"How did you EVER become a colon hydrotherapist?" It’s a common question that I get asked at least once a week from clients and others. Perhaps it’s because only a small percentage of the population can fathom what sticking a tube in your butt and pooping for an hour with a stranger can do for you. Or perhaps it’s because we don’t really talk about pooping in this culture, let alone make it our livelihood or passion. Let’s face it: being a colon hydrotherapist is an odd career.
Well, it is true that as I was growing up, spending my tender years in Memphis Tennessee surrounded by my imaginary world of stuffed animals who had come to life, I wasn't dreaming that one day I would clean people’s asses out for a living. I grew up in a household where we didn’t even call our body parts by their actual names. My vagina was my poo poo (well that’s confusing!) and my butt was called my tush. I had only vaguely heard of the word vagina and since I was in the south, I was quite confused that Virginia, the state, and my private parts were the same thing.
What was a lifelong aspiration was that I just wanted to be good in the world. To love and to be loved. So naturally I wanted to become a veterinarian. What could be greater in the world than helping out the most helpless beings? Sick cute animals completely dependent upon us to save them. But like so many others, the reality that the sight of blood makes me want to vomit set in. What didn’t change was my desire to help and to love and be loved. This was the perfect set-up for a lot of crap romantic love relationships in my 20s, but career wise, I had my head on. I channeled that love and passion into becoming a teacher for 3 years before becoming an advocate and counselor in the domestic violence movement.
I was in love. Not romantically, but spiritually. I had never met anyone quite so spectacular! Paddy not only loved animals but topped me with her complete obsession over her dog. Hence the daily ritual of walking our dogs together and becoming deep close friends.
There are many things that happened in the 6 years between moving to Portland and starting a colon hydrotherapy practice. Here’s what you need to know: Paddy, neighbor and friend extraordinaire turned into co-worker. We worked at a radical agency that helped support women in getting out of the brutal life of prostitution; Paddy was a counselor for adult women and I was a counselor for the children of these moms.
And then there was Ariel Policano, a dear friend of mine who was a walking, talking billboard of colon hydrotherapy. She, herself, was a colon hydrotherapist, who was very extremely passionate about its benefits. She all but begged me to come in for my first colonic, which by the way took me an entire year to convince myself to do. I had never had constipation or digestive issues and couldn't grasp what a colonic would do besides get my friend to shut up...which was seriously a big motivation.
That first colonic was a life changer. I'm not going to lie to you. I didn't enjoy the feeling of having the actual colonic, but I couldn't deny the difference of how I felt afterwards: energized, lighter, and clearer! It inspired me to eat better, exercise more and take better care of myself. Well, it wasn't long before I convinced Paddy to try it. She, too, found it life-changing, helping to cure her of a lifelong struggle with constipation. We loved it and finally understood why Ariel loved it too. When the agency that Paddy and I worked for went under and we found ourselves jobless, there wasn't much of a question of what we wanted to do.
Can I just say this? Shit is shit-- emotional, physical, energetic. The form doesn’t particularly matter. What matters most is that we have to excrete things out of our bodies and lives that aren’t serving us well. Perhaps you were abused or neglected as a child and you are carrying around the shit of that. Maybe that’s the reason you grab that soft drink, eat that fast food, or drink yourself silly every night. We all have traumas, some smaller or bigger than others. We cope. We deal in the best ways we know. There is shit to be cleaned and cleared and we all know it.
So being a colon hydrotherapist is not a big leap from being a counselor. As a colon hydrotherapist, I am your counselor and cheerleader asking you what it is that you need to move out of your life so you can be happier, freer and more yourself. I tell clients all the time: you have no idea of how good you can feel in this world. Our bodies are brilliant machines that can live off of Twinkies and Fritos if need be. When you figure out what needs to move and move it you will feel better than you have ever felt in your life. And then let the cheering begin.