ARE COLONICS BACK? Flush­ing out your pipes used to be a con­cept for kooks. Karyn Repin­ski ex­plores Hol­ly­wood’s detox du jour.

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skin—the whites of my eyes are brighter, and my skin looks bet­ter. I’m just clearer.” A good cleans­ing is even cred­ited with kick-start­ing an emo­tional trans­for­ma­tion. “The first time I had a colonic, I couldn’t be­lieve how all of a sud­den I felt this eu­pho­ria,” re­calls Vanessa Packer, co-founder of both ModelFit, the New York gym where mod­els like Mi­randa Kerr and Kar­lie Kloss fre­quent, and the healthy-life­style web­site Bon­beri. “I had a sense of weight­less­ness and light­ness of be­ing that blew me away.” The ben­e­fits lasted for days, says Packer, who now gets a colonic at least once a month. “They’re one of the step­ping-stones to feel­ing great, men­tally and phys­i­cally, ev­ery day.”

But whether colonics are nec­es­sary or even safe is up for de­bate. Main­stream doc­tors are adamant: Colon cleans­ing is nei­ther wise nor use­ful—par­tic­u­larly if you have a his­tory of gas­troin­testi­nal disease, colon surgery, haem­or­rhoids, kid­ney disease, or heart disease. Risks can be as se­vere as bowel per­fo­ra­tion. “Pa­tients may look to colon cleans­ing as a way to ‘en­hance their well-be­ing,’ but in re­al­ity, they may be do­ing them­selves harm,” says Ranit Mishori, pro­fes­sor of fam­ily medicine at Ge­orge­town Univer­sity School of Medicine, whose 2011 re­view of the med­i­cal lit­er­a­ture on colon cleans­ing found no ev­i­dence of any med­i­cal value and noted a host of ad­versea ef­fects, from cramp­ing to kid­ney fail­ure.

The risk of se­ri­ous side ef­fects is thought to be low­erlo when the pro­ce­dure is per­formed by trained per­son­nel. Look for a ther­a­pist cer­ti­fied by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for Colon Hy­drother­apy,Hy and make sure the ther­a­pist uses ei­there­ith dis­pos­able plas­tic tools or metal ones that have­hav been au­to­claved be­tween each use. The wa­ter should­sho be fil­tered and reg­u­lated to within a few de­grees­degr of body tem­per­a­ture.

IfI you like the idea of giv­ing your sys­tem a spring clean­ing­clea but are squea­mish about hav­ing a tube stuck­stuc up your bot­tom, Junger rec­om­mends adding a am mag­ne­sium cit­rate sup­ple­ment into your rou­tine to help pre­vent con­sti­pa­tion, eat more fi­bre-rich foods, drinkdrin ad­e­quate amounts of wa­ter, and ex­er­cise reg­u­larly.reg These are all re­li­able ways to keep things mov­ingm along.

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