The six things you need to know about colonics

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It can help with period pain and give you cheekbones. Hannah Betts is firmly championing the health and beauty benefits of colonic hydrotherapy

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By Hannah Betts on

It would be fair to say that I’m not big on commitment. Throughout my nine years at university, I attended but one lecture series, and that was merely a block of four, given by Margaret Atwood, my favourite living author. I’ve always made it clear to lovers that, were they to propose, I would feel forced to dump them. Prior to the last couple of years, the only thing I had ever committed to were six face massages in six weeks, and even this heady pleasure brought me out in hives.

It is, then, with some surprise that I can reveal I have been engaging in a certain health-and beauty-related activity every four weeks for the last 19 months. It is with no less surprise that I can reveal that this has involved having a tube inserted up my backside.  

Now I know what you thinking: “Colonics – eugh – so early mid-Noughties, preserve of Germans, anorexics and health weirdos.” Let me assure you, I have never in my 44 years been on a diet, am resolutely low-maintenance and harbour no Teuton feelings about lavatory contents. I just know it does me good – enough to part with £120 a month for the privilege.

The reason is the supremely gifted Katalin Cziranku, who operates out of two clinics: Grace Belgravia and Third Space Medical in Piccadilly. Before seeing Cziranku, I had dabbled in the procedure when it was last in journalistic vogue – truly, The Times sent everyone – and had emerged not merely unconvinced, but livid, the whole thing feeling as unnecessary as it was faintly violating.

It is with some surprise that I can reveal I have been engaging in a certain health-and beauty-related activity every four weeks for the last 19 months, and it involves having a tube inserted up my backside  

Cziranku's approach is a different beast entirely: not a superficial purge, but a cosseting treatment in which one is massaged into submission while she administers her unique bowel-reshaping technique. According to Cziranku, the problem with the great majority of us is that we’re full of shit. My oracle maintains that everyone stores “5lb to 20lb of compact faeces” – a dizzying thought. Medics may scorn the practice, yet colon specialists flock to see Cziranku on the sly.

The effects are certainly powerful enough to keep me coming back. Most obviously, after three sessions my periods – hitherto cripplingly painful – were rendered cramp-free. Patients shed weight, partly through the cleansing process, partly because you have fewer cravings and consume a lot less junk once you have seen it emerge the other end. 

I’m not in it for weight loss, but happened to hop on the scales the day before and the day after my last session and feel I must report a shedding of 6lb. But more than that, I lost what dermatologists have termed my (bad) “gut face”: furrowed brow, exhausted eyes, puffy cheeks and inflamed and/or eczematous skin. Instead, behold: razor-sharp cheekbones, glowing skin, and My Little Pony-shiny hair. It may not be glamorous, but Cziranku makes the experience extremely nurturing. I emerged lighter, in all senses. If you’re at all tempted, then I’d give it a whirl. Like me, you may become an unexpected convert.

Colonic hydrotherapy: dos and don’ts


  1. Make sure that your practitioner is a member of RICTAT or ARCH. Other than this, opt for word-of-mouth recommendations and/or patient testimonials. 
  2. Your first session may take an hour-and-a-half, subsequent treatments 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. It may take two or three sessions in close succession to make an impact, after which maintenance appointments will be recommended.
  4. During the procedure, you will be naked from the waist down, albeit covered with a towel, so this is not the day to crack out a jumpsuit.
  5. Colonic hydrotherapy shouldn’t hurt, but there may be moments of “this is weird”-type discomfort. You may feel a little odd after the first session, so schedule it for a low-key day. Done in the right hands, the whole thing can actually prove rather relaxing. 
  6. Before your colonic: eat as healthily as possible (vegetables!), avoid coffee, alcohol and fizzy drinks, gas-forming food such as pulses, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, and keep hydrated. After treatment: coconut water and miso soup will both prove restorative. Eat simple food such as soup, fish and vegetables. Take linseed or flaxseed oil capsules. Avoid wheat and white-flour produce, dairy, pulses, red meat, and too much raw food. Cultivate good bacteria with probiotics.


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