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My first time… What to expect during a colonic

My first time… What to expect during a colonic

What do acupuncture needles feel like? How long does botox actually last for? How embarrassing is colonic hydrotherapy? There are certain treatments that you’ve heard loads about, but you don’t really know what happens during the appointment, whether it hurts or if it’s really even for you? In this new franchise, we aim to try and clear things up for you See this as your one-stop resource for treatments on trial.

Whenever I told someone that I was booked in for a colonic, I either whispered it or mouthed it. Why? Maybe I was embarrassed? Or perhaps I wanted to save others from embarrassment. The response was generally shock, with a few people giggling uncomfortably. Something that I think is pretty reflective of the general outlook on colonic irrigation or colonic hydrotherapy. People kind of know what happens during (everyone knows that it involves a tube up the arse), but people rarely know exactly what happens from the moment you walk into the room to the moment you walk out, or the wealth of health benefits, like how important it can be for your gut health.

I visited Kara-Mia Vernon, a qualified naturopath and nutritionist, who has been working on digestive health for over ten years. She believes that health and disease begins with the gut: ‘Today the focus is largely on healthy eating, which is great, but it doesn’t cover the digestion and elimination part of gut health, which is also extremely important. People don’t realise that we were never designed to eat three meals a day, essentially many of us eat far too much.  This puts further stress on the digestive system and if you have a compromised evacuation system then you have an issue.  This is where colonics can help address this.’

Hopefully, this piece will help clear things up a bit and give people a better idea of why a tube up the arse is so much more than a laughing matter.

What actually happens during a colonic?

You start by filling out a questionnaire about your past medical history that makes sure that it’s safe for you to get a colonic. Then if you’re clearer, you strip down and put on one of those sexy paper gowns that ties up at the back and leaves your tush on show. You lie down on a bed facing away from the therapist, with your legs tucked up towards your body – a bit like the foetal position. Then the lubricated tube is inserted into your rectum. From this point onwards the therapist guides the flow of the warm, clean, filtered water into your colon and then clamps down on the tube to allow the water to circulate and get to those hard to reach areas. At this point you can see and feel your stomach getting bigger and you’ll suddenly feel like you need to go for a poo. This is when the clamp is released and the water flushes out and with it draws out waste material, toxins and trapped gas. At some point your therapist might want to try massaging the stomach to help move the water around to shift trapped gas. Once the therapist is happy that everything that can be done that day has been completed, they will remove the tube and tell you to go to the loo that’s attached to the treatment room. Prepare yourself, because the water has got to come out. You have to sit there until you feel like you’ve emptied yourself out. The treatment lasts between 45 minutes and an hour.



Does a colonic hurt?

The colonic itself doesn’t hurt at all. In fact, dare I say it felt very satisfying?! There are moments of discomfort when your stomach fills up with so much water that you feel like you’re going to burst, but this is the exact point that your therapist releases the tube and there is a very pleasing feeling when you feel like everything is coming out.

Will I see everything during a colonic?

What you’re actually asking is: ‘Will I see poo?’ Only if you want to. You are actually encouraged to take a peek, as it’s all explained to you as it comes out. There’s even a handy mirror, so that you only see part of the tube. I found it really interesting to look as Vernon was able to show me that I had way too much trapped gas, which explained a lot. She was then able to give me tips on how to combat this, like chewing a lot more, slowing down when I eat and not drinking water during meals.

On a scale of 1-10, how embarrassing is a colonic?

This totally depends on how squeamish or easily embarrassed you are. I knew it wouldn’t bother me as I would happily speak about my bowel movements until the cows come home. Vernon also made me feel super comfortable. As she says, ‘I’ve seen thousands of buttholes and my job is all about poo.’

What happens after your colonic?

Afterwards you might get slight stomach cramping, because you’ve just put your gut through a workout and you might find that your stools for the next day or so are slightly looser than normal. But everything should be back to normal within 24 hours.

Is there any chance that you might shit yourself after a colonic?

You won’t have an accident on your way home. As I said, you’re told to pop to the loo straight after the treatment to make sure all of the water comes out. If you’re nervous, take your time and speak to your therapist. Don’t leave until you’re completely ready.



Should you arrive to a colonic with an empty stomach?

Not exactly. You should keep things simple the day of your colonic – don’t eat anything too rich, drink plenty of water and don’t go boozing the night before.

What are the benefits of a colonic?

‘Colonics help to cleanse, tone and exercise the colon,’ explains Vernon. ‘They help improve muscle contraction and re-educate the colon, helping it return to its more original form. It can also help to balance the micro-flora ecosystem by removing both good and bad bacteria and giving the body a helping hand to replace the good. Encourages the expulsion of parasites and other negative creatures living in the gut.’

