Not since the days of Princess Diana attempting to nip discreetly to her weekly London appointment in the early 80s, has the complementary therapy colonic irrigation received such paparazzi postulating and tabloid twittering. This time around it is X Factor supremo Simon Cowell who unwittingly publicised the therapy nationwide when he got his clinics all mixed up.
A confused Cowell, 54, went into a reflexology clinic instead of his usual colonics centre in Chelsea last Thursday. As a result it created a bit of a stir amongst the staff in the former – one of whom had no qualms in informing a national tabloid newspaper about the encounter.
One staff member of reflexology clinic in question said the music producer and new dad seemed a bit baffled after looking around the clinic and spotting reflexology maps hung everywhere. It soon clicked that he’d turned up in the wrong place though and he left quickly after being redirected to the correct clinic further up the road for his £97 treatment. Cowell is believed to like the treatment for its anti-ageing effects. Other treatments he indulged in that particular day include a vitamin injection, hand waxing and sheep placenta facial.
Apart from Diana who unwittingly championed the therapy (which is also known as colon hydrotherapy), other famous names who extol the virtues of colonic irrigation include Madonna, Jennifer Aniston and the nutritionist Gillian McKeith. Hollywood’s Mae West was a big fan at the height of her fame back in the 30s while John Lennon also participated. Meanwhile, there are 250 working colonic therapists in the UK today according to The Association of Registered Colonic Therapists (ARCH) and it appears its popularity is increasing with every passing year.
What does colonic irrigation involve?
The therapy consists of a therapist flushing warm water through the body’s large intestine via a tube (the water may also contain a herbal supplement). The aim is to clear out any waste in the intestine to prevent it rotting or clogging the organ. It’s believed that this ‘clearing out’ process improves the intestine’s functionality and results in better physical health and more clarity of the mind.
How old a therapy is it?
Although enemas were regularly used in hospitals in the 20th century, the practice actually dates back to Egyptian times when enemas were amongst the most popular practice for ridding the body of disease. Others included blood-letting and steam therapy. Hippocrates itself was a big exponent of the therapy.
The therapy is represented by several bodies such as the ARCH and The International Association and Register of Integrative Colon Therapists and Trainers (RICTAT). Both register practising members and provide standards for the sector.