How to recover from over-indulgence at Christmas

I hope you have had a lovely, relaxing Christmas.  And, more to the point, did your tummy survive the season of indulgence? 

I hope that some of the tips I shared in my Christmas Survival Guide, and in my two blog posts on bloating enabled you to enjoy a few festive treats and avoid unpleasant digestive flare-ups.  It’s not easy, even for those of us with the most robust of stomachs.

I remember many years ago when I ate far too much at a party during the Christmas period – I don’t think it helped that I wasn’t sitting at the dining table, but had the food on a plate on my lap. It was one of those parties with people perched on chair arms, on the floor – wherever there was space! 

Anyway, when I got to bed that evening, I had the most awful pain in my chest.  I literally thought I was having a heart attack and my husband was on the verge of phoning the emergency services.  However, after a few minutes, the pain began to subside, but I never, ever did anything like that again. 

Since that day, I’ve always sat at a table to eat.  The pain was caused by trapped gases in my digestive system due to the way I was sitting whilst eating, causing kinks and bends in my intestine, thus preventing the food from moving downwards.  

Digestive enzyme tablets
Click on the image to buy my Digestive Enzyme tablets

This happened in the days before I developed my Just For Tummies supplements.  Now if I am attending a party or eating rich food, and/or eating later in the evening, I ALWAYS take one or two of my Just For Tummies Digestive Enzymes tablets to help my digestive system properly digest the food, and if I still feel a bit gassy afterwards, I take a couple of my Charcoal capsules to absorb the excess gas. You can read more about my Digestive Enzyme tablets here and my Charcoal capsules here.

Activated charcoal tablets
Click on the image to buy my Activated Charcoal capsules

Now that Christmas is out of the way, many of us will take the opportunity to reflect on things a little, make some plans for the forthcoming year and set new goals.

I, for one, like to start the New Year with a clear mind, and I find that a detox helps support this.

For me, a January detox typically consists of:

  • Eliminating alcohol, gluten, dairy and anything that contains refined sugar
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Reducing the time I spend on my ‘devices’
  • Doing some intermittent fasting that, after the Christmas over-eating/drinking excesses, is a welcome change
  • Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) baths and dry body brushing
  • Increasing my levels of exercise, that have been sadly lacking these past few months
  • Going to a spa /retreat to properly ‘reset’ my body and mind.  On January 2nd, I had planned to go to Homefield Grange Luxury Retreat and Spa to carry out a 5-day juice fast.  I was there for 6 days in October, again to carry out a juice fast, and you can read my blog about it here. However, due to my Dad’s illness I’ve had to suspend this visit for the time being

If you want to read more about fasting, read my ‘Fasting is not a new fad’ blog here.

The key role of colon hydrotherapy in a post-Christmas detox

Colon hydrotherapy or ‘a colonic’ is a treatment that helps the body to eliminate stored waste. It sparks as much intrigue, controversy, and intimidation, as it has therapeutic benefits. I have a colon hydrotherapy treatment at least every four months and have done so since the early noughties.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have read bad press or heard the procedure being discussed in a negative light.  It gets a bad rap, no doubt about it, but I would like to set the record straight.

There is not a single shred of evidence proving that colon hydrotherapy is harmful.  Indeed there are tens of thousands of people in the UK, who every year have colon hydrotherapy and report of the benefits they feel – a reduction in IBS symptoms, especially bloating and pain, removal of ‘toxic’ putrefactive, impacted solid wastes due to a slow transit bowel (constipation), leading to an overall feeling of lightness and clarity of mind.  Other benefits reported are clearer skin, fewer headaches, a brighter mood and more energy.

Colon hydrotherapy is the perfect partner to any kind of detox because being ‘healthy’ is not only determined by what we put into our body, but also by our ease, effectiveness and frequency of eliminating waste. 

As humans, we are designed to eliminate waste after every meal but, due to our consumption and lifestyles habits, many of us don’t even go once a day – for many, just once a week is their ‘normal’, but this may increase their risk of getting bowel infections, diverticular disease, not to mention colo-rectal cancers.

It is estimated that we carry around 2.25kg of accumulated toxic waste from sources such as the preservatives and additives in the food we eat, prescription drugs, air pollution, and cleaning products.