Because the colonic removes debris and toxins from the colon wall, absorption of nutrients through the wall improves as there’s nothing blocking it. It can also improve your overall health. Not only is your body is no longer able to absorb the left over toxins, from things like bad diet and stress, and get into the bloodstream, so you are more likely to have clearer skin and your immune system will be able to function properly, but it actually helps boost your hydration levels.

It also acts as a workout for your large intestine and colon, because the body’s own peristalisis (the action of the muscles of the colon) is used and stimulated during the treatment.

Who benefits most from a colonic?

Everyone can benefit from colonic hydrotherapy, as the gut is where we hold waste and sometimes we don’t pass this waste naturally. A little help shifting this detritus can do wonders to improve the skin’s appearance and overall health. There are certain people who particularly benefit from regular sessions, like those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or those who don’t go to the loo as regularly as they should. Vernon also says that people going through chemotherapy are the perfect candidate as the colonic will help rid their body of the toxic waste left in the body post-Chemo. If you’re doing a strict diet or cleanse, colonics are recommended to supplement both.

Who should steer clear of colonics?

Anyone who suffers from an inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), like Crohn’s Disease or colitis, and those with colon cancer.  It’s also not advised if you are pregnant.

How often should you get a colonic?

I completely depends on each person. As Vernon says: ‘Obviously, a 25-year-old who opens their bowels twice a day would need them less than a 45-year-old who goes to the bathroom 3 times a week. I work with each client on a case by case basis.’

Do colonics help you lose weight?

No not really. However, Vernon says that once people have had a colonic they have a feeling of starting fresh and then not wanting to put any ‘bad’ food back in. ‘It’s more like the feeling of starting with a clean slate and wishing to maintain that, rather than actual weight loss.’



Does a colonic wash all of the good bacteria out?


How the benefits of colonic irrigation could transform your health

How the benefits of colonic irrigation

could transform your health


It’s time to break the poo taboo. Going to the loo is a daily reality to everyone and if like me it is something you hate and avoid talking about at all costs, it’s time to embrace the movement as it could be impacting your health.

The importance of gut health is ever growing and the subject of many conversations in the world of health and beauty. Cleansing your gut and body is considered to be one of the most important health steps you can take and if your system is sluggish, there is no better way than to opt for a colonic. Colonic irrigation or colonic hydrotherapy has long been regarded as dangerous, uncomfortable, scary and something for only those who have ‘serious’ digestive problems. Well that’s not quite the case.

I recently went to meet with Kara-Mia Vernon who is a qualified naturopath and nutritionist and has an elite residence at Grace Belgravia Wellbeing, Health and Medical club where she has carried out thousands of colonic irrigation treatments. I have struggled with a slow digestive system for about ten years and just got used to the fact that I was let’s say, less regular than others. Did you know in an ideal world everyone should go twice a day?

As the importance of gut health and its link to good skin is on the rise, I decided I wanted to address the issue and try something new. Whilst it’s not for everyone, after five treatments I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. I have so much more energy, I feel less bloated, have fewer headaches and my stomach is much flatter ( one of the great perks! ). I only wish I had realised sooner, that this was the ultimate detoxifying treatment for me. Here is everything you need to know about colonic hydrotherapy and why it could work for you.


What is colonic irrigation?

Colonic hydrotherapy is a complementary cleansing process where warm water passes into the colon and carries out loose faecal debris and waste to effectively flush the colon.

Before having colonic irrigation, the therapist will ask you about your medical history to check if you have any health problems that might make the treatment inadvisable. During the procedure, you lie on your side while warm water is passed into your bowel through a tube inserted into your rectum. The water circulates through your colon, and waste products are passed out of your body through the tube. It usually takes around 30-45 minutes.

How does it work?

“As a Naturopath, I have long been aware that health and also disease start in your gut,” says Vernon. “However there is still so much education to be done to inform everyone of how essential a healthy gut and a working-system is to your overall health. If you have a compromised evacuation system then you have an issue. This is where colonics can help address this,” advises Vernon. “We were never designed to eat three meals a day, with snacks and the amount of sugar and processed foods that are now ubiquitous in our diets. Our digestive systems are overloaded and many modern illnesses are lifestyle related. Prevention is key and people should spend more time and money on health habits and enhancers,” she tells me.

‘Inside out beauty’ is a term coined by the beauty industry with skincare brands avidly innovating skincare that works from the inside out but there is no better, physical approach than a colonic. “Your entire body is linked to the gut. Every system has a link back to your intestine and what happens on the inside is reflected on the outside,” says Vernon.

