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Coffee enemas and colonic irrigation

Alex Higham / January 26, 2022
Coffee enemas and colonic irrigation

Al spills the beans on his colonic and the coffee enema – what went down... or went in? Up? Argh it’s all too awkward.

In true over-share style, I told you all about me going to Wales for a coffee enema over Christmas. I literally can't believe how many people have since demanded to know more about it. So, if you need some closure, here's the story in all its glory.

I imagine that everyone will respond to things like this very differently, so it’s just my account and my personal experience.

If at the end, you’re curious, please talk to a medical professional before going ahead with anything.

What's the difference between an enema and colonic irrigation?

Well, put very basically, an enema is when something is put into the rectum (the lower part of the large intestine). It has a few uses including clearing the bowels and administering medications, but in this case—the coffee enema—the purpose was to put coffee up there, in order to absorb nutrients, and get other reported benefits.

These reported benefits include;

  • Removal of toxins from the liver and free radicals from the bloodstream
  • Increased immunity and energy
  • Getting rid of parasites
  • Stimulating the vagus nerve via the gut-brain axis (this is super interesting)

These benefits are derived from the caffeine, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds in coffee, like cafestol palmitate, which stimulates an enzyme which opens the bile duct in the liver. Other compounds are thought to widen blood vessels and greatly improve digestion, as well as the act of the enema physically causing the colon muscles to contract and move stools along the digestive tract.

A coffee and water mixture (a special coffee for enemas called a Golden Roast) is introduced into the rectum, and held there for about 15 minutes. And then you... let it go. And that’s it! Bob’s your uncle.

There are some people that suggest doing this at home. But I’d say defo go with a professional, at the very least for your first time.

Coffee enemas and colonic irrigation

So, what’s a colonic?

A colonic on the other hand, is a very different story.

A colonic goes much further, and is a process using warm, salinated water to flush out the bowels. This has the effect of clearing out faeces, toxins, parasites and other nasty things that might build up in the bowel over time, particularly a bowel like mine, which has a lot of issues, eek.

The whole thing takes about 50 minutes, and should only ever be done by a professional. 

My experience with a colonic and a coffee enema

We went to a place called Flourish Wellness Pod in Wales. The owner, Sarah is doing some amazing and wonderful things with cancer patients and people who are really suffering. She’s working with infra red sauna, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, colonics and enemas to treat all sorts of people and problems. But she does open it up to the general public, and all sorts of sports people go and visit her there too to help with recovery.

Coffee enemas and colonic irrigation

The height of romance

Last time we had a few days away from the kids, I took Kirsty for a holotropic breathwork session led by Kev from Breatheolution followed by a six-minute, 4C freezing cold swim in a river in the Peak District. Wim Hof style. And then we stayed in a Shepherds Hut.

So I had to do one better than that.

When we had a night away from the kids in December, we went to Wales and Flourish for a colonic and a coffee enema.

Told you, Peak romance.

Well, Kirsty decided not to have one in the end as it’s not recommended if your stomach is perfect and you don’t have any issues (which I’m not at all bitter or jealous about. Not one bit). So, she went for the infrared sauna and the hyperbaric oxygen therapy. But this isn’t what we’re here for.

First, a nice colonic

As I outlined above, it’s basically 50 minutes with a tube up your arse while you get filled up with a warm water solution. Which sounds awful. But the weirdest thing was how comfortable Sarah made me feel and how normal it felt. I thought it would be horrendously mortifying and that I wouldn’t be able to deal with it, but she made me feel really at ease and we just sat there chatting like it was the most normal thing in the world. It made me feel confident that I could go back again and not be as petrified, maybe even be able to relax a little more – wink wink.

Afterwards, I felt absolutely amazing. I wish I could always feel like that after going to the toilet. Part of my issue is that I always feel full and bloated, all day and all night, so it was truly amazing to feel light and empty.

Coffee enemas and colonic irrigation

And now, a coffee enema

10 minutes later, it was time for the coffee enema. That involved about half a litre of cafetiere coffee and water going in. And after that I went straight back to feeling really full, and bloated. So, I wouldn’t necessarily advise those two things one after another. But, everyone is different.

Would I try it again?

I’m really excited about going back for another colonic because I’m so keen to get that empty feeling. But I’d definitely just have the colonic by itself next time.

It’s hard to say whether the coffee enema had much of an impact doing it as a one-off. As I think it’s more about absorbing the nutrients and the antioxidants, which is not the kind of thing that has an immediate impact. But, the colonic felt really good straight away.

Why did I do this in the first place?

In all honesty, my stomach was so bad I had nowhere else to turn. The best thing for me to do is be really careful with my diet. But it’s still liable to flare up and become really painful without warning. It’s undiagnosed problems that have been going on for years – which concurrently has also been the same time frame I’ve been developing an autoimmune condition which I finally got diagnosed by a rheumatologist. But, for the last two years it’s been impossible to get an appointment with either the rheumatologist or a gastrolenterologist. (Thanks, covid) So, I’ve just been stuck in the system with both, even though the symptoms have progressed and can be pretty debilitating now.

Before I went for the colonic, Exhale’s Chief Wellness Officer, and my personal health coach Alex Manos said, “What if your stomach is never the same again?” And I said I would love my stomach never to be the same again—that sounds dreamy. So that was my answer.

How do I feel now?

Since then, my stomach is certainly not fixed, but it does feel more resilient. Sarah did say that I’d need three sessions for it to have any lasting effects. So I’m busy trying to plan my next one.

Having spoken to other friends that have had them, I’m not sure if it will be the cure. But it does feel like it’s done my stomach some good so I will go again, and maybe this will become my new habit...

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