And the more we keep eating, drinking, and consuming pollutions, the more toxicity stays inside us.  It’s not a pleasant thought, is it?

How I discovered colon hydrotherapy

When I was in my early 30s, I was struck down by chronic fatigue and bouts of depression and crippling panic attacks.  I tried treatment after treatment, determined to find a natural remedy for my condition – reflexology, aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and visualisation were all helpful, but the real turning point came when I went to see a highly reputable medical herbalist in Oxford.

I was told that the key to my recovery was to sort out my lazy bowel.  For as long as I could remember, I had suffered with constipation.  I had a well-balanced diet, drank plenty of water and exercised regularly, but nothing had ever seemed to do the trick.  I had learned to put up with it.  

When the herbalist told me to try detoxing, cleansing and colon hydrotherapy treatment, I was a little skeptical.  I had never even heard of colon hydrotherapy!  But believing that I had nothing to lose, I went to see a Nottingham-based colon hydrotherapist by the name of Sheelagh Peacock.

It was my lightbulb moment!

After just one treatment from Sheelagh, I felt brighter, more positive and more energised than I had in months.  I could feel my long-lost energy returning!  

These immediate physical effects brought with them the revelation that I had found the key to my complete recovery. I was stirred to research colon hydrotherapy in greater depth and the more I read and learned, the more sense it all made to me.  

I decided then and there that I wanted to train and offer this therapy. When I did begin my training, I knew that I was in exactly the right place, at the right time, with the right person training me in a complementary therapy discipline that would change my life and the lives of thousands of other people – and it has!

How does colon hydrotherapy work?

The procedure is quite simple really. Warm filtered water is introduced into the bowel via a speculum inserted into the rectum. There is an inlet tube attached to the speculum that takes in the warm filtered water and an outlet tube attached to the speculum that removes solid wastes and gases from the large bowel.

Linda Booth, founder of Just for Tummies, preparing for a colon hydrotherapy treatment
Here, I ‘m preparing herbs for a colonic

The warm colonic water acts as a solvent, softening impacted wastes and enabling removal via the tubing.  All water exiting the bowel, together with solid wastes and gases, is transported into the main sewage system via a closed pipe, so there is no odour or mess.

The gentle introduction of water encourages a ‘lazy’ bowel to push the water out, and with it, solid wastes, gases and endotoxic substances.  This in turn tones up the large bowel and ‘reminds’ it what it needs to do – expand and contract to push the contents out.

The colonic treatment takes approximately 25 to 45 minutes depending upon whether I’m working on a short, fast bowel or a long, lazy one. 

I use herbal implants during all my colonic treatments and the type of bowel I’m working on will determine the herbs that I choose to implant – liquorice root and fennel seed to help relax a spasmed, cramping bowel, and void pockets of trapped gas; chamomile to calm down an irritated bowel; senna to increase peristalsis (contraction and relaxation of the bowel to help push the wastes along), particularly in a ‘lazy’ bowel, and a coffee implant to help support the liver.  

There are so many conditions that benefit from colon hydrotherapy:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Smelly, embarrassing wind
  • Diarrhoea
  • Indigestion
  • Acid reflux
  • Diverticular disease, by helping to ensure the ‘pockets’ are kept clean
  • Food Poisoning
  • Parasites
  • ‘Leaky gut’ or, to give it its medical name, ‘intestinal hyper-permeability’ (a build-up of endotoxic substances in the bowel that can diffuse through the bowel wall and leak from the portal vein into the blood circulation)
  • Frequent headaches
  • Skin problems, particularly eczema, psoriasis or acne
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Food sensitivities/intolerances/allergies
  • Liver issues
  • Urinary Tract infections (UTIs)
  • Depression

If you’ve been thinking, perhaps for some time, of having colon hydrotherapy treatment, but you haven’t quite found the courage to do so, then I hope this blog post has reassured you that it is a safe, gentle and effective treatment when carried out by a registered and regulated practitioner. 

To find a practitioner in your area, check out The Association of Registered Colon Hydrotherapists website here or The Register of Integrated Colon Hydrotherapists and Trainers here.