There's a new colonic irrigation technique in town (and it sometimes involves a trampoline). Imogen Ewards-Jones checks in and walks out lighter
It all started when my friend Sarah came to my house for supper. She’d ordered ahead. “Just a plate of boiled potatoes,” she said. “Possibly with some butter, or oil, and some pink Himalayan salt, and a touch of dill.”
It was quite specific for a Tuesday and not exactly the sort of order I’d expected from someone who likes to be inch-perfect in her Pilates pants.
“Potatoes?” I double-checked.
“Yup,” was her somewhat breezy reply. “A plate.”
When she waltzed into my kitchen, she looked so dramatically different I had to put down my half pint of wine (no dry Jan for me.) She looked slim, mobile, comfortable in her skin. Her cheeks were glowing, and she had a spring – no, a zing – in her stride.
They say that when a friend becomes successful, a little part of you dies. For me, it’s a beauty treatment. I’m frankly only one enviable tweakment away from the morgue.
What the hell had she done? Why did she look so goddamn good? She looked slimmer, but I’d only seen a few days before. How very dare she! How is that possible? I was seething slightly, as I cracked open a carrot and chucked her steaming potatoes down in front of her.
“Colonic,” she announced, eventually, as she popped a spud down her pie-hole. “A little series of them. I can’t tell you how good I feel!”
And so, a few days later I found myself in Knightsbridge, marching down Beauchamp Place, past the now sadly closed famous eatery, San Lorenzo, channeling the late, beyond-great, colonic-ophile, Princess Diana, sweating a little with anxiety and misplaced bravado. It seemed such a wonderful idea at the time.
But as I walked downstairs into the bowels (oh, there are so many colonic jokes!) of a basement underneath a hairdresser’s to be confronted with little else other than a waiting room chair and a trampoline, I nearly ran straight out again.
I might talk a good game, but I am all mouth and no trousers.
Five minutes later I am dry-mouthed with zero trousers, lying on my side, with my eyes shut, seriously worried about my life choices. But I couldn’t be in a safer pair of rubber-gloved hands. Katalin Cziranku is a delight, and professional, on a mission to save the world ‘one colon at a time.’ And as luck would have it, it seems mine’s up next.
Recommended by Trinny Woodall (below with Katalin) and many others, Katalin, previously worked at the now-closed Grace Belgravia and has set up on her own pioneering what she is calling Colon Re-Sculpting, The Cziranku Method. This combines colon hydrotherapy (what used to be called colonic irrigation), where your colon is treated with warm water while being treated with a touch-based manipulation to help loosen and release the bowel and create a ‘sculpted silhouette and a narrower and toned mid-section .. and a healthier, better functioning, re-aligned bowel.’
In 27 years she has treated more than 30,000 people and she has a million ‘before' and ‘after' shots of distended to flat stomachs to prove it.
Before arriving in the bowel’s basement, I had been already been prepared and briefed by Katalin: no ‘gassy foods’ – pulses, beans, legumes, fizzy pops and take flaxseed oil to get everything moving more easily. I had also been told to have a probiotic ready for afterwards (she recommends Optibac Every Day Extra Strength, £18.91) as well as coconut water, more flax, and linseeds, no ‘gassy’ foods and to feast on the aforementioned plate of spuds. Why potatoes? they are easy on the gut, alkaline and don’t clog up your system, unlike our old friend gluten and Katalin’s particular peeve, collagen supplement powders, which act like a sticky glue in the gut.
Now I should declare that I have had a colonic or two before. Over the years, as a beauty/health guinea pig for Get The Gloss and I have often found them slightly unpleasant and, for the most part, not hugely effective. In short, just a lot of hot water.
So, despite the results I had seen on my now less-close friend, I wasn’t holding my breath.
However, according to Katalin, that’s exactly what I do. I’m a shallow breather. It’s a wonder I am alive at all. I know my breathing is not great as every time I do yoga and all the others still on their first ‘ommmm’ at the end of the class, I’ve finished, popped my coat on and am already in the car park before their next inhale. Sometimes you need to put a mirror under my nose to see if I’m still here.
But Katalin was excellent. I had to inhale deeply, exhale completely, like a giant bellows, for the digestive process to work properly. You need movement in your upper body to get the whole peristalsis thing going. So I inhaled and exhaled deeply while she manipulted my stomach, rolling it around, pushing into areas I didn’t even know existed and all the while the tube up my backside filled with water and flushed what had clearly been in my gut since 1987.
And I have to say that’s the gripping bit. Katalin places a mirror right by the exit pipe. To begin with you mutter, “What sort of person does she think I am l?” But then as she says, “It’s always the ones who protest the most, who end up looking the most.”
And I was transfixed. Lunch. Dinner. Breakfast from 1993. That indigestible baguette ‘n’ brie from 2012. The list goes on and on.
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But seriously, you can actually see it. Whole clogged-up meals. Bowls of rice. Spinach. Without being too graphic, the brown stuff is easy; it’s the very old, very pungent, very grey-looking clay gunk that you want to get out. Like tartar build-up on your teeth, this stuff can have been sitting in the curves and corners of your colon for years. I remember once hearing about a 70-year-old man who found a marble in his colon that he’d swallowed when he was six years old. What we are all looking for is the metaphorical marble.
Weirdly my upper gut was worse, way more impacted, than my lower gut. It was more bloated and distended above my belly button than below, like a badly squeezed tube of toothpaste. There was, on closer massaging, a sore knotted patch just between my ribs, an impasse, which was indicative of held-on-to-emotion, trauma of some sort, she said. I spent years doing IVF, possibly that was it?
Katalin worked on this, massaging and moving the flesh around, and after feeling furious, and then irritated, fractious and annoyed, there was some sort of release and my belly appeared to rebalance itself. My top half reduced, flattened, toned, sculpted, and I felt much greater movement (no, not bowel! Physical. Be quiet at the back!) in my waist and ribs, those yoga twists were a whole lot easier.
We finished the hour-and-half-long session with a coffee colonic (I’m in great company, Elle Macpherson is a fan) with the granules working to give your tubes a final good-old scrub, followed by a speedy trip to the lavatory …for… well….
But the results? The results after three sessions of her signature manipulations and the occasional bounce up and down the trampoline (mid-session, which I was not enamoured by) to get things moving even more, the results, well, they were extraordinary.
I felt lighter, springier, less tight in my own skin - less like a sausage about to burst under the grill. And the oddest thing was that my stomach, instead of popping out when I bent down to tie up my shoe laces or pick up the dog etc – it popped in!
So, unsurprisingly, with much less in the gut, I now have much less of a gut. My colon has been resculpted, and I’ve had a giant sort of digestive MOT.
Interestingly, I now have noticeably fewer cravings. Who wants a massive brie 'n' baguette when the last one took 15 years to digest? Sugar is less enticing, as there’s less fermentation going on (due to a dearth of rotting food in the gut) and wine is much more potent. With less ‘rubbish’ to get through it now goes straight into my bloodstream! And oh, what’s not love about a giant plate of easily digestible, gluten-free buttery potatoes?
So, forget the detoxing and the dryness; the quickest way to that perfect glowy Jan look is to whip those pants off and undergo a little series of colon re-scuplting!
Colon Re-Scuplting with Katalin Cziranku at 15a Devonshire Place, London costs £250 for 90 minutes and £700 for a course of 3. Call Katalin on 07956650003 to book.