Added: Quanah Pulaski - Date: 25.07.2021 05:36 - Views: 36549 - Clicks: 2220
When photographer Anthony Cullen heard the clank of glass on porcelain, he didn't need to examine the contents of the toilet bowl between his legs. He instinctively knew he had just passed the marble he had swallowed as a five-year-old; the small coloured sphere - "I think it was a bluey" - had lodged in his colon for 22 years.
His nonchalance was understandable. Having flushed pints of coffee and vinegar solution around his large intestine through 10 enemas, and taken herbal laxatives, he had become hardened to extraordinary sights. He had already excreted yards of long stringy mucus "with a strange yellow glaze", several hard black pellets and numerous pieces of undigested rump steak. Like an iceberg breaking away from a glacier, the marble was simply the latest object to drop off the furred up wall of his colon. Within 30 minutes it had become a burning topic of conversation among guests at The Spa resort on the Thai island of Koh Samui.
Most listened, nodded earnestly and smiled, a flicker of mutual support, before describing their own bowel movements in unnervingly graphic detail. It was just another day at the tropical health farm where conversations that would be deemed unpleasant, if not obscene, in any place outside a gastro-intestinal ward, are mere idle chit-chat among the sun-soaked clientele.
They may have travelled across the world to The Spa's thatched beach huts, encircling its renowned restaurant whose Pod Ka Pow Nam Many Hoy - prawns and chilli, stir-fried in oyster sauce - is a house speciality, but not a morsel of food, nor a single calorie, will pass their lips. Instead they order around odd gallons of coffee and vinegar, lemon or garlic solution - lightly warmed, please waiter - to be squirted up their anus.
You are unlikely to find this particular dish on Masterchef. The roots of their truly alternative activity holiday lie in our modern lifestyle. Some doctors, such as Richard Anderson, inventor of the Clean-Me-Out Programme, claim our high stress existences and over-processed diets - chips, pizzas, burgers - have left us with clogged-up digestive systems.
And that, according to advocates of intestinal cleansing, makes us disease time bombs, at increased risk from cancer, heart trouble, infertility, diabetes, premature ageing and, pass the smelling salts this instant, wrinkles. Their solution is to fast: to put nothing in one end, while simultaneously purifying yourself by propelling ificant amounts of liquid up the other. We constantly put the wrong fuel in our bodies and, sure, they keep on going, but cleanse yourself and you'll be amazed how much better you'll feel. A tempting sales pitch, yet when my editor suggested a first-person report, I had grave reservations.
As someone whose only concessions to healthy eating had involved switching from butter to olive oil and occasionally cutting the fat off my steak, the fast sounded frankly insane. Then I began hearing about the "lifestyle benefits" of the cleanse, of the degree heat and tropical beaches.
Words such as "de-stressing" and "life-changing" were tossed around. I weakened, dithered and finally relented. The photographer, Anthony, it was agreed, must also fast. Our preparation began well before we spotted our first palm tree. The Spa recommended we prepared with a fortnight of abstinence from meat, processed foods adios my daily staples, pasta and bread , milk, cheese, booze, coffee or soft drinks.
Instead, our gastric juices were stimulated by sal, fruit, slightly cooked vegetables, herb teas and water. It wasn't easy. Both Anthony and myself are what might charitably be termed "stocky", enjoying cooking and, more importantly, eating. Within days, food, or lack of it, had become an obsession. We had long phone discussions about interesting ways to grill aubergine; Anthony bragged about his spicy ratatouille.
Life was changing. As the first toxins were expelled and severe caffeine withdrawal set in, I experienced headaches, aching muscles, a lack of energy, and an increasingly short temper. I also faced a new menace: the liver flush drink. Deed to sluice out your system, it's a vile mix of olive oil, raw garlic, and cayenne pepper blended with orange juice. I've no idea if it worked, but my urine turned clear and I always got standing space on the tube.
We stuck rigidly to the diet until disaster struck: an upgrade on the flight to Bangkok. Our willpower collapsed and over the next "lost" 12 hours we demolished peanuts, smoked salmon and oyster mushrooms, roast goose, cheese, port, champagne, Baileys and chocolates. We had four more days before the fast, but while I got back on track, the photographer went totally off the detox rails. He consumed beer, Pringles, coffee and, as we waited for the Koh Samui connection at the airport, slipped in two Burger King chicken sandwiches, a huge pile of fried onion rings, a large Coke, followed by a chicken dinner on the plane.
He was clearly heading for a remarkable first enema. By the eve of the cleanse, I'd already lost over 2kg, weighing in at 86kg. Anthony was a little heavier, at 91kg. After demolishing an emotional last supper, we met our fellow fasters.
They appeared a cosmopolitan crowd, confounding fears of being stranded among the sandals and lentil brigade. There was Derek James, an engineer from Leeds, and Margaret Barrett, a sales rep from Cambridge, both in their mids and aiming to clean up their acts after "caning it" while working in clubs in Tokyo. Nicky McCulloch, a year-old Australian teacher, hoped to sort out a range of allergies, including wheat and alcohol.
