Gut feeling

Colonic irrigation often gets a bum deal, but the cleansing and detox therapy can genuinely make you feel good inside, as Paul Dale discovers

his may sound strange. but

for as long as I can

remember I have always wanted colonic irrigation. Colon cleansing. or colon hydrotherapy. tises water and/or herb enemas to remove accumulations of waste from the walls of the intestine. As a middle-aged man with a propensity for excess in all things. colonic irrigation (or Cl) has

always carried the promise of

absolution. a laxative communion wafer for the holy nihilist. a sterilised forgiveness for the sins of the past. So it was with only a little trepidation that I entered the underground bunker of Nevo Health. a complementary health studio under the excellent Renroc cafe between Edinburgh‘s Leith Walk and Easter Road. Owner and trained nurse Jane Ross immediately puts me at case while giving a tour of the warm. clean and not particularly foreboding treatment rooms. With immaculate

tiles. large pebbles and fronds of

dry grass these could be the upmarket antechambers of any health centre or BUPA ward.

Jane explains that the treatment will take about 45 minutes. We will use a form of colonic hydrotherapy that uses gravity to run water down from a cistern

into my intestine. In the final stage of the treatment herbs will be added to the water. She says it is common for Cl first timers to need to stop the process and go to



the toilet: this is normal. She tells me to undress. I can keep a T—shirt on but my bottom half must be naked. bar a towel.

Jane is an attractive young woman and her lilting scouse accent reminds me of many women I have lost my heart to

over the years. I find myself

thinking that this would be easier if Hattie Jacques at her vituperative Carry On best was beyond the door. As it is I will have to bare my insignificancies to someone whose professionalism and warmth makes me want to block book

s ;&‘E\\ x ".' To j’ 63: ‘-


therapies in this calming space. Slightly embarrassed by my wobbly pale body I get up on the bed and Jane begins talking me through every step. She enters the tube and water washes into me. It feels like someone blowing up a wet balloon across my abdomen.

Oil Pulling

A traditional Indian Ayurveda remedy, also known as oil swishing, involves rinsing the mouth with either sesame or sunflower oil for 15-20 minutes on an empty stomach to activate enzymes that remove toxins from the blood. Also rumoured to help stop acid erosion in bulimia sufferers. Visit for more info.

12 THE LIST 19 Mar—2 Apr 2009


‘9 Detox Diet

Also known as body cleansing. several so-called detox diets exist. From raw food diets to the extremes of water fasting, detoxing has become very popular over the last few years thanks to celebrity endorsements. Believed to remove built up toxins in the body. recent medical reports have cast doubt on its claims. For recipes and advice visit

Contrast Showers

Now more assooated With dodgy hazing ceremonies. contrast showers involve alternating between hot and cold water while showering. Said to detOXify the body and improve several bodily functions. including circuiation. though little research exists to support this. Click on wwwvsnaturopathycom for more into.

It's strange but neyer unpleasant. She massages the stomach where she helichs there are htlild ups of gas. and attempts to map out the descending and transverse colon for the fat ignorainus on the table. I dash to the loo but this feels natural. I finally settle into a sense of catharsis and detox as I get Used to the happening south. so I ask her how she gets (net the einbarrassinent of it all. (‘1 training involves constantly practising on one‘s colleagues explains. so einbarrassinent disappears quickly. We speak of the large ratio of men in their clientele. and she also points otll that (‘I should never be used to right the wrongs we inflict on the body , it is not a cure all. | nod guiltily.

And then it is oyet'. I feel lighter. perkier but not elementally' different. Jane offers dietary advice about my mild wheat and dairy allergies and gives me some gluten free bread.

In the weeks that follow I find if I treat myself well. I feel in equilibrium with my digestion in a way I haven‘t for years. But ifl get drunk my body crucifies me. I feel like I have been recalibrated. had an oil change. This old banger may yet become a vintage classic.

odd sensations


Nevo Health, 91 Montgomery Street, Edinburgh, 0131 556 0432. To read interviews with colonic therapists Jane Ross and Anna-Lise Miller visit