're on a health kick or wanting to shed a few pounds!
If you have excess gas inside your digestive system leading up to a colonic or in general, it is not a good idea to add more in there! Not to to mention all the sugar, artificial additives and nasty sweeteners added into these drinks. Don't be fooled, having the sugar free option is not better for you either and is now proven to not encourage weight loss. Sweeteners have their own long list of nasty long term side effects. Why not have plain carbonated water or very weak cordial in your water every now and then if you're craving pop?
Sodas like Coke are very acidic indeed and will erode teeth and metal if you leave it in a glass for a few days. Long term consumption can lead to many health issues and can even increase your risks of osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer... Pretty scary huh?!
Drink more water!
For such a simple thing the health benefits of plain old water are just endless! Improved energy levels, increased concentration, fewer toxicity related headaches, aids weight loss, less water retention or cellulite issues, detoxifies the body, naturally beautiful skin, decreases hunger, aids frequent and comfortable bowel motions, less urinary tract infections, helps to alkalize the body. No wonder she looks so happy in the photo!
Ideally 2 ltrs per day is advisable and if you're going to the gym, increase by at least 0.5 ltrs. A pint of warm water and freshly squeezed lemon is the best way to start the day from a detox point of view. Surprisingly lemon is actually alkaline once broken down and helps to flush out the waste products that have accumulated during your sleep.
Drinking a glass water half an hour before eating helps with digestive process but drinking lots of fluids during and within 45mins after can actually hinder digestion.
At the very least we advice no alcohol consumption for two days before or two days after your visit. We all know our bowels are not at all happy after consuming alcohol. The alcohol dehydrates your whole body not just your bowels and the sugar and yeast feed the non-beneficial bacteria that resides in the digestive tract, this increases gas and bloating. Not to mention all the work you're placing on your liver and kidneys to deal with.
After you've had a colonic session it temporarily affects how your body processes alcohol. What you know to be your normal limit is not necessarily the case for a few days or even longer after a colonic. Take it easy! We advice drinking the odd glass of water when on a night out to help your body process the alcohol and it also helps with the dreaded hangover the day after!
Increase veg and salad intake
We all know the benefits of consuming vegetables and salads. Not only are they rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals but they are also a very good source of soluble and insoluble fibre and water.
Feeding the beneficial bacteria in our bowels, keeping stools soft, helping the detoxify the body. Raw veg and fruit juicing (different from smoothies) is also a great way of getting more nutrients into your system if you are on the run. It is always best to consume veg and salads in raw or as close to as possible.
Also fruit is important but be aware of having too much fruit in your diet. The sugars may be natural sugars but sugar is still sugar and in excess is not necessarily a good thing and can increase bloating issues. Although put into context fruit is far better than snacking on crisps and chocolate!
Stodgy, refined carbohydrates
"My tummy feels great after eating pizza, pasta and bread" said nobody ever! We do not need to be celiac to have issues with wheat and gluten many of us have underlying sensitivities to these types of foods and don't realise it. Symptoms could include achey joints, abdominal bloating and cramping even inflammatory conditions. Unless you are an olympic athelete we consume far too much stodgy carbs in our diet.
Try having meat/fish and veg or salad and try cutting out or reducing the bread, pasta, rice or potatoes on your plate. Bean and pulses are a much better solution. Try having quinoa or instead of rice or pasta, or pitta pockets instead of bread in sandwiches. If you are having carbs it's far better for you to have the brown version e.g brown pasta, brown rice etc... At least then you are getting some fibre into your system. If you suffer from constipation having white bread, white rice, white pasta is like adding wallpaper paste into your colon!
Chew your food slowly
If we were to ask you where the first stage of digestion begins, what area of the body would you say? If your answer is the stomach you would be incorrect. Digestion actually begins in the mouth. Your stomach does not have teeth of it's own, so if you don't chew your food properly before swallowing you make it very difficult for your stomach to break down the food.
Saliva contains an enzyme called amylase that starts on digesting your carbohydrates before the food even hits your stomach. Carbohydrates that have not been digested properly can ferment very quickly in the bowels which can lead to increased bloating issues.
The action of chewing food, stimulates the pancreas and liver to secrete the digestive juices required to break your food into small enough molecules for the cells to absorb. Better digestion increases the nutrients absorbed and utilised by our body and also increases abdominal comfort. Plus the longer you take to eat, the quicker you fill up and the less food you eat. Great if you're watching your weight!
Eating whilst stressed
Stress has a massive effect on our body's ability to digest food and abdominal comfort, which may cause IBS symptoms like cramping, bloating, constipation and even diarrhoea.
It's all to do with adrenaline and cortisol, our stress hormones. Imagine being a caveman being faced with a sabre-tooth tiger. The body releases these stress hormones to help you run, think or fight your way out of a stressful situation. The blood supply goes to where it is needed i.e the brain and muscles the increase reaction times. What is not a priority is digesting your breakfast! As a result the blood supply is removed from the digestive tract.
Now back to the present! We may not need to worry about sabre-tooth tigers anymore but have many other daily stressors that stimulate the same reaction. Try to find time to check your stress levels before and after eating, even if it's just 10-15 minutes away from your desk.
Reduce caffeine intake
Caffeine in excess has a negative on the body in general but if you are suffering with digestive issues like cramping, diarrhoea, acid reflux this will be particularly beneficial for you to read.
Caffeine increases the amount of acid the stomach produces and relaxes the oesophageal sphincter thus allowing the acid the re-enter the oesophagus. Chocolate can also have the same affect.
Being a stimulant, caffeine can increase the flow of the contents in the small and large intestine which can possibly cause diarrhoea. Caffeine can also encourage the stomach to empty its contents into the small intestine too soon, increasing the small intestines workload. This may cause abdominal pain and cramping.
Excess caffeine consumption can irritate the lining of the digestive tract which can contribute to inflammatory bowel conditions like crohn's disease and colitis or IBS symptoms.