She was travelling with Mez Hay, a worm farmer with a shock of blond hair and strident ocker accent. Passionate about Italian food, along with steak, chops and sausages from her parents' farm, Mez admitted she was keeping her friend company and hadn't put in a single second's preparation. Others also had tangible goals, including tackling stomach complaints, severe constipation and mystery lumps. Most were keen to stress - a cynic might say too keen - that losing weight was not the goal. Mind you, I wouldn't mind shedding a few pounds.
That didn't promise to be a problem. After checking our pH levels - too low and the fast isn't advisable - we immediately learned that while we wouldn't be eating, a great deal would still pass our lips. The relaxed, stress-free week on the beach would involve a Stalinist adherence to a pill-popping timetable. Each day started with a charming 7am detox cocktail of psyllium husk and bentonite clay.
It had the texture of liquid cotton wool, but would be crucial for pushing toxins and garbage through my system. Ninety minutes later, we had to swallow eight tablets. They looked like rabbit droppings, tasted like rabbit droppings but were, in fact, a mix of chompers herbal laxatives and cleansers to attack the accumulated gunge in our colons and herbal nutrients to help compensate for those missed during starvation.
We had to repeat these two doses every three hours, every day, with a final handful of pills at 8. There was just one more lesson, the small matter of the self-administered enema. Our teacher was the sickeningly lean, tanned resident alternative health expert, Chris Gaya, who appeared to have stepped straight out of a Californian aerobic video.
He made the colonic irrigation equipment - bucket, piece of wood, plastic tube, bulldog clip and nozzle - sound like straightforward DIY, although it's unlikely to feature on Blue Peter in the near future. All we had to do, he informed us, was to lie on the wooden board between a stool stop giggling at the back and the toilet basin. There's a hole at one end of the board over the loo; above it a nozzle connects to a tube, which in turn le to a five-gallon bucket of liquid hanging from the ceiling.
We would liberally coat the nozzle, which was the width of a Biro ink tube, with KY jelly, lie back, think of profiteroles with chocolate sauce, and slide on. Controlling the flow of liquid with a bulldog clip, we were to let it flow until we felt full, before massaging it round the colon roughly following three sides of a square around the lower belly and releasing.
Fluid would, apparently, be flowing in and out of our backside at the same time. Put on some soft music, light a candle, create a romantic atmosphere. We clearly took different approaches to seduction. But mastering the enema, once I'd got over muscle-clenching nervousness, really wasn't difficult.
I somehow ended up with my right foot half way up the wall, but five gallons went in and out without major trauma. By that night I'd shed another kilo, and although light-headed after 24 hours without food, felt strangely satisfied with the mix of supplements and detox drinks. Next morning, my first enema of the day down the pan, I sat in the restaurant staring longingly at the menu, and found inspiration in the shape of two women nibbling their post-fast fruit.
They exuded some of the rudest health I'd ever seen. Carol Beauclerk, a "global nomad" with a mop of curly black hair, was a vegetarian, practised yoga, meditated and warmed up for her fast with a day hike in Nepal. At 54, she had the energy and enthusiasm of someone half her age. Two tables away, scribbling in a diary, was Claire Lyons, a year-old British journalist who had recently completed 21 days without eating. Having not gone near a set of scales, she had no idea how much weight she'd lost, but told me, "I feel great. Once I got past day 10, over the hump, it was surprisingly easy.
By mid-afternoon, their shining example was all but forgotten. I was feeling awful. Tired, lethargic, simply lousy. Having not eaten for 36 hours my body was apparently going into detox mode. Margaret, who had felt nauseous since waking, had actually thrown up, and was questioning her motivation. Nicky, meanwhile, had produced "something about nine inches long, it was very dark, very scary". Things were no better for Mez. Already ravenous, she was spending an inordinate amount of time sniffing around plates of steaming Thai curry in the restaurant.
She had also failed to grasp the basics of colonic irrigation. Instead of letting the liquid flow out, she had taken a massive amount in - until she was about to burst - before struggling to sit on the toilet and release it. If anyone can take the whole bucket in one go, they're sensational. It wasn't all bad news, however. I discovered we were allowed the luxury of a daily bowl of vegetable broth. It made me pathetically happy, savouring every drop as if it were a Gordon Ramsay creation. Filling perhaps, but it did little to halt the weight loss, and by the end of day two, a further two kilos had vanished.
By next morning, tiredness had been added to my hunger. I seemed to have been up half the night on the loo, the result of drinking a copious amount of fluid. My bodily functions had also taken a turn for the truly bizarre. I experienced flu-like symptoms as I started to expel 36 years' worth of toxins with headaches and aching muscles; my nose ran constantly, my eyes were sore and weepy, my ears waxy.Enema chat
email: [email protected] - phone:(661) 690-1525 x 6148
Antegrade Continence Enema (ACE)