sunday life: in which i have a colonic!!!!

This week I have a colonic… to make life better.

My mum didn’t know what a colonic was, so I’ll spell it out without tempting euphemism. I went to a place dressed up in white porceline as a clinic (down an alleyway, up some stairs, pretending to look for the Dentists’ Guild of Australia or some such) and had someone flush my bowels with xx L of water using a hose up the jaxy.

My mum also couldn’t comprehend why someone would do such a thing, so I’ll paint a loose picture. Most people who aim to be healthy eat too much crap in spite of themselves. Crap builds up. It sticks to our insides and blocks stuff, including the absorption of nutrients. So we eat more crap because we feel crap. Ergo, a crap rut. The moderation route back to good habits seems so dreary and long for this generation of insta-fix-its. Ergo, the hose.

There are more medically sound justifications for colonics. They go hand-in-hand with proper detox regimes (not one from a box). As you release the toxins, and anything “sticky” that’s been trapped in bowel pockets for (at times) years, you need to flush them before they recirculate. And civilisations throughout history have taken part in the practice. So did Marilyn Monroe.

But in my experience, most people get colonics to impatiently break a crap rut.

For some reason, lying on the table at the “clinic” making small talk with the “clinician” whose husband-left-her-but-it’s-okay-because-her-angels-are-looking-after-her, it made me think of the Greeks. The Greeks don’t clean by dusting and dabbing around the edges. They take to their kitchens and driveways with a wire-brush broom and bleach and then flush the lot with buckets of water before bringing the furniture and concrete gargoyles back in and starting afresh. There, let’s move on, they say. But in Greek. I do love the Greeks.

It’s very much part of being a woman in 2009 to want to clear the decks, to start again, to “once and for all” get back on track. We say things like, “Right, that’s it, I’m emptying my wallet and from now on I’ll sort my receipts daily”. Or after a big weekend we say, “Right, that’s it, I’m not drinking for two weeks, I’m starting afresh”. And we buy a stack of veggies on Sunday afternoon, smug with satisfying visions of eating from Tupperware all week.

So much of our lives are a build-up of crap on the walls of the guts of our existence. The pile of bills next to the fruitbowl. The apple cores and parking tickets in the car. The bag of clothes at the front door waiting to go to the alterationist. The old veggies in the fridge form last weekend’s failed pious pronouncement. It’s clutter and it drags us down, like so much fetid detritus in a dank peat bog. And as anyone who’s been up to their neck in bog knows, it’s hard to know where to start setting yourself free again.

A colonic talks satisfyingly to this urge to swipe slates clean with a grandiose, line-in-the-sand gesture. Right, that’s it, it says to anyone listening. I’m sick of feeling blocked and I’m sick of the sugar cravings caused by a build-up of bad bacteria (caused by too much sugar and refined carbohydrates). And quite frankly there’s no point eating well until this backlog of regrettable indulging is gone. The flashbacks to those potato cakes and cheap Chablis are too distracting. So, begone crap. Enter the new me with a pristine driveway and a future with a lot of wheatgrass in it.

I won’t go into the details of my experience because it’s Sunday and you might be eating eggs. Except to say three things. First, there’s a screen. Yes, a little window through which you’re invited to view your lunch from three days ago (and the rest) parade past in a clear tube. This is actively encouraged and appeals directly to a woman’s biological urge to inspect for nits in our mate’s back fur.

Second, the satisfying expericne of having my decks cleared and feeling I was on top of my putrid bog of existence, even if only briefly, was worth the $95. Further, it did kill my sugar cravings for a good few days. So, yes, a colonic can serve as a “once and for all” run up to new health habits, if you’re disciplined.

Finally, it was only slightly disturbing when the clinician asked if I’d eaten popcorn recently. And I said, no, not for at least six months (with my last boyfriend on a movie date). And she said “very interesting” as she pointed out a lone kernel as it paraded past.

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