The Laboratory: A Skeptic Confronts Her Colon

To me, the word “colonic” typically makes my stomach churn with images of hospital gowns, blue enema syringes, and oral laxatives. Which is why I was intrigued when “colon therapy” started cropping up on day spa menus around the globe.

At five feet long, your colon (or large intestine) sees plenty of down-and-dirty action during your body’s daily digestive process.

Here’s the premise: Your colon is filthy and needs a good cleaning. Otherwise, toxic goo will impact itself onto the colon walls, which in turn makes it hard for the colon to do its job of eliminating toxins.

For as many holistic practitioners who believe colon therapy is a worthwhile treatment (i.e. healthy colon equals healthy body), there are plenty of traditional health care professionals who think the entire scam just stinks.

So after much hedging (and showering and shaving), I paid a visit to Sharon Stone (no, not that Sharon Stone), a colon therapist who works out of La Casa Day Spa in the Gramercy Park area of Manhattan. []

Luckily, Sharon is kind, soft-spoken, gentle, and friendly – traits I require in the person who inserts a disposable tube up my behind while I lie on an exam table in a paper gown pretending to study the colon therapy wall chart.

The next hour involved a not unpleasant trickle of warm, filtered water slowly entering my body through the tube in order to flush out years of debris into a special underground waste receptacle. Sharon is also a licensed massage therapist, which became apparent when she skillfully and repeatedly pressed down on my stomach with her hands to get things moving, so to speak.

For me, peristalsis was the only weird part: you’re overcome by the feeling of having to go #2, but instead of using the toilet like a normal person, you release through the tube while Sharon offers you a hand mirror to watch the spectacle. Even weirder, you accept.

I asked Sharon if in our session we had tackled recent indiscretions (pulled-pork sandwiches, milkshakes) as well as long-ago misdeeds (Hostess cupcakes, Chef Boy-ar-dee beef ravioli). She claimed she can spiff up the length of an average person’s colon in one visit.

In the end, I was out $90 and perhaps an ounce or two of dignity, but I actually did feel lighter, better, and less sluggish. So, it made perfect sense to treat myself to a cheeseburger.


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