I would like to enter Annalia Russell into your “San Diego’s Best" contest. Annalia is an exceptional individual in the field of colon hydrotherapy. She has made me feel very much at ease with the treatments I have received from her. Whole-body health is her main focus. I felt a great commitment from her to help me realize my full potential in this area. — Betty L. Hobson
“At this time,” says Annalia, a petite woman with the fineskinned clear look of a Very Healthy Person, “we ask the sphincter muscles, which are trained to stay shut, to open. The AMA wants you to take your hand and guide it in.”
“It” is a white plastic speculum, about an inch in diameter, with a tapered tip at one end. The tip is coated with Vegelatum, which Annalia uses instead of Vaseline, since Vaseline “is petroleum, and bodies are not cars.” A thin plastic tube runs into the side of the speculum, and a fat plastic tube is fitted to the base. Both tubes lead back to a clinical-white device outfitted with various dials.
I am lying on my side, naked from the waist down, except for a medical gown that I am wearing like a diaper, legs through the armholes. It is not tied in the back. One knee is bent, and my jaw is open and relaxed, because “it’s the other end of the same system. It helps you relax there too. Just tell the sphincter muscles it’s okay, that they can open and relax. You have to go past two muscles.”
Soothing New Agey music swirls in the background. The room in her Encinitas home is lit by sunlight, to keep the atmosphere relaxing. “How...unh...hard is this supposed to be?” I ask.
“You’ll generally get to the place — it doesn’t go into a groove, but it kind of feels like [it does]."
“When I was originally trained," she remembers, “we double-gloved both hands and moistened one finger and did a rectal exam, to see if there are any polyps, and also which direction the colon is laying. I had a lady the other day whose colon was really dived down to her left side, and she kept trying to go in straight. She just hit the wail. One fraction of an angle difference, and it just went right in easy.”
“How much farther?”
“I think you’ve got it!”
I roll over to my back and put my legs up on a stool, “just like you’re at the ocean.”
Why would a person go through what I am about to go through? Why would a person pay $65 to have his colon flushed with water? Annalia has this answer: “Most people are carrying around ten pounds or more of toxic waste in the last five to six feet of their digestive system. Bloating, gas, all that is putrification.
"I really get excited when I see people cleaning out. I'm like a cheerleader. I've been known to squeal when I see the yellow toxins coming out/
When we start eating cooked foods, stuff starts sticking to our colon wall. I was conferring with an older doctor one time, and he said the cadavers he was looking at had colons two, two and a half inches in diameter, and the opening was as big as his little finger. All the rest was toxic waste.
“And it doesn’t stay confined in those five to six feet. We’re osmotic beings; there’s osmosis through the walls. The job of the colon is to dispose of wastes and absorb fluids and nutrients. The fluids go right back through those layers of toxic waste and around our body. When the colon is not operating efficiently, and it’s getting sluggish and slow, everything else is getting sluggish and slow. If you have a toxic system, it undermines the immune system.”
Annalia’s warnings remind me of the cautionary lectures I used to hear about brushing my teeth. The similarity is not lost on her. “You go to the dentist to get the plaque off every six months. This is the other end of the same system. It never sees daylight or has fresh air.
It never gets brushed, and it gets the last of the food."
“If you put more water in, more stuff comes out. I’m just going to put my hand right here [on my belly] to monitor how you’re filling.” I feel full from the water, and my open sphincter muscles are telling my brain that I’m defecating, but I’m not, and this is an odd feeling. “You can envision the water going in right now around fecal matter or an air bubble — made it around, good! I envision the water going in just like a river going around rocks and stones, air bubbles and fecal matter. How are you feeling?”
“Air bubble.” She turns one of the dials on the device from “Fill” to “Empty," and I hear the blub of an air bubble moving through water. The drain hose runs into the device; a window looks in on a backlit glass tube. This allows Annalia to examine whatever comes down the pipe before it flows out the other side, down another tube, and down a drain into the sewer. I see my air bubble.
“You feel better now?"
“Can we add some more water now?”
“Sure. Air bubble. Holy cow.” Water pushing gas results in a dull cramp.
“You’re doing a great job. Beautiful, beautiful." Annalia is full of praise, “Good, good, good”s, “Beautiful"s, “You’re doing great”s. “Everybody smiles before they leave my room. It’s a passion. I’ve been asked, ‘How can you sit there and look at shit all day?’ « I’m not seeing it as shit. I’m seeing it as, good riddance from the body. I really get excited when I see people cleaning out. I’m like a little cheerleader. I’ve been known to squeal when I see the yellow toxins come out. It’s like birthing a baby in the sense that I’m just glad it’s out.”
The therapy continues. “The colon can hold 80 ounces of water, which is almost three quarts, if it’s not all impacted. I’m flowing the water in real slow, just because of my own body and my belief that the more gentle, the more the colon will hold. Sometimes we hand-squeeze the hose, just clamp off the hose so a little bit will go in there, and see if there’s any stuff ready to come on down. Which there was. You’ve got the whole tube full. Have you eaten tomatoes in the last few days? I see some skin. Corn is the most common thing seen, because the human body doesn’t digest com. Sometimes you see lettuce, or carrots or apple skins. All righty! You’re doing great for the amount of water we’ve got in.”
While she’s filling and draining me, Annalia massages my guts around. “I can feel places where there’s water. There’s sloshing. Air bubbles gurgle, talk to me.” She also rubs the back/side of my thigh, about halfway down. “It’s a trigger point that helps the colon relax.”
Though I am not feeling wonderful (a wave of something unpleasant is washing over me as the river flows inside me), Annalia assures me that I will when I leave, and that the discomfort I am feeling is my body’s reaction to the toxins that have been stirred up by the water and made recognizable to the body, which now wants them gone. I suspect that it’s at least partly because I have a hose up my bum. Annalia admits it’s not always easy getting people to relax, “that’s why a sense of humor helps a lot. The degree of tension does make a difference as to how much they release, so I generally ask for a series of six, beginning with two back-to-back. The second time, you’ll get a more comprehensive cleansing, because the body says, ‘I’ve been here, it’s not so bad’ and they just relax more.”
I am doing very well, but I am looking forward to the end of the therapy in the same way I would look forward to the end of a dental cleaning. I believe what’s happening is good for me, but that doesn’t make it enjoyable. I am gladdened by the news that my 30 to 40 minutes are almost up. I can see
the timer on the device, alongside the pressure and temperature gauges. Then my bottom feels very warm.
“Am I leaking here?” “Just a little bit. Whoops. Interesting that we got all that release and it didn’t [leak sooner]. Sometimes when you’re filling, there’s more stuff coming, like a freight train down the track. Just imagine being on the toilet and letting go. There you go, look at that. Feeling better? Well, I am, seeing all that out of you.” Annalia herself is “certified in 12 different kinds of body work” and has a degree in psychology. Colon hydrotherapy, which she performs up to eight times a day, at home and at a clinic, “is just kind of a progression. This just seemed like the next step. Not too many people are willing to do it. The best thing is seeing people be healthier. Most people think they’re well because they don’t have symptoms. They’re not as vital, they’re not as clear, they’re not as energetic [as they could be]. It’s like getting the film off the window. If people treated their bodies like they treat their cars, we would have a different world.”
The worst thing about it? “Smelling the poop sometimes. It’s no worse than smelling diapers.”
The timer goes off; I am disimpaled. I think I feel better — definitely lighter.”