Our understanding of the gut microbiome (gut flora) and its link to other body functions such as immunity, human metabolism and nutrition has increased over the last 10 years allowing us to further understand how important it is to cleanse the gut. “Since our digestive system is closely linked with the rest of the body’s functions, colon therapy can also support symptoms such as headaches, allergies, acne and improve mental and physical sluggishness,” says Vernon.

Does it wash out all the good bacteria?

One of the greatest negative connotations associated with colon hydrotherapy is the hearsay idea that it strips all the natural and good bacteria from your gut. “It’s false. If it did strip all the healthy good stuff, then I wouldn’t do this job,” says Vernon. “It’s simply not possible to wash out two kilos of bacteria that are largely located in the mucus membrane of the colon. It is, however, more damaging to keep old fecal waste inside,” she says.

How often should you have a colonic?

“Ideally, three over the course of a few weeks is best as it enables a more thorough cleanse. After that, every client is unique,” advises Vernon. Obviously, the 25-year-old who’s bowels open twice a day is very different to the 45-year-old who goes three times a week.

Things to be aware of before your treatment

1. It’s not glamorous. It’s a tube in an awkward place removing your own waste

2. There is a loud loo flushing sound that sounds like the chain is stuck. It’s perfectly normal. This is where your waste goes out and allows water to come in

3. You have to relax, the more you relax the greater the results

4. Laxative effect coffee may be used, in conjunction with water, to encourage stool movement

5. Your therapist will massage your stomach to help motivate a better flush. This can be uncomfortable but very effective

Article written by

Grace Belgravia Blog – Second Brain

The Second Brain: keeping your gut healthy

Grace Belgravia Colonic Hydrotherapist Kara Mia understands the fundamental importance of gut health in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and approaches it in an all-encompassing way; assessing diet, stress, lifestyle and more. Here she introduces new ways of thinking about gut health…

I feel very privileged to have cultivated a unique perspective on the gut and gut health. As a Nutritionist, Naturopath and Colon Hydrotherapist, I have seen thousands of both women and men up close and personal, and how their guts respond to various external and internal stimuli. How and what we eat, how and where we hold our stress, how we feel about the world around us. Ultimately, emotions, conscious or sub-conscious, are held in the body – affecting our health.


No doubt you have heard that the gut is the “Second Brain” and terms like “Microbiome” and “Gut-Brain Axis” are becoming part of common parlance. Ask yourself where you hold your stress. Generally, I find that women hold it in their gut/stomach area and men more in their back/neck and shoulders. (You may even find that you hold it in both places).

Ask our Gut Specialist! Teaming up with Radiance Cleanse

Gut Health Specialist Kara Mia Vernon

Multi-talented Kara Mia Vernon is a qualified naturopath, nutritionist, homeopath and colon hydrotherapist. She’s been practising for a decade and has seen the damage that our modern diet and lifestyles can do to good health.

After a recent treatment with Kara Mia, we couldn’t resist asking for her 10 commandments for better gut health.

1. If it’s man-made then avoid it. Butter is always better than margarine; sugar is better than Aspartame.

2. Avoid wheat where possible. Sadly it’s everywhere. Even if you try and avoid it, you’ll still end up eating it.

3. Drink water. Make it choice number one at all times. Ideally still. If sparkling make sure it’s the naturally sparkling kind. Aim for one litre per day, two if you’re feeling up for it.

4. Coffee is allowed, once a day, prior to noon. Give yourself a break from it occasionally.

5. Avoid soya. Fermented soya is fine (e.g. miso, tempeh) but most are of poor quality, and an estrogen mimicker which is fine if you want to have awful PMS or Moobs.

6. EAT VEGETABLES. Try and make this 60% of your diet. Raw or lightly steamed is best.

7. AVOID sugar. It’s evil. The true cause of all chronic illness, I kid you not.

8. Pay no attention to the Cholesterol debate. Fats are good for you. Sugar kills, fats don’t.

9. Do not drink with your meals. A small amount of water or a glass of wine with dinner is okay.

10. Don’t eat at your desk. Walk away, breathe, then eat. And chew.

Lastly, a little note from Radiance: For your next cleanse, we would highly recommend a colon hydrotherapy session with Kara Mia. She practises at Grace Belgravia’s medical centre in central London. We understand that it’s not for everyone, but if you want to get maximum benefits from your cleanse then do give it a try. She offers a 10% discount to all Radiance clients and you can find out more HERE. Simply quote RADIANCE when booking.

Ask the expert – Naturopathy

Ask The Expert: Kara Mia – Naturopathy

Naturopathic Medicine

In our 21st Century world, people are becoming more open-minded to different forms of medicines and treatments when plagued with illness and after a recent trip to visit Naturopathy expert Kara Mia Melissa came back raving about her procedures, so we obviously felt the need to find out a little more.

Keep reading to see our interview with Kara and learn all about the wonders of alternative therapies and healing methods…