For many years, coffee was the mainstay of my life. It started at the age of 17 when we were finally allowed to drink coffee in the Year 12 common room. I had my pastel pink mug (it was the 80s after all) and I joyfully filled it with black nescafe (apologies to coffee connoisseurs) up to 10 times a day. Yes, I was known to have up to 10 coffees a day. And yes, I was bouncing off walls.
This trend continued into my working life, except I started to drink expresso and plunger coffee. I may have reduced my intake by half. For the last few years, my first (typically addictive) thought upon waking has been “When shall I have my first coffee?” Without that first taste, there was no way I was going function, let alone perform on my feet in court. Court called for 2 coffees if time allowed. If it didn’t, it was a double shot of coffee taken away in the keep cup and drunk at the desk while I tweaked submissions and counted photocopies.
Of course, like many people, I was just masking the fact that deep down I was completely fatigued and my body was telling me to STOP! I ignored it and just drank more coffee.
Coffee and sugar (another favourite topic of mine) were the first things to be expelled from my diet upon being diagnosed. I realised pretty quickly that the last thing my body needed was the artificial high, plus the production of adrenalin, that both of those produced. It needed (and still does) calm and relaxation.
But yesterday, I filled myself with coffee. If you are at all squeamish, I suggest you stop reading. Really. There are some things that some people just can’t cope with the idea of and I’m about to share one of them. I’m talking enemas. Yes, that’s right. I stuck coffee up my bum! Not for fun I have to say. I didn’t wake up and think “gee I’d like to stick a hose up my bum and fill it with coffee just because I can”. Crazy I might be, but not that crazy. There is a very good reason for it.
Coffee enemas are an integral part of the Gerson Therapy, a dietary and nutrition based regime developed by Dr Max Gerson to heal patients with cancer. Dr Gerson believed that cancer, all types, is caused by a combination of toxicity in the body and a deficiency of nutrients. The Gerson Therapy then focusses on reversing both of these by flooding the body with nutrients through 13 fresh organic juices a day (and not just any juice but particular combinations of fruits and vegetables) which in turn will cause toxins to leave the body through the liver and the kidneys. However, the liver of a cancer patient is already overworked and requires assistance in its work of ridding the body of all those toxins. This is where the coffee enema comes in.
Coffee enemas dilate the bile ducts and stimulate the functioning of an enzyme system in the liver by about 600-700 per cent, thereby significantly increasing the liver’s capacity to process toxins (Charlotte Gerson, Healing the Gerson Way, 127-128). The effective functioning of the liver is essential to a healthy immune system and will enable the body to eliminate free radicals more easily. The Gerson Therapy deserves a blog all to itself but you get the general idea. In the meantime you might like to check out the Gerson website.
The other effects of coffee enemas are that they assist in pain relief and, because of the cleansing of the liver, give the patient additional energy. And this is where we come back to yesterday.
I am planning to put myself into retreat at home on a strict dietary, meditation and generally healing regime. It has always been my intention to include coffee enemas as part of my daily routine and I have been wanting to try one out to see what it was like. However, the right equipment and ingredients are essential. It can’t be just any coffee. It must be organic coffee, free of pesticides or otherwise, you are simply sending a cocktail of chemicals into a place where they will be directly absorbed. Same goes with the water you use to make the coffee. Gerson recommends distilled water. We have just installed an under counter reverse-osmosis alkalising unit so that we now have water free of fluoride, chlorine and whatever other nasties make their way through our taps. And you need an enema bucket and hose. Surprisingly, you can’t just buy that off the supermarket shelf. No, really, they are not in aisle 6. I got mine from the Gawler Foundation.
Fatigue, deep deep fatigue had been plaguing me since that yoga class last week (hope it wasn’t triggered by the yoga) so yesterday I wondered if my liver was sluggish and needed some help. After running my errands in the morning, I popped a litre of pure water into a saucepan and brought it to the boil. I added 3 tablespoons of organic ground coffee and let it boil for 3 minutes. Then I covered it and allowed it to simmer for 15 minutes. I wasn’t going to use boiling hot coffee for obvious reasons, so I let it sit for about 45 mins while it cooled. I also added a little water to make up for the bit lost in the process.
With some old yoga mats and towels set up in the bathroom I took my saucepan and equipment in there. Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you all the gory details but I was half way through the process when I realised that I hadn’t strained the coffee and I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t keen on the granules. Having said that, I now can’t find any advice to strain it but anyway…
It was a little awkward but I managed. My belly made lots of strange gurgling noises while I lay on my right side, trying to meditate for the recommended 12 to15 minutes. I felt full but not uncomfortable. And then I just could not relax any longer. I made it to 12 minutes. Just.
And 15 minutes later the fog of fatigue that had settled over me lifted. I didn’t feel energetic but I just didn’t feel quite so tired. It made the difference between me staying home and going to my meditation class. This morning, the fog had not returned and as I type, I’m waiting for my next coffee to cool to body temperature.
So from now on, when I say I’ve had a coffee, or I’ve gone or am going for a coffee break, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.
And so be it.
*It’s more than 2 years on and I still have regular enemas. I now strain the coffee through a coffee plunger. I had to work this out for myself because I couldn’t find anything about that anywhere. If you want to know more about how to do these enemas, I suggest you go to one or some of these links:
Also the first few times you try them, you might find that your toilet bowl is filled with all sorts of interesting creatures, especially worms. This is perfectly normal. I’ve heard a lot of people say that happened for them and it certainly did for me.
Be happy. Be well. Just be.